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What is Omnichannel and What Does it Mean for Your Store?

omnichannel for retail

Amazon has just opened up their first brick-and-mortar bookshop in Seattle, Washington. To some, the decision might appear counter-intuitive, but Amazon (and an increasing number of retailers) have recognized the importance of changing the way they engage with their customers. These days good ole' customer service is no longer simply about online and offline, it’s about omnichannel. Omnichannel is about creating an experience that is consistent and takes customers through a seamless buying experience, whether offline or online, whether mobile phone or tablet, allowing customers to engage with your brand any way they want.
Your customers’ new shopping habits

The way your customers shop is changing. Shoppers have more buying options than ever before, and more channels at their fingertips. 
With an estimated 1.2 billion people accessing the web from their mobile devices [Trinity Digital Marketing], customers are becoming increasingly used to shopping in different ways. In fact, 67% of online shoppers have made purchases in the past six months that have involved multiple channels [Zendesk].Because of this, it’s important to ensure your business can interact with your customers in new and varying ways, and provide them with a great customer experience every time.

Vend CEO Vaughn Rowsell was quoted recently at #Money2020 event saying "Omnichannel is about how to best market and engage with customers in the most frictionless way possible."

Giving your customers an omnichannel experience

The first step in making sure your business is up-to-date is to make sure your customers can access your website and eCommerce store. Go through your website step-by-step and take a look at what your customers experience.

Does it reflect your in-store business?

It’s also important to make sure your website and eCommerce store is always up-to-date. 64% of customers expect to receive real-time assistance, regardless of the customer service channel they use [Forrester]. So it’s important to make sure your online presence is active. Having your in-store staff check messages throughout the day is an important part of maintaining the efficient running of your business.

Having your site optimized for mobile is increasingly important as more and more shoppers become reliant on their phones to make purchases. 30% of mobile shoppers will abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile [MoPowered]. So make sure you test out your site on mobile, and make sure things are running smoothly.

Takeaway Tips

  • Shoppers who buy from a business, both in-store and online, have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel [Google]. So think about building those ongoing relationships that will see your business becoming more connected to your customers.
  • 39% of consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to visit a retailer’s store if the online store does not provide physical store inventory information [Forrester]. Making your stock visible online is essential to encourage shopping, both online and in-store.
  • 78% of surveyed customers say a company’s reputation for customer service is important to them when choosing to shop with a particular brand [Forrester]. When implementing an omnichannel strategy, it’s important to make sure your staff are up to speed with your online presence, so they can continue to provide your customers with great service - offline and online!