Omnichannel Shopping Experience vs. Online and Offline Shopping — Customers’ Demand the Best of Both
Rapid digitization has changed the way your customers shop today. The booming retail industry got hit by the massive competition from the online ecommerce boom early in this decade. However, it was the ‘experience’ factor that paved the way for retail players to embrace Omnichannel shopping as the most consumer-friendly way to do business.
Want to know how consumers hold the strings to the entire gamut of experience shopping that has changed the face of the consumer retail market?
Consumers stand in stores and use their smartphones to Compare Products
Consumers prefer to check reviews online before making a purchase.
Family, friends & followers impact shopping decisions via social media
The competition incites retailers to deliver directly, sometimes on the same day.
Now with these changes in buyer’s behavior and purchase pattern, it has become inevitable for marketers, salespeople, and customer support representatives to react accordingly.
Coming to the Indian retail market, industry experts are optimistic about the stupendous growth trajectory that forecasts it to grow from the current USD 872 billion to USD 1.3 trillion by 2020. And this can only be made possible by taking a holistic approach in expanding the horizon of your market.
Here are some astounding retail market stats from around the world that with deepen your ties with Omnichannel marketing:
- Agent handle time sees an improvement of 12.5%
- Infrastructure costs sees a reduction of $20M
- Cart abandonment at key points in the customer journey reduces by 50%
How to Multiply your Business ROI with Omnichannel Shopping
While consumers nowadays demand a seamless and consistent shopping experience from retailers, embracing omnichannel strategies such as robust mobile app features, cross channel capabilities, new customer service channels and multiple implementation options are proving to be a retailer’s asset. Although, financial and organizational challenges seem to pester omnichannel retailers, they have been patiently supporting the trend.
Seamless Integration of Digital and Physical Channels
As we discussed earlier, consistency is the key for both retailer and the consumer, and this includes offering the same experience for your customers — be it the retailer’s digital or the physical channel.
Interestingly, 50 percent of retailers declare having uniform pricing and assortment across all channels. This is revolutionizing, because once the customer is assured of this seamless experience, the pop-and-mom stores will also experience an increase in footfalls.
Build a Powerful Platform
There are 2 main functions for customers that the retailers can plan on investing in. The powerful platform allows users to track orders online /or in store and to access their profile online, in the store and in the app. Moreover, the platform is a great tool for customers to stay up-to-date on their activities across the channels in which they interact with the retailer.
Build an Intuitive Mobile App
With the smartphone becoming an integral part of the in-store shopping customer experience, from checking out reviews and ratings to seeking opinion on social media, retailers are gearing up to enhance the shopping experience of GenY with more robust app features so as to keep the engagement alive within the ecosystem.
Two of the main app features that retailers can bet on, is to build the ability to scan product barcodes to search product information and the ability to enable push notifications for online as well as in-store promotions. Besides retailers can consider integrating some of the most in-demand features like reviews, rating, product information and sorting products by pricing or relevance.
Quicker Delivery Options
As consumer expectations continue to increase, all thanks to big ecommerce players like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. faster and free shipping has become an integral part of shopping experience even for the retailers — even if it means involving third-party delivery services. Studies show that about 20% of retailers contemplate investing in same-day and 2-hour delivery in the next 1 year.
How Retailers Can Craft A Seamless Omnichannel Shopping Experience that Drives Sales
While omnichannel shopping has taken the consumer world by storm, it has at the same time empowered customers to experience the best of both — online and offline shopping. It has also given the retailers an opportunity to live up and change with the times, rather than otherwise become irrelevant and obsolete.
73% shoppers use multiple (omni) channels to complete a purchase.
- A Harvard Business Review survey of 46,000 shoppers
Here are a few actionable tips:
Know Your Customers and Competition Well
With the rising influx of ecommerce, retailers are having a tough time staying afloat. While the online exposure has been a boon when it comes to attracting new people to your business, it also allows consumers to look into the offerings of similar retailers — making it highly important for your business to STAND OUT amidst the competition.
Therefore, know who your prospects are, what they are looking to buy, and their preferred transaction mode. Once you are able to make the right analysis of the same along with your competitive landscape, optimize the omnichannel experience of your retail business with features that is accessible, simple to use and gives consumers seamless shopping experience.
Listen to your Customer Preferences
Once you know your customers well, you should also know where your customers are. With mobile and social media penetrating deeper into the lifestyle of your consumers too, it is important that your business is adaptive to these changes as shoppers are increasingly making their purchasing choices across multiple channels.
This is an encouraging call for retailers to opt for the omnichannel preferences that includes a mobile-friendly platform, digital catalogue, and harnessing the power of social media to promote, market, review and sell products.
Manage an Updated Inventory
If you have decided to go for the kill with omnichannel experience, is imperative for retailers to manage inventory that sync appropriate for online as well as offline store. If your online store shows a product as available, it should be available on the store shelves.
From tracking retail data from suppliers to ensuring that the store employees have the necessary tools needed to monitor SKUs store, your retail platform — online and offline, should be amiable to your customers.
How Retailers in India can Brace the Competition from eCommerce Players
While you are busy crafting a seamless customer experience across multiple channels, make sure you take all necessary steps to optimize the shopping experiences of your target audience. This will go a long way to win the competitive advantage and deliver the integrated and engaging experience your customers expect.
As Ashish Shah, Founder and COO, Pepperfry says, “From the beginning, our intention was to be present wherever our customers want us to be”. Pepperfry, that started off as an online marketplace went forward to experiment with offline experience stores where customers can touch-feel-experience their products and then buy.
This experimentation gamble of transformation into an omni-channel business through an amalgamation of online and offline stores paid off big time as Pepperfry generates 25% of sales from the customers who have visited their local Brand Stores.
Long-term investment plans by retailers such as video calling as means of customer service or scan-and-go technology in mobile apps is very much on the cards. Such additions to technology allow consumers to browse online, see and feel the product in-store and then buy it.
Get ready to deliver an Omnichannel Experience that gives:
- Engaged and loyal customers
- Streamlined customer service
- Enhanced business performance
- Competitive edge through integrated omnichannel interaction
- Personalized communications at every touchpoint
But remember, omnichannel shopping experience for your business is about making the best of all the channels — online and offline together, and deliver a consistent experience to your customer, no matter which touchpoint they choose to interact with.
Is Ahmedabad Ready for the Omnichannel Experience?
Ahmedabad is one of the fastest growing cities in India. While the local kirana shops and retail stores form a majestic part of the shopping culture of Ahmedabad, it cannot be denied that the emergence of online shopping experience has definitely created some anxiety amongst the fraternity.
Feelkaro.com is an honest endeavor to retain and regain the lost glory of retail market, by bringing together the best of both the Online shopping and Retail stores under one platform.
Consumers can enjoy the ease of browsing online from the comfort of their home by selecting the stores (by category) in your chosen locality. Confirm the product by talking to the seller and pay a visit to the store to see, feel and buy the product. This is also a win-win for retail store owners, as they can get the best value for their products and maximize their ROI. Isn’t it amazing?