In our fast-paced, ever-changing, world of retail – what does it mean to be an ‘Omnichannel Retailer’?
The continually growing digital world, where ‘phygital’ stores are all the rage and you don’t even need cash or a credit card to check out of a store, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to develop their omnichannel retailer strategy.
So, what does it mean to be an omnichannel retailer? And a successful one at that. For Beyond it means creating a seamless, unified shopping experience for your customer across multiple channels. For this to be successful, we believe that a strong brand identity is vital. Your brand needs to be recognisable across all platforms and offer a consistently high level of service whether it’s in store, over the phone or from your website.
The vastness of the internet gives shoppers the opportunity to compare products and prices. To check reviews and get to know your brand on social media before making the decision to buy from you. So, if you’re limiting yourself by a lack of online presence, or your brash customer service is causing bad reviews to stack up, then it can be detrimental to your brand.
That being said, splashing your brand all over the internet, inhabiting every social media platform available and bombarding anyone and everyone with ads doesn’t necessarily make you a success. There needs to be some strategic planning and thought behind it. The idea is to create an easy and enjoyable journey for your customer so that they want to spend their money with you, not badgering them until they do. Who is your customer? Where and when might they be interacting with your brand? Some platforms will be more relevant for your brand than others and it is better to create a strong, meaningful journey on the ones that actually count.
Another important challenge is finding the balance between your online and offline presence. The recent surge of digital-first brands breaking into brick and mortar has upped the ante for the level of experience consumers now expect on the high street. So how do you find that sweet spot between digital and physical, and utilises all the tools at your disposal?
With consumers looking to retailers for more than to just buy a product or service, how can you spice things up in-store and blend this experience with your online world by making your channels work in sync with each other?
Can your customer browse the collection in-store, scan a code on your app then buy it online when they get home?
Can they explore your new styles on Instagram and buy straight from the photo?
Does your store offer an Instagram-able environment that people can’t help but snap a selfie and spread your brand’s message online for you?
How about select an item of clothing in a few sizes on the website then arrive in-store to them waiting in a self-collection locker?
The key players in the retail game are ever adapting to the needs of their loyal consumers. The disruptive brands that are finding ways to be seen and heard by creating memorable experiences and efficient journeys are able to thrive in an over-saturated market. To find the sweet spot between you’re online and offline presence can be a challenge but Beyond has worked with many brands who have succeeded through getting this fine balance right.