With the development of new technologies and rapidly changing consumer behaviour, ‘omnichannel’ is a relatively new concept that has emerged within the retail environment.
While a number of retailers have successfully rolled out multi-channel strategies, this new buzz word is the Holy Grail. With the customer at the heart of the strategy, all channels whether online, offline, mobile etc are required to be working in unison to provide the customer with what they want, when they want it.
The performance marketing channel has been extremely effective for retailers looking to drive customers in store in addition to online. The leading incentivised sites have mobile optimised sites and apps in place, and utilise the location-based functionality. They are able to drive consumers in store and target offers to them based on their location. An omnichannel strategy provides consumers with options to purchase which are most beneficial to them. Retailers have successfully run discounts and promotions across multiple channels, for example, which can be redeemed online or within the actual store.
One fashion retailer offered a discount code across a number of channels- in print, online and via mobile vouchers. This integrated approach allowed the consumer to purchase through multiple channels – in a way that suited their individual needs. The campaign saw some impressive results and the performance channel performed exceptionally well, generating 43% of the total sales. Of these, the majority were redeemed in store and 70% of transactions were for new customers.
Another fashion retailer saw a similar impact from an integrated approach, with 50% of sales occurring in store when a code had been made available online/through mobile.
Additionally, one of the leading cashback sites has seen retailers with a consistent strategy across a number of channels perform exceptionally well. They have witnessed consumers that embrace multiple channels shop over 200% more frequently and spend over 100% more than a single channel customer.
To further enhance the shopping experience, an increasing number of retailers are offering free wifi in store. Rather than being afraid of showrooming, advertisers should embrace the benefits of consumers being connected while in store. It is possible for consumers to search for the products they are interested in, read reviews, check prices etc. Additionally, if products are not in stock they can order them online there and then and decide whether they want to have their order delivered or pick it up in store. They could also make use of demonstration videos through the scanning of QR codes. By asking for email addresses in order to access in store wifi, retailers are able to create an extensive list of prospects to market to. Additionally, they will be able to analyse the products the user is looking at and personalise any communications to the individual consumer.
While retailers have been relatively quick to launch multi-channel strategies, by embracing an omnichannel approach and adopting a single customer view, they can certainly reap the rewards. This is only going to be further enhanced by future technological developments.
Matt Swan, Client Strategist, Affiliate Window