Today’s shoppers have the luxury of shopping across multiple channels. From a consumer’s view, this is wonderful, yet for the retailer, omni-channel retailing creates the pressure to satisfy customers across all channels. This will address the common challenges faced by the omni-channel retailer and solutions to each problem.
Inconsistent experience across channels:
Consumers expect brand consistency across their shopping channels. The experience of whether they are buying online or in store should essentially be the same. Inconsistencies such as not allowing online purchases to be returned in stores and varying prices in stores can dissuade potential buyers.
To give your customers a seamless experience you should make sure your promotions are consistent across all channels. Also, facilitating returns will increase the likelihood of online purchases and an in-store return policy will bring the customer to your store (with the right sales tactics returns can lead to exchanges and more purchases)
The rise of mobile commerce has especially aided in the rising fear of showrooming, or when a potential client enters a store to examine a product first hand and/or try it one, only to end up purchasing it online for a cheaper price. With mobile commerce, shoppers can use their smartphones while in the store to read customer reviews and shop around for the lowest price.
Offering customers the opportunity to buy an item online and pick it up in stores is one solution to combat showrooming. Planning and hosting an event at your store is another way to lure in potential customers. Keeping your store neat and having plenty of associates on the floor increases the likelihood of converting visitors to paying customers. It is worth noting that The Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) “only 4% of shoppers did their research in a physical store before buying online” (monash.edu.au)
Omni-channel retailing offers store owners many new opportunities to sell their products. Ensuring that coupons are redeemable both online and in stores and bringing in tablets to your brick-and-mortar store increase the likelihood of capturing sales. With an in-store tablet, customers can view additional item information, including reviews, and purchase items online and have it shipped to stores. This is also a way to introduce new collections/items for preorder to woo a shopper who cannot find anything in stores.
In the omni-channel model, the customer’s needs and desires must be met in order to generate profits.
By following the suggestions listed above, you can overcome the challenges associated with omni-channel retailing to receive a high ROI. Keeping both your brick-and-mortar and eCommercce store updated, neat, and easy to navigate gives your customers a pleasant shopping experience, and they can be expected to return.