Omnichannel strategies in retail: Connecting the dots between in-store and online experiences

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Just as the lightbulb was pitched as the death of the candle, technology is the newest bad boy on the block when it comes to our beloved Highstreet. But the arrival of fancy apps doesn’t have to result the downfall of the old reigning champion on the cobbled streets. With an estimated $2.3 billion1 spent in yearly sales for the US alone, the humble candle seems to be doing pretty well for itself considering our lives now revolve around electricity. So why is technology getting a bad rep when in fact it has been a lifeline for many businesses, especially in the last 6 months. And by embracing this change, are you setting your business up for more opportunities for your customers and an easier ride later down the line?

The offline opportunities brought by online technology
 
This year has been nothing short of unusual. With a global pandemic on our hands and local restrictions imposed to varying degrees across the world, the need for omnichannel marketing strategies to keep businesses afloat has never been greater. While large corporations like eBay and Amazon were the front runners for online platforms, other businesses are following suit and overall the shift from in-store to online is beginning to slowly take shape.
 
This change can be daunting but businesses need to recognise their biggest advantage. Now is the time to use technology to the fullest and stand out in an ever-growing retail industry. By simply having an online platform companies are ensuring their products and services can be accessed even in the midst of a pandemic.
 
 
 
How the personalisation trend can help you build connections 
 
It’s not just where you interact with customers that’s changing, it’s also how you interact. Gone are the days of blanketing customers with generic letters, emails and discounts. New e-commerce tools have the capacity to create individually designed environments for each and every customer, by name, with minimal effort or time needed. These personal touches not only show customers just how valuable they are to an organisation, they can also help to build stronger relationships between brands and their customers- which will ultimately increase sales.
 
When it comes to e-commerce tools, the best place to start is by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. What experience are you providing for your customers? Retail is no longer entirely about selling products; it’s about creating an experience and a nurturing environment where customers feel valued. And what better way to do this than by creating content specifically for each individual?
 
Why Mobile should be your first approach
 
Mobile phones are part and parcel of our everyday lives. And many companies have adopted this channel of communication for their businesses. Mobile technology is easy to use, facilitates personal connections between customers and brands and, most importantly, it’s a safe form of communication. 
By taking full advantage of the capabilities of mobile phones, including GPS, apps and notifications, you can quickly improve your personalisation strategies by sending vouchers targeting customers in specific locations or sending notifications directly to customers through push notifications and SMS.
 
How to bring in-store operations on-line 

  • Start with getting customers through the virtual door. Direct them your way by sending offers for products near them using GPS.
  • Interact through gamification and bring the conversation to your customers.  
  • We all know clothes can look different on a hanger compared to when trying them on so import your customers into virtual fitting rooms with VR/AR.
  • Streamline the shopping experience by having payment and scanning QR codes all on one platform.
  • Or better still, remove the chore of scanning all together with checkout-less stores. More time browsing and less time faffing.
  • Protect your customers and staff with advanced video analytics AI-powered solution that reminds customers to wear a facemask,  monitors numbers instore to avoid overcrowding as well as monitoring customer behaviour in stores. 

 
Any challenge can turn into a huge potential advantage and this isn’t an exception for new online retailers. This year has shown the need for everyone to adapt in the retail industry and why it is important to take the time to connect the dots between traditional and digital marketing strategies.
 
The new face of retail is digital.
 
 
Reference:
1 How Big Is The Candle Industry?
 https://smallbusiness.chron.com/big-candle-industry-69541.html

Radek Stejskal CEO at ADAMAPP

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