In the ever changing landscape of commerce, enterprise retailers need to meet customers where they are – both online and offline. By taking a dynamic omnichannel approach, large-scale retailers can unlock new avenues for growth, enhance customer engagement, and create a seamless end-to-end retail experience.
Here are some of the approaches retailers can take to build a truly effective omnichannel presence.
1. Building a Strong Foundation: Integrating eCommerce into Physical Stores
75% of shoppers use multiple channels throughout the buying process, so it’s essential that enterprise retailers view their bricks-and-mortar stores not as standalone entities but as integral parts of a unified retail ecosystem.
For example, John Lewis have teamed up with Google Cloud to establish advanced in-store and online experiences in a £100m digital deal. As well as providing a seamless omnichannel experience, partnering with a third party to transform aspects of your operations can help provide data and insights that drive efficiency.
2. Unified Inventory Management: Ensuring Stock Consistency Across Channels
Maintaining consistency in inventory across both physical and online channels is crucial. 77% of buyers will go into a bricks and mortar store, research a product and then return home to purchase it online – so it’s essential that if a buyer enters your store they can find similar items available on your website.
Implementing a robust inventory management system that syncs real-time data between the bricks-and-mortar stores and e-commerce platform is essential.
This ensures that customers can access accurate information about product availability, regardless of whether they are shopping in-store or online, thereby preventing stockouts and enhancing customer satisfaction.
3. Click-and-Collect Strategies: Merging Convenience with Personalized Service
Click-and-collect services have become increasingly popular, offering customers the convenience of online shopping coupled with the immediacy of in-store pickup. Nearly a third of all Primark stores in the UK now offer Click & Collect for Womenswear and Kidswear, and it’s set to become a standard offering amongst an increasing amount of retailers in 2024.
Retailers can optimize this strategy by streamlining the click-and-collect process, enhancing communication, and providing personalized experiences for customers who choose this hybrid shopping model.
IKEA’s click & collect partnership with Tesco is particularly innovative, with IKEA buyers given the opportunity to order online and collect from mobile pick up points in Tesco car parks! Could you partner with another retailer to offer an innovative click & collect service?
4. Creating Seamless Customer Experiences: The Power of Omnichannel Marketing
The key to successful integration lies in delivering a seamless experience across all touchpoints. Consistent branding on every channel can increase revenue by 23%.
Employing omnichannel marketing strategies ensures a consistent brand message and user experience whether customers are engaging with the brand through a physical store, website, or mobile app. This approach involves utilizing data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences, tailoring marketing efforts accordingly.
Ensuring you have a strong post-purchase communications programme in place for online buyers can help reinforce your brand and boost revenue.
With our post-purchase communications software Scurri Track Plus, retailers can send branded tracking emails that reflect their brand and mirror in-store campaigns.
5. Take the bricks and mortar experience online
Retailers can recreate in-store experience on their website by incorporating advanced technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual fitting rooms.
Bringing a human touch online is also an option. For example, Currys have experts available online to connect with customers and offer them an in-store experience from the comfort of their home!
Some retail experiences – such as testing the firmness of furniture – are impossible to recreate online. In this case retailers can adapt their policies so that online shoppers have the same peace of mind as those who enter their stores. For example, sofa brand Snug has upped its returns period to 100 days while mattress brand Casper offers a 100-night trial to potential customers.
6. Optimizing Logistics and Fulfillment: Efficient Order Processing
Streamlining logistics and fulfillment processes is essential for large enterprise retailers operating both physical stores and e-commerce platforms. Implementing efficient order processing systems ensures that customers receive their orders promptly, regardless of the chosen shopping channel. This involves optimizing warehouse management, employing advanced fulfillment technologies, and partnering with reliable logistics providers.
7. Boosting loyalty across online and in-store
The integration of bricks-and-mortar stores with eCommerce platforms generates a wealth of data. Large enterprise retailers can leverage analytics tools to gain insights into customer behaviour, sales trends, and inventory performance. This data-driven approach enables informed decision-making, allowing businesses to refine their strategies, enhance operational efficiency, and stay ahead of market trends.
Loyalty programmes have historically been a great source of insights and data for retailers. Increasingly, retailers are ensuring their loyalty programmes are integrated across online and offline purchases. For example, the Morissons More programme from Morrisons offers points for instore, online and petrol station purchases.
Whether selling online or in-store, the probability of selling to existing customers is 60-70% compared to 5-20% for new customers. That’s why ensuring you take every effort to boost loyalty of existing customers is critical.
For large enterprise retailers, the effective combination of bricks-and-mortar stores with e-commerce platforms is not merely a strategy; it is a necessity for sustained success in the competitive retail landscape. By embracing a holistic, customer-centric approach and leveraging the strengths of both physical and online channels, businesses can create a harmonious retail ecosystem that meets the evolving needs of modern consumers.
Through strategic integration, large enterprises can unlock new opportunities, drive growth, and solidify their position as leaders in the dynamic world of retail.
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