If you’d have claimed ten years ago that retail shopping would be conducted on phones, social platforms, tablets, interactive kiosks, and more you would have been laughed at. Today, that’s exactly what’s happening. And, yes, people still will buy in-store.
But people don’t just shop in-store, even when they’re inside a store. Instead, shoppers check prices, compare products, research reviews, and consult social media before buying. If you’re not available everywhere, your limited presence will derail both the user experience and your bottom line.
In a growing online world, it becomes harder and harder to differentiate real tactics from buzzwords. In the overlapping worlds of e-commerce, social selling, digital marketplaces, and physical storefronts, omnichannel and multichannel are the most popular buzzwords.
But it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two. The main difference between omnichannel and multichannel is that omnichannel involves all channels and revolves around your customer, while multichannel involves many channels and revolves around your product.
Multichannel blends the customer experience and gives consumers choice to engage on the channel they prefer. It’s flexible but expects brands to behave in the confines of the channel.
Omnichannel retail is immersive and puts the customer, not your product, at the core. It’s about communicating in ways that are aligned with why they use a given channel and showing awareness of their individual stage in the customer lifecycle. Customers can purchase wherever they are—rather than treating channels as independent silos, omnichannel accounts for the spillover between channels and offers customer experiences within and between channels.
In essence, omnichannel removes the boundaries between different sales and marketing channels to create a unified, integrated whole.
Make every touchpoint shoppable
An omnichannel retail strategy is an approach to sales and marketing that provides customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience by uniting user experiences from brick-and-mortar to mobile-browsing and everything in between.
Recently, the Harvard Business Review studied 46,000 shoppers to gauge what impact (if any) omnichannel retailing had on their experience:
7% shopped online exclusively
20% were store-only shoppers
73% used multiple channels
One major key to designing an omnichannel retail strategy is making every touchpoint shoppable. Every time your customer have an experience with you, you have the opportunity to make sales. The potential to make all of your customer touchpoint’s shoppable is almost limitless.
Bridge the gap between online and offline
If your retail strategy involves any sales that aren’t offline, connecting the two is critical. Just being present in both channels isn’t enough. Not in today’s world where consumers don’t make a purchase instantly at your store.
Consumers want to connect with your brand both on and offline. They want to know what’s in stock before they come to visit. They want to add that item to their cart on the way to the store and have it sitting at the register for pickup.
Ten years ago, omnichannel strategies would have seemed absurd. But now it’s the norm. The majority of shoppers hit multiple touchpoint’s before making a purchase.
We are here to help you to make every touchpoint shoppable. If you are into that – let’s talk.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juha is a husband and father, passionate thinker, doer and collaborator, world class people connector, innovator in business development, creative branding and marketing expert and a founder of Pure Innovation company. He has achieved success working for national and international organizations, while being rewarded more than 30 time both nationally and internationally with awards such as Cannes Lions, Clio, New York Festival, Rebrand 100, etc.