A whopping 73% of shoppers1 use multiple channels – from brick-and-mortar stores to social media – during their shopping journey.
That’s why getting the omnichannel experience right is so important. When implemented effectively, omnichannel retail provides shoppers with a consistent experience across all online and offline channels and touchpoints. This means retailers can reach customers wherever they want to buy products.
That’s trickier than you think when you consider that shopper journey touchpoints have risen from two to six2. And perhaps why only 28% of business to consumer (B2C)3 companies serve their customers across every channel.
But if you do get omnichannel right, you can expect your engagement rate to jump to 19% compared with a 5.4% engagement rate for a single channel, according to a 2019 Omnisend study4.
This is when a customer first becomes aware of your product via social media, brick-and-mortar store, an influencer, or even word of mouth, to name but a few.
They’re interested in what you’ve got to offer – and they start researching your product. They’ll likely check out your website, sign up for trials, trawl through reviews, and look out for discounts.
It’s an obvious one – the customer pulls the trigger on the product either online or in-store.
You’ve scored yourself a new customer and now the hard bit – holding onto them. Staying front of mind by offering promotions on related products, requesting feedback and in touch via personalised emails are all vital to keepin’ ‘em as a customer.
This is when you’re really winning. The customer essentially becomes an ambassador for your brand, recommending your products to friends and family, posting positive reviews, or pushing out gushing reviews.
Despite heavy investment in all the technology needed for implementing a sophisticated omnichannel approach, it doesn’t always go to plan. Your workforce may face problems with technology, such as an Enterprise Resource Systems (ERP), warehouse management, inventory or even till scanners that don’t work. Without being able to rectify these types of issues, staff can become frustrated and seek opportunities outside of your organisation.
Communicating changes and processes to all internal teams is vital for supporting adoption. If people don’t understand why they’re being asked to change the way they do things, you may find you come up against some resistance. For example, even though shop floor staff are unlikely to be involved with all aspects of an omnichannel journey, it’s useful for them to have an awareness so that they have a more holistic view of the business and can better help your customers.
You’ve got the gear. Your team are on side. Now what? They need to be shown what to do with the new tools. Providing comprehensive training at scale can be one of the biggest challenges facing large retailers. As we know, it’s not uncommon for retailers to have stores across the country or even the globe. Ensuring that all staff are trained to the same level requires a training solution that scales at speed – and can be engaged with anytime, anywhere.
One of the primary goals with any omnichannel experience in a retail setting is to minimize obstacles for customers. Omnichannel allows customers to move through their buyer’s journey seamlessly. This calls for consistency across all channels.
Your workforce – whether they’re staffing the phones, behind the till, fielding questions over social media, or answering questions online – must ALL have the same depth of product knowledge. As shoppers, we all know how frustrating it is when you hear conflicting information from different people. It also diminishes shoppers’ trust in your brand.
Customers expect to be able to reach you on a platform that’s convenient to them. A simple web contact form may be considered too slow for many in our age of instant messaging.
If you’re limited to a web contact form, it’s good to establish boundaries so your customers can know what to expect. When will they hear from you? Will they need to provide any additional information? Do they have any other contact options?
Consider channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp for Business, live chats, emails or a classic phone line. Despite our love of digital, sometimes all people want to do is speak to a human being who can help solve their problem.
And that’s where we come in.
Get all this right and you can enjoy the…
We’ve had more than a whiff of success training the workforce of national retailer The Fragrance Shop (TFS). Using Attensi’s mobile-based SKILLS training app, TFS has improved its online and offline’s staff knowledge of everything from understanding top notes, base notes and middle notes to knowing about brands, scents and heritage.
The product knowledge improvement across the entire organisation helps ensure that whether a customer engages with staff online or in-store, they’re always receiving a consistent experience. This ensures customers can place their trust in your brand and staff.
Staff, including those with over two years’ experience, achieved the following results:
A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works, hbr.org/2017/01/a-study-of-46000-shoppers-shows-that-omnichannel-retailing-works
How brands can build love and loyalty, marketingweek.com/how-brands-can-build-love-and-loyalty
Omni-Channel Retail and Beyond: Delivering Superior Customer Experiences, salesforce.com/eu/learning-centre/ecommerce/omni-channel-retail