The future of retail is in creating a seamless omnichannel retail experience. Because today’s shopper isn’t confined to one purchase channel, retail brands will find success in developing cohesive branding that allows them to sell across physical, eCommerce, mobile, and social platforms.
A successful omnichannel retail experience will provide shoppers with superb customer service and convenience that they can attribute to your brand. For instance, a Nordstrom shopper can browse items on a desktop computer and place them into a shopping cart, receive a reminder email that there are unpurchased items in the cart, use a smartphone to complete the purchase, and select “pick up my purchase at the nearest store” for instant take-home gratification.
At the next level of the omnichannel retail experience, shoppers can text stores when they’re nearby for curbside pickup, validate their identity with a shopping app that helps store associates instantly know their preferences, and checkout in retail stores using their mobile device. This convergence of channels delivers the ultimate convenience.
Why Create an Omnichannel Retail Experience?
Every channel has its purpose and place in the overall customer experience. According to research conducted by Big Commerce, consumers purchase:
- from branded websites due to convenience, price, and free shipping.
- from sites like Amazon due to convenience, price, and ease/speed of shipping.
- in-store due to the ability to touch or try, price, speed, and convenience.
- on mobile platforms to maximize their “found time” throughout the day.
Omnichannel marketing has been proven effective. Omnisend’s Annual Report for 2019 found a 250% higher purchase frequency and a 90% higher customer retention rate among omnichannel shoppers, compared to those who shopped just one channel. The average order value was 13% higher for omnichannel shoppers. And, the engagement rate was 18.96% for those who shopped on three or more channels, compared to just 5.4% for the average one-channel shopper.
With the retail buying experience profoundly impacted by the advent of newer technologies, there has never been a better time for retail brands to adopt an omnichannel retail strategy. It is estimated that 7% of retailers provide a completely unified omnichannel experience, with another 50% planning to achieve this goal within the next three years.
How to Provide a Seamless Omnichannel Retail Experience
Understanding the need to provide clientele with a seamless experience across channels and actually getting there are two different places in retail evolution. Limitations in budget or capable personnel may have had your brand focused on one area or another. But, there comes a time when all retail brands must ramp up their strategy to prepare for growth and improvement.
If you’re a retailer looking to bolster your omnichannel retail experience, here are three ways to get started:
- Manage Inventory: Out-of-stock items can drive shoppers directly to the arms of competitors. At the bare minimum, you should be tracking retail data from suppliers, giving store associates the tools they need to monitor SKUs in real-time, and offering convenient “mobile ordering” or “ship to store” options when items become unavailable. After an order has been placed, you can support the sale with automated tracking and returns to meet consumer demand.
- Incorporate Personalization: User profiles (sometimes called personas) allow a deeper level of personalization. Shoppers should be able to take their search history and product preferences with them, wherever they go. Through a login system, users should be able to browse websites, order through mobile apps, receive relevant social media ads, and be recognized by store beacons as unique individuals in search of customized recommendations. A satisfied customer drives loyalty, and personalization is the vehicle.
- Leverage New Technology: Mobile apps, like Shopkick, make it easier to create a seamless omnichannel retail experience. Apps can provide rewards, interactive in-store catalogs to streamline browsing, price-checking tools, reviews, and directions to locate items in-store. By leveraging mobile apps, retail brands have the ability to guide shoppers along the path to purchase.
Shopkick Helps Brands Create an Omnichannel Retail Experience
Shopkick is a mobile app that rewards consumers who shop in-store and via their mobile devices. Combining a user-friendly mobile app interface with in-store beacons, Shopkick takes customers on a brand-led “scavenger hunt” through physical locations, rewarding them for engagement. Shopkickers earn “kicks,” or rewards points, for entering partner stores, watching videos, scanning products, and making purchases, which they can later trade in for free gift cards.
With Shopkick, brands are given an opportunity to engage with shoppers they might not have been able to previously reach. For instance, when Tyson wanted to market their chicken products as a “Super Bowl Sunday food,” they likely posted on their social media page or paid for prominent in-store placement, but they also pitched to active Shopkick users with the same cohesive branding. The two-month campaign led to a 65% boost in new customers and a 25% scan-to-purchase conversion rate. It resulted in more than 14,000 units sold, amassing over $193,000 in sales and a 4:1 ROI.
With Shopkick, brands are given an opportunity to engage with shoppers they might not have been able to previously reach.
Many of today’s shoppers allow the retail experience to drive their decision to purchase. By creating a seamless omnichannel retail experience, brands will be able to stay top-of-mind and be there when shoppers decide to make a purchase.
At Shopkick, our partners find such success when leveraging our innovative mobile shopping app into their omnichannel retail experience. Contact us to start using Shopkick to help improve customer engagement in your own retail brand.
Image courtesy of PopTika