The retail industry’s annual holiday shopping battle is at peak intensity. Both online and in stores, retailers are battling for that precious share of consumers’ wallets.
While omnichannel retailing is hardly a new trend, this year it has become more apparent than ever that the true winners in the holiday shopping war will be the retailers who have implemented seamless online and offline strategies.
Consider these two scenarios:
“Fomnichannel” Retail Fail
Retailer A offers free shipping to customers who place an order for an out of stock item while in the store. Great strategy, right?
But the process involves a lengthy phone order at the cash register, a growing line of customers waiting to check out, an impatient customer with a long list of errands to run, and an apologetic store clerk. The order is (finally) placed, but the customer leaves the store questioning whether the discount on shipping costs was worth the time and frustration involved.
Seamless Omnichannel Integration Win
Retailer B also offers free shipping to customers who place an order for an out of stock item while in the store, but clearly has mastered the art of seamless retailing.
The process is quick and painless. The store clerk pulls the item up on a mobile device, enters the customer’s information, and confirms the order. The customer leaves impressed with the ease of the process and feeling good about his purchase.
Why You Can’t Ignore Omnichannel
Omnichannel retailing isn’t a fad. It is critical to the success of your retail brand for many reasons, including these:
- Fast pace of consumers’ lives. Life moves faster today than it did 50 years ago. Much faster. Consumers have limited time to spend shopping and need efficient, painless processes. The retailers that deliver this will gain grateful, loyal customers.
- Millennials’ expectations. Much has been written about the impact that the digitally savvy Millennial generation will have on the retail industry. Long story short: you are expected to be as digitally savvy as they are (as the Millennials at Buxton often attest).
- Brand cohesiveness. The average consumer doesn’t think about the complexity of merging offline and online retailing. They simply know that they are purchasing a product from your brand and expect their experience to be the same no matter what channel they use.
If this year’s holiday shopping war has made it clear that your company has opportunities to strengthen its omnichannel retail strategy, then you need to read our complimentary report, “Unzip the Answers to Your 3 Biggest Omnichannel Challenges.” In it, you will learn how customer analytics can help you tackle the stickiest omnichannel challenges and lay a strong foundation for future growth.