Omni-channel approach to e-commerce and retail

Feb 29, 2016

blog

We are now facing exciting changes in the retail business. People are increasingly using their mobile devices for product research. Users demand better and more personalized experiences regardless of the media they use.

As shopping habits have changed, retailers need to leverage omni-channel shoppers as they are worth the efforts. Those buyers who interact with a brand via several media spend by 3 times more than those who use only one channel (according to ThinkwithGoogle).

Here are interaction channels to be considered:

  • Social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, local social networks)
  • Youtube
  • Paid advertising by Google
  • Website/online shop
  • Mobile application and mobile behavior
  • In-store interactions

Utilizing these channels effectively will increase customer loyalty, nurture healthy relationships with Clients and grow sales.

  • Social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, local social networks)

Social networks can be used for:

- Increase of brand awareness

- Leads` nurturing

- Sales growth via paid advertising, and thematic campaigns

People love social networks and spend much time there. Having a profile helps to keep in touch, being valuable and even making a sale. With social media payments and possibilities to convert networks into an e-shop, you can easily increase client engagement.

It is especially important for brands whose clients are millennials. So, exploit that “addiction” for good.

  • Youtube

There was the time when people read content. Then they started to skip text for the sake of pictures, but now they prefer videos.

Youtube becomes critical for retailers. Why has it happened?

- Videos quickly get viral and spread across social networks

- You can shrink lengthy explanations and long read articles into a short 3-minute video which is faster, more informative and eye-candy as well

- Videos have an accumulative value – unlike posts in social networks, the older the video, the more valuable it becomes (it cumulates views, subscribes, likes)

Top brands have realized the potential of Youtube and are increasingly using videos to promote their products, but small businesses can also take their piece of cake. Even amateur videos get millions of views when address the right issue in the right way.

  • Paid advertising by Google

Bet you are already paying a lot of mobey to Google. Top retailers like Macy’s and Target are emphasizing the benefit they got from mobile search with ROI $6 per $1 spent.

  • Website/online shop

The website is the most valuable asset for a retailer – it’s the reflection and retailer’s image and business, and needs of the target audience.

  • Mobile application and mobile behavior

Customers are using their smartphones in different stages in a sales pipeline – to research your company and products, with “how to” questions, to compare prices, search for a shop nearby or make an online order. You need to be there at any moment with the content appropriate for their needs.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users admit using their phones on purchases they planned in a store. It means that regardless of whether you have online, offline or online+offline business, your services should be mobile-friendly.  It also requires and more integral approach to customer care across channels and in-store.

  • In-store interactions

Mobile changed behavior patterns of consumers – they visit less frequently but spend more (SpendPulse report). Customers do more research and strongly rely on their smartphones on any issues that arise. Retailers can give client better service while increasing sales by:

  • Notifying that the product they were searching for is in stock in a shop nearby (iBeacon and geolocation integrated with warehousing systems)
  • Offering an option to collect goods ordered online
  • Providing home delivery to products purchased in a store

We talked over each channel that may influence buying decisions. For that reason retailers should their special care about the omni-channel strategy that would take best of each media.

by Irina Loyko
Qulix solutions` adviser