From new devices and platforms, to software and virtual spaces, the introduction of cutting-edge technology is continually shaking up various industries and enabling brands to be more creative than ever before. With this creativity and adoption of new and viable tech comes a whole host of benefits to brands and omnichannel strategies across eCommerce and marketing.
Omnichannel retail has evolved significantly throughout the digital age, with the introduction of channels such as eCommerce, email marketing, social media, and virtual stores. The obvious benefit of this is that brands have more ways to reach their audience, but omnichannel eCommerce offers a vast array of other advantages.
Boosting sales is a crucial step for any retail business looking to grow its brand and increase revenue. Omnichannel retail allows brands to boost sales by offering customers a more comprehensive range of digital touchpoints, ways to drive traffic online, and constant availability. Simply put, omnichannel eCommerce provides businesses with more ways to connect with their audience and maximise availability.
Traditionally, a combination of physical storefronts and eCommerce websites was the go-to strategy for successful retailers. However, the rise of social media has added another powerful tool to their arsenal. By leveraging the reach and engagement potential of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, brands can expand their customer base and drive sales in ways that were previously unimaginable, add to it virtual stores and you get a complete omnichannel retail strategy, which allows businesses to combine all of their digital efforts for a fully-integrated customer experience. Google’s data shows that customers who engage with businesses through multiple channels (i.e., omnichannel) have a lifetime value that is 30% higher than those who stick to just one channel. This suggests that omnichannel shopping not only leads to more frequent purchases, but also encourages customers to continue shopping with a brand for a longer period of time.
Furthermore, it’s vital to consider the variety of devices consumers use to complete tasks. Google tells us that 90% of multiple device owners use at least three devices a day. Combine this with the fact that marketers using more than three channels in an omnichannel campaign earn 287% more revenue than single-channel campaigns.
Enhance Customer Loyalty
The most apparent benefit of omnichannel retail is the ability to provide more digital touchpoints and, therefore, more ways to make a sale. However, omnichannel eCommerce allows for advanced data gathering and learning more about your customers. This proves to be a massive benefit for many reasons, one of which is personalised experiences.
Personalized experiences are among the most revolutionary aspects of modern retail, as it allows brands to know exactly what their customer’s needs are and guide them through a customized buyer’s journey. The data required includes online purchases, behaviors, browsing, location, and more. With such a range of platforms and tools being used in omnichannel retail, this data is easier than ever to gather.
“Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.” – Loyalty 360
In fact, personalizsation has become so common in retail that it’s now expected. Meaning that when brands fail to offer personalised experiences, they’re dropping the ball without even realising. Surveys have revealed that as much as 70% of consumers expect and enjoy personalised experiences. Personalisation helps people to connect with your brand and feel as though it’s a more inclusive experience. When you feel like part of something, you’re more loyal to it.
Efficient Sales Experience
The sales process has evolved significantly from the days of walking into a store, browsing some items, and then potentially making a purchase. As we mentioned above, people use multiple devices a day. They conduct research on their mobile device(s) to learn everything they need to know, then either buy online or visit a physical store. With this in mind, omnichannel retail has quickly become a must-have for businesses.
Without it, customers will struggle to learn what they need to know about your products and brand. Not only this, but it prevents customers from purchasing online and picking up products in-store, something that 50% of customers view as a priority. While this process might not be the most common use of omnichannel commerce, it’s just one of many expectations of modern consumers.
Also, brands have to consider the new wave of retail. Specifically, retail in the metaverse with virtual stores (VR technology and web browser apps). Yes, it’s vastly different from a conventional in-store experience, but the fundamentals are the same. We know that 71% of people use their mobile device for research and consider it vital for their in-store experience. There’s no reason why this will change as virtual stores become more prominent. Omnichannel strategies will now support in-store experiences in real-life and virtual environments.
An example is Burberry x Harrods. An entirely digital retail experience that used VR to offer customers private sales appointments, VIP experiences and other perks to ensure a unique experience when launching their newly released bag.
Use Customer Insight to Drive Growth
We already mentioned the benefit of learning about your customers for personalised experiences. However, customer data analysis is also a brilliant way to inform brand decisions when it comes to future growth. Even businesses that only utilise a few channels can still learn plenty about customers through their behaviours and purchases. Data shows that 77% of stronger omnichannel companies store customer data, compared to 48% of weaker omnichannel companies that don’t.
When you adopt an omnichannel approach to cover all bases, the abundance of data you gain can drastically improve the way you view customers’ needs. But more importantly, it shapes how the brand can evolve to ensure these needs are met while tracking trends, patterns, and new audiences. Businesses that gather and use data effectively have a much better chance of increasing sales and brand visibility while identifying high-demand products/services to focus on.
Omnichannel retail and marketing will continue to evolve alongside modern technology. For businesses, it’s crucial to stay up to date with how this can impact brands and shape industries. With technologies such as virtual stores entering the fold and gaining traction amongst consumers, omnichannel strategies are more of a priority than ever.
Learn more about Emperia’s work with metaverse shopping, virtual stores and omnichannel retail.