If you work in retail, then you know how important omnichannel retail is to your business growth. Not only is the modern customer tech-savvy, but they also use multiple channels to strike any business deal.
They depend on mobile devices to compare products and services online. They want customized experiences that are also consistent and seamless. Whether you own a small or medium-sized company, optimizing your business’ omnichannel retail is the first step in generating more leads to your website.
Probably, you’ve heard about omnichannel retail before but have no idea how it works. If that’s the case, or you are lost on how to boost your omnichannel retail, this piece is for you.
Here are 9 best practices for omnichannel retail your customers will love.
9 Best Practices for Omnichannel Retail
In addition to using point-of-sale systems, you can also follow a variety of best practices to boost your omnichannel retail. If you need to optimize your omnichannel retail strategy to meet your customers’ unique needs here are 9 best practices you should follow:
Invest In Mobile
If you are concerned about your customers’ expectations, invest in mobile. With the current trend of online shopping, most customers prefer to do business via mobile devices. Although most purchases are done offline, research is done online.
A recent study shows that 72.9% of all eCommerce sales were generated from mobile devices in 2021. For that reason, no retailer can provide an omnichannel experience without investing in mobile devices.
Most importantly, optimize your website to create a friendly and easy-to-use platform for mobile users. Ensure that your website supports mobile payments. Besides the flexibility of mobile payments, these payment options also save valuable time for your customers.
Develop Self-Service In-Store with an Interactive Kiosk
With an interactive kiosk, your customers have an opportunity to interact with a digital platform to place orders and even make follow-ups.
Interactive kiosks support both touch and voice techniques to help customers get exactly what they are looking for from your store. The beauty of these kiosks is that they employ self-service technology. Customers can check what they need from your store, and make instant purchases if they land on the specific item they need.
Users have access to a range of information about the products or services including location and availability. They can make an informed decision without the need for a third party thus making their shopping experience hassle-free. Some customers want to see the product but don’t want to spend time looking for a product, in a huge shop with a lot of alleys. For this reason, an interactive kiosk gives them a customized experience that is also time-saving and efficient.
Additionally, customers might also want to talk to a salesperson. With an interactive kiosk, your customers have the opportunity to interact with employees in real-time and get clarification at any time. They can also interact with other store visitors in real-time and get an even better experience.
Shop in-store, pay online
Customers no longer want to queue to make payments. They are used to paying online quickly and thus look for customized experiences that are equally convenient. To avoid checkout, customer can scan their product and pay online, with their phones. This not only creates convenience but builds customer loyalty in the long run.
You also reap huge benefits for your business growth. Shop employees can focus on providing a great customer experience. Instead of spending more time helping customers around your store, employees have ample time to improve their customer service experiences in an attempt to improve business productivity and build customer loyalty.
Allow Items Reservation
Every customer wants flexibility. They would want to see or try the product before committing to buy a product from your store. Optimize your omnichannel retail strategy so that customers can reserve an item via an app or their account on the website in a physical store or even implement a buy now pay later option. Instead of customers hitting the order button, allow them to fill their cart with items they would wish to buy so they can check from the physical store. They can try it later and decide to buy it or not.
Give Real-Time Stock Updates
One of the most common omnichannel buyer journeys is looking online and buying in-store. It can be frustrating for a consumer to go in-store only to find out the product is not available. To avoid such experiences, let customers get access to your business data.
It pays to allow customers to get real-time access to stock updates. Let them monitor their order status and also access search history and catch a glimpse of your inventory. Once a customer decides to make a reservation or click to order, they need to be assured that their item of choice is available in a brick-and-mortar store near them.
Integrating your inventory with your eCommerce platform improves your customers’ omnichannel experiences. In addition to helping you build brand loyalty, this move saves customers from the frustrations of visiting your store only to find out that what they need is out of stock. Manage your inventory so you don’t run out of stock unknowingly.
Humanize the Digital Experience
Automation is good; until it annoys your customers. Sometimes the system will fail to respond or even stall due to technical issues. Other times a customer needs a detailed explanation about a product or service that your digital platform cannot offer. While you want to go digital and promote self-service, some customer needs require real human interaction. As such, you should find the right balance between digital and human interaction. Customers are 2.4 times more likely to stick with a brand when their problems are solved quickly.
The question is: who can solve it quicker? Customers don’t want to wait. They need real-time responses. Chat robots are perfect for that. But sometimes, they need to talk to a real human before they can decide to purchase an item. For this reason, retailers need to know when humans must take over AI for complex queries. Not all queries can be exhaustively handled by robots. Customers need to feel appreciated and this can be achieved via real human interaction.
Use Social Media
Social media is essential for retailers. With the current social trend, your social media presence matters a great deal. Customers need a forum they can interact with your business and other customers as well. If you need to boost your sales, social media is a necessity.
Buyers rely heavily on social media before buying a product. Brands should give them what they want; information from them but also information from other customers, to prevent them from searching for information elsewhere.
Study shows that 68% of US consumers currently use or would like to use social media to engage with brands and even ask questions before making a purchase. It is therefore essential that you capitalize on your social media presence if you need to reach a reasonable number of your target market.
Use SMS Marketing
If you need to keep customers updated on their shopping activities, you can’t go wrong with SMS marketing. SMS opening rate stands at around 98%. This is a clear indication that if you send SMSs to your customers, most of them will open and read the message.
You can take advantage of SMS marketing and let customers keep track of their orders. SMS marketing is an excellent technique to inform customers about order delivery. You can also send customers online or invite them in-store via SMS.
Omnichannel campaigns that involved SMS at some point in the process were 47.7% more likely to end in conversion. This can help you grow your customer base and stay ahead of your competitors.
Depending on your type of business, you may want to consider showrooms. Showrooms are ideal for products people want to see before they make an order or products that do not need to be immediately available such as furniture.
They are also a great way to improve your brand awareness and reach out to more potential customers.
Test And Learn: Which Strategies Will Work For You?
There are endless choices that can boost your customers’ omnichannel retail experiences. Based on stats on your industry, you can guess which best practices might be a good fit for your customers. When you try something new to boost your data collection or even adjust your business practices, the result can be outstanding.
ClicData can help you take your business a notch higher. Retailers use ClicData to create marketing and sales dashboards allowing them to track important omnichannel retail KPIs including sales and sales evolution, both global and per channel. If you need to optimize your average order value (AOV) and build traffic per source, ClicData got your back. Get your free trial today and experience the difference.