The world of retail is going through a big change and brands are trying to balance their act to be available to customers at every touchpoint. Omnichannel ecosystem is certainly thriving. But, to be able to survive within the omnichannel segment, brands and retailers need to follow a few strategies.
According to experts, retailers can stick with one strategy, go deep, and then excel as a commerce or personalization leader, or, with the right fundamentals in place, they can move along the continuum into an ecosystem and expand into other business models over time. More importantly, each strategy has proven to be viable in creating long-term value, if executed well.
Here are some approaches the retailers can take to survive omnichannel.
Take the commerce path
Retailers opting for this approach—both physical-first and digital-first brands—often highlight one channel and invest in targeted cross-channel connections to support the buying experience for their customers. At the initial stage, this model allows retailers to meet the minimum threshold for omnichannel performance. But retailers with more advanced capabilities can take it to a very different level. Curated offering in-store, ability to buy online and pick up at the store and many such tweaks goes a long way.
Take the personalization route
While most retailers personalize engagement and outreach to a large extent, those that pursue omnichannel personalization go far beyond basic retargeting and lookalike segmentation. They shape consistently tailored interactions across channels, and they do so continuously and at scale. Sephora, for instance, provides consumers with rich in-app messaging, personalized push notifications, and the ability to book in-person beauty consultations from their phones. Further, the brand takes the personalization in-store. Research has reported that customers who visited the retail website within 24 hours of coming to the store were three times more likely to make a purchase and the order values were 13 percent higher than for other customers. Moroever, reports show that Sephora’s omnichannel business saw record sales in 2020, and the company is planning a major expansion of its physical store footprint piggybacking on this.
The ecosystems avenue
This model allows retailers to extend the brand experience, providing consumers with an ever-growing platform of content, offers, and community-based interactions. In this case, instead of turning to the retailer for occasional interactions, consumers make omnichannel ecosystems part of their lifestyle. This strategy, experts believe goes a long way in grabbing customer loyalty and gives a lot of dividends to the brands and retailers.
Keeping these strategisation principles in mind, retailers can align their strategic and customer goals, then set their omnichannel course accordingly. For example, a conventional apparel retailer needed to both expand its e-commerce capabilities and revitalize the in-store experience. But the commerce model wouldn’t give them enough advantage, since peers in the space were racing to acquire the same capabilities. So, ultimately, a retailer needs to weigh their standing and then adapt the practices that suit them. It is all about creating that right foundation, which can help them expand and reach their customers in a better, more holistic way.