In this ever-changing world, it is becoming more important than ever for retailers to stay ahead of the curb and predict what their customers will be asking for. Customers love the convenience, and they will be expecting retailers to be providing them with as many different channels for shopping as possible. These could include catalogues, TV commercials, online apps, physical store buildings, etc. There are a variety of reasons that retailers are switching over to multi-channel retailing, some of which will be discussed in this article.
For retailers, their primary motivation for multi-channel retailing is increased sales and profit. When customers have more options for making purchases, they will be more likely to find a method that suits their individual needs. This means that the majority of them will end up making a purchase, and generate revenue for the retailer. For example, some people prefer browsing through catalogues, and some prefer to come into the store in person. If everyone has the option of using their preferred method of shopping, they will be happier.
Accumulation of Information
When customer data is collected, retailers are able to use it for informational purposes. They can aim certain advertisements at people who are more likely to be appealed by them. Retailers would also be able to use the information to personalize the customer’s experience, making them more likely to make a purpose. For example, if a customer is browsing a certain section of the online store, they can be sent emails containing the motivation for them to come into the store; e.g. coupons for that specific product. This will increase the likelihood of a purchase.
Increase in Productiveness
Technology has allowed retailers and their employees to conduct business is a way that is as efficient as possible. With portable technology (e.g. tablets), employees are able to move freely around the store, assisting customers when necessary. They can look up products to instantly answer customer queries, can check out a customer who is ready to pay and many other innovations.
Overall, multi-channel retailing has a profound advantage for both customers and employees. However, there are some areas of concern to look out for, and certain strategies that will help to optimize the experience for everyone.
Consistency and Commitment
Retailers need to decide what their brand represents, and how they will be presenting this to customers. All the different retailing channels have to be similar and consistent so that the customer can come to associate them with a particular store; preferably one that they will go back to.
A team of employees must understand that they will be working together and cooperating to bring about an achievement. Money and time will be invested into multi-channel retailing, and everyone must do their best to ensure that it does not go to waste.
Give Customers Something More
The point of multi-channel retailing is so that the customer can get something that they wouldn’t otherwise have had. If they can access the website online, they need to be offered something different when they come into the store. For example, employees could give them insider information, e.g. when a sale is going to start. Give customers value for coming into the store, and they will be more likely to return to that store again. Don’t forget to be aware of the last multichannel trends before implementing an action.