Why Retailers Need to Focus on Omnichannel Experience
The Death of Retail: Fact or Fiction?
It’s hard to get a handle on what exactly is going on in the retail world. Store closings and bankruptcies have been dominating the headlines for well over a year. Toys R Us closed its last US stores over the summer. And yet, Tiffany’s is about to sink $250 million into a renovation of its flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue in New York. Earlier this month, luxury furniture company RH took out a four-page ad in the Sunday New York Times declaring, “The Death of Retail Is Over-Rated.”
It’s a tough time to be a CMO in retail. The only guarantee of survival is to confront the blurred lines between online, offline, eCommerce, mCommerce, and brick and mortar. Retail CMOs need to step up their game, embracing new technologies and playing a more active role in optimizing Customer Experience (CX). Because, as it turns out, retail isn’t dead after all. Lame, boring retail is dead.
Many of the recent casualties in the retail sector simply failed to leverage technology to solve such complicated issues as inventory management, trend prediction and customer experience. More importantly, they lost touch with their customers — their preferences, attitudes and desires.
Retailers who adapt to an omni-channel marketing strategy can easily create a unified brand experience across all channels. Companies that are succeeding — like Amazon, to state the obvious one — do so by addressing consumer needs, and building brand loyalty through positive, personalized experiences.
What Does Omnichannel Experience Mean for Retailers?
Omnichannel (omni-channel) experience in retail provides customers with a seamless experience from touchpoint to touchpoint while interacting with your brand’s online and offline presence. Omnichannel customer experience is a step beyond multi-channel, allowing for a better brand impression, and a 360-degree view of customer data.
Embracing new technology is a key piece of the puzzle. Many companies promote offers and deals to in-store visitors on their mobile devices, shipping purchases to stores (or shipping in-store purchases to customers’ homes). Some retailers like Kroger are experimenting with instant price changes and promotions on the fly. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can track conversion and monitor the relative success of in-store pricing.
As eCommerce sales are expected to eclipse $3.5 trillion by 2019, the changing market represents a vast opportunity for businesses to improve their relevance and expand their market in the online world.
If you’re interested in learning about how big data can provide big benefits to eCommerce companies, read our Retail: Big Data, Bigger Profits white paper. And if you’re at Shop.org, come visit Arm Treasure Data at Booth #402.