In this new retail reality, most consumers are on an indefinite power play. If we think about it in hockey terms, modern shoppers now have the advantage over many retailers simply because of their need for immediate gratification. Consumers want the products they want, and they want to dictate exactly how, when and where they want them.
This way of consumer thinking clearly demands that retailers have an omnichannel playbook with winning strategies that can provide the best shopping experiences, both online and offline. According to Shopgate’s recent omnichannel retailer study, nearly 70 percent of retailers say omnichannel retailing is a priority in 2019. Take note, being an “omnipresent” retailer is no longer a “trend.” It's now table stakes to remain competitive and answer consumers’ ongoing power plays.
Bridging the Online and Offline Customer Experience Gap Through Mobile
Innovative retailers are taking the power of the smartphone one step further by utilizing mobile technology to fill the void between online, offline and everything in between. In fact, 50 percent of the retailers that Shopgate surveyed listed a mobile shopping app as a top priority in their omnichannel plans. If leveraged properly, mobile can serve as a vital channel to conduce consumers to react between the digital and the physical, converting their typical “idle” attention to engaged and actionable.
Create More Upselling Opportunities With the Power of BOPIS and BORIS
In a recent Fisher study, 90 percent of online shoppers said that high shipping fees and home delivery that takes longer than two days will likely prevent them from completing a purchase online. Shoppers continuously crave convenience, which is why a large quantity of retailers are adopting buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in-store (BORIS) models to make both purchases and returns convenient and efficient. Retailers must also think of the returns process as a critical touchpoint to take advantage of consumers’ heightened attention to create an opportunity to re-engage and upsell.
Build a Single, Cohesive View of Each Customer With Clienteling
A clienteling solution is key to enabling store associates to deliver a great customer experience, aided by access to invaluable data. And with 46 percent of Shopgate retailer survey respondents indicating that clienteling ranks in their top three preferred technologies, it’s safe to say that this strategy will continue to be an expectation from consumers in the future. By implementing a clienteling solution, retail organizations can communicate to customers beyond the doors of the store’s brick-and-mortar with a suite of messaging tools that make the experience more personal than ever.
Generate Better Efficiency Through Omnichannel Fulfillment
To create the ultimate in-store shopper experience, it's important to take a step back and invest in store associates. Using a simple, easy-to-use mobile application, store associates can be armed with data and information to help them be more efficient and accurate in their jobs. A capable back-end system also allows store associates to prevent order fulfillment backup and brings the most pressing orders to the forefront.
Target Customers Better at the Right Time and Place Through Geofencing
For savvy retailers, strategic geofencing is key to targeting a consumer’s most personal device. Retailers can use geofencing-powered communication to optimize their mobile capabilities, targeting consumers where they are and staying at the top of their radar based on current location and location history. Not only does this help successfully market to the on-the-go mobile user, but it also adds context to mobile customers’ buying habits.
Avoid the Consumer Penalty Box With a Comprehensive Unified Experience
Retailers can avoid the consumer penalty box with these omnichannel power plays that can provide the best shopping experiences, both offline and online. It’s time for retailers to take the necessary steps to fashion a unified omnichannel experience — one that will exceed shoppers’ expectations and help them lock in the win. Remove the borders between channels and use technology to create interactive, informative in-store experiences.
Casey Gannon is vice president of marketing at Shopgate, a mobile commerce platform.
Related story: Total Retail's 2019 Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers