5 Tips for Holiday Omnichannel Success
Under an onslaught of innovation and pricing pressure from discount e-tailers, omnichannel retailers are looking for an edge. This is true coming into the holiday season, where research shows anywhere between 20 percent to 40 percent of annual revenue is generated. With that in mind, here are five tips to ensure retailer success this holiday season:
1. The experience rules. Retailers typically can gain advantage via price, exclusive products or superior customer experience. Few companies want to play the price game; if highly desired products aren't already lined up, they'll have to save them for 2014. What's left? Customer experience. According to MarketLive, customer experience is the leader in driving loyalty.
The most important aspect of the customer experience is delivering options and a consistent approach to shoppers — i.e., letting them choose how they want to shop. Retailers could introduce incentives to brick-and-mortar and digital staff referring consumers across channels, including in-store signage, ads highlighting availability of products or via mobile channels. Also, reviewing return/exchange policies wouldn't necessarily result in wholesale changes, but could provide more exceptions to make customers happy.
2. Make mobile the connector. Ever since 2005 was dubbed "the year of mobile," we've undoubtedly landed in a golden era of mobility. In fact, tablet sales will exceed sales of desktops and laptops in this year's fourth quarter. The numbers of the more personal computers (MPCs) dwarf those of desktop or laptops. More important than the numbers are what these MPCs enable. Because they empower people through the mobility of their social networks, MPCs truly have become the "always screen." Omnichannel retailers must highlight their mobile channels and create multiple links between devices and physical stores.
3. Leverage the (latent) power of data. At SapientNitro, we see omnichannel retailers are sitting on a sea of data, but not effectively using it. While there are large platform-level projects required to fully maximize this opportunity, there are a host of shorter-term approaches to gain advantage through data, now and for holiday 2014.