Omnichannel: being yourself as a retailer everywhere
While consumers don't think in terms of 'distribution channels' at all, they don't know any better than that we live in an omnichannel shopping environment. Comparing shopping on the smartphone in between is just as natural as walking into a store to sniff a product. But that same customer gets confused if he suddenly sees very different offers and prices in your webshop than on your Facebook page or in your physical store. And that being derailed customer journey, with all its consequences. You can prevent that with a good omnichannel approach.
As retailers you can use more and more channels. This increases flexibility and convenience for customers and therefore your entrepreneurial opportunities. Thanks to the internet, customers are no longer dependent on opening and closing times. They don't have to get out of their chair for a purchase if they don't feel like it. What started with multichannel (more channels) and crosschannel (same service on all channels) evolved into a new phenomenon: omnichannel.
Omnichannel is more than a new label. Here you subordinate the actual channels to the customer experience: it does not matter which channel he uses. In every channel he encounters you exactly as you are, and with everything you have to offer unambiguously presented. The service, the visual experience, the offers, the way you recognize and meet customers, everything fits together seamlessly, both offline and online.
This is your concept, continue it consistently with omnichannel
Are you considering setting up an online store? In that case, clarity and recognizability within the various distribution channels is important. Although that gives the turnover from your physical store an extra boost, your customers choose and come for your concept. So make sure you extend that concept to the internet. Even if you first Online store If you want to start and then look further, you will be more successful if you immediately take an omnichannel approach. Because even if you are only visible online, your customers still visit you through different channels. They 'enter' you differently on the narrow screen of a smartphone than on the wide screen of your laptop. Contact via email or WhatsApp is also different than via Facebook. Here too, the following applies: with an unambiguous customer and brand experience you make the difference.
Larger companies and brands are well aware of this and are investing a lot of money in their omnichannel strategy. A successful example is Coolblue, which started out as a chain of specialized web shops and has now been equally successful with a limited number of physical stores. The core promise anything for a smile is consistently extended in all channels and expressions of the brand in all marketing and communication expressions. For customers, this is a beacon: what you see is what you get. Whether you visit a webshop, one of the 'real stores' or the Coolblue Facebook page, it is one big party of recognition. It's always Coolblue.
As a retailer, you don't miss any chance in this time
Omnichannel requires tools that work together and seamlessly exchange data. It doesn't matter whether you use MailPlus or MailChimp, AFAS or SnelStart. You want to be able to choose: best of breed instead of one stop shop.
Today omnichannel is not only reserved for the large retailers. Smart solutions such as Lightspeed Omnichannel provide a platform that also small retailers can start and grow with. In the cloud, so always up to date and secure, with an interface that every entrepreneur can work with immediately, without any technical knowledge. Affordable and conversion-oriented, so that even small retailers can present themselves fully and professionally, regardless of the channel. And your customers are recognized and get a personal experience. Just like in the store, because that is the essence of omnichannel. And you can give the right interpretation to this according to your own insight and over time – affordable and flexible. Because this is the time when you don't miss a single opportunity.