Omnichannel Retailing: How to Implement an Omnichannel Retail Strategy — and Why It Matters

6 minute read

Consumers are increasingly embracing the omnichannel shopping experience, and many retailers have risen to the challenge. Omnichannel retailing helps brands reach customers in new and creative ways, which can pay off in big ways in today's competitive digital marketplace.

So what are effective omnichannel retailers doing to leverage their online presence and capture customers' attention? It starts with channel integration.

What is omnichannel retailing?

Omnichannel retailing is a marketing approach wherein retail brands connect with customers via various channels and platforms. While it has similarities to multichannel marketing, omnichannel retail strategy differs by connecting cross-channel efforts with an overarching strategy.

Potential channels in an omnichannel retail strategy include:

  • In-store experience, messaging, and signage
  • Brand website
  • Mobile app
  • Social media profiles
  • Traditional channels, such as TV, radio, and print

Omnichannel strategies provide a seamless, integrated experience across all channels. In the modern marketplace, customer expectations are high, and competition is fierce, so brands should take advantage of all available channels and platforms to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Let's look at some tips to help retailers get a leg up with their omnichannel efforts.

Three tips for omnichannel retailing

Get to know your customer

Every omnichannel retail strategy should start with the customer. If you already have customer profiles or personas in your marketing efforts and ad targeting, that's a great place to start. If not, you need to spend time creating your ideal customer personas. Identify basic demographic information like age, gender, location, and income, but don't stop there. Answer these questions to get to know your ideal customer on a whole new level:

  • Where do they shop?
  • What channel do they shop through — online, in-app, in-store, or a combination?
  • How much do they typically spend on orders?
  • Do they have seasonal spending trends?

You can get this information through customer surveys or through a solution that provides real bank transaction data from real shoppers, like Cardlytics. No matter which method you use to collect this information, these data-based insights are essential as you grow your omnichannel retailing efforts.

Make all channels shoppable

There was a period in history when a "shopping channel" was a TV network where you could watch product presentations and order items over the phone. Now, a retail shopping channel is any means by which consumers can purchase goods or services. And to succeed as an omnichannel retailer, brands need to take advantage of every channel to sell. This includes:

  • Brick and mortar storefront(s)
  • Website
  • Mobile app
  • Social media platforms

You may be using most of these channels already, but if customers can't make purchases through them, you're missing out on sales. Build ecommerce into your website and app, and implement shoppable social media posts and ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Create cross-channel touchpoints

To take your omnichannel retail strategy to the next level, create a variety of cross-channel touchpoints. The more you can offer a combined offline and in-store experience, the more seamless your customer experience. Curbside pickup, also known as buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) is a great example of a cross-channel touchpoint. Other ideas include:

  • Real-time inventory updates online for in-store stock
  • In-store signage with social media tie-ins
  • A mobile app customer loyalty program that can be used both online and in-store
  • Digital gift cards and coupons for in-store use

Cross-channel touchpoints create an integrated experience for customers, and they also create a sense of personalization.

Benefits of being an omnichannel retailer

Omnichannel retailing sounds exciting, but is it worth the effort? Here are several of the benefits of implementing an omnichannel retail strategy.

Competitive advantage

Even if you aren't an omnichannel retailer, your customers are omnichannel shoppers. Many customers use more than one channel during a single transaction. If you offer a convenient and compelling omnichannel experience, you'll gain a competitive edge over brands that haven't caught up.

Better results

Omnichannel retailing offers more opportunities for customers to buy from you, which naturally leads to more sales. Other results brands see when they go omnichannel include:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Increased customer retention
  • Overall better customer satisfaction

Better customer experience

In addition to the benefits for business, omnichannel retailing leads to many benefits for shoppers. Omnichannel efforts give customers more purchasing options, more brand engagement, and more overall convenience. The positive customer experience makes consumers more likely to repeatedly shop with you and recommend your brand to friends and family.

Better data

With omnichannel retailing, you gain access to more data than ever before. This cross-channel data helps you refine and optimize your strategy, leading to even better results.

Use Cardlytics to launch your brand into the future of omnichannel retailing

With the right tools and solutions in place, your omnichannel efforts can transform your business. Cardlytics supports omnichannel retailers with powerful insights based on real customer transaction data. Cardlytics Purchase Intelligence™ can help you get to know your ideal customer and craft customizable, cross-channel offers for those most likely to buy. Learn more about Cardlytics today.

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