Considering the statistics and data available, it is evident that business has changed. Shops, intended as physical premises for the exhibition and sale of goods to the public, are less and less every day.
Nowadays, customers use technology primarily for their purchases. A customer searches and purchases the goods through a device looks for products online, and then buys in the store, comfortably, without haste, without stress.
Crucial consideration must also be made from the point of view of those who sell through eCommerce: to make the difference it is not enough to be present on the websites, but we must make sure that all the platforms are efficient and integrated. Therefore, it is necessary to operate from the point of view of the omnichannel strategy.
Influential brands’ most used strategy is to integrate online and offline channels and integrate different channels.
But why should you do all this? Because opting for this choice improves the customer experience. How? It’s obvious! Use an omnichannel marketing system.
Doing this does not create confusion, each channel reinforces the other, allowing clear communication with the customer: prices, promotions, contact, the information will always be consistent in all channels, allowing the customer to choose the channel of information he wants and always receive the highest level of assistance.
We highlight a few numbers to give depth to what we state.
Square and Mercury Analytics surveyed a sample of 1,164 SME owners of eCommerce. Here’s what became evident:
- 56% of SME also have a physical point of sale.
- 21% have a pop-up store.
- 34% sell through their website.
- 25% sell through Facebook.
- 16% sell on Amazon.
- 22% sell through other channels (such as eBay).
Therefore, from this data, it is evident that physical contact is still essential for at least half of the customers. But also, that online channels are widely used.
Target Marketing’s research has shown that over 74% of respondents said it is essential to have a consistent omnichannel experience during the purchase phase of a product or service.
According to Google, about 85% of online users start buying on one device and end the action on another.
This serves to demonstrate how much online purchasing is so widespread among customers.
Therefore, it is fundamental for retailers to exploit this trend by making the online experience as integrated as possible and created specifically for the customer.
At this point, it is appropriate to ask what are the challenges that companies have to face for an omnichannel approach.
- Digital thinking: an effort must be made to enable companies to initiate cultural evolution that involves the entire internal organization.
- Invest in training and team development: the team should be able to implement the omnichannel strategy adequately; investing in staff training is the first success. Technology and tools cannot work alone.
- Designing a single customer experience: eCommerce and the services offered online in physical stores must be integrated, simplify relations with the customer.
- Develop an appropriate online presence: users expect fair and straightforward online browsing because they are used to Amazon and big companies. Responding adequately to these expectations plays a crucial role. An essential factor is a presence in the communities and social media: listening to users, interacting and sharing quality content, always placing the customer at the centre.
- Monitor: monitor user behaviour in both digital and offline, during and after the purchase, helps to respond more accurately to their expectations.