It’s been the case for years that retailers need to be online to survive, with online storefronts, social media research and marketing fundamental to doing business. Still, most consumers haven’t made the jump to doing business only online yet. So for now, physical retail retains its relevancy.
However, the nature of how we conduct brick-and-mortar sales has begun to catch up with the times.
Until recently, shopping online and shopping in-person were two distinct experiences. But factors like COVID-19 changing how shoppers make purchases have forced retail to evolve.
Omnichannel marketing has become a common term in discussions on how retailers can achieve a synthesis between these two shopping methods. But why is it important and how can it help you grow your business? To find out, let’s start by defining our terms.
There’s never a shortage of new buzzwords in marketing, and omnichannel is only one of the more recent ones. And like many buzzwords, it tends to get thrown around even when the user doesn’t quite understand what it means.
In brief, having an omnichannel marketing plan means that you’ve built an integrated consumer experience. Shoppers can move from digital channels like your app or website to a brick-and-mortar store with ease.
So suppose a potential buyer was researching your product online. But for whatever reason, they decide that they want to buy it in-person instead of through the app or the site. An omnichannel strategy creates the framework to make that purchase as simple as possible for them.
Think about your own buying decision in your personal life. It’s unlikely that you will only shop online or only shop in person. Instead, you probably use your smartphone to research products so you can make an informed purchase.
This can be something simple, like researching brands on your phone while you’re at the grocery store. Or it could take the form of the mobile ordering services that became standard during the pandemic.
Whatever the case, it’s a welcome convenience for the customer, and may offer a bevy of benefits for the retailer as well.
It can be a great tool for helping you to collect the most up-to-date data on customer buying decisions, for one. And since many customers still prefer to pay in cash whenever possible, it can be a means to help encourage in-person purchases and put a dent in high credit card service fees.
“It’s easy to see, but hard to foresee”, Benjamin Franklin once quipped. And in that spirit, skeptics might dismiss omnichannel marketing as a mere fad.
But with the benefits it can provide to retailers and shoppers alike, there’s little reason not to expect an omnichannel marketing strategy to become increasingly important to success.
But you don’t need to navigate this new frontier alone. To see how you can integrate strategies like omnichannel marketing into your physical retail plan, find out how our digital strategy tools can help you plot a roadmap for your future.