Why Multi-Channel Retailing Appeals to 'Channel Hopping' Buyers and Sellers Alike?

The retail market is undergoing churn. Even retailers with heaps of experience under their belts find it hard to figure out what to do in the wake of expanding customers' needs and mounting competition.

Many who are focused on boosting internal efficiencies, adopting cost-effective strategies or making innovations in products and services find it hard to catch up. That's because retailers need to re-organize their entire business around today's empowered customers. The writing on the wall is loud and clear—adapting to a multi-channel retail model isn't optional. A carefully implemented, multi-channel strategy, where retailers concentrate on creating a model that promises consistency, personalization, and a repeatable level of service, is vital. Here's why multi-channel retailing can be your means of winning the customer of now, and the future.

It's More Than Just the Price - It's the Perception of Value:

One thing every retailer needs to know before delving into designing a multi-channel strategy is that they may create it, but it's actually fuelled by their customers' desire to shop from the channel they prefer most.

In multi-channel retail, your relevance is decided by a number of factors other than price, such as customer experience, customer trust, product assortment, return policy, your product research, cost of delivery, loyalty programs, and similar others.

Price may well be a differentiating factor, but the consumer's perception of your brand can play a pivotal role in an ever-challenging retail environment. However, what’s most important is that perception isn't created by chance. It involves strategic implementation of multi-channel retailing.

Great Way to Acquire and Retain Customers:

Good business is perpetually centered around expanding your customer base by acquiring new customers and maintaining current ones. Multi-channel retailing helps you do both. Conducting 360 degree campaigns through retail stores, online, mobile apps, kiosks, and telephone sales ensures that you produce new offers for the existing customer and strengthen your branding. This naturally attracts new customers. A study by IDC indicates that shoppers who make purchases through multiple channels have a 30% higher customer lifetime value, compared to those who shop using a single channel.

In a multi-channel environment, because you have more avenues to reach out to your consumers, a brand recall is far easier. In other words, it's a built-in concrete strategy to engage customers and deliver them the value they seek.  

Because All Your Competitors Are On It:

It's certainly one of the most significant reasons for adopting a multi-channel strategy, if not 'the most significant.' If all your competitors find it worthy, there must be something about it.
According to SAP, many companies say that by implementing a multi-channel strategy to their presence, they've experienced a 74% rise in sales.

That said, businesses need to take things one step at a time, weigh their options, and study their customer behavior everywhere, whether it’s in-store, mobile, or online. Based on how they are engaging at every touch point, working towards a unified approach to offering a "single-experience" to the customers must be envisaged.

Expanding Your Storefront Is Indispensable to 24/7 Selling:

Multi-channel retail isn't a trend. Trends wane. It's all about evolution. Consumers actively use a variety of devices and channels before making a decision. It's only natural that retailers mirror what they are witnessing around them. The consumer’s route to purchase today is seldom a straight line.

In fact, it's much more than a winding path. It operates on several levels, and is dependent on multitudes of factors. While an automated multi-channel delivery is at the heart of multi-channel efficiency, a manual approach towards it can be detrimental for your success.

For instance, consumers looking for something on the web, can become attracted to something similar at a discount on your competitor's mobile app. The entire journey of the buyer changes in an instant. This shift in the consumer's buying habits is indicative of how impulsive, instantaneous and unpredictable a purchasing trajectory can be. Being ready for a 24/7 selling environment is the only option you have.

   
Final Thoughts:
 
The retail world is steeped in a dynamic environment. Not just channels are increasing and evolving; so are the technology and audience preferences. There's a dire need to stand out from the rest through a unique brand messaging. The means to that end can be met through constant innovation and scaling, adjusting the customer experience, and making personalization a priority throughout the buying experience.

A large number of retailers say that multi-channel is their top priority, and they are spending more and more to implement it optimally. Expanding your reach, improving your targeting, and bridging the gap with consumers' needs must take precedence in your initiatives.

Besides, personalizing your audiences experience has no substitute. Consumers like to be communicated with, and that includes feedback and recommendations. It's a great way to pamper your consumers, and make them like your brand. What better way to achieve it than establishing a great presence on every channel.

If you're among those retailers who are constantly exploring avenues to reduce inconsistencies, redundancies, and are looking to engage your customers and increase your revenue, Pimcore can present a perfect solution for your PIM/MDM, DAM, CMS and Digital Commerce challenges.

Incidentally, Pimcore is participating in the IRCE 2018, between June 5-8, being held at McCormick Place West, Chicago (Booth # 255).

You're more than welcome to meet our experts there in-person!

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