May 24, 2019 419 views

Few market segments are as disputed as retail. Even with an enormous number of consumers every day, it is important to consider that in this market a product can be bought in several places.

Thus, entering a price war, although it is necessary most of the time, is not the only way out to stand out among competitors. Increasingly, the shopping experience counts valuable points in winning customers.

A clear example of this type of innovation project is the bold plan that Carrefour prepared to meet until 2022. The supermarket chain understood a basic truth for the retail sector: the need to be Omnichannel.

Consumer behavior has radically changed with digital transformation and, to remain relevant, retailers must adapt to this. But what is the Omnichannel and, more importantly, why it can be considered the future of retail?

This is what you will see now!

Understand what the Omnichannel strategy is

The term Omnichannel means multichannel, and represents the great change that has been happening to consumption patterns in much of modern society.

In the past, buying a product was a matter of looking from store to store until you found the item you want or get the best value for money. Today, the consumer continues his search for the best prices and products, but the way to do this is quite different. Everything happens online.

But the term multichannel refers not only to integrating online and offline, but to explore the various opportunities that arise from the digital world. It is worth mentioning some channels that are inserted in this context:

- brand website;
- corporate blog;
- search engines;
- social networks;
- email;
- applications.

Your customers use all of these channels to search, recommend, and exchange experiences on what to buy and where to do it. This is where the Omnichannel strategy comes in to optimize its presence in all these environments, strengthen the brand and increase sales.

5 Benefits of Omnichannel for Your Business

Using and optimizing multiple marketing channels is a huge task, as it requires a lot of planning, professional training and tracking of virtual store results. Is it really worth doing all this effort? Yes, for several reasons.

The large retail chains that are investing heavily in the Omnichannel have already made that count. Here are some of the key benefits a multi-channel strategy can bring to your business:

1. Improved data collection

The first benefit is the ability to collect data about your customers - and the entire process through which they go through the purchase - in a much more complete way.

When it comes to digital strategies, everything can be measured and optimized to give better results in the future. This is because every action someone takes on one of their digital channels generates data.

By collecting and understanding what they indicate about your ideal audience, you can create a customized marketing and sales experience.

2. Higher Profit Margin

Working multiple sales and marketing channels is also a good opportunity to increase the profit margin on the products. But how does this work and what is the first step to be followed?

First, by creating a strong brand image, which comes from the adoption of Omnichannel. In addition, using technology is always a good way to reduce the sales cycle, stimulate consumption, and build customer loyalty.

All these details have direct influence on the profit margin, either with the possibility of charging more expensive for a quality service or decrease the marketing cost of each item.

3. Integrated communication

Using multiple channels involves creating integrated communication planning between them, while the customer experience becomes enriched and coherent. It does not matter if customers search for a product in your e-commerce, ask a question on social networks or go to a physical store, the whole process is unique.

This puts a huge weight on the brand, increases its power of influence over buyers and encourages loyalty in those who have had a positive buying experience.

4. Improved shopping experience

Today's consumers value the quality of the experience, not just the product itself. Basically, the way you make customers feel during the buying process is as important as delivering the promised in terms of price and quality.

With Omnichannel, the shopping experience is not only better because of the greater number of channels. In fact, it's the way the channels are combined to fit exactly the client's journey that makes all the difference.

5. Reducing costs

Will not the costs rise with the adoption of new ways to sell? Not necessarily. On the contrary, using a multi-channel strategy can help reduce costs. This makes sense if you think about the cost per missed opportunity that your operation faces without the Omnichannel, and that should be decreased dramatically with it.

Any potential customer that enters your site or your physical store and leaves without taking anything means to let money go. Much of this may be due to the lack of an integrated purchasing experience that takes consumer habits into account.

Why Omnichannel is the future of retail

There is no shortage of reasons to say that the Omnichannel represents the future of retail, however much that statement seems too strong at first. We are in the age of immediacy, and adopting a multichannel strategy is the perfect way to deal with this urgency on the part of the consumer.

In other words, this means that people's buying behavior converges more and more towards the integration of the online and offline world. Brands that understand this can create more sales and loyalty opportunities.

According to Provokers, 96% of consumers do a search on the internet before buying a product in a physical store. This indicates how much retail offline operations can benefit from digital strategies.

On the other hand, 93% try to see if it is possible to buy online so they do not have to go to a physical store, and 72% have bought online from a store that they have never visited in person.

These data prove a simple truth: the modern customer's buying journey is multichannel and people's behavior varies greatly. There are those who prefer to buy in person and who does not dispense online purchases, but all use multiple channels to reach their final goal.

So the idea of ​​using Omnichannel is not in getting people to buy over the internet. The purpose is to fit the various channels that people already use, and facilitate the purchase in any of them.

Meet the 4 main tendencies of Omnichannel to keep an eye on

The Omnichannel is in full evolution. The changes are mainly due to new information about consumer behavior and constant technological innovations.

Some trends call attention, mainly because they present great innovations in the way of presenting products and services. See now 4 of the biggest trends worth keeping an eye out for in your strategy:

1. UX Design

It would be impossible to work well with digital channels without paying attention to UX Design, that is, how you design the user experience on your site. According to the same survey Provokers, customers care about customization of the experience, and the quality of the mobile sites they access.

So these two elements need to be at the top of their priority list when it comes to UX.

2. Smart Search

The changes in Google are constant and growing. What once limited itself to ranking by keywords today translates as a much more complex mission, which needs to meet the parameters of intelligent search.

Search for voice, location cards, and reviews from other customers are some of the factors you should take into account to get qualified organic traffic and win more customers.

3. Voice assistants

Voice search is so important that it deserves a separate topic. Yes, the search world is heading for a more talked-about and less-typed scenario. The key may not be the technology itself, but the way voice user users view their relationship with brands.

They see them as part of their daily experiences, and are more receptive to relevant actions on their part.

4. Increased and virtual reality

Virtual reality is the promise of a totally immersive content-oriented marketing experience. For the purpose of the Omnichannel, it's the perfect setting: integrating the physical and digital world while creating a better shopping experience for customers.

Augmented reality is another quality option, especially to create attractions directly on users' mobile devices, without the need for large investment in advanced handsets.

The current retail scenario is clear in showing why the Omnichannel is the future. Customers use different devices to make their purchases and they want increasingly integrated digital experiences.

Keep an eye on the latest trends, they promise to bring high returns to those who are ready and know how to use them.