While there is constant debate on retail vs. online shopping experiences and the benefits of each, businesses that are taking advantage of the positives of both seem to be the ones reporting little to no traffic decline. 73% of customers use multiple channels during their shopping journey so it makes sense for brands to make the most of the ones available to them. Omnichannel experiences allow businesses to be flexible in their trading environments, fusing online with in-store experiences to create a seamless approach to convenience. It allows brands to be wherever their customer is, simplifying their journey. They can also differentiate themselves from their competitors, gaining an edge over online-only businesses by continuing to offer a physical shopping environment.
Multichannel vs. Omnichannel
Multichannel retail is a term that’s often confused with omnichannel. However, there is a key difference between the two of them. Omnichannel focuses on a central experience, keeping the process seamless, while multichannel retail services function separately.
Both multichannel and omnichannel retailers offer products or services across different platforms, yet the goal of omnichannel is to offer a consistent and connected service. When it comes to multichannel, a brand could offer its customers an in-store and online shopping experience but the worlds wouldn’t merge. Each channel would function independently to the other. Omnichannel, on the other hand, offers a centralised experience where the line between store, website and any other channel becomes blurred, to offer a more consistent and seamless experience to the customer, allowing them to navigate a range of channels with ease.
Omnichannel processes are already being used all around us and will only continue to grow, as we become a community that favours quick and convenient alternatives.
RM Williams offers a great example of Omnichannel integration by allowing customers to design their own boots in-store. After a custom-fit session and viewing of design options, the omnichannel process is introduced when customers input their choices into an iPad that generates the design and quote. After the order is placed in-store the shoes are delivered to the customer’s door, building an individual, seamless experience, created with the customer’s journey and needs in mind.
With such a positive response from customers, the growth of omnichannel integration is imminent. Quick, easy and flexible are the qualities customers now expect from retail, whether online or in-store. Businesses that take advantage of the channels available are the ones that stay one step ahead during the growth of technology and retail. If you’re looking for ways to introduce technology into your store and create a flawless customer experience contact us at Storepro. We utilise our experience in retail advisory to craft an environment that attracts and engages customers in our modern world.