An omnichannel retail strategy doesn't need to be complicated. At its core, the aim of omnichannel retail is to provide a cohesive customer experience across different channels. Brands should seek to not only provide consumers with products they want, but also with positive experiences.
While there are many ways to create positive relationships with consumers, there are some tried-and-true tactics that any business should practice. Here are some top ways brands can be more consumer-friendly.
Provide a consistent brand experience
Have you ever traveled to a new, unfamiliar city only to recognize the logo of a favorite coffee shop or grocery store from back home? You likely felt the urge to step inside. There is comfort in familiarity, and for brands, this can be amplified further through an omnichannel experience.
Whether a customer is walking into a brand’s brick-and-mortar store or browsing their website, the look and feel needs to be consistent. Keep this tactic in mind for your social channels as well, where the tone of your posts and imagery should reflect your brand's overall aesthetic and personality. Providing a great omnichannel experience allows your customers to stay engaged with your brand whether they're in your store, browsing on their phones, or engaging with you on social media. Consistency goes a long way towards gaining consumers' trust in your company.
Personalize customer service touchpoints
When customers need help, the expectation is that they’ll get quick, friendly service. Most retailers now provide multiple ways for customers to get in touch, including phone support, social media, web chat, and email. But providing speedy service can only go so far—to truly help your consumers connect with your brand, you'll want to personalize touchpoints every step of the way.
Remembering shoppers' clothing sizes, past purchases, and other personal information both streamlines the purchasing process and helps customers build an emotional connection with the brand. Retailers that are able to connect their e-commerce platform to their POS system can arm their staff with complete order histories to get a comprehensive view of each customers' preferences in order to provide them with tailored customer service.
Make product information accessible and accurate
Product information needs to be accurate, complete, and consistent for customers to make smart shopping decisions. In order to be more user-friendly, brands need to ensure this information is accurate across multiple channels.
For example, online fashion retailers that sell items from multiple suppliers need to have consistent clothing sizes across their website. When product information is unreliable, customers will be hesitant to trust the brand. In fact, 86% of consumers say that they would be unlikely to buy from a brand again after receiving inaccurate product information.
Similarly, staff in your brick-and-mortar stores should be up to date on current product specs and equipped with detailed information. Allowing customers to have this information at their own fingertips—through tools like Endless Aisle—is another way to help consumers make informed purchases that they will be satisfied with.
Let customers shop whenever (and wherever) they want
Customers don’t want to be limited to store hours. Online shopping has made it possible for anyone to order a pair of pants from their computer at 3 a.m. if their heart so desires. With mobile technology, consumers can more or less shop around the clock, be it in public transit, while stuck in line ups, from the bathroom, or anywhere in between. As a result, customers increasingly expect an integrated shopping experience, where purchases can be made on the web, mobile, or in-store and be picked up wherever is most convenient for them. If a shopper orders an item online and decides to return it, they should have the option of doing so at a brick-and-motor location.
An e-commerce platform that connects a retailer’s online and in-store shopping channels is an excellent way to achieve this kind of integration and keep inventory up to date. After all, your channels no longer have to compete—they can work together to enhance the shopping experience.
A consumer-friendly brand should be committed to creating a seamless customer experience. With the proper technology, retailers can work to provide shoppers with an integrated customer experience that feels consistent, accessible, personalized, and convenient. These simple strategies can help brands ensure a positive customer journey from start to finish.
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