It is difficult for retailers to keep up with the changing habits of consumers. The days when retailers had just one or two channels through which to sell goods and communicate with their customers are long gone. While for many retailers the traditional bricks-and-mortar store is still the most prominent channel, it is also evolving. Retail has developed to include multiple online, as well as offline channels. This is where omni-channel retail strategies come to the fore.
What is omni-channel?
Omni-channel retail is about creating a seamless customer experience across all of a retailer’s channels – bricks-and-mortar store, website, mobile commerce, catalogs, and so on. Customers do not think in terms of channels; customers think in terms of brands or retailers. They want access to information about, and the purchase gateways of, brands in a way, and at a time, that is convenient for them. For many, this is still to go directly to a bricks-and-mortar store and make a purchase that way. Other shoppers will research, and order, online and have their purchases delivered to their home. Others still will shop “on the go” via their mobile device, and pick up their order in-store later.
The point is that it makes no difference to the retailer through which channel the purchase is made; what matters is that the purchase is made. It is therefore essential that shopping is as convenient as possible across all channels, and that the experience is seamless and consistent. The digital and physical spheres should complement each other, not compete. The ultimate goal is to have a retailer where there is no line to be drawn between the online and offline experiences – there is only one experience.
Enhancing the in-store experience
Of course, the great differentiator for bricks-and-mortar retailers over online retailers is the in-store experience of human interaction – and this matters. Our cost-effective in-store solutions are designed to offer the features and functions our clients actually need to enhance this experience, and make shopping in your store the most satisfying way to purchase goods.
Sales associates are at the front line of retailer-customer interactions, and even the best of them benefit from having instant access to all the product information they need, in their hand. In this way, they become technology and service experts, able to give an informed answer to any question the customer has, immediately. The ability to compare product specifications and prices, and give advice facilitates side-by-side interaction between customers and sales staff. The sales associates are seen to be guiding the customer through the buying process, building a trust and confidence that dramatically improves conversion rates.
Not only that, but the range of products that can be offered is almost infinitely expanded. No longer is the product range limited to what is in your current inventory. The sales associate can source whatever product the customer wants from the central warehouse, or directly from suppliers, and still provide specification and price comparisons. They can then help arrange for home delivery or in-store pick-up.
Our expert team deals with complex issues such as integration with Points of Sale (POS), and eCommerce, Content Management Systems (CMS), store pick-up and home delivery tracking, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and retail management mainframes, while all you have to do is enjoy the benefits.
A more comprehensive overview of our platform, and the philosophy behind it, is provided in the Intelligent Store section of our website here, and the tutorials below provide a demonstration of the technology.