4 Essential Steps for a Successful Omni-Channel Retail Strategy

4 Essential Steps for a Successful Omni-Channel Retail Strategy

Carl Addoumieh

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Omnichannel retailers saw a 99.8% rise in sales across their online channels during 2020, compared to their online-only counterparts, which only had 31.2% growth. Consumer behavior shows that omnichannel and multichannel strategies are vital to achieve and maintain a bigger share in the retail market, especially since customers tend to use multiple channels:

  • 7% shopped online exclusively

  • 20% were store-only shoppers

  • 73% used multiple channels

So, what is an omnichannel retail strategy?

Omnichannel retailing is a strategy that focuses on providing your customer with a seamless journey across all your sales channels. It is a unique model that is easy in theory but could be rather challenging in practice. So, how can you boost your omnichannel retail strategy? Here are a few essential steps:

1. Be consistent with your brand

Having a seamless customer journey starts with your customer recognizing your brand across touchpoints. Not being consistent with your brand might lead to customers feeling disoriented and potentially going for other brands. In fact, even though consistent brand presentation increases revenue by an average of 23%, only 1/4th of brands have formal guidelines that are consistently enforced.

Being consistent differs for each business based on the brand image you are portraying. However, simple fundamentals cannot be ignored, such as having a solid brand foundation, creating brand guidelines, and building a short-term and long-term marketing strategy.

Revenue boost isn’t the only benefit you get from brand image consistency and customer loyalty. It also helps you unify your strategic business units (SBU) and establish an identity and recognition in the market, giving you a competitive advantage in your market.

2. Unify experience through sales channels

Unifying sales channels is the cornerstone for an omnichannel retail strategy. Your customers take unified sales channels for granted, they not only want you to integrate your channels, but they assume that you must’ve done so already. 60% of customers say they would be more loyal to retailers if they let them purchase an out-of-stock item in-store and have it delivered to their home. 53% say they would be more loyal to a retailer that allows them to buy things online and return them in-store.

For a successful, seamless journey, you need to make sure that your interactions through all touchpoints remain the same and that your customers could purchase your products and services using different channels without going through a different brand experience.

To do that, training staff and enacting policies across different channels isn’t enough. You need to make sure you have the right tools, whether it is a customer relationship management tool (CRM), a scalable order management system (ORM), or enterprise resource planning (ERP). Finding the right tools to fit your business needs and strategy will allow for:

  • Better inventory transparency and management

  • More efficient staff management

  • Personalized customer experience

  • Unifying, integrating, and analyzing your data across channels

However, unifying your sales channels and experiences could have an adverse effect on your business unless you are using your data correctly. Let’s look at the third tip about data integration and management.

3. Centralize and integrate your data

Data is the big buzzword in eCommerce halls, and that is for a reason. If used correctly, data could give you a better understanding of your business, and your customers’ behavior. Numbers show that companies with a solid omnichannel retail strategy maintain an average of 89% of their customers between different channels. Returning Customers also tend to spend 67% more. So, how can we simplify the process?

Data management and infrastructure is a complicated topic that is highly case-specific. Still there are main benchmarks you can watch out for, such as key performance indicators (KPIs), analytics, employee training, and data governance.

42% of shoppers say they prefer retailers who remember their preference and shopping behavior. Centralizing and integrating your data across your system will help you personalize your customer’s journey on all touchpoints and sales channels, whether it is your Amazon store, eCommerce website, or brick-and-mortar store. 

A centralized data infrastructure will also help you with your day-to-day logistics by saving operational costs in the long term, shipping directly from store-to-door, or knowing where your parcel is, giving your customer a unique shopping experience. It also helps you establish a foundation for targeted advertising in your marketing campaigns, allowing your business to acquire and target more customers. 

All in all, this will provide you with a more detailed customer persona, reports on what’s working for you, identify bottlenecks, and assist you with your omnichannel journey.

4. Boost your last-mile experience

For your omnichannel strategy to be successful, you need to make sure that a significant segment of your customers is loyal to your brand. A study shows that 55% of customers will be more loyal to a brand if the company offers a two hours delivery option, with only 19% of retailers offering this option. Over one-third of shoppers cited slow shipping as a reason to shop in-store. Furthermore, 80% of shoppers said sustainability is important to them when making a purchase. So, how can you find a tech-oriented, sustainable, and express last-mile service to help you boost your omnichannel retail strategy?

Packaly is a last-mile delivery company that is driven by sustainability and technology. With Packaly, you will be able to offer your customers the option of a completely CO2-neutral expresssame-day, or next-day deliveries based on their preferences. Sign up and reach your local customers within minutes with our Delivery Dashboard. Give your customers the last-mile experience they deserve.