Omni-channel is a buzzword we are going to see more and more of in the world of E-commerce in the coming months and Magento is the perfect platform to work with. Not to be confused entirely with cross channel, omni-channel is about true continuity of your services. It’s about achieving clear lineage across all your platforms, on which you offer your services. For example, your mobile app should match the responsive design of your website and your website should match the feel and look of your physical store.
What is key to an omni-channel approach is that it extends beyond the brands universe. It is about allowing your customers to own their experiences and ultimately guide their own path towards purchase.
The omni-channel consumer is the central force, shaping the future of E-commerce. This type of consumer craves a seamless customer experience across in-store and online channels, using both to complement the other. Not only does the omni channel consumer want everything available at his or her disposal in real-time, they also want the brand experience to be similar.
The job of the E-commerce retailer is to provide the consumer with an easy to use website where product research can be carried out and also guarantee a similarly presented mobile site that can be viewed once the consumer is in a bricks and mortar store. Retailers must provide a seamless transition from one commerce platform to the other, so consumers can for example research in one place and shop in the other. To be truly omni-channel in your approach, you must also give consumers the option to buy in one place and pick up their product in another.
In between, there are a multitude of other shopping styles that must be made available to the consumer, if a successful omni-channel approach is to be further implemented.
As a retailer you need to consider other options and techniques that can be implemented in your omni-channel approach, that will further assist your push for increased sales. Let’s look at some of these options and techniques:
Click and collect
Click and collect for example, is another option which increases consumer choice. The process allows shoppers to purchase products online and then collect them in store. It is extremely important to always provide your customers with every purchase option your technology allows. Who’s to say what option is most favoured or most convenient for your customer, at any given time. It is all about having every base covered, to guarantee the sale is completed.
Social media is central to a successful omni-channel approach. Create a social media strategy to engage with your active audiences, that are no doubt waiting to hear from you.
As much as the social media revolution has meant the two-way exchange in dialogue and interaction, omni-channel is the realisation of social business. While the first phase in the evolution of the customer- retailer digital relationship was messaging and media, the future is product research, selection and payment.
Consider also search strategies. Organic and paid search need to go hand in hand because they deeply effect one another. Implement a strategy and increase your searches and then you will benefit from increased visits to your site. Once you have visitors on your site who are reoccurring ,target your existing customers with relevant and personalised ads. To gain new customers consider search retargeting.
Mobile completes the omni-channel puzzle, when effectively executed. Mobile platforms must be consistent with websites and above all they must provide consumers with on the go information about products and include an easy to use check out function. Many retailers have explored this platform as a means of increasing sales through the use of iPhone apps, which for example enable customers to scan barcodes of products in-store and order via the mobile site if they’re out of stock.
If you’re thinking that matching the colours and content across devices is an omni-channel approach to E-commerce, think again. If you are ready to accept that the new identity of customers is truly omniscient and are willing to provide your customers with as many brand consistent opportunities, to research, shop and buy your products, you are on your way to implementing a successful omni-channel strategy.
Superb Media build incredible omni-channel Magento Ecommerce solutions, with full backend integration into ERP’s, backend systems, accounting, fulfilment and legacy systems. Contact a member of our team today to find out more.