People are talking more and more about the Omni channel approach to retailing.
What is Omni Channel Retailing?
Quite simply, it is the next step after integrating your website with your store and is basically the evolution of multi-channel retailing.
It focuses more on the consumers’ experience through every single shopping channel option, including:
mobile internet devices,
social media marketing (SMM),
and so on.
Omni Channel allows the consumer to use all available channels at the same time. It also permits the retailers to be able to track them and learn more about their shopping habits and demands. This means that the retailers can target and supply this consumer more effectively.
Think of it as one business but allowing you to reach every consumer anytime anyplace anywhere, now doesn’t that sound interesting?
In order to achieve this, big retailers are implementing much specialised, new software to integrate and manage customer information databases across all channels. This makes marketing far more efficient and effective with offers that are relative to a specific consumer determined by purchase patterns, social network affinities, website visits, loyalty programs, and other data mining techniques.
Omni channel retailing also enables the retailer to connect directly with each consumer and target them specifically with promotions and offers that they know they will be interested in!
Now all this sounds rather exciting but heavy investment is required in both time and money, something that most small businesses would find difficult in the current trading conditions.
Not only do you need to invest in real time data, the communication between your IT, marketing, and sales staff will need to be strong and clear in order to succeed.
A thorough understanding of your customer or target market is also required – but this is required for any type of business regardless of Omni channel.
“The technology is now available to take raw data from any number of databases and use modern integration techniques to create a single customer view in just a few weeks. This information can then be used to see how customers behave at every touch point and to build customer journey profiles by customer type. It can also be enriched by cross-checking it against external databases to identify synergies and additional selling opportunities,” says Richard Traish, senior partner, Kurt Salmon. “As retailers and brands look to increase market share in a flat economy, improving customer service and loyalty has to be at the heart of this strategy.”
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