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It is the Omnichannel Retailing, that needs to be build up effectively to increase your turnover and your brand awareness. Every year Total Retail publishes a list of the top 100 omnichannel retail brands. This list presents the publicly traded retailers at the forefront of creating a seamless, omnichannel experience for their customers. It’s based on their announced programs and capabilities and the effectiveness of their implementation. In this article I describe the criteria for omnichannel excellence, what needs to be done to become one of the best omnichannel retailers and describe some examples.
There are 7 criteria for omnichannel excellence:
- a buy online, pick up in-store program,
- a cross-channel loyalty program,
- a shared cart across channels,
- the ability to search for in-store products on the website,
- cross-channel return options,
- customer service on 3+ channels,
- product pricing consistency across channels.
- Adopt a “buy online, pick up in-store” program. In one year (2017 to 2018), 15% of retailers implemented BOPIS.
- Create a customer loyalty program that allows customers to earn and redeem loyalty points across channels. 74% of retailers do this.
- Provide the consumers with the freedom to pick up the shopping process where they left off. For example, they start shopping on the website, and then go to the app and find all the items they added in the shared cart.
- Make your inventory visible online, so that your customers can check the in-store availability of an item in the desired size and color before they go to the physical shop.
- Enable cross-channel returns, even when it seems to create problems. The number of brands that provide this convenience to consumers is still relatively small. But to deliver great experience, it’s essential to provide a variety of return options.
- Ensure consistent pricing across the channels. According to a BRP study, 86% of retailers make an effort to offer pricing and promotion consistency but half of them admit this area could use improvements.
- Let customers contact your support service on as many channels as possible, and ensure seamless conversation so that they don’t have to explain the same issue over and over again.
DSW, a footwear and accessories retailer, converted its 500 stores in 43 states into omnichannel hubs for its business. The locations are used as warehouses and pickup points for online orders.
DSW’s store associates have tablets so that they can leverage customers’ data, such as purchase history and wish lists, in real time. This ensures that customers receive personalized in-store service.
A new cross-channel loyalty program allows DSW to build strong relationships with 25 million members on their loyalty database.
LIDS developed an app that allows customers to
- get exclusive offers,
- track points and rewards,
- engage with LIDS’ social channels,
- track the merchandise of their favorite teams and brands.
The app is beneficial not only because it provides a better experience for customers. It also provides data for LIDS. The LIDS’ app helps to gather information from customers. The sports retailer combines it with data from other sources and creates holistic pictures of each customer.
A footwear retailer UGG has a great loyalty program. It works across the channels. And it allows customers to earn rewards points not just for purchases but also for “social” activities, like writing a product review, following UGG on a social channel, sharing a wish list, etc.
UGG manages to maintain consistent prices across the channels, even though they sell not only their own shops but also through wholesale retail partners.
There are seven must-have characteristics of an omnichannel retailer. Work in these seven directions to deliver a great seamless omnichannel experience. The best omnichannel retailers also find additional ways to make the experience even better, deepen relationships with customers, and create a wow-factor.