If multichannel is good, omnichannel is great—particularly where fashion retailers are concerned. Here’s why.
Being attuned to your customers is a must in today’s highly competitive retail environment. Consumers are more informed, less patient and have more choices than ever before, so capturing and keeping their attention requires a cohesive brand strategy. Omnichannel retail integrates online and offline channels to create a seamless shopping experience anytime, anywhere. Think of it as the evolution of multichannel retail, with all the pieces, including websites, brick-and-mortar stores and mail order, working together harder and smarter.
Omnichannel is all about making the customer’s life as easy as possible, removing purchasing barriers, providing useful, real-time information and creating a personalized shopping experience through website visits, social networks, loyalty programs and other data-mining methods. Fast becoming the new standard, omnichannel requires purpose and vision but, when executed correctly, will allow you to:
Deliver a uniform brand message
The consumer experiences a consistent look and feel and the same accessibility to products, offers and content, no matter how, when or where she chooses to shop. Mobile sites, apps, social media, in-store devices and live chat can track the customer’s purchasing behavior, provide sales support and ultimately build brand loyalty.
Keep up with the pack
Fashion is fast, fickle and by its nature skews toward millennials, digital natives who are highly connected to technology at virtually every waking hour. In the United States, they numbered 79.8 million in 2016, the largest generational cohort in history. To be successful, you need to be where they are.
Know your customer
Did you know that women make about 80 percent of all consumer purchasing decisions? Women also do more online research, more in-store price comparison and more online shopping overall than men. Fashion is a visual expression of who they are and who they aspire to be, so the more touch points you have with your customer, the better you can understand her and what motivates her purchasing behavior to generate personalized offers and suggestions.
Optimize your business
Omnichannel helps your sales staff be more effective and your entire supply chain run at peak efficiency, with cohesive customer service, sales, merchandising, inventory and enterprise resource planning. You’ll be able to cross-reference customer data, regardless of where it was generated, to gain a clearer picture of your customer base and communicate more meaningfully with specific customers or customer segments.
Keep on winning
When online and offline channels are in sync, they support one another so that the customer feels comfortable bouncing between the two. In-store pickup of items ordered online can save on shipping costs and drive sales. Average order size increases: Up to 75% of shoppers who collect in store end up buying additional items. Profit margins can too; items selling poorly at a specific physical location can be made available to the entire customer base, reducing the need for deep discounts to move product.
Although omnichannel is driven by systems and processes, remember, it is the customer who dictates how a transaction occurs. Being omnichannel doesn’t mean supporting all possible channels, a logistic impossibility for most growing fashion retailers. You needn’t need do them all, nor should you try to. Instead, focus on the few that will add true value to your customer experience and do them well.
Cin7’s built-in modules and 200+ integrations let you customize your omnichannel experience and manage it with ease, offering eCommerce, Retail POS and 3PL/warehouses in one platform.
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