How the Omnichannel Experience is Transforming the Retail Industry

In omnichannel, the consumer becomes the centre of the experience. For this, retail is making a series of changes in order to capture the attention of buyers.

It is no mystery to anyone that consumers are changing their behaviour when buying. Today people are spending on multiple channels (internet, social networks, physical stores) and retail must go out to reach shoppers wherever they are.

To meet the new demands that retail is facing, businesses are implementing a series of new technological tools to meet the needs of these new consumers.

What is Omnichannel Experience?

Omnichannel Marketing is to build a customer experience cohesive to their tastes and needs, with a well-thought-out strategy behind it. As the customer is the centre of attention, their loyalty to the brand increases, as well as their possibilities of purchase.

That is why the importance of the integral use of physical and digital tools, from marketing/ advertising, focused on social networks to online purchases through mobile devices.

However, channel usage is only part of the omnichannel experience. It must be special at all times and have the following characteristics:

  1. Unique
  2. Genuine
  3. Consistent
  4. Personalized
  5. Compatible
  6. Satisfactory
  7. Repetitive
  8. Comfortable

In order to make its sales and marketing experience omnichannel, the business must put in place a strategy and the infrastructure to carry it out.

Examples of successful Omnichannel Marketing

The more technology advances, the more it integrates into our daily lives. Today we use at least two devices that have an internet connection and with the emergence of smartwatches and televisions, every day more devices are connected. It is the task of businesses to take advantage of this hyperconnectivity, to offer a good service through various channels.

Everything indicates that every day we will be more connected and technology will be increasingly important in our lives. Proof of this is that a recent study by We are socially found that 53% of the world’s population is connected to the internet.

Along with the constant growth in internet use, user behaviour has also evolved, challenging marketers to understand customer preferences. Instead of generating a different experience through a phone, computer or smartwatch, it will be of utmost importance to seek an approach focused on omnichannel.

Here are four successful omnichannel experiences in retail:

  • Amazon

On the way to establishing alliances with brands, it is that -during 2017- Amazon carried out an exclusive campaign with Calvin Klein, online and in stores in Los Angeles and New York.

The union consisted in that users who accessed the Calvin Klein page on Amazon received direct assistance from the Amazon Echo (virtual assistant) assistants, giving them personalized recommendations and allowing them to make the same purchase in a Calvin Klein store and via Amazon.

In this way, the two companies jointly offered a similar experience within the same channel.

  • Disney

The American company managed to understand very well how the omnichannel strategy works, worrying about even the smallest details. For example, the company manages to deliver a great experience for mobile devices, something that is not always so replicates in other companies.

When you book a trip on Disney’s website, you can use the My Disney tool to plan your trip in detail. From where you will eat, to how to get a fast pass in advance to its attractions.

  •  Starbucks

The world’s leading coffee company has an application to place orders directly. In addition, it has integrated a unique operation between the benefits card, the phone, the website and the store. And it is that any change you make through the cell phone will be made automatically on the different platforms.

For example, if you are in line waiting to buy a coffee and you have run out of balance on your Starbucks card, you can load it directly from the application and the cashier will know immediately that you have enough balance.

For many this is a very successful omnichannel experience, in fact, the application has more than 19 million users in the world, with more than 8 million transactions per month.

  • Nike

The sports company has always been at the forefront of omnichannel retail thanks to its Nike + app, which delivers personalized recommendations for making a purchase. Nike has also included a women’s store offering tailored clothing.

At the New York location, the company installed a mini basketball court and a soccer field for customers to test the products. Meanwhile, all the performance of buyers is monitored by sellers to deliver a specific product to each customer. But not only that, but they can also pay with the application itself, without having to go to the checkout, delivering an excellent omnichannel experience

The way to have a good omnichannel experience is to have unification in each channel. As we saw previously, using all the platforms in a synchronized way is one of the keys to having good results. In this way, companies like Nike and Disney have focused on offering a successful “journey” when buying and using their services.

Along with the constant growth in internet use, user behaviour has also evolved, challenging marketers to understand customer preferences. Instead of generating a different experience through a phone, computer or smartwatch, it will be of utmost importance to seek an approach focused on omnichannel.

Top disruptive technologies that are transforming the retail industry

Today companies and businesses handle large volumes of information thanks to the enormous digital development that retail is experiencing. Many of them take advantage of this data to refine their strategies and apply it in technologies such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In fact, according to a study by the consulting firm Gartner, it is expected that by 2022, 90% of interactions will not be mediated by humans.

Next, we will look at four advancing technologies that are setting trends in the way companies and businesses show their products to consumers.

  • Voice shopping

Companies like Amazon are pioneers in the diversification and innovation of new technologies. That is why for some time they have been achieving sales through voice commands, all these thanks to their voice assistant Alexa and their smart speakers, and innovation that entered the market in 2015.

The process of voice shopping is simple: people make an order by voice and these are registered and processed by the smart speakers. By 2022, the economic benefits of voice shopping are expected to increase from $ 2 billion to $ 40 billion.

Meanwhile, 2% of all devices already come with this type of technology and 36% of Americans are in favour of using a voice assistant to make their purchases, according to eMarketer.

  • Chatbots

Imagine that you want to order fast food or want to call someone, without the need for human action. Well, through bots this is possible. It is a virtual tool, which can perform automated tasks, without anyone’s supervision.

Chatbots are ideal for generating conversational content, generating leads and sales in commerce.

According to a study by the World and Tourism Council, in 2020, chatbots represented a growth opportunity of $2.706 billion dollars, in addition to an increase of 6.8% compared to 2019.

To achieve this growth, the tourism industry is increasingly using technologies such as chatbots and AI, mainly because it is allowing them to be more efficient in the time they dedicate to customer service. These types of alternatives solve problems without the need for a human to be on the other side of the screen.

  • Virtual Reality

With the growth of eCommerce, companies focused on retail have been forced to innovate to attract and generate new experiences for consumers.

In fact, 52% of the experts from the E-commerce Experts Afterwork Session consultancy believe that retail should increase its efforts to deliver a better experience to customers.

How does Virtual Reality work? Through images that are projected through special lenses, clients or users can experience much more immersive experiences. This type of technology is widely used for the tour of a pilothouse, or to visualize products with a level of detail that is impossible to achieve in a normal way.

Retail interest in these types of advances has gradually increased and Walmart could not be left behind. And it is that this year the North American company absorbed a company dedicated precisely to the creation of Virtual Reality software.

This is how a city tour in London works, thanks to Augmented Reality.

  • Augmented Reality

You might be wondering how Augmented Reality works. It basically consists of visualizing a physical environment in the real world through a cell phone or mobile device, where virtual information is also inserted, such as animated objects.

These types of advances are revolutionizing the way people are shopping, delivering innovative experiences to users.

Here we show you two examples where Augmented Reality is being used:

In General Stores:

Just by focusing and scanning the product with the phone, detailed and additional information is delivered.

According to a study carried out by the consulting firm Pew Research Center, about 60% of consumers check their phones to get more information about the product.

In Fashion Stores:

In high demand seasons, it can be almost impossible to find a place to try on clothes. That is why companies such as Zara and H&M, created an application where the image is projected that shows how you would look with the garment you selected, thus creating a virtual fitting room.

Virtual AR try-on brings great results:

Virtual try-on technology allows customers to try on products using their camera-equipped devices such as mobile phones. With Augmented Reality, users can contextually view the item they are interested in, interact and confirm the style, size and fit before purchasing.

Virtual try-on allows consumers to see what certain products look like before purchase. This technology adapts perfectly to all items for which consumers want to “touch and feel”: shoes try on, clothing, accessories try on, jewellery try on and makeup try on. This gives customers complete freedom to decide, try and choose at their own pace, without feeling the pressure of having to buy.
According to Appriss Retail, merchandise returns represent $ 309 billion in lost sales for U.S. retailers alone in 2019, averaging 8% of total sales.

The numbers are even more impressive when you factor in the other costs associated with returns: logistics, warehousing and restocking, labour and environmental impact.

As consumers have to try, feel and interact with the products, e-commerce platforms encourage shoppers by offering the return free of charge, but the truth is, this practice affects both margins and the ecosystem.

 

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