The Indian retail sector is expected to grow to nearly $2 trillion by 2032, up from $690 billion in 2021. According to research by KPMG, consumer brands and retailers in India have seen major changes in consumer buying journey during the pandemic. 61% companies witnessed strong shift of their customers to e-commerce marketplaces. 20% companies saw increased preference to buy directly from the company whereas 19% companies saw customers with a preference to buy from the nearest available option. Clearly, the data suggests, brands and retailers need to provide a consistent and cohesive brand experience across all sales and advertising channels across digital and physical channels.
Compared to businesses with inadequate omnichannel customer engagement, companies with excellent omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers on average. So how do you make omnichannel retail strategy work for your brand? We have ten tips for you.
You should have a responsive website which is aligned to their in-store offerings and gives customers a seamless experience. You need to ensure customer experience is consistent across both online and offline channels. For example, if you have a physical store and an e-commerce site, your website should be an extension of your store. Customers should be able to buy products at the same price in the store that they found on your website.
Customer journeys describe each and every encounter a customer has when interacting with a brand; these may be direct or indirect. The journey includes purchase experiences of course, but it extends beyond that – right from the early moments where a customer becomes aware of your brand to their post-purchase experience, any loyalty creation efforts you employ and ultimately, brand advocacy. Many customers may start researching a product online and end up buying it at a physical store. Mapping customer journeys end-to-end will help to understand the lacunae in customer experience and how brands can plug them.
In the retail industry, there has been abundance of data but unfortunately brands haven’t been able to use it to the maximum extent. Data can help brands take informed decisions around where the next retail store can come up, regional consumption patterns of a product/service and differentiate core and high-fashion products. Data can help brands convert a shopper who visited the store but didn’t buy offline by encouraging him to visit the web store. Omnichannel marketing is often challenging for brands as they often don’t collect sufficient customer data. Data from all sources should be put into the marketing strategy to create an integrated, seamless experience and power business decisions accordingly. At the same time, it is equally important to ensure customer privacy is not compromised and they are not bombarded with calls.
As a brand, you need to convey their story authentically. This begins with sharing the brand’s origin story, the passions that led to its formation, and the issues it aims to resolve for its clients. By using a voice that is standardised and consistent, you can add personality to your image. The material and its consistency across channels must be appropriate for the channel being utilised. By doing this, fragmented experiences when people access your content on various devices are avoided. Users expect to be able to continue where they left off, regardless of where they are or what devices they are using. Consistency in messaging and ensuring its relevance to customers is critical.
Your own website plays a critical role in customer experience. You need to figure out which channel represents your brand the best. Understanding the channels a brand’s customers use and how they interact with each of these channels is critical. If you are unsure, you can ask customers or use analytics to find out which channels are the most popular.
Sending relevant promotional campaigns, reacting to customer comments, and managing your personalised loyalty program will brands accomplish this. Regardless of the channel customers use to contact a brand, you can employ a consistent and tailored message for them. You need to look at customer acquisition holistically and not just channel-wise offline or online. In today’s world, many customers move from offline to online channels and vice versa. Besides, you should look to leverage your uniqueness as a brand. You can use your expertise and knowledge in business by providing tutorials and workshops in an offline setting. For online channels, you can incorporate live chat or even video chat features into your website.
Inadequate technology adoption could prevent timely delivery of the right messages via omnichannel, costing businesses money. An omnichannel strategy requires a reliable technology platform that integrates numerous activities across devices. According to research by KPMG, digital infrastructure initiatives gained clout in 2021 and the trend continues among brands and retailers in India. 80% brands and retailers believe digital initiatives aid growth. While 65% brands and retailers think digital investments are for improving customer experience, 42% companies believe it is for optimising cost.
The omnichannel marketing plan cannot be improved or changed without monitoring its effectiveness. To scale and develop your approach, test it, make adjustments, track your progress, and get customer feedback. Whatever can be measured can be improved. Brands can do A/B testing to figure out which variant works better to achieve the desired conversion. If things are working well, brands should double down on them and if they don’t work, brands should know that soon enough to try something else.
Finding the right technology partner is critical to beginning and completing the omnichannel retail transformation. A partner with a sound technical understanding and industry know-how who can assist you in transforming your business inside out in a way ensuring both profitability and sustainability. ace turtle is the market leader in the omnichannel technology space for enterprise brands in India. ace turtle, with its fully integrated omnichannel platform Rubicon helps brands and retailers by integrating all their sales channels to provide a single view of inventory and order. This enables brands to get orders from any channel (online and offline) and fulfil it from any stock point. The platform helps brands to improve their product availability and optimise their inventory in an efficient manner through multiple demand channels (fulfilling from the same inventory pool), leading to a significant rise in sell-through and margins.