In a world where ecommerce is growing at the speed of rapid fire and traditional brick-and-mortar stores struggle to drive the traffic they once used to, brands are under pressure to create an omni-channel experiences to capture consumers whenever and wherever they can. The increase of DTC brands and endless convenient options like Amazon and eBay continue to pose challenges to consumer retention. In the “Omni Customer is the New Omni Channel” session, leaders from Lowes, Advance Auto Parts, and Cardlytics shared their thoughts on building an effective omni-channel strategy:
- Put the consumer first and make it easy for them. In their mind, it’s all the same store or service and it’s a frustrating experience when a website and store function differently. Your customer has options and if the experience (digital or in-store) isn’t a good one, they will go elsewhere.
- Identify the different roles of media channels and align the right KPIs. Sounds a bit obvious at first, but the truth is that certain products or categories might convert better and more efficiently online while others still dominate in-store. Plan your media strategies accordingly and be comfortable adapting and learning from the media results. At Mindshare, our Shop+ and activation teams plays a big role in working with clients to do just that.
- Give customers the option to buy online and pick up in-store. It’s something that a number of big box stores have rolled out over the past few years, and for good reason. Many consumers are still interested in physically seeing and touching a product. They want to ask questions around use-cases while still seeking the convenience of an online purchase. In-store pick-up is also a great driver of incremental purchase once actually in the store.
- In-store experiences should serve as a value-add to consumers because 80% of the time, digital is the first touchpoint. That means training sales associates to be knowledgeable and helpful product experts. Or, hosting in-store events such as workshops, fundraisers, or influential speakers, which can be promoted through paid media.
It’s no secret that having a strong omni-channel strategy is key for retailers that want to succeed moving forward. But with an ever-changing retail landscape, there is always room for brands to continuously learn and improve.