A quick Google search on the term “omni-channel” will yield dozens of hits on whether or not the retail concept is still relevant. In its simplest form, it means a seamless integration of retail sales whether the customer is buying by phone, via the Internet or in a physical brick-and-mortar location. It’s far from simple to execute however, and while many in the industry think that an omni-channel outlook is out of date, it’s not exactly that. It’s more that each brand needs to have a customized approach to this integration. There are ton of moving parts in any strategy that seeks to link the different sales channels which is why it’s so important to get it right. Is your brand lost in the vast network of omni-channel infrastructure? Are your efforts focused too much on the tech and not enough in physical retail? Are you able to tell, at a glance, what is happening in each area? What are your most successful locations and which need more attention? Who is selling your product and telling your brand’s story? These are questions ThirdChannel can help you answer.
Breaking it down, there are some key elements of omni-channel strategy and they all need to be addressed. Technology, of course, is the first piece of the puzzle. Without solid software tools, digital assets, and quality networks, your brand’s visibility goes dark. ThirdChannel knows how to curate your data and create action items that optimize your brand across the board, seamlessly. The same quality of data points that are generated in an e-commerce platform, can be mined from your in-store presence as well with our cloud-based analytics and Field Management System. Our suite of reporting and analytics solutions will reveal, surface, inform, and arm you with real time, historic and predictive data. We can show you where you’ve been, where you are and where to focus your efforts going forward.
Once the technology is squared away, it’s time to execute a comprehensive strategy that puts your customer at the center of all you have to offer. In-store isn’t dead, it’s not even tired; 90% of sales still happen in physical retail locations, but customers are blurring the lines between digital and in-store shopping. Roughly 60% of shoppers report using mobile apps while browsing the sales floor. The ability to touch and try merchandise is a deciding factor in many purchases. Virtual mirrors and digital signage are up and comers in the retail space, but actually feeling the fabric of a sweater or talking to a brand rep about the right kind of running shoe, is something that can only happen on a sales floor where managers have made sure to have informed and educated associates available.
While the debate goes on about whether or not people are “so over” omni-channel strategy, the fact is that brands still have to focus on providing a frictionless experience for customers, regardless of how they access the product line. Shoppers are connected to your products via apps, social media, loyalty cards and so much more. Meeting the customer where they are is how brands engage. If you’re not going to hit on all of the touch points, why hit any at all? Check out how ThirdChannel can guide your brand through the channel maze.