The retail business model has gone to the next level. Retailers not making use of omnichannels such as multi-vendor B2C eCommerce sites, B2B eCommerce sites and online marketplaces are unable to cater to the needs of the modern customers. This article tells you how omnicommerce is changing retail for the better.
What is Omnicommerce?
We are witnessing a dramatic rise in the number of online marketplaces and ecommerce stores. One of the reasons for the emergence of this ‘online retail revolution is omnicommerce or omnichannel commerce.
A fairly new term in the retail and online space, Omnicommerce or omni-channel, is simply ensuring that your consumer has a seamless experience when it comes to purchasing any product of yours. This needs to be integrated in physical stores (if you have any) and all online channels (multiple, in most cases).
E.g. – A customer walks into your electronics store, wanting to purchase a laptop. S/he goes through all the available models, and picks one that just happens to be out of stock. In this case, the customer can sign up to be notified when the product is back in stock. This particular activity is duplicated along all other online channels as well.
When notified of the laptop being in stock again, the customer can pick up the sales journey from your site, from your store, or even make a request via social media for more information.
Let’s look at 5 ways in which brands are winning the omnicommerce game:
Merging Online and Retail
A key determinant of effective ecommerce store development is seamless confluence of an online and offline shopping experience. Nordstrom, the US based departmental apparel chain is a great example of marrying a retail and online presence.
This brand takes great care to offer a unified experience to customers by ensuring both online and retail shopping experiences are consistent with one another. Nordstrom has added Shoppable Posts on their Instagram handle. When you tap these posts, you can see product tags, or even swipe to be led directly to the retailer’s online page.
These posts ensure easy transition of online posts, to immediate sales, all on the basis of the items you might see on their retail rack.
Order Online, Pick Up Offline
This is again something that drives convergence between a retailers’ online and offline identity and provides more flexibility to the customers. With this feature, e-commerce brands (or any e-retailer) can allow customers to pick up their online orders, from a retail outlet.
Amazon is doing a great job of this, where it allows customers to shop online, from the comfort of their home, and then opt to pick up the packaged product from an Amazon centre nearby.
Zomato, a food delivery app that aggregates restaurants, has a similar option. On the Zomato app, consumers can order their food online, and pick it up from the café/restaurant on their way home.
Personal Touch, Delivered Online
Bonobos has cracked the apparel problem of consumers wanting to order online, but still wanting to touch and feel their clothes before purchase. And of course, why shouldn’t they be able to? How the material feels, how much it wrinkles, or whether the cuffs are just the right length, are practical questions that matter to the customer.
On entering a Bonobos outlet, you can touch, try, and feel all of clothes. Then, you place the order online and everything is sent to your doorstep. This ensures lower return rates, better service, lower inventory costs, and lower warehousing costs.
Personalization is yet another keystone of successful marketplace development.
Choose Your Starting Point
There are some purchases that involve fairly complex decision making on the part of customers.
Omnicommerce plays a role here by simplifying this process. Value City Furniture have played with this key insight, and brought the furniture category alive for their shoppers. They understood that furniture is a high value purchase, and will therefore not be made at the store. They tied this into their omnicommerce strategy.
Now, the consumer can choose whether they want to start shopping at the store, or online. They can create a wish list while browsing the Value City site, and add things to a ‘Wish list’. These items are saved to their account – tagged by an email ID – which the sales associate at the store can access.
Once the sales associate sees their wish list, it becomes easier for them to understand exactly what the customer is looking for and guiding them to the right furniture.
Marrying a Store, a Site, and an App
Oasis, the UK based fashion retailer, has married their site, store, and app. When a customer walks into one of their stores, they are greeted by a sales associate. This associate, armed with an iPad, has up-to-date, accurate information about every single product in the store.
What’s more, the iPad doubles up as a cash register, allowing you to make purchases right where you stand with no long queues. And if that wasn’t enough, consumers can download the app too, and check up on product information beforehand.
This allows the customer to check up on a product at home, walk into a store to buy the same product– assured of availability, size etc. – pay right there, and walk out with the purchase.
These examples of looking at retail from an omnicommerce perspective ensure customer loyalty, and an increase in sales. In fact, a report establishes that 73% of consumers today follow an omnicommerce consumer journey.
Is Setting Up Omnicommerece Challenging?
Setting up omnicommerce for retail requires expertise, experience and knowledge of what best can improve a customer’s experience across the sales funnel. When a company’s core competency is in physical sales, bringing in a partner who knows the ins and outs of online marketplace and ecommerce development can be a significant advantage that gives one a leg-up over one’s competitors.
At Innovify, we have that experience.
We have a successful track record of building profitable ecommerce stores and marketplaces and can leverage all our learning over the years into building a lean and efficient online store or multi-vendor marketplace for you.
With Innovify, you not only get a development partner but also someone who can strategise this development. Our strength lies in delivering a product, and also helping you make the right choices when it comes to creating it, deciding what exactly it needs to do, and then ultimately building it. A strategic partner is not simply a passive solutions builder, but one who is actively interested in ensuring your company’s bottom line and top line stay strong.
Know more about how Innovify can help built an omnichannel experience with our ecommerce development and marketplaces solution by clicking here.