What is the basis for the online trading? Certainly a noteworthy assortment. However, that’s not all, because even if you offer your customers a valuable product, you may find that they will not be willing to buy it. It’s even possible that they would prefer to buy from your competitors. Thus, the basis of online sales is not the product you own and how you serve your customer. In this matter, the most important are new technologies and innovations during the purchasing process, which in itself can be a pleasure for your client. And of the most important area of this innovations is omnichannel approach.
Numerous shopping experience of salespeople indicate that if a customer once gets offended to a given brand, they do not want to buy their products. So, how do you make shopping in your store satisfactory for users? First of all, focus on digitalization and your presence in the online sphere. Most of today’s customers are almost stuck to the phone. If you were to expand your point of sales to cover both: desktop and mobile, you would have access to a bigger market share. This is the first step in implementing the omnichannel strategy in your business.
Online-offline connection: a trusted innovation in omnichannel
You can also connect the online sphere with offline. A good example of this type of mergers are the activities of the Polish company eobuwie.pl, which initially only ran online sales. Then she opened stationary stores, which, however, differ from other traditional stores. After entering, we do not encounter shops full of all kinds of shoes. We have tablets with an application in which we choose pairs of footwear that we want to try on. Shoes are reserved online, and then store service brings us the chosen model. What’s more, if we can not decide what shoe size to choose, we can make a measurement using a special 3D bench and choose the right size. This is a great example of so called phygital shops on which we discussed here.
Similar activities, but even more digitized, are carried out by Amazon, which – thanks to a special application – completely missed the stage of queuing for cash. Just reach for selected products that automatically register in the application and disappear after putting them back on the store shelf. Finally, the products are added up and online payments are made.
These are not the only examples of stores in which traditional shelves with goods were eliminated and replaced with omnichannel innovations. Increasingly on the domestic market, we can meet with screens located in stores that, for example, show current promotions and encourage to make purchases online. They do this for example in Rossmann and Carrefour. However, for the time being screens placed in stores are not particularly used. It can be said that they rather tame customers with their presence, building awareness of the possibilities of shopping online.
A new era of retail sales – omnichannel innovations in China
The combination of online and offline sales is clearly seen in the example of Chinese trade, where omnichannel innovations became a real phenomenon. In a shop such as, for example, Hema, the customer receives a fully personalized shopping experience. Communications addressed to him and offers presented are constructed on the basis of information obtained about his preferences. The data is collected both online and offline. In this edition, the store has many functions – it is a logistics management center, warehouse and pickup point. The customer does not have to buy the purchased products because they can be delivered to his door. Regardless of which form of shopping you choose, whether you decide to visit the store or make an online transaction, each experience will be maximally individualized and placed at the highest level.
Removing barriers in online shopping
Many brands use all kinds of amenities, making shopping online much easier than ever before, and above all faster and more convenient than in regular stores. For this purpose, special “assistants” are created, who help, for example, to choose the right size of clothes, adjust the cosmetic to the skin type or help to make a final decision.
These types of activities are extremely important especially in a situation in which we want to eliminate a customer behavior involving viewing clothes online and buying them in a stationary store and vice versa. Thanks to properly configured assistants, the client is able to match the size of each other online and check how he or she really look in the chosen clothing. Consulting is based on parameters that should be provided, including weight, height, the most frequently worn size and other preferences regarding purchases – eg favorite cut. On the basis of the information collected and statistical choices of other customers, proposals for the correct size of clothing and footwear are given.
What counts the most today and what do we miss most often? Of course, it is time. That is why it is so important not to waste precious minutes of your clients. To facilitate this task, it is worth to bet on automated service, or chatbot. These types of programs perfectly imitate conversations with real people. They are particularly helpful when the same customer requests appear. Thanks to the appropriate configuration, the store user does not have to wait for a response – he receives it immediately. So he does not have to write e-mails or try to connect with the person operating the hotline.
Time is also important in the case of waiting for purchased products. Nothing frustrates more than the goods received two weeks after ordering it, when you often do not remember what you bought at all. The key to the success of e-Commerce is therefore to plan deliveries so that they are as flexible as possible to the preferences of customers and implemented as quickly as possible – preferably on the same day or the next business day.
When it comes to innovations in omnichannel, all aspects and points of contact with the client are important. The impression your store makes on the customer is equal to the chance of them making a purchase. Every step of the buying process is important, because if there are barriers or inaccuracies during it, the user will not wait and will not give you a second chance. He will abandon the basket and go to the competition. If, however, you meet its requirements and even go a step further, you will feel a double pleasure – after paying for the purchased products and after unpacking them.