It’s All about Omni-channel: A Quick Fire Guide

Posted by Ian Newcombe on Fri, Aug 07, 2015

The buying journey has changed. Consumers are now aware of your brand before speaking to Sales and expect their purchasing journey to be completed seamlessly across multiple channels. However, through the adoption of omni or multi-channel retail systems, retailers can meet these shifting consumer expectations and grow their businesses.

Article (1)Sanderson is a leading multi-channel retail software provider with over 250 customers using its solutions for ecommerce, mobile commerce, retail, marketplace and mail order, with integrated back-office operations, offering complete customer and business visibility. The company provides multi-channel retailers with the capability to improve sales, stock management, fulfilment and supply chain operations, to deliver an outstanding omni-channel shopping experience for their customers.

Ecommerce trends

  • Everything has to be integrated, seamless and cohesive.

  • The internet and mobile devices have revolutionised retail.

  • Consumers research before they buy and expect to shop at their convenience, anytime, anywhere.

Retailers have to respond

  • Convenience is key.

  • Product availability, information access, promotional relevancy, and ease of checkout are key components of a differentiated retail strategy.

  • Create and retain loyal customers by knowing their shopping habits, buying patterns, budget and preferences.

Customer retention comes from CRM

  • Retailers need to offer a greater product portfolio through every sales channel.

  • Focus on customer retention via a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system

  • Offer great customer service levels from initial purchase through to delivery and management of returns.

What is multi-channel strategy?

  • Multi-channel strategy is where a retailer adopts two or more sales channels to engage with consumers.

  • Multi-channel strategy is not focused on driving a consistent message across each sales channel.

  • Multi-channel retailers are more focused on simply selling to their customers across multiple touch points.

What is omni-channel strategy?

  • Omni-channel strategy is where a retailer delivers a consistent brand experience across all sales channels.

  • Omni-channel makes consumer engagement and the shopping journey with the retailer completely seamless irrespective of the sales channel and/or device they use.

How do these strategies help to grow your business?

  • Multi-channel gives you greater penetration to more consumers and it allows you the ability to offer a greater product portfolio.

  • The omni-channel approach demands a seamless integration of systems at both the front end and behind the scenes.

  • The hallmark of a successful omni-channel retail strategy should be that customers are afforded a consistent shopping experience, no matter what the touch point.

A few questions you need to ask yourself if you want to know if omni-channel is right for your business:

  • Can we leverage our current technology platform to enable a seamless experience for our customers?

  • Can we adopt a clear brand message across all sales channels?

  • Do we want to and can we change the dynamics of our business to adopt a more encompassing customer service approach to our customers?

  • Can we remain agile by adopting these new strategies or do they restrict us?

Omni-channel strategy in practical terms

  • Customers must be able to engage with the retailer through a variety of channels (online, in-store, via catalogue) during a single purchase cycle.

  • It also means allowing customers to ask your team questions about the product and your service in-store, via Twitter or on the phone.

  • An enhanced omni-channel retail strategy requires a single view of the customer journey across all channels.

  • The use of CRM systems to capture and store vital customer data, in a single location, is essential to omni-channel decision making.

  • Omni-channel integration allows businesses to optimise how orders are fulfilled or delivered based on a variety of strategic planning and daily operational variables.

Omni-channel can grow your business by:

  • Increasing your customer retention and brand loyalty.

  • Boosting sales with upsells and repeat purchases.

  • Improving the profitability of your products as you do not always have to sell on price alone.

  • Allowing you to profile your customers so your promotional activity can become more targeted and personal to your customers.

  • Enabling you to provide improved customer service levels for your consumers.

To discover more about what the future holds for retail and for further industry insights from leading experts download The Sage Pay Payments Landscapes reportSage Pay - Payments Landscape Report


Topics: Multi-channel