Consumers are heading back to stores. Amazon reported a 3% decline in sales this quarter, hinting that the pandemic’s days of nearly all online purchasing are starting to fade, and customers are favoring a hybrid purchasing model. They’re not abandoning their online shopping carts – not by a long haul – but instead choosing to merge their methods of buying.
What does that mean for eCommerce?
Brands need to ensure they have a cohesive selling strategy and experience that will set them apart and ensure their success.
Selling in as many places as you can is a key aspect of this. Multi-channel retail, which synthesizes sales across multiple channels, is being eclipsed by what’s known as omnichannel retail. This model takes multi-channel a step further by ensuring that consumers have a fluid experience across desktop, mobile, app-based, and other channels when it comes to purchasing.
Omnichannel retail – and getting it right – is the key to getting ahead of this new shift in eCommerce, as consumers head back to brick and mortar shops. It can include selling in physical stores, through a DTC site, on retail sites and marketplaces, through social media and apps, and more.
Multichannel focuses on each channel separately, whereas omnichannel aims to tie them all together in a cohesive strategy. This can be achieved with the use of software that links together various sales points, or simply the introduction of certain features and strategies that create those links more independently.
There are plenty of ways that brands can stay current with consumers by implementing an omnichannel strategy. For brands selling in-store and online, having technologies in place that fuse those two together is an easy win. Options that give consumers the ability to buy online and pick up in store or buy in store and have items shipped to their home are two fantastic examples.
Having a physical store that’s tech-friendly is also a great way to ensure seamless consumer journeys. Products with QR codes open up possibilities for consumers to purchase online or in-store, and having apps that sync on and offline purchases can enable seamless shopping. For consumers who have a registered account with a particular retailer, being able to track online a purchase made in-store will make it much easier for them to potentially re-purchase no matter where they are.
Behind the scenes, brands can employ a variety of technologies and strategies to track the buying journeys of their customers. Multi-touch attribution software gives helpful insights on channel success rates, especially considering that consumers nowadays use, on average, 6 touchpoints when making a purchase. Mapping customer journeys using data analytics can also provide opportunities for improvements.
For brands working on the basics, automating retail processes is a great way to get started. In order to succeed in selling on multiple channels, which is a tenet of omnichannel retail, brands should sync the various aspects of their retail operations in order to ensure seamless behind-the-scenes work. Cymbio enables this by automating order, inventory, fulfillment processes and more, and providing a one-to-all connection between brands and retailers that opens the possibility for successful multi-channel selling on the hundreds of marketplaces and retail sites we partner with. Implementing an automation tool like Cymbio’s can be the key to explore the possibility of a successful omnichannel strategy and, in the end, an amazing buying experience for consumers.