Omnichannel service
Mistakes that could be affecting your Omnichannel retail efforts

Mistakes that could be affecting your Omnichannel retail efforts

Omnichannel is the buzzword in the retail industry space today. But with stringent competition, newer technologies, every retailer is struggling to keep up their game. While some are succeeding, some end up making mistakes, costing them valuable resources.

Here are a few pertinent mistakes retailers can avoid, to boost their Omnichannel efforts:

An overdose of engagement

Customer engagement is a slow process and meant to be immersive. Overwhelming them with brand messaging and ads everywhere they go is no less than stalking. In the process of focusing on the channels, sellers often forget about the people. The idea is to focus not on the number of channels to explore but to explore the customer journey on specific channels that they are loyal to. Giving them enough space and targeting them on the right channel through the right messaging is the key.

Unfriendly Mobile experience

Mobile and smart device usage is seeing a radical growth and it will be in the near future. But there is still a big gap between the number of people using mobiles for shopping and retailers offering the best shopping experience on the mobile interface. This largely affects conversions.

A few things to consider to enhance the mobile experience-

  • Check if the site is loading slower than usual
  • Check your site’s user experience on 3rd-party platforms
  • Do a test shopping for your products on different mobile devices and assess the navigation on each
  • Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check the mobile-friendliness of your site.

Too many channels, too little focus

Remember, your business has to omnichannel, not omnipresent. You cannot and should not be everywhere. And not all strategy work for every retail business. Depending on where your customers are you can choose your target platform/s. And spreading yourself too thin across the market will dilute your brand experience. For instance, if you have your audience majorly on YouTube and Instagram, you do not need to be on Reddit or Twitter.

The same goes for marketplace presence. If you are exploring one leading marketplace, maximize that platform, rather than being present on every possible marketplace and splitting your marketing strategy.

Trends-that-will-shape-Indian-eCommerce-in-2019

Trends that will shape Indian eCommerce in 2019

A lot has changed in the Indian eCommerce landscape in the last few years. As we move into another year towards the future, we see constantly changing eCommerce trends and take a new shape to cater to the more evolved audience.

What to look out for in eCommerce Trends 2019

Voice-activated searches

With easy voice searches enabled by AIs like Alexa, Siri, or Google, search engines like Google has made radical changes to its search result algorithms. This basically means that search will be more specific and yield specific results. This means the product discovery journey for users will also change and eCommerce brands will focus on such shifting trends in defining their search marketing strategy.

Vernacular aided experience

While India’s literacy rate is nearly 75%, those literate in basic English language is only 10% (125 million approximately). However, on the other hand, internet users in the country add up to nearly 481 million. Thus to fill the gap of linguistic preferences to internet usage, many eCommerce brands have already introduced regional language sites and this will continue to grow this year with more language options and more retailers trying to expand their audience base.

More omnichannel presence

While multi-channel has been the trend of 2018, omnichannel marketing will find its presence in eCommerce trends of this year, which will blur the lines between offline and online commerce. Brands will be mapping their user journey across channels and finally transition from multi-channel and detached presence to an integrated, omnichannel presence.

Refined product search

While social search has already been adopted by brands, it will only become more common and pervasive. This will also reduce the number of searches (for eCommerce products) on search engines and brands will most likely spend more advertising dollars on social marketing and other marketplaces.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Another interesting and rising trend in the retail business worth paying attention to is the integration of Virtual Reality in user experience. This year this is most likely to get leveraged further. By 2020, experts expect retailers to invest in Augmented Reality as well.

Opportunities in Omnichannel Retail Marketing

Opportunities in Omnichannel Retail Marketing

As our lives get deeper into digital integration, customers, especially in the retail segment, are merging their online and ‘in-store’ experiences. Shoppers make themselves well-informed about their prospective store/brand through extensive online research before they visit the physical store. And if customers are to have an all-encompassing experience, their service providers (read retailers) need to offer the same and utilize this opportunity to make their presence felt.

Breaking the barriers between digital and in-store

A smart omnichannel strategy helps retailers to connect their in-store commerce with all of their digital touch points and create a seamless user journey for their customers. This allows customers and shoppers to connect their online research with the actual in-store experience.

This is where tech tools like store-visit analytics programs and others help create a new kind of interface between offline and online commerce. By adopting such innovative ideas, retailers can turn their physical stores as a field for innovation and experiments with newer sales techniques and means to improve the customer’s experience at every turn.

More channels for sales

Omnichannel marketing is all about exploring your customer’s footprints and enhancing all possible avenues where your customer is. This lets you be flexible and agile as per your customer needs and integrate methods like ship-to-store, ship-from-store, buy-online-pickup-in-store, endless aisles, social commerce etc. The idea is to reinvent the tried-and-tested wheel and introduce new experiences every time.

Hassle-free payment

Easy and simple payment processes enable faster purchases. With mobile payments, digital wallets, and payment options offered by brands themselves, customers enjoy better shopping experiences. Digital systems like Amazon’s ‘One-click Pay’ and similar others, further simplifies the omnichannel journey for the customer and drives sales for the retailer.

Summarizing

Gone are the days when a brick-and-mortar store and its respective e-commerce site would be a world apart. The future of retail is all about bringing all interfaces and building a holistic experience. While this redefines shopper’s journey, it also enhances your business approach and improves your marketing strategy.

To be able to successfully adopt the best-in-class omnichannel retail trends, you can seek the support of an omnichannel expert and take your business to the next level and boost your brand.

The future of Omnichannel Marketing

With e-commerce landscape on the upswing, the retail industry continues to devise innovative formats to ensure their presence. As an increased number of consumers remain always connected, omnichannel marketing opens up opportunities for the evolving retail businesses to connect with the audience through various touch points. This interconnectedness of a brand creates endless scope for your business to maximize your sales potential.

Consumers have long evolved from only tangible product-driven shopping to experience-driven shopping, both online and offline. Omnichannel is evolving with the core thought of providing the same experience to its consumers across channels, when they want, what they want, and the way they want it.

The way market experts see this trend growing is through creating a ‘phygital’ marketplace where the physical and digital touchpoints of the brand are merged to give the exact same experience to the buyer. What does it mean for retail enterprises?

For creating such transcendental experience, the best omnichannel retail strategy boils down to engagement across platforms by developing a constant and consistent brand communication. This will help in influencing the customer consideration about your brand so that you become the first thing that they can think of while making the purchase decision. For example, if you have a video that talks about your brand/product/industry space, you can target your ads to play before the video so your audience learns about your brand even before they know more about it.

To be able to successfully deliver omnichannel services, it is essential for marketers and retail businesses to understand the difference between omnichannel marketing and multi-channel marketing. While multi-channel marketing can still work in silos and yield results, a holistic omnichannel strategy will need integration of all the nodes and take on a cohesive approach. Going forward with the uber-connected generation of buyers, it will be important for enterprises to build a unique infrastructure which collaborates the different arms of omnichannel marketing. And constantly upgrade to new technologies to support the marketing efforts and reach out to the consumers at their convenience.

With better management of consumers and their needs, omnichannel marketing can help exceed customer expectation every time at every interaction.

10 things to consider if you want to elevate your Omnichannel game

With the increased practice of omnichannel marketing, retail businesses are developing innovative ways to customer engagement and conversions. If you are new to the exploding retail landscape, here are a few things you might want to consider if you want to boost your omnichannel services and make yourself discovered.

Choose your audience wisely
Use the power of AI-driven micro-targeting tools to narrow down and segment your audience based on geography, device, browser, campaign or other variables and assess their preferred method of interaction.

Be consistent
Exploit the ‘micro-moments’ of your consumer through consistent messaging to align messaging, goals, objectives, and design of your brand across each channel and device.

Influence your customer’s decision
Position yourself as the most preferred option for your customer by making yourself visible even before your audience searches for you.

Choose the right cross-channel journey
Map your consumer’s journey so it flows smoothly across various channels and feels like a natural addition to their presence on different platforms.

Make each channel utility-driven
Determine if your interactive and responsive site offers the same thing as your mobile application. Everything that you offer should be free of redundancy to increase utility

Adopt new technologies
Be in sync with the always-on consumer and upgrade yourself to match up to their tech consumption.

Be contextual but content-rich
Focus on quality content using the right context to create value for your business and present yourself as an expert in your field. Reuse, recycle, repurpose your core content and maximize its use across formats and platforms.

Leverage data
Test your customer experiences across online and offline destinations and measure all data. Use this data comprehensively to understand your customer’s responses, behaviors, changes in consumption etc.

Be omnipresent but choose your channels wisely
Target destinations where your customers are but choose your channels wisely.

Don’t ignore your offline presence
Creating a brand presence across all both offline and online channels can prove to be successful in the long run and help you optimize your online presence.

There is no magic wand that can bring overnight success to your omnichannel marketing efforts. The key is to be subtle, consistent, and contextual and create a micro world of your world that surround your audience.

Omnichannel myths debunked

The constant developments in technology intertwined with enterprise operations are changing the face of the modern business landscape. And, to be present around the ‘always-on’ customer, businesses need to be omnipresent, in order to meet their audience anytime, anywhere. However, most often than not, business owners tend to confuse ‘multichannel’ with ‘omnichannel’ when it comes to services, which leaves them oblivious to the benefits omnichannel experience. Thus, it still remains a sparsely adopted business practice today. The reasons for omnichannel service not being widely accepted can be largely pegged on the myths that surround the concept. This article will help you debunk the popular misconceptions of omnichannel service.

Myth #1: Each service channel needs to be separate
In reality, it is the other way round. Treating your customers and their experiences in silos is a recipe for disaster. As the consumer behavior continues to change and evolve, an omnichannel communication is in tandem with the customer’s journey. By integrating multiple channels into a cohesive strategy can build an exceptional consumer experience, thus yielding positive results.

Myth #2: Being omnipresent is about hovering around your users
Omnichannel service is not about overwhelming your customers. By using it as a one-way channel of communication and pitching your business to them round-the-clock, you can lose out on prospective business. The key to effectively harnessing the power of multiple channels is to engage and learn more about each customer and their online behavior. By focusing on the data that you gather from such observations can help you build well-informed communication matrices.

Myth #3: Omnichannel helps in the faster decision-making of customers
The truth is that customers want effortless engagement. And once they are wowed by the customer experience you provide and find their answers, only then they take the decision to interact with you and your business. This may or may not be at your expected timeline.

Myth #4: Multiple channels mean multiple messages
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when they consider an omnichannel presence. Research shows that 90% customers expect consistency of brand messaging across all platforms. Irrespective of how many places you spread yourself to, your brand should have one common, the underlying message that resonates with your audience, wherever they go and allow them to have the same experience across all channels.

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