In the last 10 years, the retail world has experienced an incredible qualitative jump. This is due to the introduction of new digital technologies and electronic commerce, as well as the emergence of a new omnichannel consumer profile.
ANALYSING THE NEW NEEDS OF OMNICHANNEL CONSUMERS
The new omnichannel consumer connects with brands through different channels. They visit the physical shop, receive discount coupons via corporate newsletters and e-mail marketing campaigns, receive information via influencers, articles and media, and actively interact with the brand’s Social Networks. The increase in connectivity between consumers and brands accelerates innovation, and it is likely that over the next few years the consumers’ needs will become increasingly complicated and specific.
We must add a second variable to the increased needs of the new omnichannel consumer, namely the significance of the use of new technologies in each region or country. Various studies indicate that Spain has not yet reached maturity in its electronic commerce use. It is under the global average (29 %) and only 19 % of Spanish consumers frequently make purchases via the internet. Also, the needs of new consumers are changing, and brands that wish to connect with them will need to adapt in order to competitively respond to their new needs. The diversification of buying channels and means of contact multiplies the needs of the consumer, who remains open to interaction with their reference brands. But the consumer is increasingly demanding with regards to innovation; their needs are transforming and what surprised them yesterday no longer catches their eye.
All this information must make us think; it reveals the long way that the retail world (and especially retail marketing) still has to go in our country and others, as well as why brands should opt for creating strategies that integrate all the channels, to not only interest a client who is intelligent, demanding and increasingly accustomed to innovation, but also to ensure that they choose our brand over the rest.
INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY TO STAND OUT IN THE COMPETITIVE CONTEXT OF OMNICHANNEL RETAIL
The high competitiveness of the Retail Channel has accelerated innovation and the great players of the fashion world; Zara, Mango and H&M are increasingly aware that they have to innovate in order to stand out, by offering uniform and unlimited purchasing to their consumers.
The first step for retailers was to understand the need to open an online shop to carry on being competitive. Now they are realising that their online presence with a website is not enough, and that the online shop should offer a series of features to provide a competitive, efficient service that is adapted to the omnichannel context.
Below, we offer you some tips for retailers, as well as some good practices that the large fashion brands have already integrated in their buying process and which helps them to stand out in the competitive environment of omnichannel retail.[one_half]
1. THE IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING TO GENERATE CONCEPTUAL LINKS
Branding is the basic axe, the pillar upon which the omnichannel strategy must be built. By branding, we mean not only the image that your brand conveys, but also the coherence within the product range. Ideally this coherence should be as uniform as possible, with an aesthetic and orderly image of the point of sale: the product layout (and also its quality), the image of the shop windows, the well-groomed appearance of staff; this uniformity should also be noted in the online channel, with a clear display of the product catalogue and the possibility to buy quickly and easily, with optimal user experience.
Corporate branding must be present in all communication carried out by the brand, and must be a part of the omnichannel strategy; this way, the consumer links the brand to the highest excellence and quality standards.
2. SOME ESSENTIAL ONLINE FEATURES FOR YOUR E-COMMERCE TO STAND OUT IN THE OMNICHANNEL CONTEXT
For a website to be competitive, it has to offer an impeccable user experience, and if it also has features that facilitate the online buying process, it is likely that conversions will increase.
Cross-selling (offering additional products during the process), adding a video of the product, a wish list or other facilities, such as purchase without registration or the possibility to collect the order at the point of sale (generating an increase in traffic to the point of sale and an increase in the average receipt) are some examples that may help increase sales in your online shop.
3. . THE NEW OMNICHANNEL BUYING PROCESS REQUIRES STRATEGIES ADAPTED TO THE OMNICHANNEL CONTEXT
From the moment the need arises to the moment the purchase is made, the number of contact channels with the brand increases. If we assess the product search process, we can see that the meeting points can be found in the physical and/or online environment (catalogue consultation, shop visit, trying on the product in the shop, consultation of opinions on social networks, blogs and forums).[/one_half][one_half_last]
Interaction methods also increase once a decision has been made. In the shop, in-store collection but online payment, online purchase with home delivery: there are many ways of carrying out a purchase. Taking care of and offering all these options are strategies that benefit the involved brand. If you are also capable of integrating new features and processes into your buying process, which adapt to the new omnichannel environment, you will gain a lot of ground.
However, the process does not end here, it continues with post-sales services that can offer competitive advantages, such as free returns and other loyalty actions (loyalty cards, personal promotions, events) that will help to turn consumers into fans or opinion leaders.
4. IDENTIFY YOUR MAIN INFLUENCERS
Many factors intervene in the omnichannel buying process, but one of the most decisive ones, that large brands know how to exploit, is that of “influencers” who, with their opinion on social networks, become active opinion leaders for undecided buyers.
Identify the influencers relevant to your brand. Getting them to advocate you is something that will bring great value to your omnichannel strategy.
5. RETAIL-ORIENTED OMNICHANNEL MARKETING STRATEGIES
Factors such as geolocalation or micro formats create an unprecedented customisation that we can use in our omnichannel marketing strategies. Adapting the user’s location when necessary opens up new facilities to the user, as well as the possibility of more straightforward interactions.
The proliferation and increase in new interaction methods with websites and applications requires new strategies to be put in place, in order to think globally and to define easy to follow strategies and goals.[/one_half_last]
LIFTING GROUP OMNICHANNEL RETAIL MARKETING
Thanks to Omnichannel Marketing we can act upon and control all the variables and dimensions that we want to cover in order to create a more complete, multidimensional brand experience. This is precisely how we work on the retail sector omnichannel sales strategy at Lifting Group, by taking the various channels into account and integrating them together. To do so, we define sequences of contribution to the business, knowing that the customer can reach the brand through various channels, can use them in various ways and achieve a satisfactory experience to the purchase or acquisition of a specific service.