How to: optimise omnichannel retailing

Topic: How to:

2527200986_71197fae16_oRetailers have been struggling recently to meet consumer expectations, which have expanded since the digitisation of the shopping experience. One clear example is Myer, a retailer which has seen a 23% drop in profits in half of a year due to this problem.  Recent studies have showcased the problem across the retail landscape in Australia. One such study ‘The New Opportunity for Australia’s Retailers’  indicated just how unprepared Australian retailers are to handle the shifting behaviour of customers. According to recent reports, less than 30% of retailers currently offer a smartphone friendly website and only 21% have developed a mobile app for customers.Smartphones aren’t only used to make online purchases, but also play a major role in the consumer’s whole interaction with retailers. From customers independently researching products, to them receiving offers and promotions from retailers. Customers are empowered with everything they need to make an informed purchase in the palm of their hands. Retailers are expected to cater to this, if they want to keep up with times and optimise the potential revenue that this new means of shopping offers. To be successful, retailers need to embrace multiple digital channels and think about the technology that is required in a competitive environment. Make multi channel research easy for customers:Provide a simple means for your customers to do their own research, because in a lot of cases, they’re happy to do the work for you. A mobile optimised website is a necessity; make sure they can find your site easily as well. Optimise your website for search engines so that people looking for your products can find your website easily through a google search.It’s also great to have a social media presence; across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. If they like your brand they can follow you and keep informed about your new products across the course of their usual social media activity. Just make sure content is frequent and engaging. Contact them directly across multiple channels:Even though your customers will occasionally do their own research to find your products, you don’t want to leave everything up to them. In a mobile shopping space, there’s so much room for digital marketing directly to your target customers. Capturing customer information is one of the first and most critical steps of an interaction, whether collecting information via the website, physical stores or other means. This isn’t just email addresses and mailing addresses anymore. It’s mobile phone numbers too, and if nothing else, it’s mobile phone numbers!Don’t solely rely on email, although it’s cheap and can include a lot of information, only 22% of your recipients will open it, and that’s on a good day. There are more efficient and reliable options out there, such as SMS, which has a 98% open rate. Send your customers regular updates about sales, promotions and new products via SMS. A simple text message won’t be ignored or lost, and including shortlinks could send them directly to your site where they can make an instant purchase. SMS messages are often opened as soon as they’re received, so timing can give SMS a crucial advantage to drive foot traffic on a Saturday morning.You can also follow up online purchases with a courtesy text message thanking them for their purchase and offering them the opportunity to give feedback about the experience so that you can improve things even more. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy for retailers must involve multiple channels and must be consumer focused. If you work in retail and would like to talk to experts about how to implement a multi channel marketing strategy to get the most out of the shifting retail landscape, call us today on 1300 764 946.

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Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia