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Your customers are not machines. You can target, track and acquire them, but you’re still dealing with conscious, emotional organisms. So how do you honor your customer’s humanity? In a world overloaded with choices, content and reviews, in what practical ways can you guide how customers relate to your brand?
In this new omnichannel world, what becomes of the retail store and the decaying shopping mall? Will the web win out and traditional stores vanish?
Failing to fulfill customers’ orders in a timely fashion can spell disaster for retailers of any size. Delivering products late can kill sales, batter your reputation and destroy customer loyalty. It can also squander all of the time, money and resources you spent acquiring new customers. Which is exactly why merchants need to remember that the customer experience journey doesn’t end with a sale.
With the threat of showrooming waning, retailers are facing a new challenge: webrooming. This poses a threat to retailers if people webroom on their sites, but purchase at a competitor’s store. But the practice can also be an advantage for retailers if they can find ways to lure webroomers to their own stores.
What will retail look like in 2014? Contributing writer Jonathan Levitt sees two major emerging trends occurring in the New Year: the rise of the ubiquitous shopper and wide-scale retail automation.
Pundits who predicted the death of traditional retail clearly spoke too soon. A year ago, it seemed inevitable Amazon would take over the world. Industry watchers predicted retailers like Best Buy and Target, with their overhead of physical stores, would soon lose the ecommerce battle. Here is why omnichannel strategies are helping retailers regain ground.
Smart retailers have been preparing for Holiday 2013 for months, putting new omnichannel shopping experiences in place to entice customers to their sites and stores. Done right, online-offline initiatives – such as in-store pickup, mobile apps, and in-store kiosks – herald a rebirth of retail. But done badly, omnichannel programs alienate shoppers and damage your brand.
What can omnichannel retailers do now to fine-tune their offerings in the run-up to Holiday 2013? The best way to achieve success is to learn from retailers, like Guitar Center, that have nailed the omnichannel experience.
Who will win the battle for consumer hearts-and-minds – and their wallets? Will the pure-play online retailers like Amazon and an increasing number of niche online-only sites like Bonobos and Fab.com, or omnichannel retailers that have the power of the Big Box behind them, win the revenue race?
With Walmart offering in-store pickup via self-serve lockers, and Gap trying out “reserve-in-store,” it’s clear retailers are still trying to figure out the best method to bridge the online-offline experience. Here are three proven strategies retailers can use to nail the newest omnichannel shopping trend.