2020 was a year unlike any other, and the holiday shopping season is likely to follow suit. Retailers with a strategy for creating and sustaining connections with shoppers are poised to exceed not only their sales goals, but their customer expectations as well during the holidays.
With the pandemic still taking its toll, shoppers are more likely to go out of their way to shop with retailers offering contactless shopping. When employing an omni channel approach, retailers benefit from using multiple channels to communicate safety guidelines, promotions, along with new products or services to create a comfortable, personalized experience.
With first time ecommerce sales, up a resounding 119% among retail chain stores, its safe to say the effects of adopting an omni channel strategy played a vital role in that increase. Do enough of your shoppers know about the choice for curbside, or Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) alternatives to in store shopping?
Can they see or buy new products or services you have to offer via social media, email, or a mobile app? An omni channel approach can lead customers to getting the insight needed to make a buying decision that suits their shipping needs better than a competitor or provide them with enough information to simply grab a gift for a loved one in a pinch.
Primarily, an omni channel strategy serves as a solution to increasing sales by prioritizing the overall customer experience.
- Improves and Streamlines the Buying Process
One of the main components of an effective omni channel strategy is bridging the gap between in-store and online shopping experiences. Between social media networks, and your website, there are multiple touchpoints along the way to making a purchase. This is the case, for both ecommerce retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar ones. Taking an omni channel approach to your marketing helps customers of all types, for reasons retailers may not even realize.
For example, as the pandemic has taken its course, customers have developed multiple preferred fulfillment methods. At the same time, customers are spending more time on social media platforms. A retailer with an effective omni-channel strategy uses their social media channels like Instagram to drive customers to their mobile app or website, where the customer has the option to have their order mailed to their address or BOPIS.
By sending the customer directly to the store, the retailer provides a more customized, seamless experience the competition may not be able to match. Additionally, an omni channel approach also provides retailers with the opportunity to increase their sales by increasing the amount of time customers spend on their websites.
- Increases Sales with Customer Engagement
By making the shopping experience smoother and more efficient, retailers give themselves a great chance at building a relationship with customers that results in repeat purchases. A strong omni-channel strategy prioritizes showing customers the content that helps them make buying decisions when they need to see it. Take seller ratings for example.
Imagine a shopper coming across a retailer’s Instagram page. While scrolling, a product catches their eye, but they are unfamiliar with the brand. They search the name of the brand online, to see 5-star ratings, along with a few high-quality product reviews.
If there were no reviews, that would have left a major gap in the customer’s shopping experience which could have resulted in them buying from a competitor. Studies show omni channel campaigns contribute to purchase rates up to 250% higher than marketing campaigns using only three channels or more.
- Adds Personalization to Online Shopping
Providing shoppers with multiple touchpoints makes it easier for retailers to gain insight on what communication methods resonate with customers in comparison to ones that do not. By engaging customers using means like email and SMS messaging, retailers can differentiate themselves with the way they alert customers about promotions, or new products similar to other items that they’ve purchased.
Customer behavior is evolving, which means retailers should be going above and beyond to ensure they’re engaging customers in the ways that are most convenient for them. According to research, 47% of shoppers who engaged with brands on 10 or more channels are more frequent shoppers than consumers who only engaged on four channels or less.
Since retailers have thousands of customers, customizing an experience for each one is impractical. It’s important to remember that customers know what other customers are looking for when it comes to questions about making a purchase. Taking that into consideration, is why a ratings and reviews platform is so vital for an omni channel marketing strategy that works.
How a Ratings and Reviews Platform Supplements an Omni Channel Marketing Strategy
During the holidays especially, a ratings and reviews platform plays an important role in creating connections that keep customers coming back all year long. When retailers combine ratings and reviews with the engagement they receive on social platforms, they create a shopping environment that puts the experience of the customer first.
Let’s pretend you’re shopping for a digital camera, as a gift. Without much expertise in photography it can be difficult to make sure you’re getting what you paid for, while still getting a great gift to give on Christmas morning.
While finishing up with your research, your choices come down to a retailer who has an active social media presence and customer reviews, and an ecommerce store with a pretty good social presence, but no reviews. Since the first retailer featured several stories of other shoppers who also have no expertise in photography, it’s a no brainer.
As most holiday shopping will be done online this year, ratings and reviews could provide retailers with exactly the boost they’re looking for headed into the new year. Get more information about the role a ratings and reviews platform plays in a strong omni channel approach by scheduling a demo today.