What Is Omnichannel Shopping and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

omnichannel shopping strategy

The internet has changed everything, including the way we shop.

Which is why developing an omnichannel shopping strategy should be a priority so you can give your customers more of what they want, while improving your margins.

But what does this relatively new term mean and how can it benefit you? Let’s jump in!

Understanding Omnichannel

Omnichannel shopping differs from multi-channel shopping in one crucial aspect.

While they both involve selling our goods and services via numerous retail channels, such as apps, mobile, and traditional brick-and-mortar stores, an omnichannel shopping strategy brings all these various channels together into one, integrated hub.

For the online business owner, this improves the way we collect data, grow our business, and sell products and services.

The customer wins, too. For example, they can research a product and make an order online before picking it up in their local store. It becomes that simple.

5 Benefits of Using an Omnichannel Strategy

Still not sold? Here are some of the major benefits of omnichannel shopping for you as a store owner.

1. More Actionable Data That Personalizes the Shopping Experience

If there’s one thing stores struggle with, it’s knowing exactly what our customers want. Unless we have this info, prospects might exit our store without taking action.

Omnichannel retailing can help with this. It lets you gain powerful insights into customer behavior and habits so that you can engage them better and give them more of what they want.

For example, the more you know about your customers, the more you can curate targeted popups that they respond to. (You can create free popups using a site like Sumo.)

Below you can see a popup from Entrepreneur On Fire, which is targeted toward a specific audience:

2. Interact With Customers in All the Right Places

Imagine if you offered a discount to a customer via a mobile app, but it doesn’t work in your physical store? What you have is a disappointed customer.

Unless you bring together your multiple sales channels into one place, you’ll have a bunch of disparate channels that fail to meet customers where they are.

Omnichannel retail creates a customer-centered viewpoint that improves the way you handle your customer relationships across all your different channels. You can then track your customers through various systems and rewards memberships while improving the quality of your service.

3. Integrate Your Inventory 

Imagine you sold out of a product on one sales channel but, because you hadn’t implemented an omnichannel sales strategy, people are still trying to buy said product via another sales channel because the inventory hasn’t updated?

It’s a nightmare situation that can damage the customer experience and tarnish your brand.

Inventory management is important. To help you keep on top of your inventory, it’s a good idea to implement an omnichannel retail strategy while also downloading an inventory management app.

These apps automatically update whenever an item has been sold, and because they can be integrated across all your channels, a customer isn’t left in a situation where they try to purchase a product that has sold out.

This also ensures that you don’t miss out on crucial sales by under-stocking.

4. Prevents Overstocks

This point follows on from the above.

According to studies, overstocks cost us $1.1 trillion each year. That’s an insane amount of money, but it can be lowered by introducing an omnichannel shopping strategy.

Indeed, the reason overstocks happen is down to poor planning, which is almost always due to improper data collection. If you don’t collect the right data, you can’t make accurate forecasts about how much stock you need to satisfy demand.

When you adopt an omnichannel sales strategy, you get to share key data between your various channels. This data reveals crucial insights into sales and performance, and this allows you to be more precise with your sales forecasts.

As a result, your demand sensing improves and the chances of overstock are reduced.

5. An Omnichannel Sales Strategy Improves Consistency

If there is one thing customers love, it’s consistency.

Picture it: A customer in your store has just heard that another customer got a 30% discount after purchasing from your mobile website.

They go to the front desk and ask the assistant if they can have the same discount. The assistant checks their database but can’t find any information on this great discount.

“Sorry, but that particular discount isn’t available.”

The customer is frustrated and goes home without making a purchase.

It wasn’t their fault, and it wasn’t the fault of your assistant. What caused the confusion and inconsistency is the absence of an omnichannel shopping strategy.

When you go omnichannel, there is consistency across all your channels and your databases. This means that your in-store assistants are armed with the right, up-to-date information and can respond to customers in the right way. This also boosts efficiency.

Below you can see a website that sells Oculus Skins offering a sale sitewide for the upcoming holidays, showing a clear date when the offer ends:

An omnichannel shopping strategy is the future of retail. Get started now to give your customers more of what they want while growing your business.

Will you create an omnichannel shopping strategy for your business?

About the Author

Michelle Deery

Michelle Deery is a freelance writer and content marketer for Heroic Search in Tulsa. She has a passion for producing content about business and marketing and loves growing her career on a daily basis. Follow her on Twitter @MichWriting and find previous articles she has written on Entrepreneur and Crazy Egg.

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