For decades physical stores were the only place to buy, see and compare prices, receive recommendations and everything else that for many is automatic nowadays. Back in the day, we were forced to leave the screen and go outside to get something we wanted.
From this offline experience, we moved on to a totally different experience nowadays. A shopping experience that involves not only physical stores but online experiences, online and telephone communication ... information no longer flows in one place, and it has different origins and destinations. And the change happens at high speed.
According to an MIT study entitled "Beyond the Shopping Cart", it is shown that this new "omnichannel consumer" will directly influence both the future of e-commerce and that of traditional stores, interacting, buying and communicating through the establishments themselves but also, from anywhere with a computer, tablet or smartphone. Forums and social networks will be sources of information that will contribute to decision making, price comparison and more.
First things first, what is Omnichannelity and why is it important?
An Omnichannel strategy refers to the integration of all existing communication, sales or marketing channels in your market, in order to convert visits to sales using the new information technologies. "Multi-channel" means that we understand all possible means of communication between the customer and your company, offering all types of products and services by all means possible and at the same time, capturing and analyzing all the data that that tells us more about the user experience in this new environment of sale.
Therefore, it is necessary to understand these strategies not as a new sales model, but also as an alternative form of relationship with the customer.
Benefits of the Omnichannelity.
If you decide to embark on planning an Omnichannel strategy, you are bound to deliver a quality, integrated and personalized experience. You will have a network of communication channels that will interact fluidly and constantly with multiple types of clients, so if any type of problem is generated in one of these channels, it will affect the whole system. The key to this initiative is to recognize from the start that the initial design of communication channels is just a hypothesis, which must be refined over time based on customer demand per channel.
The efficiently managed omnichanel improves the relationship with customers since any problem that appears in any of the channels can be solved through any of the channels that you and your clients handle. On the other hand, a problem handled incorrectly can have negative consequences on your business.
The Starbucks Story.
A good example of a company that applies these strategies correctly is Starbucks. Before the omnichanel existed as a fashionable term, Starbucks was exploring this concept by allowing customers to pay using his loyalty card. Now its application allows, besides choosing your coffee, consult its preparation time in the local Starbucks for selection and collection.
Do you want to start integrating online and offline solutions to generate more sales? I think it's time to do different things to get different results.