5 Reasons Why You Need to Go Omnichannel

As a store owner, your main focus is to obtain as much foot traffic and sales as you possibly can in your shop. Your challenge, however, is to get your customers to stay in store, and keep them from getting snatched from cheaper online alternatives through services like Amazon. Omnichannel retail has become a solution for this, as it helps creates multiple touch points for your customer.

But first thing’s first. What is omnichannel retailing? Omnichannel means making your brand available on all available shopping channels: online, mobile, in-store, and creating unique experiences for your customer (on any channel).

Still thinking of why you should go omnichannel? Here are 5 reasons why you should go for it:

1. Customers are Showrooming.

Showrooming has been disrupting retail ever since the emergence of online shopping. When customers showroom, they view products in person (in your store) then purchase the same products online (possibly for cheaper). It’s not as much of a threat today, but it still exists. According to a Harris poll on Business Insider, 46% of shoppers showroom. That’s nearly half of your potential sales going to that same eCommerce giant.

2. Customers are Webrooming.

Webrooming, also known as reverse-showrooming, is the exact opposite of showrooming. This is where customers research the product online first and then buy in store. In the same Harris poll on Business Insider, 69% of U.S. shoppers webroom. What’s even more interesting is that Merchant Warehouse revealed an infographic saying 85% of millennial shoppers research the product before making a purchase. If your focus is on millennials, it’s important for you to see where the shopping trends are.

3. Customers are Searching for Your Social Presence.

It’s true. Nearly every local business is searched online first, even if the customer has already been to your store. Your online presence can make a big impression on your brand and sales. According to this recent infographic by Invesp found on Business2Community:

“71% of consumers make decisions based on social media referrals and 40% of social media users have purchased an item after sharing it on their social networks.”

4. Customers are Looking For Discounts.

Whether it’s through social media, an email newsletter, or a site-wide sale, customers are always on the lookout for a discount. According to a recent Salesforce Behavior Report, nearly “80% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s email newsletter for deals and 63% of consumers have liked or followed a brand on social media for a discount.”

Using retargeting programs such as email and social media push customers to use their discount codes in your store and online.

5. Online Stores are “Popping Up”.

If retail stores don’t see the need of opening an online store, that’s certainly not true the other way around. The latest trend to take the retail world by storm is the cheap and cost-effective pop-up shop which online brands are using to test alternative sales channels and increase brand awareness without having to invest the same amount of capital as opening an entire store.

So, why not take advantage of your retail-first approach and one-up them by creating a multi-channel strategy by opening up an online store?

By outsmarting showrooming, using webrooming to your advantage, working on your social presence, giving customers discounts online and offline, and fending off pop-ups, you can create a strong presence on multiple channels and move even faster than your online-only competitors to reach your customers.

Contributed by Humayun Khan, who works on the marketing and growth team at Shopify, helping small business owners succeed in the digital age through creating a multi-channel strategy. He is the author of two ebooks, “The Ultimate Guide to Pop-Ups” and “The Ultimate Guide to Business Plans” and contributes regularly to the Shopify Blog, one of the premier destinations for entrepreneurs to learn more about starting, running, and marketing their business.

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