The Ultimate Guide to Improve Your Omnichannel Strategy

Guide to improve omnichannel strategy

Running an omnichannel retailing business means combining multiple channels to sell products. This kind of retailing is important to keep up with customer needs and demands in the ever-changing landscape of current events and economics. It helps make individual consumers feel like a business’s priority through personalized email messaging and marketing.

An omnichannel strategy allows business owners to keep up with their customers’ behaviors. They can use the following five methods to build their omnichannel strategy for small businesses. 

1. Prioritize brand consistency across channels

An omnichannel presence might include physical storefronts, e-commerce platforms and social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat. Business owners should aim for their branding to stay consistent across all these platforms.

Brand consistency could include:
  • Using similar colors, designs and images
  • Standardizing messaging, voice and mission statements
  • Creating a set process for customer service
  • Making quality standards for products and services

A consistent brand identity helps guide potential customers through their journey, keeping them engaged from the first social media post they saw to checking out on a website. They will always recognize your company, regardless of what channel they are on. They might also visit your store in person and decide to see what’s offered on your site.

2. Be actionable with collected data in omnichannel retailing

As in-person and online retailers, business owners likely collect a lot of data and information about their customers. They can use it to improve the customer’s experience. For example, companies can see which pages people visit, which ones they leave, when they take things out of their cart and which channel first inspired a purchase.

Based on this information, retailers can analyze what customers respond to. Some might make decisions based on personalized email communications or a loyalty program. Others might feel deterred from buying something if they encounter high shipping costs or a long delivery time.

3. Combine strengths of each channel

Retailers can bring the benefits of their in-person store to their e-commerce platforms and online presence, and vice versa. This is a great way to see how small-business owners should improve both sides of their operations. Business owners can brainstorm how to incorporate a similar strategy into the other channel when one is thriving.

Suppose people respond to suggested products that appear before they checkout on a website. In that case, small-business owners can place some of those common items along the checkout line in their physical locations. For example, if customers often add hair accessories to their purchase when checking out online from a boutique, place some hair accessories along the checkout line to make it easy for them to pick up.

4. Integrate the right inventory tracking system

Consumers will want to see which products are in-stock online and at different store locations in real-time. People can become easily frustrated when products they think are available at a certain place are sold out or when an online store doesn’t have an adequate selection ready for purchase.

Businesses should consider integrating an inventory tracking system to stay on top of what they have available. Inventory tracking systems can help business owners:
  • Keep track of their quantities in real-time
  • Oversee how products get distributed across channels
  • Limit the times people order products only for them to be sold out
Businesses that are conscientious about the products and quantities they have in stock across locations allow people to feel more confident about their spending. Omnichannel retailing customers appreciate knowing products are in stock and where they can find them.

5. Tailor to the customer’s specific needs

Customer needs will vary depending on several factors, including current events like COVID-19. The pandemic spurred a considerable uptick in online shopping and retailers had to adapt. Delivery and curbside orders also became popular alternatives to shopping in-store as people wanted to prioritize their safety and limit contact with other shoppers.

In-person shopping has started to come back, but that doesn’t mean it is advisable to stop offering curbside pickup or contactless payment. Rather, companies can create an omnichannel strategy for business that adapts to different needs and people’s personal preferences.

When circumstances that affect a consumer’s preferences change, businesses should evaluate which of their offerings to keep, get rid of or adapt. For example, even though people are going back to shopping in person, they might appreciate being able to place orders online for pickup in-store. It could be beneficial to keep that innovation available for those who prefer using it.

An effective omnichannel strategy can help consumers along their journey

Offering products at physical locations and for purchase online is a great way to reach new customers and create an additional stream of revenue, which is important for keeping companies afloat in a changing world. Companies should take advantage of their omnichannel strategy for business by standardizing their brand, combining the strengths of in-person and online shopping, and evolving to meet shoppers’ changing needs and preferences.

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