The future of shopping can be summarized in one word: diversity.
Our digitally connected society demands a new and interactive shopping experience. As a result, retailers are working towards offering their customers as varied purchasing possibilities as there has ever been.
In the old days, the brick-and-mortar stores were the only touch point that the retailer had with the users. This represented the single-channel retailing. Later, advertising agencies started creating promotional materials and media campaigns to attract clientele. Nowadays, web and e-commerce sites and mobile applications are added to the list of retailing channels and all of them have to be consistent in appearance, design or conveyed message, among others. This could be described as a multi-channel approach; however, those multiple channels are disconnected.
This is where the omni-channel method steps in. It represents the ultimate customers’ wish: a totally seamless and integrated shopping experience. They can now transition effortlessly between channels. A buyer can make an online purchase, get it delivered at home, share it on social media via a mobile app and then exchange or refund it at a brick-and-mortar store. All the channels are linked and customers get the complete brand experience combining all the different online and offline platforms. Users aren’t loyal to a single channel, they prefer interacting at different levels. Consumers are constantly in the channel and don’t differentiate between platforms.
Products and services in perfect symbiosis: the main goal for retailers is to offer all possible services on all possible platforms
The more than appealing idea to gain access to products 24/7, anywhere, anytime. This creates more challenges in terms of logistics and brand adaptability, thus retailers have to implement new technology programs, manage the connections between overlapping channels and create a coherent brand image through all platforms and touch points.
Constantly new devices are being developed to enrich the shopping experience even more. The list of technological gadgets includes RFID tags, which wirelessly transfer data, and carry information about the objects that are attached to; and beacons, wireless Bluetooth-operating sensors, which offer personalized information to users based on the data stored in the devices. Such intangible extensions are bringing customers and brand even closer.
In order to successfully implement the omni-channel method, retail companies have to think like the users: observe how people are interacting with the brand and which channels make their shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. By tracking, measuring and analyzing all touch points together, the retailers can gather useful data and feedback from the users, what, after all, is of great importance. By offering them a full and consistent brand experience on all levels, brands are, without a doubt, set on the path of commercial success and customer fidelity.
Brandcelona wants to share its know-how focused on retail, as Barcelona has managed to do the same with its people and visitors. Through its essence, Brandcelona can advise you on the most important elements to design a great user experience on your brand. Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.