How to be a Better Omnichannel Retailer
To be an omnichannel retailer, you need to have online and physical stores. We have put together 5 tips to help you manage these channels effectively, and give your customers the shopping experience they expect in today’s retail environments.
Use data to work smarter
Create a modern day loyalty program
Customers now want to be rewarded for shopping. With so many loyalty cards and points schemes, customers now expect the shops they visit regularly to reward them. By using an electronic point of sale (ePOS) in your stores you can offer appropriate offers and rewards that will benefit you, as much as the customer.
With the correct reports, you can collect and keep track of all sorts of data, and use it to boost your sales:
- When are your least busy periods? - You could offer a specific offer or bonus for these periods?
- What items are not selling well? - Multi-buy offers or bundles with other products?
- What is the average basket size/value? - You could offer a bonus for just above this to encourage extra spending.
These are just a few examples of the sorts of offers you could use to boost sales using the data that is already available to you, if you are able to utilise it fully.
As well as generic data, you could also collect data for individuals, bearing in mind the new GDPR guidelines that are coming into force this year.. Keep track of items they purchase regularly, and show them offers on those, or similar products. You could even offer them a discount or voucher around their birthday.
Provide a seamless shopping experience
Ensure all your channels ‘talk’ to each other
As an omnichannel retailer, you will have an online presence as well as at least one physical store. You may have more than one store, or even pop-up stores from time to time. Whatever your arrangement, the customer’s experience should be as similar as possible across all channels. This is what breeds familiarity and trust with your customers.
In order to achieve this, all of your locations, physical and online, need to communicate with each other, and reflect each other. This means that when a customer who has visited a physical store, and then goes online, they are already familiar with where to find certain items and what service they can expect from your company.
Having seamless communication also allows you to provide services such as click and collect, where the customer can order, or reserve, an item online for collection in their nearest store. Or at the very least, being able to see the current stock levels in your stores. Implemented correctly, this avoids the customer’s disappointment when they come into your store for a particular item that they may have seen online.
Content is king
Invest in good content
Creating a relationship with your customers is about more than selling them items at a good price. In the age of social media, customers follow retailers they like, and react to content shared by those companies. Utilising the data from all your stores, you can build a profile of what sort of customers come to your shops. Once you know what they are like, you can find content that they enjoy and send it to them. This can increase their perception of you, and your stores, as someone who enjoys similar things, and they will want to support you and trust your opinion when you recommend things they may like.
Linking from social media through to your online store helps people find you, but you need to make these links attractive. Maybe consider having a space on your website for articles that are relevant to your store, and the items you sell (as KRCS do).
Create a better customer experience
Go mobile to increase sales
What is the one thing that most shops have in common, and can be one of the biggest blocks to a good customer experience? Queuing and waiting for a till to become available.
Wouldn’t it be great if you can do away with that and have the customer purchase items wherever they are in the store? With a mobile ePOS solution you can have your staff carry mobile device with them to process payments. Mobile card machines can be coupled with an iPad, for example, to allow staff to take card payments for items anywhere in the shop and remove the waiting time at the till. The customer’s experience is greatly improved as they can get on with the rest of their day without wasting time in your queue. If they need to run in for one or two items, they can come to you, as they know it won’t take long to get what they need.
This could be the end of the counter in retail. Your staff can be out in the shop meeting your customers as they are browsing. They are easily seen by the customer and appear more approachable.
Enable real-time reporting
Easily manage any size of business
The real power of ePOS comes with how you can manage, and keep an eye on your store from anywhere, in real time. You do not need to rely on second-hand information, or having to go into your stores for information on how well it’s going. Using mobile friendly ePOS also allows you to check in on your smartphone or tablet device, giving you the freedom to get all the information you need, wherever you are.
These reports really come into their own when managing multiple stores:
- Compare the performance of each store
- Track popular products
- Uncover product & performance trends
- Set staff targets
The reporting can save you money by organising your staffing around your busiest periods, and have less staff when your outlets are less busy.
KRCS know what it takes to succeed as an omnichannel retailer. With three physical stores and our online store, we are uniquely placed to offer advice and services to other retailers. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.