Choice is the key to competitiveness
In an age where competition has become global, choice is the key to competitive advantage.
Customers are demanding more choices around how and when they make purchases. Instore, online or via an app, with a choice of delivery carrier, delivery method, and the option to click and collect – online retailers need to give their customers the gift of choice.
And while not all online retailers will have a brick and mortar store as well as a website, by partnering with a cloud-based shipping platform like Shippit, you can embrace omnichannel shipping and give your customers the choices today’s retail landscape demands.
But before we start giving your customers what they want, when they want it – let’s back up a minute and get familiar with an omnichannel strategy.
These days, there’s a lot more to shopping than popping into your local store. People shop on their phones, via social media platforms, tablets, and interactive kiosks. And when they do buy instore, they’re also online checking out reviews, comparing prices, weighing up delivery options, looking at loyalty programs or special offers, and ultimately trying to get the best deal and the best options to suit them.
The way we shop has changed, so if your product or service is not available to your customers everywhere, your limited presence will negatively impact their user experience and your bottom line.
Omni-channel retail is all about being where your customers are. It’s an approach to sales and marketing that gives customers a seamlessly and fully-integrated shopping experience, by bringing together every aspect of the buying process – from bricks and mortar browsing to mobile shopping and everything else in between.
The real focus of omnichannel is on customer interactions and their experience with your brand.
A true omnichannel strategy joins the dots and opens your customers up to new experiences. Changing trends and technologies now lets shoppers scan products instore and purchase them from home, explore outfits and products on social media, seamlessly integrate both instore and online purchases through one loyalty program, or discover new release products based on past purchases.
Customers don’t want to gamble on if their size will be available in their local store, or if their online order will arrive in time for a big event. They want live updates and real-time information, and they want to be connected with the brand they’re buying from.
Studies have shown that customers love when an integrated omnichannel experience is available to them. Not only that, but they also tended to spend more and have higher rates of repeat purchasing when an omnichannel strategy is available.
There’s definitely a lot to consider when it comes to planning the right omnichannel strategy for your business, so the best place to start is by researching where your customers already are. By figuring out what platforms, apps, devices and in-store features your customers use most often, and working out where your customers like to shop, hang out, interact and how they like to experience their daily lives, you can pinpoint the places that your brand needs to be active and available to your customers.
If you want to start reaping the benefits of omnichannel growth, omnichannel shipping is the place to start. And again, it comes down to knowing what your customers want.
A study by Shippit showed that 61 per cent of customers want flexible deliveries, but with only 110 out of 2000 retailers sampled offering a click and collect service, and only 47 offering same-day shipping, it’s clear this is a space where you can quickly gain competitive advantage.
Giving your customers choices – express shipping, same day shipping, standard shipping, free shipping, the option to click and collect, real-time delivery updates and all of this at a competitive price – will give you the omnichannel advantage.
Multi-carrier, multi-warehouse, multi-store, multi-location, multi-user – no matter how complex your shipping operations are, Shippit can give your customers an easy, award-winning experience.