Retailers need to adapt to a new breed of customers who want the convenience of shopping from anywhere. Millennials are omni-channel shoppers and make 60% of their purchases online, which is why omni-channel retail solutions are imperative for the success of home furnishing providers.
Omni-channel shopping refers to an integrated customer experience that allows shoppers to either shop online (via desktop or mobile) or at a brick and mortar store. The shopping experience would be seamless between these channels, giving the shopper many options to choose from.
There are different ways your company can adopt omni-channel retail solutions, and this article will help you get a better understanding of the digital solutions you can use to stay ahead of the game.
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Online product offering
If you want to succeed in today’s connected world, consumers need to be able to find your products online. But it doesn’t just stop at having an ordinary website.
Your website must be perfectly accessible via desktop as well as mobile, the latter now being the fastest growing digital channel. Mobile compatibility is a huge part of omni-channel retail – 82% of internet users in the U.S. have used a mobile device to shop online, and most millennials browse products online on their mobile device even if they eventually end up buying in store.
Studies have shown that consumers spend more when they shop digitally. They have the liberty of shopping from the comfort of their own home and they have more time to browse all products. If you want to cater to today’s shoppers, offering your products online is a necessity.
Social media marketing
Social media is another channel that plays an essential role in a retailer’s marketing strategy. Social media influences people’s shopping behavior and boosts brand loyalty. So how can retailers take advantage of this medium?
You’ll have to invest in social media ads (think Facebook and Instagram), you’ll have to promote your brand, you’ll have to post beautiful images, share interesting articles, and encourage engagement either organically or via contests.
One thing is for certain – millennials will seek out your brand on social media, and if they don’t find you, chances are they won’t bother buying your products. Being active on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is an easy omni-channel retail solution that your company can adopt to boost brand awareness and, eventually, sales.
Online customer support
Another great omni-channel solution is offering your customers support whenever they need it. This comes in the form of live chats, FAQs, or an old-fashioned customer support service phone number available on your website.
Many people now prefer chatting with an agent rather than speaking to one over the phone, which is why investing in a live chat solution is a great idea for any modern retailer. Customers want answers fast, and getting those answers means they are more likely to buy your products online.
Live chat has many benefits both for your customers as well as for your bottom line. It reduces expenses, increases sales, improves customer service and loyalty, and even helps your company discover customer pain points that you can use to improve your business.
If you want a competitive advantage in the retail industry, you’ll have to look into more advanced web technologies to set you apart. You have a website, you offer your furnishings online, you’re active on social media, so what else is there to do?
You can offer your customers an immersive retail experience. In today’s marketplace, customers are more involved in the home design process than ever before. It’s one thing to see furniture items as standalone products on a website, but it’s a completely different thing to be able to visualize a room that is furnished with those products.
Advanced web-based applications such as 2020 Ideal Spaces will help customers visualize their space by combining different furnishings (cabinets, appliances, furniture, etc.) to see the full picture. Retailers can display the web app on their own websites, and it becomes accessible to customers online via mobile, tablet or desktop.
This makes the design journey easy and fun for homeowners; it helps them take ownership of their projects. They can start the design process at home and then they can finalize it with a professional in store - the process would be seamless. It’s a win-win for you, the retailer, as well as potential buyers.
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