All retailers of all sizes should be considering multi-channel retailing, or thinking about how they can improve their current multi-channel operations.
Why? Because today’s customers are savvy and have high expectations – they don’t see why they can’t get the same service from you as they expect from huge retailers like John Lewis and Amazon.
What’s more, multi-channel retailing brings measurable benefits to your business:
1. It drives more sales
The more ways you have to reach and engage customers, the more you’re likely to sell. Customers can visit your bricks and mortar store; they can shop direct with you online; they can find your products through a partner site and they can connect with you on social media. Being present, proactive and product-led across all these channels helps you to increase your existing and potential customer base.
2. It improves your marketing funnel
Selling across several different channels means you’ll collect more customer information. That in turn means more opportunities to learn about what your customers really want, so you can refine your products and your marketing to sell more. It also gives you the ability to communicate better with those customers, upselling and cross-selling to increase their spend with your business.
3. It builds loyalty
Customers who know they can build a relationship with you are more likely to buy again and recommend you to others. Selling online in particular means that you can build up a collection of positive reviews and feedback, which can encourage more customers to check out your site and buy from you.
4. It helps your pricing strategy
Customers are willing to pay more if they are confident they are going to get quality products and outstanding customer service. So, if you have systems in place that allow people to order in-store and get delivery to their home, or order online and return in-store, or that there’s always someone helpful and responsive on your social media, they will be prepared to pay more. That means your competitive edge doesn’t have to come from the lowest prices; it can come from added value services.
What do all great multi-channel retailers have in common?
Really slick back-office systems. Smart retailers have complete control over their stock and their distribution channels. That way, they can always meet the customer’s product needs and service expectations.
When retailers know exactly what’s in stock and exactly where it is; when they know that stock updates will be applied automatically across all their channels, and when they know they can track orders so that they collect accurate and commercially-useful customer data, they can build a really successful business. And that’s what makes happy retailing a reality.
To find out more about how a simple, sensible, scalable and cost-effective system can help you to exploit the business benefits of going multi-channel, talk to us today.