What is Omni-channel Retailing?
Multi-channel retailing or Omni-channel retailing is the use of a variety of channels in a customer’s shopping experience, including research before a purchase. Such channels include:
- brick and mortar stores
- online stores
- mobile stores
- mobile app stores
- telephone sales
- any other customer transaction method
Major retailers today generally offer more than one channel for customers to make their purchases. If those channels are segregated, however, retailers miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on data collected through existing channels to create a seamless customer experience. Improving the customer experience at every point of the purchase cycle increases purchase size, profit per customer and customer loyalty.
In a recent study by our partner AT Kearney, it was found that:
“…multichannel consumers are 15 percent more likely than single- channel consumers to recommend a retailer and the average spend of three-channel consumers is more than twice that of single-channel shoppers…”
How can retailers manage Big Data and integrate their channels into a seamless customer experience?
Establishing a supporting infrastructure to collect, consolidate, and analyze data from every interaction point is key. Retailers stand to gain valuable insights into the full customer purchasing cycle that can be crucial in effectively guiding improvement efforts. In order to use the resulting information effectively, it’s necessary to develop a “data culture” where relevant information is accessible and usable by every department within the organization.
Four of the most important ways retailers can benefit from managing big data analytics effectively:
- Reducing costs (optimizing order fulfillment).
- Improving internal and external process efficiencies.
- Detecting risk and fraud.
- Ensuring that the appropriate teams have the data to better understand customers’ needs.
To fully realize these benefits, retailers will need to embrace as many of these Retail Market Application Areas as possible:
- Smart shelf
- Smart POS
- RFID solutions
- Monitoring & tracking
- People counters
- Scanning & weight control
- Smart shopping carts (trolleys)
- Payment systems
- Queue management
- Anti-theft systems
- Security & surveillance
- Vending & reverse vending machines
Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss these Retail Marketing Application Areas in more detail, beginning with next week’s article on Smart Shelf.