Millions of consumers in today’s marketplace have never known a world without the Internet. They can’t remember a time when they couldn’t browse, price-compare, instant chat with customer service reps and have their purchase shipped to their door or pick it up themselves at the closest brick and mortar retail outlet. They are empowered shoppers who demand more from their retail experience. It is also clear that this experience must include everything from the retailer’s online store and call center to 3rd party marketplaces and social networks—connected seamlessly. In other words, Omni-channel retail is the expectation. These consumers are increasingly taking charge of their own shopping experiences, identifying & leveraging different sources of information and retail channels to increase their level of satisfaction.
Thriving in this new retail reality means retailers’ internal workings need to be more interconnected, more empowered, and more proactive than ever before. They need to respond across all channels with consistent, convenient experiences, offering customers what they want – when, and where they want to shop. Key areas that must be addressed to accomplish this are: the omni-channel experience, social networking engagement, timely and responsive promotional offers and accurate product information.
Let’s explore each of these areas in a bit more detail:
Today’s customers aren’t OK with the idea that just because they are buying from your eBay store, they should expect a delay in fulfillment because the inventory levels are inaccurate. They expect the same quality of service and available inventory or delivery options regardless of whether they are buying from there, your website or your brick and mortar storefront. It’s about seamless integration of channels and data across your entire business. Customers demand it, and the retailer who does it best, wins that customer’s loyalty. Case closed.
Offer Timely Promotions
Nothing new here – customers always have and always will love the feeling they get when they believe they’ve gotten a deal. What is new is that today’s customer expects you to read their mind. Keeping track of their purchase history and other information is one way innovative e-tailers have done exactly that. A “Deal of the Day” or “Free shipping” promo is nice, but what if it zeroed in on particular products in which this customer has shown interest? More conversions are sure to follow. Promotions like these will reduce inventory while keeping customers engaged and appreciative.
Utilizing Social Media
Word of mouth has always been a driving factor behind brand awareness and consumer buying trends. Social media is the new word of mouth and people who want to learn more about a product/service or discuss its merits turn to their social media tool of choice. Retailers are only beginning to grasp the true power of properly engaging with their target market and current customers in this sphere. The smart business will integrate their sales channels with social media and remain engaged in a big way.
Accurate Product Information
Nothing turns a customer off more than engaging with a business intent on purchasing an item only to learn it is out of stock and must be backordered. And nothing hurts a business’ bottom line more than when a product is listed as out of stock when, in truth, a pallet is gathering dust on a warehouse floor. With multiple storefronts, product and inventory information can easily be mistyped or duplicated. To avoid these pitfalls, retailers must have one ecommerce solution with one centralized inventory that can handle multiple sales channels.
How can i95dev help?
To find out more about our e-commerce solution, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-760-7499. We look forward to learning about your business’ specific needs and how we can meet them.