Is Omnichannel the right route for all brands?
By Mr. Ankur Dayal, Co-Founder – Primarc Pecan
A consistent brand experience can be created through omnichannel marketing. It involves integrating and working with numerous channels to communicate with customers. With the phenomenal expansion of e-commerce, omnichannel retail has emerged as a route that offers multiple benefits when explored. It helps in linking their online sales channels with physical stores to provide customers with a seamless purchasing experience regardless of the medium they pick. But is it the right route for all brands to take?
Different sectors work with different scopes in a dynamic market like India. Preliminary to the retail industry, omnichannel has been a requirement for the sector since the pandemic. The brands have enriched their strategies by channeling online platforms as well as individual platforms in the industry of retailers. However, retailers need to take a step back and think about the fundamental drivers of value for their particular organization before rushing to increase their omnichannel capabilities. Excellence in omnichannel marketing necessitates a laser-like focus on value creation. Retailers define who they want to be from an omnichannel perspective after giving their strategy and consumer priorities a close examination. This would be a well-defined path for retailers to grasp the gain and expansion with omnichannel.
The major landscape of the apparel and fashion industry has also stepped into Omnichannel marketing. Omnichannel has permitted merchants of the fashion industry to increase product availability, increase product sales, and foot traffic, besides connecting digital touchpoints. Consumer satisfaction through this channel has not only enhanced consumer experience but has provided more channels for customer purchases, including mobile, online, and in-store. Even after this expansion, for omnichannel to work efficiently in the fashion industry requires strategy. Customers that use omnichannel services are eager for innovation and more inclined to try out standard products and engagement strategies. To accommodate the increasing number of omnichannel consumers, innovation and experimentation must increase in scope and speed. This shows the requirement from the industry to fix omnichannel as their redefined strategy in the apparel industry.
Various studies show that omnichannel has succeeded in establishing itself as a natural route for brands to follow for integration of identity as customers move down the sales funnel. According to a Statista 2022 Report, 58% of in-store sales will be influenced by the use of digital devices before or during shopping. This statistic shows that brands that are already digitally prepared will be better positioned to quickly adapt to the next significant developments in the fast-paced world of e-commerce. In a similar vein, according to the Harvard Business Review, 73% of shoppers use a variety of channels. Brands have been exploring omnichannel strategies for close to a decade over time exploring a mix of a physical location, an online presence, and a mobile application.
Omnichannel enters a new chapter in sectors like healthcare. The Healthcare industry works with a multi-channel strategy to maintain a well-diversified balance among e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. This strategy not only provides consumer satisfaction but has been proven positive for the industry. Due to the technical advancement that retail brings, the shift to omnichannel has been a trend in healthcare. However, this shift can only be partial. A flexible future does not necessarily mean a lack of physical healthcare facilities, it will impact the customer’s satisfaction negatively. Healthcare involves the highest customer satisfaction stake and can’t be hampered.
Despite the limited connection that such a multi-channel strategy allowed for in the past, better technology deployment has now made it possible for thorough integration of what were silos earlier. Although implementing an omnichannel strategy is far from simple, if done correctly, it has several advantages for both customers and merchants. According to experts, people who interact with a brand over many touchpoints and channels are likely to spend 30% more than those who only interact through a single touchpoint.
Customers are encouraged to do this by an omnichannel approach, which is the best course for brands in the fashion apparel, and the retail sector more than it is for the healthcare sector. Therefore, these more extensive and diversified engagements at every stage of the buying process may result in increased revenue. In light of the foregoing, it can be concluded that if implemented properly, an omnichannel strategy can not only be the right route that helps customers become more aware of a brand, but also increase its engagement, revenue, and customer loyalty.