How do you define “Omnichannel Retailing”?

Today, there are many pathways—or channels—for consumers to make a purchase, most notably online, by phone, and in-store. In fact, consumers now expect to be able to switch channels multiple times before completing a transaction. For instance, they might start shopping online, but they might ultimately make the decision to go into a brick & mortar store to complete the purchase. This is why it’s critical for retailers to provide a simple, seamless experience for their customers, no matter where they start and end their purchases. And it’s no surprise 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels (SOURCE:SDL).

Already, 56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home. Moreover, 38% have used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store, and 34% have used their mobile device to research products while in a store (SOURCE:Forrester).

Other omnichannel retail options include fully integrated solutions such as the use of cross-channel, intelligent recommendations, and guided sales engines that drive conversion and attach rates.

 

What’s the state of omnichannel retailing today?

The omnichannel approach to retailing is relatively mature now, and for most consumers, it’s becoming the norm. Most businesses today are located somewhere on the omnichannel path, often starting with “Click and Collect,” where customers interface both online and in store. For instance, American retailer Walmart allows customers to shop for goods online and then pick up their order at a convenient store location. This is a significant solution, as 50% of shoppers expect to be able to make a purchase online and pick up in-store (SOURCE: Forrester).

In fact, consumers now use an average of almost six touchpoints, with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. Compare this to 15 years ago, when the average consumer typically used two touchpoints when buying an item, and only 7% regularly used more than four (SOURCE: Marketing Week). In addition, studies show omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel (SOURCE: Google). If they have not done so already, retailers must take note.

 

Do you think consumers and businesses benefit from omnichannel retailing?

Absolutely. After all, intelligent recommendation engines are already being deployed across channels, allowing customers to build unique packages based on their lifestyles and needs. This is especially helpful when it comes to wireless, from the choice of contract and device to the selection of accessories, enhancements, insurance, and financing. Making this process seamless between the online and in-store journeys, with the customer enjoying a truly personalized experience, magnifies their satisfaction and confidence in their choices.

Nowadays, businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t, according to a survey conducted by Aspect Software. And as previously mentioned, omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel (SOURCE: Google).

 

What’s the role of wireless services companies when it comes to omnichannel retailing?

When it comes to wireless device services, omnichannel retailing also extends to the reverse journey, be that in the form of a repair, trade in, or device protection claims. Omnichannel solutions facilitate this process by putting the customer at the center of the experience, with channels and distribution organized around the customer’s needs and convenience.

Wireless services companies like Brightstar are working with their key partners to deliver innovative omnichannel experiences to their customers. For Brightstar, this includes deploying a digital marketplace that delivers virtual inventory from multiple third-party suppliers to developing digitally guided forward & reverse logistics journeys with recommendation engines. Ultimately, Brightstar sees omnichannel as a strategic enabler to all of its products and service lines.

 

Are companies facing any challenges with regard to omnichannel retailing?

Some are. In fact, 64% of marketers cite lack of resources and investment as their top barrier to omnichannel marketing (SOURCE: The CMO Club).

 

I certainly covered quite a bit here, and we still have a lot to discuss with regard to omnichannel retailing solutions. To learn more, be sure to visit Brightstar at 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Come by our exclusive Brightstar Pavilion (Hall 2, Booth 2120) between February 25 and 28.

Won’t be at MWC 2019? No problem. If you’d like to learn more about Omnichannel Retailing, please contact either John Harper (john.harper@brightstar.com) or Lesley Hay (lesley.hay@brightstar.com).