From Brick-and-Mortar to Omnichannel Retailer: Redefining Your Brand

Managing a successful brick-and-mortar shop may already be a complicated affair, which is why it’s understandable for many retailers to initially be hesitant about managing multiple online sales channels. After all, more complications mean taking a risk and possibly diluting your business’s key strengths. However, failing to consider omnichannel retail is tantamount to leaving money on the table, especially given the near-universal adoption of digital payments in emerging markets like the Philippines and elsewhere across the globe.

Omnichannel retailing involves offering a unified shopping experience where customers are not strictly segmented as buyers, as is the case with traditional siloed multichannel retail. This means that if they have a concern related to an interaction in one channel, it could be immediately addressed in another. 

For instance, if a customer has a concern over an interaction in their physical store, they can have it resolved over your social media or any other channel your business has. This is in sharp contrast to more simplistic multichannel experiences, where interactions are effectively limited to whichever platform a customer uses first.

This continuity of experience enables omnichannel retail to more effectively keep customers within your brand’s ecosystem, driving loyalty and sales. Now’s a good time to consider branching out to omnichannel retail and thinking about how to distinguish your brand as the go-to retailer of the future.

Why You Need to Explore Omnichannel Retailing

Expanded Reach

With diversified sales channels and a unified payment gateway, Philippines small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other businesses that involve retail can reach a global audience without complicating the buying process. If you’re seeking to expand from a local geographic market, omnichannel systems should serve you better than traditional multichannel models. A Philippines-based business can consider omnichannel solutions like Maya Business’s range of custom plugins.

Enhanced Customer Experience

The seamless baseline experience offered by omnichannel retailing is perfect for encouraging stronger customer loyalty. With fewer barriers between different buying paths, customers are freer to buy whatever they need, however they want to.

Operational Efficiency

Integration of sales channels streamlines inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer service, improving operational efficiency and keeping overheads low. You won’t need separate teams handling different operational aspects of each retail channel, which is a big consideration you should make if you intend to expand your retail business soon. 

Data-Driven Insights

Omnichannel analytics potentially offers more nuanced insights into customer behavior, since it doesn’t treat a person that interacts with multiple channels as separate entities. This means you can get a better understanding of customer buying motives and make more targeted marketing decisions—both of which could distinguish your retail brand to customers in positive ways.

Competitive Advantage

Virtually every large physical retailer has moved on from a purely local operation to an omnichannel or multichannel model. Competing with your local giants will require evolving your business to match or outdo them in both virtual and physical retail.

Tips for Giving Your Retail Business Omnichannel Capabilities

Invest in a Robust E-commerce Platform

Online customers tend to have very similar expectations for website user experiences, so there’s no need to reinvent the e-commerce wheel. Rather than coding a site from scratch, consider using a vetted platform like Shopify or WooCommerce for building your main online channel.

These platforms offer a range of useful features like mobile optimization and inventory management out of the box, doing away with the need for an expensive, drawn-out coding process. They can even integrate with existing retail systems to offer a seamless transition to an omnichannel framework. The goodwill already associated with tried-and-tested e-commerce platforms is likely to carry over to your business and contribute to your reputation as an up-and-coming omnichannel retailer.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

Offering a selection of payment methods will make it easier to appeal to customers across different channels. Once you’ve integrated an e-commerce platform, you can activate a locally relevant payment gateway that lets you process payment cards and mobile wallets from any location.

Create a Mobile-Friendly Website

Mobile commerce is now the default for omnichannel consumer retail. Don’t lose sight of this when building your site and periodically check that it’s optimized for your customers’ smartphones and tablets.

Offer Cash and Cashless-on-Delivery

Cash and cashless-on-delivery payment methods let you cater to online customers who prefer to inspect their purchases before payment, regardless of their payment preferences. Importantly, just being able to offer these methods for payment can help assure other customers that you have a legitimate retail business.

Enable Store Pickups

In-store pickups bridge the gap between online and offline shopping, giving customers flexibility and convenience that would not otherwise be possible. As a bonus, enabling store pickups can also reduce the number of customers at your physical store without compromising sales numbers, allowing your staff to provide in-store customers with better attention and personalized service.

Utilize Social Commerce

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all have e-commerce features that you should be exploring if you want to go the omnichannel route. Depending on the appropriateness of specific channels for your business, you can use them to showcase products, engage with customers, or directly drive sales.

Implement Unified Inventory Management

Integrate an updated inventory management system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to ensure real-time visibility of inventory across all sales channels. This should help prevent stockouts and help set better expectations for customers across all your sales channels.

Empower Your Omnichannel Staff

The wider scope of an omnichannel strategy means that your staff has to be prepared to guide customers across multiple touchpoints. Pulling this off requires training and more in-depth product knowledge throughout your retail business. If your business is transitioning to an omnichannel framework, you must invest resources to ensure that employees help rather than hinder the process.

Transform Your Business with the Omnichannel Retail Model

The idea of omnichannel retailing isn’t new, but it’s often misunderstood, even by those who are already venturing into it. It involves more than just offering both online and offline sales channels—it’s a fundamental rethinking of your overall customer experience. But once everyone in your organization understands this, your brick-and-mortar business’s transition toward an omnichannel structure should go much smoother, and you should be well on your way towards making a name for your business in the multidimensional world of retail.



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