Multi-channel retail: What do your customers expect?
Multi-channel is the new normal for retailers.
It may encompass physical stores, websites (accessed both via desktops and mobile devices), online marketplaces, social media selling, telephone ordering, experiential selling, comparison shopping engines and more. The possibilities are broad and growing all the time.
It's easy to see why. Multi-channel retail strategies offer businesses more opportunities to get in front of customers, more opportunities to showcase their brand, and ultimately more opportunities to sell. But getting multi-channel retail right is about more than just adding as many strings to your retail bow as possible. To really maximise the opportunities of multi-channel you need to understand what your customers expect.
Consistency of experience across all of the channels within your portfolio is key. If one channel is noticeable clunkier, harder to use or even differently priced to the others then your brand can be damaged across the board. All the hard work you have done building up a reputation for reliability and trust in one channel can be irreparably damaged if another channel doesn't live up to it. Consistency can be as simple as ensuring your branding and logo are implemented identically across all channels, or as sophisticated as ensuring that purchases made on one channel will be reflected with loyalty offers and rewards on the others. You need to have a holistic view.
One of the major goals of a multi-channel retail strategy should be to ensure that your customers can shop in the way that best suits them - remembering that this will vary according to time and location. This might mean them popping into a physical store on their lunch break, shopping via social media channels on their commute, or on their tablet whilst they are sitting on the sofa in the evening. And whichever channel they are using, it means ensuring that the purchase goes through quickly and seamlessly, without complicated and convoluted checkout processes.
When a customer is making a purchase in-store, there (should) be someone on hand to answer their queries immediately and make the entire shopping process as engaging and communicative as possible. Move the retail experience to a different channel, and it is vital to retain that clarity. Online stores, for example, need to have easy-access information on hand so that customers can reassure themselves as to how to use or even how to pay for their new product.
Where do we come in?
Achieving consistency and convenience across your entire multi-channel portfolio, then, depends in part on ensuring that the same customer-centric finance options are available across each channel, optimised for that particular setting and clearly explained to the customer.
Our point of sale (POS) finance solutions integrate seamlessly with ecommerce platforms including Opencart, WordPress, Shopify, Magento and NetSuite, so it is simple and easy to integrate your technology with ours. And customers can undergo their initial assessment in-person as well as online, meaning you can offer exactly the same finance solutions, short application form and four-second decision to your customers in physical stores and online.
Multi-channel retail success relies on consistency, convenience for the customer, and absolute clarity - Duologi can help you every step of the way.