An Omni-Channel Approach to a Seamless Customer Experience
An omni-channel retail strategy was once the innovative option to stay ahead of the competition. Today it’s table stakes if you just want to keep up with the competition. Now, after a year of lockdown and new habits, customers expect a shopping experience that reflects the digital world we live in.
If you run a business, how do you create a seamless shopping experience between your brick-and-mortar stores to your online presence? At this year’s NBJ Summit, 3 industry experts discussed how eCommerce insights can influence storefronts and how storefront data can influence the eCommerce experience.
Here are some highlights from the panel discussion:
Strategize for the Future Using Lessons from 2020
As we’ve said before eCommerce and omni-channel strategies are here to stay. No business can choose to ignore it, and it’s probably better for your bottom line that you actively engage with it. Kathryn Peters, Executive Vice President of Business Development for SPINS, stressed the opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to grow their business with a digital presence. When you have a storefront, you have the chance to educate your customers and earn their loyalty by creating more touchpoints and delivering on their needs.
“One of the things we talk a lot to our brand and retailer partners about is really looking at the macro picture rather than the micro picture when it comes to looking at the future,” says Peters. “Shoppers really began to understand how convenient it was—how easy it was—to interweave their digital experience in shopping with their more traditional retail shopping."
Get Comprehensive Online and In-Store Data
Almost all businesses are trying to identify short-term pandemic trends and long-term shifts in consumer habits. Daniel Harari, VP of Business Development for ClearCut Analytics—who helped Row’s team understand their online knowledge gaps—knows how confusing it can be.
“Even within segments within [vitamins and supplements], for example, and immunity—what subsets in immunity are going to be successful going forward? Where should we be investing as a brand that has high likelihood to give us returns for years to come, not just for a few months during the time of the pandemic?”
Robert Row, Digital Marketing & Analytics Manager for Nordic Naturals, faced this exact dilemma recently. Nordic Naturals had a strong retail presence that continues to grow, but he and his team needed online insights to know where and how to invest wisely.
“When you’re thinking about these internal strategies and where to put your marketing dollars, your product development, your operations resources across marketplaces and then across categories, it gets really complex really quickly,” Row says.
The solution is to get data that identifies potential trends and opportunities coming right to your business that you would otherwise miss out on. Harari suggests an intersection of digital as well as point of sale data. Innovation happens online as well as with natural and wellness products before hitting the mainstream and ignoring either is detrimental to your long-term goals.
Recognize the Benefits Each Experience Brings
“On the eCommerce side…you can put facing more easily online than on a store shelf. You can create a variety of messages to figure out which one explains your product the best,” Peters says. “Things you can’t necessarily do in the brick-and-mortar environment.”
The brick-and-mortar experience has its own pluses, however.
“You can’t replace the education component of having an interactive employee, particularly in stores like natural stores that can help become those advocates."
A hands-on employee explaining what health benefits a product can offer a customer isn’t easily replicable on a phone or laptop. Plus, your customer might not even know about a new product or know how to find a trend online. Their first exposure to a functional ingredient that’s gaining buzz with trendsetters might happen when they’re talking to a helpful salesclerk.
Harari points out that eCommerce sites are beginning to change that, too. For shoppers who do end up on the product page for a new item, an online shop like Amazon can let you deep dive into ingredients or watch an informative video. The education and discovery opportunities are there, but they can also be supplemental to an in-store experience and vice versa.
How SPINS Can Bring Your Strategy to Life
When you start to look at data partners for online and point of sales insights, ask yourself what you’re trying to understand. Do you already have some data? Do you have incomplete data? SPINS can help you identify what you’re trying to learn so you to establish a strategy that brings results.
Contact us today to see how together with SPINS’ storefront sales data, paired with eComm insights from ClearCut Analytics can help enhance your online retail presence so you can provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.