Omni-channel retailing

To begin, let us define Omni-channel retailing. Omni-channel retailing is: a fully-integrated approach to commerce that provides shoppers a unified experience across online and offline channels. In short, Omni-channel retailing is having multiple ‘touch-points’ with consumers. Retailers seek to reach consumers on a multitude of platforms as there added benefits for retailers to have an expanded relationship with consumers. This relationship extends from brick-and-mortar, mobile-applications, ecommerce sites, onsite storefronts, interactive catalogs, social media, and every communication platform available.

The application of Omni-channel retailing has some proven success. McKinsey Research and Harvard Business Review conducted a study of 46,000 customers who analyzed each decision made during a 14-month period of consumers shopping life-cycle. They found that 7% were online only, 20% were store-only shoppers, 73% used multiple channels. Furthermore, they stated “Customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel.”

Case Study: Nike

A current example of Omni-channel retailing is Nike. In a recent keynote session, Adam Sussman, Nike’s chief digital officer, discussed the brand’s digital transformation and how Nike is customizing their approach to meet the needs and further the connection with individual customers. With the goal of creating “more two-way” interactions and providing “consumers in a way that’s both distinct to Nike and unique to each person.” Nike is collecting an immense amount of data through the Nike Plus App membership as well online shopping behavior. By leveraging its insight from various platforms, Sussman states that active users spend four times more on average than regular Nike shoppers. Consumers are more likely to purchase more products while Nike is able to deliver consumers a more personalized retail experience. Furthermore, Nike is creating enhancing brand loyalty by creating a community experience within one of the many touch-points they have with consumers. Nike has successfully synced these touch points so consumers can go from a retail store to an App and receive a personalized shopping experience.

Final Thoughts

Omni-channel retailing is an exciting opportunity for brands and retailers to gain a strong consumer base and control brand communication. Research shows real added value for brands as they can reach consumers on multiple platforms or “touch points” such as brick and mortar, marketplaces, web, mobile and social media. Additionally, Omni-channel retailing offers added benefits to consumers. With the collection of data, retailers are able to deliver a convenient, personalized shopping experience at any given time.

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