It's no secret that onmi-channel retail is no longer the future...its the now. As online-only giants like Amazon continue to guzzle up the business of brick-and-mortar stores, it's becoming increasingly obvious that retailers have to keep up, or else fall victim to the retail apocalypse as so many others did in 2017.
Looking ahead into 2018, one common theme seems to dominate the successful retailers: omni-channel. Tying together your website, app and brink and mortar store so that customers interact with one entity is a new standard that customers will hold all retailers to. Customers are demanding omni-channel, and research has found that more channels results in more revenue. Harvard Business Review reports that of 46,000 surveyed shoppers, 73% shopped on more than one channel. It was also found that they spent 4% more on average every time they visited a store and 10% more online in comparison to single-channel shoppers. And when they did research online in advance, they spent 13% more in-store.
While this is invaluable to retailers, some smaller companies might still feel that they don’t have the capabilities or resources to execute an omni-channel strategy successfully, or are unsure of what an effective strategy would look like. I think that the best way to learn is by example, so here are some of the best omni-channel retailers, what their strategies are, and why they work.
Crate and Barrel has integrated tablets into their in-store shopping experience as a form of mobile "tote bag", which they fittingly dubbed the Connected Store and Mobile Totes experience. With these tablets shoppers can scan items in the store to find out more information about them, like other colors, reviews, or similar items. By partnering with CloudTags, Crate and Barrel is able to deliver information in real time, allowing customers to send themselves their shopping list of scanned items, or even walk up to a Mobile Tote checkout line where a sales associate will have gathered their items for them.
By allowing shoppers to scan and send themselves a shopping list of things they like, Crate and Barrel is provided with more specific information on what certain customers have expressed an interest in. This allows for more targeted marketing based on what they know a customer likes.
All in all, these omni-channel updates have resulted in a 10% sales hike within two months of testing Mobile Totes in their Skokie, Illinois store.