As the year is almost over, we have seen COVID changing the situation for every industry, and of course, retail businesses are no exception. Businesses that have survived in 2020 are the ones with a strong omnichannel strategy. We don’t know what the future might hold, but it can be sure that omnichannel is here to stay. Today, we will look at 3 major omnichannel trends in 2021 that you can’t miss and how you can adapt them to your business.
What is omnichannel retailing?
Omnichannel retail refers to the use of various channels (physical and digital) to create a unified, seamless experience for customers on any platform at any time. Customers could interact with your store from one channel to another, improve the overall experience, and encourage brand loyalty.
Nowadays, most businesses use multiple platforms for sales. Brands are spread across social media channels, websites, and brick-and-mortar stores.
Wait no more, here are 3 omnichannel trends you can expect to see next year.
3 omnichannel trends in 2021
Offer seamless service experiences
When shopping online, customers could research options, read reviews, and make comparisons between products and services. When shopping in stores, customers would be able to see and feel the products directly before purchasing. Both shopping options have their unique advantages, which is why there has been an increase in demand for a combination of both online and offline experiences from customers.
So how can you, as retailers, make this possible? For omnichannel retailing to be successful, you need to make every experience convenient and consistent across all platforms. This means letting customers interact between channels as they want.
For example, a customer might use their device to read reviews of an item which they are looking at in-store, but it doesn’t have the right size, so they order it for later pickup. On the other hand, while browsing at home, they could discover that an item they want online is in stock locally, so they immediately go to the store to buy it. As you can see, these two channels aren’t separated. Whether customers are online or offline, they are still able to purchase what they want and save time.
Initiate shoppable social media
Social media could introduce your products to customers in various ways, such as photos or videos. But if you want to turn the engagement from simple interest to actual sales, you need to make it easier for them to complete the order.
Like the name itself, shoppable media means that customers could click on a post and get redirected to your website, or they could even place an order without leaving the app.
Facebook Shop and Instagram Shopping, for example, allow customers to browse and purchase products right on your Facebook page/Instagram account. They could click on a photo/video to see information about products (size, colour, price), place an order, and make payment directly through those apps. A little tip for you: adding a discount code or free shipping offer would further encourage customers to take action.
Benefits of implementing shoppable social media for your business
- Reduce the needed steps for a conversion: Instead of leaving an app to search for a brand, customers only have to click on the post, make the purchase and go back to enjoying their social media. It reduces the time between thinking about a product and acting on that impulse, which makes customers most probably go ahead and take advantage of your brand.
- Gather more data: The more data your business has, the better the marketing strategy you can make. Shoppable posts are another way to provide a source of information. When customers click through your post to purchase, you could use that data to create a more attractive post.
- Use stories to tell: Social media is usually driven by images and narratives. In a story-based environment, you could link your products/services to a story to enthrall audiences. Customers are more likely to remember and engage with a narrative brand, which ultimately makes your digital marketing more powerful and productive.
Use chatbots to increase customer touchpoints
Chatbots aren’t new to the industry, but it could greatly improve customer experience by providing personalized service. It is software that could communicate directly with customers in real-time. As the market of digital keeps growing, brands are starting to depend more on chatbots and digital assistants. With the right tools, your chatbots would be able to pull the right customer data so each interaction feels personal. By using chatbots, your business would have the benefits of
- Improve customer experience:.Chatbots are available to assist customers 24/7, they always represent your brand with friendly, helpful, and fun attitude service.
- Increase sales: Not only answer questions from customers, but Chatbots could also be set up to provide a fully personalized experience. It could offer products to your customers and help them make a purchase.
- Save time and money: Chatbots follow a question-and-answer pattern that mimics real human conversations. It is perfect for answering frequently asked questions from customers. As a result, you could save on staffing costs. Therefore, your employees would have more time and energy to focus on complex tasks.
To sum up
We hope that we have highlighted a few omnichannel trends which you would take into consideration. After reading the article, you could embrace these trends to leverage your business. Investing in a smart retail POS system could be the first step to win at omnichannel marketing. Here at ConnectPOS, we have the best cloud-based POS for your retail business. ConnectPOS is your powerful and feature-rich retail POS system, perfect for every business. Drop by now for your 14-day free trial.