Multichannel retailing is emerging rapidly across industries and geographical regions, quickly becoming a necessity for the survival of businesses and brands.
The approach is very flexible and differs for each business in every industry, as it highly depends on products that are being sold, as well as the presence of target audience across platforms and reaching them via online or offline modes. From what we can predict, multichannel retailing is here to stay. And it will evolve further, advancing not just sales strategies but also transforming the future of retail businesses across the globe.
Factors Affecting Multichannel Retailing
The future trends in multichannel retailing are predicted to be highly influenced by the following two factors:
- Advancements in technology
- Evolution of customer expectations
Both factors are interdependent. More customer expectations necessitate the advancement of technology to fulfill them. As the technological advancements take place, customer expectations evolve as per the industry standards. Hence, both go hand in hand. In order to become a successful multichannel retailer and establish a workable multichannel sales strategy, it is important for a business owner to balance both of these aspects wisely.
Some multichannel trends that are shaping the evolution of retail markets
1. Multichannel Order Management Systems
Store owners and managers are now using advanced eCommerce multichannel software or eCommerce order management software for assistance. Major benefits of this software include the ability to maximize your daily output and reduce order fulfillment time. You can also establish superior SOPs, as well as organize and store your data in a searchable way. Such software also helps you to automate various day-to-day processes, speeding them up. As a result of speeding up processes and another added benefit of real-time order status retrieval, the customer experience is enhanced greatly. An example of such software is the eCommerce multichannel software provided by Unicommerce Solutions.
2. Omnichannel Marketing
With the advancement of technology and web development, the face of multichannel marketing is slowly transforming into an omnichannel marketing approach with an integration of sales data on one single platform for ease of management and organization. With the evolution of marketing approaches and the necessity of bulk data management, the omnichannel approach will take over the multichannel strategies in the near future.
3. Platform Personalisation
Retailers are leveling up on their marketing game by offering their customers a more personalized platform for a better customer experience. The personalization is now far more complicated than the basics. It is not just about providing recommendations for products through emails and popups based on search history. Rather, now the entire timelines are personalized for every individual. Through AI technology and advanced web development, every visitor on your website sees a different version of it based on his activity and search history on various platforms offering them products that they actually need.
4. Unified Marketing Campaigns
Multichannel retailing combined with a sense of utilizing the internet to its full potential have now reformed the face of marketing campaigns across the internet. Digital marketeer and advertisers now look for strategies that work across platforms and channels. Marketers are designing uniquely unified marketing campaigns that can be launched across platforms and reach target groups on all platforms effectively, without having to strategize a different plan for each platform or sales channel.
5. Voice-enabled searches
Optimizing and improving customer experience across platforms has popularised the enabling of voice searches on almost all platforms. Each search bar now appears with a mic icon on the right-hand side which allows the customers to perform voice-enabled searches for products or services on the website or eCommerce portals. Such advancements show a further promising future in terms of optimization of customer experience across platforms.
6. Advanced in-store experiences
Another way of exceeding customers’ expectations is devising unique display strategies to provide a smooth search experience as well as a unique browsing experience of your products. Such innovative display methods now include sliders, panels, gifs, videos, panoramic views, and even 360° views, which can be seen on websites, apps, and eCommerce websites of various popular brands and businesses commonly these days.
7. Enhanced Customer Relationships
Another way of creating more loyal customers is being consistent with the optimum customer experience that is being provided to your customers. To ensure this, various brands are now offering their customers various benefits through loyalty programs. Loyalty programs build stronger customer relationships ensuring that your customers keep coming back giving you recurrent sales, along with a great customer experience and customer satisfaction.
Other notable trends in the multichannel marketing arena include experimentation across channels, A/B testing on various platforms, providing multiple order fulfillment and payment options to the customers, automation, and integration of customer services to revert queries and complaints almost instantly, and many more. With this ever-evolving nature, multichannel marketing will be dominating the markets across industries and geographies in the coming decade.