The commerce is in transition – nowadays, the expectations of the consumers are enormous and the Internet is shifting the market power more and more from the distributor to the client.
Having only an online shop is not sufficient anymore. What matters is the elegant and efficient linking of the individual channels, as for the client it’s not comprehensible, why different distribution channels should be separated from each other. Thus, the key to success is a smart Omni-Channel Strategy.
From Single- to Omni-Channel
In the past, the customer experience took place only over one Single Channel. The client went in a shop, bought a product and went home again.
Out of it evolved the Multi-Channel management. Thereby several touchpoints were available for the consumer. For example, the consumer had the possibility to buy the product via the online shop, the catalogue or traditionally in the store.
The Omni-Channel management offers to the consumer additional channels like mobile devices, Consumer to Consumer (C2C) or Social Media. With the Omni-Channel Management a larger and networked system with different touchpoints is provided. The consumer can choose which channel he wants to use for his purchase and in addition he has also the possibility to switch between the different channels.
With the Omni-Channel management, consumers have much more opportunities for shopping. They get more information about the product, have a larger choice and can shop around the clock. The company sets the goals on a cross-channel basis and plans, budgets and optimizes the channels integrally.
The ROPO Effect and its measuring
A term which must not be missed in the Omni-Channel management is the ROPO effect. The abbreviation stands for Research online, Purchase offline. The so-called Webrooming describes the circumstance that consumers inform themselves online about products and services before they go to buy them offline.
The measuring of the ROPO effect is despite its high importance still quite a challenge for companies. In practice you have the following measuring methods:
- GPS-Tracking: With the help of GPS Data it can be detected who was in the store.
- Statistical analysis: An A/B test can find out, if the online-orientation has an influence on the offline-purchase.
- Back link offline-purchase data: Client data are collected, for example with e-mail addresses or the cashing of vouchers over the counter. Afterwards, these data are compared with the online accounts.
- Survey; Clients are interviewed directly over the counter about the reason of their visit.
Most of these measuring methods are quite time- and cost consuming, that’s why the back link offline-purchase data is most commonly used.
The ROPO-effect shows clearly that the future will be Noline and the client won’t need to decide between offline or online. The distributors in the United States or China are surely pioneers for the distributors in Europe.
How to align your marketing strategy to be a successful Omni-Channel distributor
If you want to be successful as an Omni-Channel distributor, you need to offer your customers a continuous and unified brand experience on all sales channels and devices. A thoughtful Omni-Channel strategy is the key to success.
- Find out, who your client is: The establishing of concrete client profiles helps you to get aware of your actual target audience and to offer them the best possible shopping experience.
- User Journey: As soon as the customer changes the channel, for example from the smartphone to the laptop, look and feel, as well as the structure need to be identic to enable the client a seamless transition.
- Press the flesh with the help of data analysis: A detailed reporting- and tracking tool forms the basis to control and constantly develop the marketing strategy. If you use several channels you need to know form where each single purchase is coming, in order to better place your marketing budget.
- Pick your client up at his favorite channels: If the data analysis shows that shopping by your target audience is done in the first place via mobile, you should focus on this channel. Corresponding to the needs of the client the network should be developed accordingly and the respective infrastructure extended.
- Combine on- and offline shopping to perfection: Order online and pick up the product around the corner or order via App and get the goods delivered at your home. The client should have the best possible flexibility in his requested shopping behavior.
- Ensure your mobile strategy is seamlessly integrated: Mobile is a link between the Online- and Offline world and therefore essential for a successful Omni-Channel strategy. Hence, an impeccable function of the mobile Apps, as well as responsive design are indispensable.
- Stay flexible: Omni-Channel strategies are not rigid or unchangeable. Therefore, constant testing, continual data analysis and client feedbacks are necessary to optimize and adjust the strategy.
- Be creative: Show your Omni-Channel skills. In this area, there are no limits to your creativity: Use Promotional codes, Social Media campaigns, geo-targeting, customer loyalty schemes, gamification, etc…
- Various possibilities: Open yourself to the various possibilities Omni-Channel is offering. Ever-changing purchase processes or changing shopping habits are nothing new in the commerce. You can orient yourself to big brands, for example such as Apple or Burberry. They can show you how client interaction can successfully work.
The future of the Omni-Channel Management
Facts and numbers of different studies show the high relevance of the Omni-Channel Management. 1/3 of the consumers use for their purchases, offline and online channels. 40% of the consumers inform themselves online about a product, while they are in a shop.
In general consumers use more and more mobile devices for their researches, the purchase and the payment of products. The physical world is more and more connected with the Internet and companies have to be innovative and offer services with additional offers to generate an extensive shopping experience.
Eminence, your local digital expert can help you to establish a thoroughly and extensive audit in order to define your target audience and subsequently create a successful Omni-Channel strategy to boost your ROI.