Omnichannel retail is the new norm. The fashion landscape is changing fast as more and more customers are becoming omnichannel shoppers. This breed of customers employs at least one digital channel in their shopping journey. Precisely, fashion retailers are dealing with a new class of customers. They explore products on the website, gather reviews from social media, compare prices on online marketplaces, and buy it from the physical store. And by any chance, if your brand is not available on any of the channels, your future is bleak. While may it sounds depressing; this is the reality!
Your limited presence can abate your brands’ reach against your digital counterparts, thereby putting a full stop on your journey. According to Apparel Omnichannel Survey by Mckinsey, “The average omnichannel customer purchases 70% more often than an offline-only shopper and reports spending more than $2,000 on apparel each year”. The figures indicate that customers are moving faster than retailers can anticipate. This is also why a concrete omnichannel strategy is essential for long-term sustainability.
Omnichannel Retail: Orchestrating Unified Customer Experience
The term is simple to understand yet complex to implement. Omnichannel retail connotes to a strategic business model that demarcates the business presence in a full-fledged digitized economy. The intent is to offer a seamless and fully-integrated buying experience across all the possible touchpoints which customers use to interact with bran. Regardless of the type of store your brand must deliver consistent and robust value, coupled with excellent user-experience.
Best Practices For Flawless Omnichannel Fulfillment
Undoubtedly, it puts pressure on retailers. They not only have to manage multiple channels simultaneously but also craft specific strategies for each channel, creating synergies at the brand level. To further electrify the situation, customer preferences keep on changing, forcing fashion brands to remain agile and adaptive at the same time. Whether you operate in an emerging market or a matured market, you should follow these best practices to drive profitability and strengthen the bottom-line of your business.
- Optimize every channel: Channel optimization is a determining factor for omnichannel success. Including a channel for the sake of competition is unhealthy until you make customer-centric investments for growth. Every channel offers a different and viable opportunity as customer expectations differ across channels. You must define signature moments for every touchpoint and create an action plan to deliver them at the right time to the right customers. It is recommended to locate the points of engagement and reinforce them to appease the shopping experience.
- Work on your digital capabilities: Digitization is embracing every vertical, and the fashion segment is no exception. Advanced technologies are offering multiple ways to digitize every channel, whether it is in-store or online; it is now possible to enhance the user experience by leveraging technology. Chatbots, virtual stylists, virtual trial rooms, apparel customization software, digital catalogs, 3D visualization are some of the interventions showcasing how brands are employing tech in fashion for creating an immersive environment. As a fashion brand, you must give up on the piecemeal approach and seize new business opportunities while serving the customers through digital transformation.
- Offer personalized experiences: Personalization is mandatory if you wish to offer a best-in-class omnichannel experience. It can be a key differentiating factor when it comes to enticing customers with tailor-made suggestions and recommendations. Personalization rests on the premise that every customer is unique and should be offered a bespoke experience for long-term engagement. Thus, fashion retailers must strive for personalization on every channel. You can craft a customized merchandise strategy tailored based on what your customers value when they shop through a specific channel. Apparel customization and fashion personalization is a leading strategy that empowers customers to design their own outfits online and in a physical store. At the same time, they enjoy a highly engaging shopping experience. It is recommended to remove channel silos for a seamless shopping experience.
- Focus on table stake as well as differentiating factors: Irrefutably, differentiated experiences can drive higher margins when managed strategically. Fashion brands must understand that table stake factors are bare minimum requisites for every channel and can’t be compromised. Surprisingly, their presence may not lead to customer satisfaction; however, their absence may cause customer dissatisfaction. For example, shopping convenience is a table stake factor that should be available across all the touchpoints. However, it can’t create a competitive advantage unless coupled with innovative strategies to attract, retain, and foster relationships with the customers.
- Create actionable insights: Lastly, it is equally essential to understand a customer journey map across different channels and capture the right data and convert it into meaningful analytics that can support decision making. It is futile to offer a one-size-fits-all solution to your customers; instead, you must study their behavior, shopping patterns preferences, motivations, and sentiments by relying on big data and artificial intelligence. When customers are offered data-driven practical and highly personalized experience, shopping becomes fun for them, which is one of the most compelling levers for achieving customer delight.
Katalyst Technologies: Your Ideal Digital Partner
The retail framework will keep on evolving as new trends will penetrate in the economy. However, customer experience will always remain evergreen inspiring brands to invest in the right technologies to cater to their customers who are unique and demanding. If you are a fashion retailer or manufacturer with a spark to excel in omnichannel retail, you must collaborate with the right partner who can help you to streamline your brand’s presence across all the channels. Katalyst is a leading company that facilitates the digital transformation of the businesses by helping them embrace and employ disruptive tech in their business model.
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