Multichannel operations key to retail success
It is no longer acceptable to only operate one channel for retail operations, as consumers are demanding to do business with brands through brick-and-mortar locations, websites and mobile platforms. Merchants are aware of the importance of multichannel options, and many are implementing solutions to provide these for shoppers if they haven’t already done so. For the companies that have yet to move into the multichannel realm, now is the time to do it, as customers may not be interested in brands that do not offer merchandise through a variety of sources. By adopting new channels and expanding product offerings through the web, retailers are sure to see success in the near future, as consumers will increasingly interact with businesses in a variety of ways.
Use in-store and web elements together for success
Internet Retailer reports that a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed that many consumers have a “favorite retailer” that they frequent for their shopping purposes. The research found that merchants that operate both brick-and-mortar locations as well as ecommerce and mobile platforms are more likely to garner retention and loyalty, as 58 percent of customers prefer to do business with brands that offer multiple sales channels. In addition, those respondents stated they are willing to spend more money with retailers that give them the options they are looking for. On the other hand, the study also discovered that consumers have a select few brands they shop with, meaning that effective marketing and innovative products are key to attracting patrons, the source notes.
“It’s a bit of an all-or-nothing proposition,” stated the PwC report. “Those retailers that become multichannel favorites can expect that their online and physical operations to successfully grow in parallel. But others will find that increasing the number of channels won’t necessarily enlarge their customer base.”
Websites can serve as testing platforms
There are other ways that retailers can see success in multichannel operations, one of which is using their websites to test out new products and see how customers react, according to The Age. The merchandise offered in stores does not have to the be the same as what is provided through the web, so with newer items, merchants can offer them online and see how well they sell or test pricing strategies.
The success of these products can be gauged through online sales, the source writes, and then owners can make the decision on whether to include the merchandise at their brick-and-mortar locations. In addition, customers are more willing to offer feedback through the internet, giving businesses another way to measure interest and pinpoint areas for improvement.