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Understanding the Omni-Channel Approach

Today’s shopping environment takes customer service to an entirely new level. Learn why you should consider implementing an Omni-Channel strategy.

A personalized shopping experience is no longer a want — it’s an expectation.

Sound unrealistic? It really isn’t. Between the internet, mobile and in-store experiences, retailers are able to gauge who the customer is and then deliver to them individually. This new trend is considered the omni-channel approach, and if you’re not moving in this direction you need to pick up your pace.

According to a recent report released by MIT, “Beyond the Checkout Cart,” the omni-channel consumer is the main force that’s shaping the future of e-commerce and physical stores alike. In some cases, major retailers have actually stopped focusing on one over the other and instead look at the shopping experience as a whole. In Macy’s annual report, they actually referred to themselves as an “omni-channel retail organization operating stores and websites.”

textingSo, who is the omni-channel consumer? It’s you and me.

Imagine shopping online at your favorite retailer. Once you hit the webpage the site immediately drops cookies into your browser. Next thing you know, that same store is featured in a commercial on your television and you find yourself inside the physical store the next day. As you go through the aisles you look at your phone and browse the coupons that have been made available to you. This, my friends, is the omni-channel experience.

While this is exciting, concerns linger as to whether consumer expectations are a bit too high. Today’s shopper expects everything to be available instantly, however they don’t realize that there are certain facets of the brand that simply aren’t as accessible.

In response, retailers must be prepared to utilize all mediums to reach consumers in real-time. Taking a full-on omni-channel approach may seem a bit overwhelming, but there are strategies that can help you get started. Stay-tuned as we delve into different techniques in our next blog post.

Photo by: Jhaymesisviphotography – via Flickr

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