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Marketing and business terminology mean nothing to 99.9% of the world. I made up that statistic, but you get the picture. Assuming the average consumer ever heard the words “multi-channel” or “omnichannel,” they don’t care. They just want to buy something. Maybe a lot of business owners don’t care much, either. (I won’t make up a statistic). They’ll be tuned-in to the importance of a sales channel, of course. They’ll even sell through multiple channels. But, ultimately, do they know the difference between a multi-channel and an omnichannel business? Does your business make a distinction? Is selling through multiple channels enough for your business or is it your goal to make your business truly omnichannel?
What’s the difference?
When we talk about channels we mean the ways a company markets and sells its products to its customers. eCommerce allows many companies to start their business using a single, online channel. Their eCommerce website displays product information and images and gives customers a way to place orders and make payments. When that company starts to sell in other ways, it becomes a multi-channel business, but definition. It can sell through online marketplaces, open a retail outlet or showroom, wholesale to other retailers or retail chains. Each one requires a business to manage marketing, sales, payment, and inventory management tailored to that channel. However, as one writer observed, multi-channel businesses managed each channel as disconnected siloes, under the assumption that customers shop and buy in one preferred channel. As it turns out, today’s consumers don’t follow those rules. They may shop on a multi-channel business’ website for pricing and product information, but make a purchase in the store. They expect that product to be in the store when they arrive. Alternatively, they may buy online for home delivery, but expect the business to happily accept a return and handle refunds at a physical location. In either example, if a multi-channel business can meet these customer expectations while maintaining optimum stock levels, logistics, payments and returns, they have moved closer to a true omnichannel model.
Integration: the Heart of Omnichannel
PAYMNTS recently published a report on how the home improvement chain Lowe’s has improved its omnichannel experience. Their efforts translated into as much as a 40% increase in online sales over the past year, a fair showing for a 71-year-old business with brick-and-mortar roots. New pickup and delivery options for online and in-store customers made it a challenge to manage inventory. The key to Lowe’s and other omnichannel business is integration. This means integrating inventory management across channels to meet customer expectation. Integration that gives the customer and the business the same understanding of stock at the POS and online. There’s a bit more to it, such as integrated customer support, a unified marketing strategy, and other efforts. But, the point is, while technology creates the omnichannel customer, it also paves the way to a true omnichannel business. So, what’s your plan? Is single or multi-channel sufficient for your business? Is creating an omnichannel experience vital to your growth?
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|Yêu cầu: 03:03, 28/09/2018|
|Xem: 972 lần|
|Cập nhật: 03:03, 28/09/2018|