Are you reading this on a mobile device? If all the statistics about mobile technology are true, the answer is likely yes for 70% of you—maybe more! Chances are, 70% or more of your Customers are reading/Googling/posting on mobile devices about your organization, too. What you present to a mobile audience is now the most important part of your online presence.
To that end here are 3 tips for using the Omni Channel Approach and Mobile Technology to your advantage:
1. Meld the Worlds. If you are separating the online channel from the brick and mortar channel, or the mobile online experience from the mobile app, you are missing the advantage of having a consistent experience.
Macy’s understands the importance of integration. In this video presented by Google, Macy’s executives explain how they moved from two separate budgets and siloed departments to complete integration.
Macy’s is using the best of both worlds, both virtual and actual to drive business. If you didn’t take the time to watch the video, the summary is this: They learned that Macy’s.com was driving the total of their business. They learned that for every $1 they invested in search, they got $6 of business in store. So they combined budgets and marketing teams to create one team that did it all together. And it’s working.
2. Train customer staff across all channels. Customer-facing staff should know how to use all the channels you have available. Depending on the need of the Customer in front of them, they can use the appropriate channel to make a helpful, effective, and pleasant experience for Customers.
DICK’S Sporting Goods use technology to their advantage. According to an article on Inc., the sporting goods retailer gives all their in-store employees a mobile device they use to help Customers order online or take them to an interactive kiosk to find a product and order it. They also used targeted offers surrounding a geographic area near a brick and mortar store and improved their loyalty app. As a result of all of these changes, they saw a 50% increase in e-commerce sales where the omni-channel approach was in local markets where there was a physical location.
Here’s what the CEO of DICK’S said about the Omni-channel approach:
3. Enhance the current experience with Customer-led innovation. Adding a touch screen kiosk in your retail location is an example of adding a customer-led innovation into your experience.Touch screens are a ubiquitous presence in our lives. We use them all the time. Most people are comfortable using a touch screen. Panera bread caused quite a stir with their announcement last year that touch screen ordering would replace the traditional ordering system using a cashier. While they did this to appeal to their target Customers, Panera discovered touch screens benefit their operations, too, by speeding up the ordering process and reducing the amount of order mistakes.
When Customers get to interact with you online on their terms, it benefits you. One of the success stories, the Inc. article reported that Taco Bell experienced a 20% increase in the online orders when compared to in-store orders.
It’s time to accept the fact that you must employ a deliberate omni-channel approach, meaning a consistent and effortless shopping experience no matter where your Customers contact you. Furthermore, to build your brand and enhance your experience, a sleek and integrated mobile platform is a necessity. Frankly, if you haven’t already started on it, you will likely be playing catch up to your competitors. It’s like CEO Ed Stack from DICK’S says:
“I see adapting to the omni-channel world is a major transformation for our retail organization, and all retail organizations. It really changes the competitive dynamics significantly. Those retailers that embrace it and say, “I’m going to be a part of this change,” are going to do great! Those who resist it are going to have a difficult time.”