upon a time, there was only one 'channel' to buy from: the faithful
brick-and-mortar store. But, over time, we've seen the unrelenting
emergence and growth of technology and a plethora of new platforms.
it was computers, phones, and emails; then it was smartphones, mobile
apps, tablets, and social media. These innovations have made the
world a dramatically different place, and nowhere is that better
exemplified than in the world of retail.
has all created a unique challenge for retailers; increasingly, it
has become a fundamental expectation of the customer to be able to
shop anywhere via retailers who maintain a presence 'everywhere.'
used to call it 'multi-channel.' But multi-channel has now evolved
exactly does that mean?
whereas multi-channel pretty much treated each channel as its own
independent entity, omni-channel is all about unifying the experience
for our customers – so, however we engage with them, it's all
unmistakably a part of one, connected experience.
omni-channel is the recognition that modern customers shop more
diversely than ever before – across multiple websites, platforms
and devices – and that, in order to be successful, we have
deliver a consistent, seamless experience
across every one of these touch points.
Omni-channel empowers the customer to
buy what they want, from wherever they want and at any time.
multiple dimensions to omni-channel
many of the more prominent examples of omni-channel involve the
bigger brands, merging their established physical presence with
technology to empower an online / offline experience that is unified.
a fairly basic example, let's look at click-and-collect.
a customer may research, browse and buy online, but still want to
travel to the store and pick it up in person. Smart retailers
recognize that customers like the convenience of shopping online, but
don't always like waiting around for a package to be shipped to their
gives customers the best of both worlds, unifying the experience
across online and offline channels, and, of course, it's been a huge
success - 79%
reported having used the facility in the past year.
the brick and mortar store, customers want to access your products
and the shopping experience across all devices they have access too –
and they expect to get the same, consistent, high quality and
connected experience regardless of the device they use.
Customers simply don’t care where they shop for your products, so whether
it's eBay, Amazon or Google Products, it's critically important to
ensure your products are 'there' so they can be discovered by the
millions of users who frequent these sites. This aspect of
omni-channel, whereby your products are accessible and visible across
the web in various market places and shopping channels, is often
considered one of the biggest drivers to going omni-channel.
a smart move to ensure your products have maximum visibility –
marketplaces, high traffic sites and discovery engines are all good
ways to do this. Spark Pay gives you the power to integrate your
store with some of the biggest players in the online retail world,
including Amazon, eBay and more. GoDataFeed integration is a direct
solution for connecting to shopping engines and marketplaces, and is
a great way to consistently increase the visibility of your products.
engines are great, too. They're essentially shopping directories
which pull and display products from all over the web. Some use
'crawlers' like search engines and pull your products automatically,
whereas others require you to sign up and post content yourself.
omni-channel success is all about walking in your customers footsteps
and analyzing their journey. What are they looking for? Where do they
go to find it? And how do you make sure you're there?