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How Omnichannel Retail Drives Value Through Customer Experience

August 16, 2022
How Omnichannel Retail Drives Value Through Customer Experience

Consumers no longer use a single channel to shop. Today, they shop across websites, social media, third-party apps, and physical stores. Before making a purchase, shoppers will likely interact with a brand across at least nine touchpoints.

An omnichannel customer experience provides a seamless and integrated customer journey across platforms and devices. Consumers expect their shopping carts, purchase history, and buying experience will travel with them, whether they are browsing online, on social media, or in stores.

But it can be challenging for retailers to find the right tools to create a frictionless omnichannel customer experience. At Leap, we’re passionate about enabling brands to deploy stores that complement online and social channels through data-driven operations and immersive customer experiences.

Why is an omnichannel approach critical in 2022?

The term “omnichannel” emerged in the early 2010s as traditional retailers learned that their ecommerce sites and physical shops could not operate in silos. The term became a buzzword, often used to define the future of retail.

When the pandemic hit, industry experts were quick to shun physical retail. Instead, consumers returned to stores with new shopping behaviors and expectations. As retailers look to the future, developing an omnichannel customer experience beyond buzzwords will be vital for success.

The customer expects it

Shoppers expect convenience and personalization. They want to be in control of their shopping journey. An omnichannel approach gives customers options to shop how, when, and where they want.

And as shoppers look to different channels for inspiration, product research, and transaction, they expect their journey to be seamless. According to a 2022 study by Salesforce, 83% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from companies that provide consistency.

Source: Salesforce.

Omnichannel is vital for customer acquisition

It is more challenging than ever to acquire customers online with the emergence of new channels, rising digital advertising costs, and concerns over customer data privacy.

An omnichannel approach helps brands reach new customers wherever they may be shopping. While stores support the omnichannel experience with options like buy online, pick-up in store, they can also act as a billboard to introduce new customers to the brand.

An omnichannel experience builds an emotional connection with shoppers

In today’s competitive environment, it can be challenging for retailers to stand out. The same study found that 62% of customers are the most loyal to brands with which they feel an emotional connection.

An omnichannel experience provides ample opportunities for brands to engage and interact with customers. From Going Live on TikTok to producing documentaries on YouTube, brands can find unique ways to connect with consumers and showcase products. With stores, retailers can bring their brand’s voice to life, offer meaningful product interaction, and provide a more personalized shopping experience.

By delivering an omnichannel customer experience, retailers can increase brand loyalty and build an emotional connection with customers.

Three tips for creating a seamless omnichannel customer experience

1. Optimize for the digital-first consumer

Adopting a digital-first mindset throughout the customer journey is essential for brands. Before heading into a physical store, consumers will look online for inspiration and research. While shopping in stores, customers will likely use their phones to compare products and pricing.

Brands must map the consumer journey and provide tools, content, and clear messaging that enhances the shopping experience across channels. This includes supporting the in-store experience with QR codes to access product information and apps showing real-time inventory. Retailers can also offer text concierge services, giving shoppers additional options for customer service.

Fitting rooms at Reformation include screens where shoppers can access store inventory, request new sizes, and customer service.

2. Focus on clienteling

A successful omnichannel strategy requires brands to be proactive about customer service. 62% of shoppers expect companies to anticipate their needs (up from 56% in 2020).

With clienteling, brands can offer a more personalized approach to customer service. The Leap platform includes a CRM system with tens of thousands of shoppers. Using Endear, brands powered by Leap regularly communicate with local shoppers via text and email to share new collections, promotions, and events.

With so many channels, brands can no longer wait for customers to reach out with questions. Clienteling extends the customer experience beyond the purchase.  

3. Differentiate the store experience

Physical retail is a unique opportunity for brands to build a personal connection with consumers. While online and social channels provide shoppers inspiration and convenience, stores can drive deeper engagement and increase brand loyalty.

But retailers often fail to think about stores outside of generating sales. An exceptional omnichannel customer experience starts with a differentiated store experience that leaves a lasting impression.  

Brands should merchandise products to promote meaningful interaction. Store staff should be armed with data and insights to provide a more personalized customer experience. And if shoppers come inside to pick up an online order, the process should be seamless.

While stores are an opportunity for upselling, they can also be a valuable tool for connection and customer loyalty.

Frankies Bikinis SoHo, powered by Leap.

Creating an omnichannel customer experience with Leap

Powered by data, the Leap platform helps brands launch, scale, and operate omnichannel-enabled retail stores. Leap’s platform integrates real estate, design, operations, marketing, and technology to create an optimal omnichannel customer experience.

Brands powered by Leap create valuable store experiences while offering full omnichannel fulfillment options to customers. With the platform’s dashboard, brands can access real-time data that can help guide their omnichannel strategy.

Get started today to see how brands powered by Leap are leading the way in omnichannel retail.

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