Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WEB & TECH / MAY. 19, 2014
version 6, draft 6

Digital Strategy: Take Your Business To The Next Level With Omnichannel

Omnichannel

Is your business having a difficult time keeping up with numerous digital platforms?

Treating them all separately can be very time consuming and counterproductive.

Omnichannel is a marketing strategy that ties together different platforms (social media, email, mobile, in-store and events) to make one ultimate customer experience. This move requires platforms to crossover, making each transition seamless and well integrated.

Omnichannel technology you're exposed to on a daily basis

Traditional retail is simply walking into a store, purchasing a product and leaving. As time passed, the rise of ecommerce has increased, taking the same experience at home. Bring in mobile retailing and you take the experience literally everywhere. These days, there are several factors that companies use to get their product or services out to the market such as social media, email, billboards, events and contests. Separately, these mediums all work very well, but possibly even better when they’re grouped together.

Some common examples that you might already be seeing are interactive screens, or kiosks. You might have seen a flyer that offers a discount for supporting the store’s Facebook page. These methods crossover from the basic retail experience to the digital retail experience, increasing marketing effectiveness along the way.

The power of omnichannel and showrooming apps

Showrooming apps are effective mediums for a complete omnichannel experience because it can be activated any time during the conversion process. A consumer can browse through products in a showrooming app the night before going to the store. During the actual sale, individuals can easily scan barcodes, comparing retail and online prices. Lastly, buyers can provide feedback about items to other users long after the purchase was completed.

An example of a popular showrooming app is Amazon Price Check. The app allows customers to scan a product of their choice while shopping in a store. This app is limited to Amazon products only, which is quite broad. Should the selected product be available on the Amazon website, the buyer has the option to purchase the product directly from his or her smartphone. Several retailers are not fond of the app, as Amazon is known for their competitive prices and speedy delivery service.

A similar app that Amazon also takes credit for is called Flow, which makes use of image recognition technology (remember Google’s Goggles?) to identify products. This allows buyers to scan items without the need to locate barcodes.

Google Shopper: Is it better?

Google Shopper is Amazon’s main competition, as the application does the exact same thing. It features a wide variety of online stores, making it advantageous for competitive price comparisons. Amazon prices are blocked from the app. Ebay has their own application as well that does relatively the same thing but only for Ebay products. The interface is not as friendly and there are some layout issues with mobile integration when viewing products.

To combat the spread of showrooming apps, companies such as Estimote developed a tool that projects product information to a user’s mobile device. The product works the same way as Ibeacon, allowing buyers to purchase the items directly from their smartphone.

Can I include mobile in an omnichannel strategy?

When it comes to mobile, a store’s router can be used to send out notifications on the latest sales and deals to shoppers. A company may choose to provide links to product reviews next to hot items to help the buyer choose between products that are similar to each other. In the airline industry, QR codes are used to supplement boarding passes with additional information about the flight after purchase.

The idea is that a user’s mobile is personal. A company that has access to an individual’s smartphone can keep the customer immersed even after the in-store experience, to the person’s home, school or workplace, where he or she is likely to share the product or service.

To conclude, omnichannel can increase the value of digital mediums when integrated with traditional marketing strategies. The main goal of omnichannel integration is to keep the features simple and powerful by providing consumers with updated information about their favorite products in real-time.

How are you catering to the needs of today's tech-savvy customers? Let us know what you think.

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