Industry Buzzwords Column #3: The Positives Of Multichannel Retail

Photo credit: Zack Smith on Flickr

In the modern age, there are multiple ways to shop. Smart retailers are therefore figuring out how to connect the dots and make themselves shoppable, whatever method a customer chooses. The result? The birth of multichannel retail – a consistent, coherent customer journey across modern platforms like social media, mobile/tablet and websites (online), as well as with more traditional print advertising and in-store experience (offline).

But, as with any good idea, there are pros and cons to the approach. In this article, we deal with the positives; click here to read the negatives.

The positives

1. Increased presence/exposure
Tackling more than one channel inevitably means you’ll be reaching more customers, and that there will be more engagement between the customer and the brand/product/service. Also, when customers want to buy, you’ll be there to buy from – through whatever platform. And, with modern shopping behaviour increasingly centering around convenience, being available whenever a customer calls is essential (or else you risk losing custom to a competitor).

2. Quick fixes
With increased customers comes increased demand. But with so many different platforms, it’s less of an issue if something goes wrong. If you’ve no stock in-store, a customer can order the product online; likewise, if they can’t find it online, they can phone a store to find out where it’s in stock. And, if your store is being refurbed, or your online site is down, there’s alternative ways to shop.

3. Better settings for products
Multiple platforms means products can be stocked according to the environment where they’ll perform best. So, complicated electricals can be compared online at a glance, whereas tactile sofas are better suited to the bricks-and-mortar setting.

4. Data collection
Customers will need to create profiles to purchase, meaning it’s easier to get them to hand their details over (compared to filling out in-store forms, or going through a lengthy checkout process). This can also help with targeted marketing – knowing a shopper’s spending habits, and sending them tailored offers accordingly.

To hear the other side of the argument, click here.