Over the past few years, the retail sector has undergone a significant transformation generated by the pervasiveness and evolution of digital technologies and changing consumer preferences. One of the most effective strategies in this context has turned out to be multichannel selling. How important is this? What does it mean for brands? What are its benefits? Read on to find out more!
Multichannel: what does it mean?
The multichannel strategy is based on the synergistic integration of different touchpoints, from traditional (in-store) to virtual and digital (online) sales channels. The resulting shopping experience is updated: more fluid and customizable by customers. Today, consumers expect to be able to shop anytime, anywhere, using a variety of devices.
Integrating physical and digital sales channels represents a strategic approach aimed at seamlessly blending the advantages of both realms. By providing a phygital service, businesses empower consumers to initiate their purchasing journey through digital platforms, such as smartphones, and seamlessly transition to completing the transaction in a physical store, all without any interruptions. This innovative approach transforms the conventional shopping experience into a harmonious and fluid process, offering customers a level of convenience and flexibility that was previously unimaginable.
According to research by Harvard Business Review, consumers who resort to multichannel are generally more “attached” to the brand, and therefore more profitable, than those who buy through only one channel.
A synergic experience
The synergy between the physical and digital channels creates a comprehensive and interconnected customer journey. As consumers increasingly rely on digital devices for product research and initial engagement, the ability to smoothly transition to an in-store environment for the final stages of the purchase process adds a valuable layer of personalization and choice. This not only accommodates diverse customer preferences but also leverages the strengths of both channels to enhance overall customer satisfaction.
Phygital services go beyond mere convenience; they contribute to fostering customer loyalty by providing a cohesive and memorable brand experience. The seamless integration of digital and physical touchpoints ensures that customers encounter a consistent brand image, messaging, and service quality across various platforms. This continuity helps build trust and strengthens the emotional connection between consumers and the brand.
Moreover, the data collected through digital interactions can be leveraged to personalize in-store experiences, offering tailored recommendations and promotions based on individual preferences and past behavior. This level of personalization contributes to a more engaging and satisfying shopping experience, further solidifying customer loyalty.
In essence, the integration of physical and digital sales channels represents a forward-thinking strategy that aligns with the evolving expectations of modern consumers. By embracing the phygital approach, businesses not only adapt to the changing retail landscape but also position themselves at the forefront of customer-centric innovation, ultimately redefining the boundaries between online and offline commerce.
Increased visibility for brands
The adoption of an multichannel approach brings about a myriad of advantages, with a notable one being a substantial boost in brand visibility. By seamlessly integrating various sales channels, businesses expand their touchpoints, creating numerous opportunities to showcase their products or services to a broader audience. This heightened visibility is particularly crucial in today’s competitive market, where brands strive to capture the attention of consumers across diverse platforms.
The integration of channels facilitates a more comprehensive and interconnected customer journey. Whether it’s through online platforms, social media, or physical stores, brands can establish multiple touchpoints that cater to different consumer preferences and behaviors. This diversity in touchpoints not only increases the chances of reaching potential customers but also ensures that the brand remains consistently present throughout the various stages of the customer’s decision-making process.
Furthermore, the omnipresence of the Internet enables brands to transcend geographic boundaries. With a well-executed multichannel strategy, businesses can reach and engage potential leads on a global scale. This is particularly advantageous in an era where consumers increasingly rely on digital platforms for product discovery and research. By transcending geographical limitations, brands can tap into new markets and connect with a diverse range of audiences, thereby expanding their market reach and potential customer base.
In parallel, the integration of physical stores into the multichannel strategy provides an additional avenue for direct customer engagement. Physical stores offer a tangible and interactive shopping experience that goes beyond the virtual realm. Customers can touch, feel, and experience products firsthand, fostering a deeper connection with the brand. The ability to seamlessly connect these offline experiences with online touchpoints ensures a cohesive brand presence, reinforcing awareness and leaving a lasting impression on consumers.
The interconnectedness of these multichannel experiences is instrumental in building and maintaining brand awareness. Consistent visibility across various channels helps engrain the brand in the minds of consumers, making it more likely for them to consider the brand when making purchasing decisions. Ultimately, the multichannel approach becomes a powerful tool for companies to cultivate a strong and enduring presence in the dynamic landscape of consumer preferences and behaviors.
Data collection and analysis in multichannel
Multichannel selling enables data collection and analysis. Channel integration allows the collection of vast amounts of information about customers’ buying behaviors, preferences, and market trends. This data can be used to gain a deeper understanding of consumers and their needs. The goal is to empower companies in the tailoring of their marketing and sales strategies in a more timely, targeted and effective manner.
More concretely, a brand might discover from analyzing its data that more than 60% of its customers prefer to research online before going to the store to buy. As a result, it could implement its digital services, offering better integration between its website and physical store.
Among the benefits of going multichannel is the ability to generate personalized offers. Sending DEMs, with communications and promotions, can be built ad hoc on customers’ preferences and buying habits.
Naturally, this level of personalization incentivizes a more intimate relationship with customers, increasing their loyalty and satisfaction rates.
Improving business efficiency is one of the goals that result from adopting a multichannel strategy. Integrating systems across sales channels, in fact, can help reduce operating costs by simplifying inventory management, logistics, and distribution.
As a result, it also becomes easier for companies to have a more complete view of inventory and customer data, optimizing the procurement process, reducing waste, and ensuring that products are available when required. This translates into lower costs and increased profitability.
Recently, Digizuite gathered some evidence on the topic, starting with a still uncommon approach to this modality. However, it emerged that although multichannel customers account for only 7% of the total, it is they who generate 27% of sales.
“Multichannelality”: a distinctive attribute
In parallel, multichannel selling can be an opportunity for innovation-oriented companies that want to stand out from the competition. In fact, this value makes it possible to attract new customers and contribute to effective positioning. It is, therefore, a key element for long-term business success.