Omni-channel is about creating a seamless retail experience for customers across different platform where they can shop and buy from you.
The idea is to create a hitch-free customer experience through as many platforms as possible which may include phone, online, social media, app as well as a brick and mortar store.
The goal of building an Omni-channel retailing system is to create a consistent experience with a brand or retailer for customers across different possible platforms.
To enable this retailing system, companies will have to treat their inventory as one across platforms.
So, no matter the channel through which the customer chooses to patronize the company, same product line will be available.
Customers can find a particular product online and decide to visit one of the brand’s store close by to have a feel of the product before purchasing it. The company must ensure consistent experience in both locations.
Omni-channel, though a new approach to retailing, offers a number of benefits and challenges
Some benefits offered by Omni-Channel Retail:
- Helps to build customer’s loyalty. If customers get wonderful experience with a particular brand across different platforms, it is easier for them to build loyalty towards such a brand.
- Selling on multiple channel increases the visibility of your brand.
- Enables unique experience for customers across different channels
- It allows retailers to keep a single inventory database.
- Allows for exchanges in a physical retail location.
Some challenges facing Omni-channel retail:
- Tracking inventory locations via the different channels may be difficult
- Lack of customer analytics across channels
The philosophy behind Omni-channel is “being everywhere.” In order to be everywhere and to deliver consistent experiences across different channels retailers must learn to improve their internal organization.
Making such improvement will make Omni-channel less challenging for retailers as well.