Four Ways To Retain Retail Customers In An Omnichannel World

Matt Wilkinson

This is Part 2 of a two-part series exploring online buying behavior in the retail industry

In the last decade alone, the number of retail channels available to consumers has increased astronomically. As multichannel models evolve into omnichannel experiences, the abundance of choice is making it difficult for retailers to retain customers.

To meet this challenge, retailers can retain customers by placing them at the center of their omnichannel experience. Below are 4 strategies to achieve this.

1. Individualize offerings

 While there have been fears about downsizing among brick & mortar retail outlets, experts are encouraging a new idea: right-sizing. This involves adapting stores to their exact location, ensuring they are just large enough to hold exactly what local shoppers seek. Retailers can stock exactly what local shoppers are searching for by using advanced business analytics.

Right-sizing is an excellent example of retailers leveraging data to create individualized offerings. To offer this to their customers, retailers must leverage data from each of their channels. An excellent example of retailers tailoring offerings to customers online includes social media retargeting. By capturing data on what customers search for online, retailers can promote sales of similar products in social media ads.

2. Offer attractive in-store experiences

To attract shoppers to stores, retailers must offer experiences they can’t get online. Nike stores are attracting athletes with in-store basketball courts. Tommy Bahama stores are enticing customers with in-store bars.

As customers engage with these in-store experiences, retailers must inform them of their latest products. They must put them on the path towards purchasing and offer incentives for following up on their experience online.

3. Convert showroomers into shoppers

Showrooming has traditionally been the greatest threat to brick & mortar. Customers enter a store, browse the items on display, then purchase them online for less. Thankfully, tech-savvy retailers are turning the tables on this trend.

One way retailers are converting customers from showroomers into shoppers is by offering customers mobile checkouts. A staff member with a tablet can approach customers who are browsing goods and ask if they would like to buy them on the spot. This eliminates the deterrent of long lines and can boost sales through assertive selling.

If, however, the customer is unsatisfied with available products, the staff member can show them a digital catalog of offerings in other stores. In-store virtual catalogs like these offer customers an endless aisle. Increasing their selection increases the chance of converting showroomers into customers.

4. Utilise the customer’s location

Your customers can order goods from anywhere, but they can only receive them at home. These fixed customer locations should not be a challenge to retailers, but an asset. By offering customers the convenience of local shopping, retailers can secure their loyalty.

Local brick & mortar outlets are not the only way to offer this convenience. Retailers can also expand their local delivery system. For example, Amazon allows U.S. customers to collect their goods from secure, local Amazon lockers.

As well as expanding delivery systems, the ability to browse local stores from home is essential. By investing in cloud-based ERP, physical outlets can offer customers real-time information on local stock from the comfort of their couch. Numerous grocery stores already offer this convenience, which is why the retail groceries sector had the highest digital experience score in our recent Digital Experience Report.

Evidently, it is an exciting time to be involved in retail. As this traditional industry embraces Industry 4.0, all of us will benefit from customer-centric innovation.

For more insight into the future of retail, see The Mother Of All Retail Fundamentals For 2018 And Beyond.


Matt Wilkinson

About Matt Wilkinson

Matt Wilkinson is the General Manager, Consumer Industries for SAP ANZ. Having operational roles in consumer industries organisations combined with 20+ years of professional services in both delivery and sales roles with cloud and on premise solutions, provide him with a unique insight to help organisations achieve effective digital transformation.