Omnichannel promises to combine the metrics from physical and digital channels, allowing retailers to deliver a seamless shopping experience. But in reality, because most retailers have systems focused on singular metrics, many of these in silos, just adding a blend of online and offline will mean opportunities are sure to be missed.
Attribution: Blending Physical and Digital through OmniChannel
Motionloft offers a clear set of data that describes the customer experience -- from where they park to how long they shop -- our clients are able to break down barriers offline retailers traditionally face. Because of how flexible Motionloft sensors are, our clients now have a single, clear view of the retail space. When our API-enabled dashboard connects to the larger system for tracking inventory and sales, retails can now make confident decisions based on smart data. Retailers recognize the value in this and according to a Boston Retail Partners survey, 71% plan to have a more comprehensive strategy within three years.
Two Competing Worlds
Because most retailers separate brick-and-mortar sales from store-generated web sales, in-store associates can see website as competition. If the staff don’t get proper attribution, there is little incentive to spend time with a customers that will buy online.
Worse, items purchased online returned in the physical store can chip away at team sales goals. The store does not get credit for the online sale, but staff is allocated for customer service. These drive a wedge between physical and digital channels and undermine the offline store's success.
Solutions: Credit Associates for All Sales They Touch
One way to remove the silo of competing revenue streams is to credit store associates for all sales they touch, even if the sale ultimately takes place on the web or in another store. If an item is out of stock, the associate may not get credit for working with the customer to find the item online or through another location. Because the sales associate loses out on attribution, they are less likely to remain engaged with the customer, losing a sale. By using an omni-channel approach, retailers can credit team members for these sales – giving full credit to both the initial store or splitting the sale with the secondary site.
Re-evaluate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
It’s important in the new era of blended commerce that businesses are sure that they are using the right KPI that operate across channels to present clear data. Traditional business metrics like conversion rates don't account for the new paths along the shopping journey. This is especially as more online retailers are moving to include brick-and-mortar stores in their portfolio. Shoppers may do extensive research online and make several trips to a store before purchasing. Or, they may spend time in-store speaking with an associate but buy online later.
Consumers use physical and digital channels for different reasons. Online, and increasingly mobile, provide convenience and variety. Brick-and-mortar provides experience, access to helpful associates, and the ability to test out products.
In our new shopping environment, retailers must keep sight of why customers shop in particular channels so they can engage with them when, where and how customers want. Strong business practices, in conjunction with the right technology, can bring customer journey into focus and help retailers transform the shopping experience.
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