Omni-channel retail has changed the way India shops today. With multiple options to choose from, customers can enjoy a fully-integrated shopping experience that includes buying through brick-and-mortar stores, mobile browsing, web stores, marketplaces, and social media. It goes without saying that technology has played a huge role in this evolution. Not only has it helped retailers push the envelope in terms of research and innovation to reach out to its dynamically evolving customer base, it has also empowered the customer to make his own choices right from choosing their products online to tracking consignments.
Brands that have aggressively adopted this omni-channel approach have been seen to have a better scope of thriving in the current, uncertain economic environment. Geographical barriers have been bridged effortlessly due to technology. Any product can be shipped from anywhere to customers in different parts of the world. Consumers and retailers are able to directly interact with each other from remote locations. Consumers are able to access a wider range of brands and products online from the comfort of their homes. All these conveniences have come as part of the multi-channel shopping experience.
Omni-channel marketing is an asset for retailers and is crucial for sales today as it allows businesses to maintain a 360-degree view of each consumer. Retailers can unify consumer data from disparate channels and systems like shopping carts, device IDs, social media, loyalty and referral programs which, in turn, allow them to analyse customer behaviour and interests assisting them to leverage customer buying patterns.
This strategy works wonders for a brand like ours. Metro Brands Ltd has a network of 546 stores across more than 125 cities. We house brands like Metro Shoes, Mochi, Walkway, DaVinchi and operates retail stores for Crocs. We also have a dedicated website for online purchases and have partnered with retail e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra to reach out to our customers across locations. Omni-channel has helped us understand the diverse customer preferences across locations based on which we curate our collections for different stores and regions. It’s an exciting and challenging way to do business because we’re constantly on our toes catering to the unique preferences of individual customers both global and Indian. We’ve also seen a considerable increase in our sales because of the different touch points our products are available at for the consumer.
It is easy to create an innovative mobile marketing strategy, a creative and engaging social media campaign and a well-designed website, but the challenge lies in stitching these together for seamless functioning and in accommodating innovations, engaging customers and retaining their loyalty, while at the same time generating profitable growth.
Brands today are actively working towards developing a successful omni-channel strategy, but to successfully follow through with them, the right communication and execution is key. As technology has increasingly begun to take center stage in most businesses, spiking the number of customers who are embracing the digital space for their purchases, an omni-channel retail strategy that rests on the foundation of technology will go a long way in galvanizing the retail sector to grow by leaps and bounds in the future.
The article has been penned down by Alisha Malik, Vice President - Marketing and E-commerce, Metro Brands.