The challenge which retailers face today, but don't admit is that product is at the centre of their offer, not the customer.
Today product is at the heart of Retail Industry thinking and their entire process and systems are geared to the product distribution. Only a minute number of retailers actually know who their customer is and what they are shopping for in the store. It is known that the Credit and Debit card (that the customer's use to pay) data cannot be used to analyse the customer and his behaviour and even the point of sale equipment does not usually capture or recognise the customer, either by the customer's email, home address or mobile number, which shows that the retailers do not know who is their customer.
Retailers need to be focused on cracking the challenge of Omni Channel Retailing by getting the customer at the heart of the proposition.
Omni channel can be defined as "Ensuring Multi Channel Seamlessly", it is delivering a seamless experience to your customers. Your customer chooses the channel, medium, method they wish anytime, anywhere. It is about optimizing the journey from a prospect's first consideration to final sale.
On Innovative uses of online retailing
There is immense opportunity by sticking to the basics and doing what has worked in the west. Great emails that connect with the customer and are linked to relevant landing pages and fabulous home pages that mirror what the customer wants to see,
Apart from compelling offers that catch the imagination and always reflect the culture of the target market are ways in which you can capture the mindspace of customers. By doing the basics right one is sure to be successful in the online space and other innovative stuff will come naturally to the team.
There are enormous opportunities once the customer is put at the heart of the business and one should be able to visualise the benefit by doing it.
Majority of survey's that have been done say the Multi channel customer spends 36% more on an average with the retailer than the customer who will stick to one particular format either Brick and Mortar or Online.
A recent survey in Europe that was conducted for the 47 top retailers in 10 Countries gave these great insights which should show Indian Retailers the opportunity ahead of them.
On average, digital sales account for 1/3 of total sales 69% of respondents plan to increase their marketing budget over the next 12 months Automation, Personalisation and A/B testing are the most important email marketing features for European retailers.
The Web is influencing most of the purchases made by the consumer in the offline world. Today, online sales are a meagre fraction of the offline sales but the impact of web is huge.
According to a Deloitte - Forrestor research report 36% of US Retail Sales are influenced by the Web. Deloitte also did a similar study in UK for Women's fashion brands and found out that 10% increase in Web presence lead to 2.1% increase in their Offline sales.
During a time of unprecedented growth for e-commerce, it is easy to see why retailers are investing in online marketing at a greatly increased rate.
Digital sales have become a key source of revenue for retail businesses of all shapes and sizes, with large increases both for online-only retailers and the online sales channels of traditional bricks and mortar stores.
Article by: Graham Green , Ace Turtle ,which gives multi-channel retailing solutions to retailers