In today’s market, omnichannel retailers (those who offer more than one channel for processing orders) are far more successful than those who opt to sell either off or online alone. That’s why you need to be sure that you’re equipped to fulfill orders on multiple platforms. Here are some invaluable tips to help you succeed as a small business retailer in a world where the internet dominates.
Why Should You Consider an Omnichannel Retail Strategy?
As stated above, omnichannel retailers are more successful. But, just how much more successful are they, really? Companies that do not employ omnichannel tactics have an average customer retention rate of 39%; those that do far surpass that number by retaining 89% of their customers for repeat business. If you ignore this statistic and keep your single-channel operations, you will miss out on the opportunity to more than double your recurring sales. Add more avenues to the customer order journey to optimize your chances for maximum revenue.
Your eCommerce Website Must Be Responsive
By now, we should all know that consumers use their phones to shop online. 62% of smartphone users actually made an online purchase using their mobile device in the second and third quarters of 2016. Still, the majority of online sales were made from another device. The trend seems to be that people shop on their phones, add items to their cart, and purchase later from their PC or laptop. So, if your website isn’t set up to be responsive to all devices used by your site visitors, you’re surely missing out on sales.
If your site isn’t responsive yet, to ensure conversion rate optimization, make sure you’re using a responsive website theme. Most modern eCommerce platforms are automatically set up for responsiveness with free and inexpensive eCommerce website templates.
Automation is Central to Success in Any Modern Business
Because technology allows it, you should leverage automation in as many areas as possible. 79% of top-performing companies have been using automation for more than two years. Start with software that integrates easily with your eCommerce platform. You can usually find the best automation software options by checking out the integrations page on the main website of your eCommerce platform.
Here are the types of processes to automate for a flawless omnichannel strategy:
- Social media registration/ login
- Email list subscription
- Newsletter population
- Social sharing
- Order fulfillment
- Transportation/ logistics management
- Point of sale transactions
- Telephone ordering systems
- Customer relationship management
- Abandoned cart notifications
- Tracking and delivery updates
- Warehouse Management
MONITOR AND ANALYZE YOUR CENTRAL PROCESSES
The more of your business processes monitored, the higher your chances of success. When you know about your performance, you can identify areas for improvement. You should monitor traffic, customer behavior, customer demographics, devices used to access your site, sales conversion rates, shipping, carrier and warehouse performance, and more.
What Tools Will You Need?
To generate all reports necessary to optimize your retail processes, you will need the right tools. The following list should set you on the right path.
- Multi-Channel POS System – If you’re selling both on and offline, you need a POS system that works on your website and in-store to save yourself the hassle of integrating multiple payment processors.
- Google Analytics – This is the ultimate tool for analyzing website traffic on your website. It’s absolutely free and integrates with most other monitoring tools. With the GA dashboard alone (when only connected to your content management system/ eCommerce platform), you have access to invaluable information: traffic numbers behavior, demographics, bounce rate, and more. Integrate the system with the following tools to hone your operations.
- HubSpot – The ultimate marketing and customer relationship management platform, this is a necessary tool for anyone serious about their online business. Gain access to insights about returning site visitors or customers and see exactly what people are doing when they come to your website.
- Kashoo – Use this platform to automate your business taxes and accounting; it’s super simple and you can access it from anywhere.
- Ahrefs – Content marketing and backlink building are popular visibility tactics because they are super cost-effective. If you leverage these tactics, you want to maintain a clear picture of the websites and pages linking back to your website. Use this tool to gain the most accurate link data related to your website(s) and disavow those links that are unhelpful or spammy.
- Omniconvert – You can take a lot of the guesswork out of your conversion marketing by leveraging surveys, A/B testing, overlays, and the advanced segmentation engine that this tool offers.
- MailChimp – This email marketing tool will help you automate your newsletter. But, that’s not all it does. In the dashboard, you will have access to your email marketing performance.
Use the monitoring tools above in addition to your eCommerce platform dashboard to gain a 360-degree view of your customers and internal processes.
Integrate, Integrate, Integrate
I can’t say this enough: you need to integrate your systems, both on and offline, to take your business by the reigns. Use integrated point-of-sale card readers on and offline. Use the same inventory management software to monitor both on and offline transactions. Keep your tools integrated.
You definitely want a retail strategy that involves both off and online sales because this all but guarantees a higher success rate. Use a responsive website theme so customers can order from any device they choose. Automate, monitor, and analyze your internal processes to optimize the customer experience. Integrate your systems to create a seamless omnichannel operation.