People want a seamless and unrestricted shopping experience with whatever channel they choose to shop in. With many new devices and channels now available, many retailers have the ability to make everything the offer available to all customers, anywhere and everywhere.
Here are some examples of omni-channel in today’s retail industry.
Click and Collect Service
The strategy that allows customers to buy online and arrange collection from a local store is available across more than 300 stores.
Giving customers the option of how they receive their goods is a perfect way to improve the customer experience. While the service is nothing new, allowing online customers the option to pick up their purchases in store, when is convenient for them, removes the hassle of having to pay for and wait for a delivery.
Instore Experience Online
M&S adopted this service in 2012 by providing the free ‘at home’ iPad app. The ‘at home’ app focuses on home items from the M&S catalogue and provides a visual, digital journey mimicking that of an ‘in store’ experience.
The app enhances the customer experience by providing customers with an easy way to browse home ware products and share items directly to social sites [Facebook & Twitter] for a second opinion, before making a purchase, which can be made online, through the app or in store.
Online Shopping Instore
The introduction of iPads across (Oasis’) some stores enables the customer to try an item on in store then browse online, pay online and place orders online whilst standing in the store.
If a garment is not available in the store, the customer can order it via the iPad. Staff are armed with iPads on the shop floor who can assist with checking sizes, colours and styles that aren’t currently available in the shop. The iPad is a great example of enhancing the customer experience, as it decreases queue times, increases product availability and improves customer service.
Oasis is one Retailer that is embracing this service.
Instore Digital Kiosk
In store kiosks have always been used in conjunction with loyalty cards, allowing users to print off special offer vouchers.
Today, more than 16.4million people are currently using Boots’ Advantage Loyalty Card, both online and in store. The Extra Offer Kiosks enables card holders to obtain exclusive personalised offers, based on the number of points they have accumulated. The kiosks can also be used to check how many points customers have and update personal details.
Instore eBook Service
Book store Waterstones is allowing customers to buy and download content onto an electronic device using free Wi-Fi available in stores. The strategy enhances the customer experience by providing consumers with the option of purchasing an eBook, whilst physically browsing books in a traditional bricks and mortar store.
The convenience of downloading an eBook from in store allows customers to flick through the book to prior to purchase while also providing easy access to the store’s specialist staff, trained to provide help and guidance on any of Waterstones’ books.