Omnichannel strategy - an integrated system
The trends in e-commerce have become increasingly complex. Sales organizations and marketing departments must work with price, location, range and service to succeed in the increasingly fierce competition. Brands such as Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, Clas Ohlson and IKEA are investing more and more in digitalisation, which is leading to growth. In addition, several channels have been added to reach customers, which has increased the costs of marketing.
What are omnichannels?
Another trend is that they are moving towards an omnichannel strategy, ie that you are met by the same message online as in the store.
Omnichannel strategy means that a company uses its sales channels together and gets a holistic view in its marketing. Previously, a company's departments used to work alone with their own goals. With omnichannel strategy, all channels coordinated with a common goal are used. For organizations, they need to become more flexible and responsive around their most important channel - the customer!
A strong brand is extremely important in e-commerce because many searches are brand specific. The retailers that have the most visitors also have physical stores and online stores such as the retailers IKEA and Clas Ohlson.
The big winners in online stores will be those who have both physical store and e-commerce because they can take advantage of their brand and online presence, which means that they can have stocks that are traded quickly. The digital offer must correspond to the physical offer in the store, which is what many call the omni-channel strategy.
Every customer who enters a physical store or visits a website represents a dividend on previous investments. Recently, more and more companies have started to use an omnichannel strategy. An omnichannel strategy builds both physical stores and digital websites. The losers will be those who only invest exclusively in physical stores or on their digital channel. The digital offer must correspond to the physical offer in the store, which is what many call the omni-channel strategy.
What are the benefits of omnichannel?
The big advantage of omnichannel is that marketing becomes more efficient and you get a better ROI on your invested money in marketing. This means that all information that can be retrieved from any channel or interaction must be the same in the other channels and different departments stop working in individual silos.
- The physical offer in the store must be the same as the digital offer.
- Apps and websites must have similar layouts and have the same way of navigating and finding goods.
- Consistency with what you can do - for example with discount coupons from apps that work in stores or that you can pay with the help of mobile.
In the past, it was common for many larger companies to operate the different channels separately in different silos. In many organizations, there is an ecommerce manager with a budget and a marketing manager who has his own budget. Nowadays, more and more companies are moving to managing the various channels together. Companies often know a lot of market data such as seasonal variations, deliveries and customer behavior, the big challenge often lies in being able to use customer data in an efficient way within the organization.
Trends: What is important for my company to think about in e-commerce?
The big winners in online stores will be those who have both a physical store and e-commerce because they can take advantage of their brand and reach more customers with the same message.
Smaller and high turnover rate in stock
It is not just the price or the quality of the offer that determines the success e-commerce. It has become increasingly important to have efficient logistics and infrastructure that supports the company. There must be an effective way to get goods from warehouse to store - if possible, consumers should be able to have the goods delivered home. As the trend is towards smaller warehouses, many are looking at outsourced logistics and new technology in this area.
Faster deliveries and smarter logistics
Deliveries must also be made quickly and efficiently, which is even more important if you have a small stock. Because logistics is such an important part of the value chain, it will be increasingly automated and more efficient.
We will partly see a trend where physical points where you get your goods out will play a central role, but new forms of distribution will also be launched and tested, such as self-driving cars and transports with drones.