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What is Omnichannel Retail?

Omnichannel has become a buzzword within the retail industry in recent years, but what exactly does it mean? And how can brands use an omnichannel approach and how will it affect their store design? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Omnichannel Retail?

Omnichannel retail is an approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store. For example, a customer may research a product online using their mobile, check the brands website for stock in store, visit a store to physically see the product and later buy the product online, in fact Nielsen reported that up to 76% of consumers now use an omnichannel approach when shopping.

By weaving all these touch points together, the brand is not only creating a more enjoyable and personalised customer service for consumers, but they are also strengthening how the consumer sees the brand, and as such, moving from customer service (CX) to brand experience (BX).

Brands who are have incorporated an omnichannel strategy have relooked at how to use their retail space, it is no longer a traditional transactional space, consumers want more from the retail element of their purchase. The physical store is more about instore experience to help confirm the purchase to the consumer. 

Burberry is one brand that have created a very strong omnichannel approach. Their app allows direct contact with sales associates, they can check location stock, then once in the retail environment either through app or via digital screens, they can preselect clothes, book fitting rooms and even choose what music is playing. Burberry understand that within the luxury market, consumers expect a personalised service, either instore or online. A key takeaway for retailers when designing a store is ensure you think through your technology and how a consumer can use it in-store. 

Samsung are another brand that understand the importance of the seamless end-to-end customer journey and are enhancing their retail environments. Their recently opened Samsung 837 is called a “showroom” and not referred to as a store. The space is for potential customers to participate in cutting edge experiences, browse the newest products and receive personalised tutorials on Samsung products. Samsung understand that the majority of the customers will purchase online and have chosen to create this space to champion their products and brand.

It is important for brands to understand that shoppers have changed what they want from instore shopping and reshape their store design.
If you would like to discuss further how to create a brand experience instore get in contact.