It’s that time again. Sale season.

The holidays are traditionally the most important time of year for retailers. A time when sale signs go up in window displays, shoppers descend on the high street, and your store faces a battle for their attention if it’s going to hit its targets.

We’re in the midst of a raft of store closures, a continual march to online, and the era of social distancing retail. And yet, feet on the street still define a successful holiday season. That’s because stores remain key to the retail experience – they just occupy a different space in the modern customer journey.

Emerging technology has divided our attention between thousands of websites, apps, and other digital touchpoints, and given consumers a whole new universe of options to consider when it comes to picking up holiday bargains.

That also leaves plenty of opportunity for retailers: a whole new universe of places and spaces to engage with and convert customers.

In this new landscape, success lies not in creating a memorable in-store experience, or in ploughing resources towards digital touchpoints. Innovative retailers marry the two, without diluting either. They engage their customers in the omnichannel.

If the term ‘omnichannel retail’ is new to you, the concept won’t be. It’s an extension of things you’re probably already doing. Basically, it’s an approach to sales that offers customers a seamless experience wherever they engage, whether it’s in-store, online, or on their mobile on the bus to work.

And given over 86% of holiday shoppers will be influenced by digital channels, an omnichannel approach is key to your success this sale season.

Taking an omnichannel approach means offering an excellent experience to your customers in-store, making yourself visible online, shouting about your offers on social media, or anywhere else your brand has a presence, and making the experience consistent on every single channel.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? Not necessarily.

Omnichannel online booking technology solves the single biggest problem for retailers today: how to engage customers in multiple places at once.

When more of us are spending more time across more digital channels, it’s become imperative that retailers find a way to make the most of increased time spent online.

Omnichannel booking systems use AI to create powerful profiles of every customer, using information from every booking, touchpoint, and interaction. This gives retailers a vivid, at-a-glance view of their customers, and the power not only to respond to their needs, but to anticipate them and make proactive recommendations.

It also helps you leverage online browsing and turn it into high-fidelity in-store engagements, offering bookable services like personal shopping or styling at important online conversion points, creating opportunities for upselling and repeat visits.

As holiday season sales become ever more dependant on digital, as well as physical, shopping experiences, an omnichannel approach to retail will help you better visualize and adapt to today’s customer journey.

It’s a net, not a funnel. Only by strengthening every cross section, whether in-store, online, or on mobile, can you provide a consistent experience wherever customers engage, and smash your sales targets. 

Published on 30 December 2019