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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsThis week you learn how Omni-Channel provides customers a seamless shopping experience. Omni-Channel retailing and the increased use of technology, impacts consumers in many ways. With retailers and businesses connected to their customer 24/7, customers have the flexibility to shop when and where they want to get information, see and choose products, as well as select the pick-up store or delivery. Some define Omni-Channel as multi-channels, but others suggest there are three types of channels. Off-line channels, which are physical bricks and mortar stores. Online channels, such as web stores and the traditional direct marketing channels, such as catalogues. With multi-channels, limited interactions exist across channels, however, the emergence of Omni-Channel has seen new mobile channels, which are all integrated and interactive.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 secondsFor example, Jane wants to buy a pair of shoes, and she searches online. To make sure the shoes fit properly, Jane goes into a physical store to try them on. Eventually, after comparing prices in store and online, she decides to buy the shoes online at the lowest price. So Jane has searched online and off-line switching across channels, devices, and apps. That's Jane's Omni-Channel experience.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsSo what does this mean for retailers? Many have capitalised on this technology convergence to integrate mobile channels with offline, online, and traditional direct marketing to offer customers a seamless shopping experience. No matter how or where you research, regardless of which channel you choose and what purchase decision you ultimately make, Omni really does mean all.

Buying and selling in an omni-channel environment

You have now seen how both consumers and retailers benefit from omni-channels. This step focuses on how customers and retailers interact within an omni-channel environment, thus showing how both can take advantage of the seamless transaction process it provides.

First watch the video by VisualMaxLCC “Consumer Reports "Living in an omni-channel World” to gain perspective on how omni-channels change the interaction between retailers and consumers.

Next watch the video “The Future of Omni-Channel Retail: Emily Culp of Rebecca Minkoff”. Emily Culp is SVP of eCommerce & Omni-Channel Marketing for Rebecca Minkoff, an industry leader in accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear, and apparel. Emily speaks about building innovative experiences for their omni-channel consumer through insights, organisational structure and technology to drive long-term customer value. This store and Emily Culp are at the cutting edge of omni-channel research, marketing and retailing, and the 18 minute video is very well worth the time spent watching it.

You would realise from the video that consumers want to experience the “buying process” on their own terms and at their convenience. Retailers, on the other hand, would like to optimise their marketing and sales strategies and present a competent front to prospective customers to gain their loyalty. The experience that omni-channel shoppers seek in store is quite different to what traditional retail customers are accustomed to.

Omni-channel shoppers are usually well prepared, have done their research before entering the store and are likely to know the price they expect to pay for the products they intend to buy. The deal breaker becomes the quality of the shopping experience retailers can provide to their customers during their buying process. This is where customer loyalty would be established.


Poll

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Customer Retention in an Omni-Channel Environment

You can appreciate by now that in an omni-channel environment customers will have plenty of options available to meet their demands with a preferred set of criteria at their fingertips. It is important that retailers leverage smart in-store technology (in-store in this context may not be a physical store) blending high-touch with high-tech to offer well-reasoned suggestions to the customer during the buying process.

The essence of winning in an omni-channel world relies on the ability to collect, leverage and apply omni-channel data to obtain an omni view of the customer and thus provide a seamless, blended experience. For more information watch the 18 minutes video by Emily Culp of Rebecca Minkoff in the activity links section above.


Activity

After watching the VisualMaxLCC video “Consumer Reports "Living in an omni-channel World” and the The Future of Omni-Channel Retail: Emily Culp of Rebecca Minkoff” video you will be starting to recognise how interactions are changing between retailers and consumers in the omni-channel environment.

Post a Comment outlining what you see as the main changes in the way retailers and consumers are now interacting.


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This video is from the free online course:

Business Futures: Understanding Omni-channel Retailing and Supply Chains

RMIT University