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Multichannel

Retailers have been advised to shift to omni-channel strategies to co-ordinate online and in-store interactions to increase customer loyalty – and consequently revenue.

Companies focusing on one or more channels are being left behind, according to research by Tryzens, an e-commerce solutions provider.

80 per cent of consumers globally are using smartphones, laptops and tablets when shopping, showing that e-commerce is a large part of the customer retail experience.

53 per cent still prefer brick-and-mortar, in-store shopping when making their final purchase.

To remain on-trend and competitive in their respective marketplaces, retailers must cater for a wide range of consumers and their preferred channels of communication.

This means combining in-store and online interactions to give a seamless customer experience and ensure high customer satisfaction.

Andy Burton, chief executive of Tryzens, said: “It is natural for retailers to move towards capitalising on technology to help boost their customers’ experience and provide an additional revenue stream, but it must not be at the expense of their traditional retailing methods, unless they are a pure-play e-commerce retailer.

“Physical stores can be very expensive, getting the right location with the right reach and experience, but research suggests that over half of all final purchases are made in-store, where the option exists.

“By showcasing products in department stores, some retailers can get around the costly rental prices associated with running their own store whilst also appealing to customer desire for in-store final purchase.

“For those with their own store footprint in place, the opportunity to leverage sales through click and collect or reserve and collect capabilities from the website are well known, as is the halo effect that web traffic often grows for e-commerce sites in areas where a physical store is present.

“It’s hardly news to say that consumers are increasingly choosing to shop online.

“There has been a steady growth in the number of online shoppers for the last 15 years as access to the internet has become progressively ubiquitous.

“This trend has been reinforced by the rise of mobile devices in the market, such as tablets and smartphones, which allow people to shop online from wherever they are and at any given point in time. But there is a bigger trend at work here and retailers need to address this head on and now.”

He continued: “With a coherent omni-channel solution, retailers can enhance their attraction on the high street. By utilising technology such as social media, loyalty schemes, click or reserve and collect, retailers can engage with their consumers on a more personal level like never before.

“By tracking cached items, favourite products, push notifications, consistent pageviews and more, retailers can make a concerted effort to enhance the overall shopping experience for their consumers.”

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