Towards a Cross-Channel Future

So you’re a retailer and you have a number of stores and have introduced online shopping through your website. Does this make you a cross-channel retailer? And what exactly is a cross-channel retailer?

If your customers can buy products in-store and have them shipped to their address or buy online or via mobile and collect at a local store, then it is safe to say that you are cross-channel retailer.

If you sell products through your chain of stores or through your website and the customer has to browse, buy, exchange or refund through each separate sales channel then it would be fair to say you are not cross-channel retailing.

Depending on where your business is positioned right now, you may have lots to do or you may be passionately refining your service offerings with the help of your customers. If you have lots to do, don’t panic, you are surrounded by retailers who are in the same boat as you.

Before you take on the cross-channel challenge, you should ask yourself one question – how easy is it for me to interact with my brand using the method that is easiest for me?

Can I browse by smartphone, speak to someone in customer service, buy a product over the phone and then collect it from my local store? Or can I shop in-store buy a product, have it gift wrapped and sent to my friend for a birthday or Christmas? There are many permutations of interaction that, if executed well, can truly delight your customers and make it too hard to shop anywhere else.

The good news too, is that consumers who seamlessly hop across your sales channels spend more money, shop more frequently and are more loyal to your brand than any other type of Australian customer. That maybe why so many industry analysts are predicting and then seeing phenomenal year on year growth in the online retail sector. So, go on, join the retail revolution and start planning your cross-channel future.

Listen to Paul Downs’ presentation Retail Revolution – Shaping the Future of Cross-Channel Retail at the Online Retailer Conference and E-Commerce Expo, 27-28th September.

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