Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born said by a great computer scientist named Alan Kay. There is so much depth to this and IT is now being an interim part of any classification of work or type of industry. The commerce industry is one of them and the most consummated industry out of all.
The kind of revolution and the paradigm shift in the way people shop nowadays and the way the wholesale process is now been operated. It brings up new business challenges and threats from new competitors and opportunities to change focus and practices.
As technologies change, the companies must adapt their procedures and practices so as to match themselves up with the upcoming trend. As now whole data storing and retrieving is dependent on cloud storage similarly any business without the online presence is no more reliable or scalable.
The internet is pushing companies and the people working in their IT departments to redefine technology’s role and impact and how to inject the beauty of IT to completely convert the dynamics of their business.
Actually, this whole eCommerce has become such a rat race that each and every firm comes up with new ideas or is experimenting with innovative ways to stand out from the crowd. This all can be seen by the rising stress among the offline retail store industrialists.
There is no competition for the big discounts that these big giants come up with like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. It was not very difficult for them to woo customers into this online shopping trend.
As it is the technology that has made humankind more restricted and stuck to their comfort zones. Moreover, the convenience of shopping from a remote location with competitive price points have added their popularity.
According to Morgan Stanley, India’s eCommerce market will grow at a 30 % compound annual growth or gross merchandise value worth $200 billion by 2026. And it is leading to become one of the biggest drivers of the growth in this sector. India is just second in the line after China with a consumer base of 450 million which is approximately 40 % of the population.
eCommerce empowering offline marketing
The brands or firms that are into either online or offline in any one of them only then by reimagining each other’s capacities so as to build a better connect with customers. It’s a kind of learning that both online, as well as retailers, can learn from each other and mutually grow.
But modern online retail is in itself has become so challenging. The competition is now no more offline vs online retail, it’s now more online vs online. The high time has already crossed and the companies or brands who have recognized the power of eCommerce are already in it with full swing.
There is no doubt that the dog eats dog competition amongst the online retailers only is constantly giving the zeal to apply or adopt alternate marketing techniques which in turn is benefitting the consumers in the end.
Although experts believe that online-offline touchpoints will merge to deliver visceral customer experience. So each one has to identify the weak points of each other and then act accordingly. The biggest offline retail giants in India like Shopper’s Stop or Pantaloons are bringing up attractive deals to cope up with the online buying surge.
A very new trend that is going to be observed in this era of eCommerce will be “Omnichannel” marketing.
Let’s learn about this in a little bit of detail.
The blurred lines between Omnichannel and multichannel marketing
Though the lines are quite blurred but making a clear distinction between Omnichannel and multi-channel marketing is not very difficult.
So multi-channel marketing relies on the ability to interact with your potential consumers and viewers through different channels on different platforms. The channel can be either a website, print ad or word-of-mouth publicity, etc.
On the other hand, Omnichannel has come up with this idea of an integrated shopping experience. Irrespective of where the customer is buying though his mobile device or by going to any store, he or she deserves a seamless shopping experience. I think we have made this point clear that Omnichannel keeps the customer at the core and to touch them in every possible way
To understand the difference between the two, we have chalked down some more eminent differences:
One focuses on the channels; one on the customers
Multi-channel focuses on maximizing the number of channels through which they can get in touch with their customers.
Contrary to this, Omnichannel focuses more on the quality rather than on the quantity. They want to make sure that customers are getting a comprehensive experience. The best example is of Omnichannel marketing that is popping up in my mind is “Cardekho” which provides a trustworthy fraudulent free online platform wherein one can sell their old cars and get the most appropriate price for it.
They have this new provision to book a car through their offline stores. Adopting this, Cardekho has been benefitted a lot as now they can cater to that fraction of the population also who are not that technologically sound and with this, it has become a one-stop place for all used car consumers. They are trying to create an ecosystem that enables buying and selling of cars under one roof through the ease of your phone.
One focuses on the engagement and the other on the consistency
Omnichannel marketing focuses on a consistent brand image so that the trust which has been built amongst the customers cannot be given up easily. There should be no bias involved with any of the individuals and are the companies who have adopted the Omnichannel marketing strategy work uncompromisingly.
They make sure that all the internal departments are also on the same page with the messaging that is done directly with consumers. The strategy is successfully implemented when customer service, social media or sales teams have come together and have impersonated the same picture of the company.
Omnichannel focuses on minimizing efforts at the customer’s end
Minimizing efforts at the customer’s end is the foremost priority of the Omnichannel. It constantly works in the direction of if not remove then reduce to the least by collecting data from past experiences or failures. In the end, Omnichannel aims at delivering an effortless buying experience for the customers.
According to an IDC study, it has been found that customers who buy products across multi-channels bring in a 30% higher lifetime. Also according to a Harvard Business Review out of 73% who have shopped on more than one channel have spent 4% more time visiting the store physically and 10% more online as compared to single-channel shoppers.
Hence it can be concluded that more the number of channels more is the revenue ultimately. AI in the present age has helped a lot in improving the eCommerce experience by recording your searches and keep a track of it.
Google knows everything when you are in search of a new watch or when there is an upcoming wedding of your near and dear ones. Hence this overall has changed the whole dynamics of the eCommerce industry.
Yes, there is a raging competition in the online market but a right channel strategy like Omnichannel marketing, your company or brand has a very long way to go and will be one day considered as a legacy in the Omnichannel revolution.