Online shopping isn't the supplement to brick-and-mortar commerce that it once was. If anything, it's the other way around. According to BigCommerce, 51 percent of customers prefer to shop online. Among millennials, that percentage is even higher (67 percent). This focus on e-commerce has opened windows to a wide array of digital customer interactions: mobile, social media, in-store notifications and much more.
To stay ahead of this ever-evolving trend, brand manufacturers must maintain a strong omnichannel presence. This requires the right set of resources and tools, but more importantly, proper utilization of those resources through strategic actions. Start making the most of your omnichannel resources with the following best practices:
1. Don't neglect your physical presence
There's no question that e-commerce sales are on the rise. Nevertheless, brand manufacturers still benefit significantly from having a strong physical presence (even Amazon has increased its physical footprint in the past few years). According to the Harvard Business Review, shoppers tend to make more purchases at a physical location than online for several key reasons.
"Customers who shop in stores tend to buy more, partly because they make more impulse purchases," HBR wrote. "And they're less likely to compare prices, because that's harder to do in-store than online."
The solution, then, is to use a resource such as PriceSpider's Where to Buy tool to show customers where your products are physically available near them. In addition to increasing the likelihood that shoppers will purchase other goods for your brand on impulse, you ensure that the same stock transparency is offered to shoppers regardless of whether they're buying online or in-store by having that information readily available on your home page.
2. Summarize pricing and review data effectively
Price perception and price sensitivity are central components of omnichannel. It's critical then that brands monitor not just the pricing of their products across a seller network, but also competitor prices. While that may sound infeasible, modern data analytics have transformed this from a tedious manual process to a hassle-free, automatic function.
For example, PriceSpider's Channel Reports tool provides detailed but digestible reports that help brand manufacturers keep tabs on pricing across their networks, and across competitors' networks. This pricing information is intuitively categorized by channel so it's always clear where and how your products and competing items are being sold and at what price points.
It's just as important to measure the perceived value of your brand, and there's no better way to do that than aggregate customer reviews from across the web and summarize them. This process can also be automated with Channel Reports.
3. Help customers shop on their terms
"Many brand manufacturers are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase sales."
Many brand manufacturers are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase sales throughout their seller networks. At the end of the day, customers may be loyal to certain sellers. So while your brand earns more revenue through direct sales, making it easy for shoppers to buy from the channel of their choosing via your website can accelerate purchasing behavior, and prevent customers from becoming sidetracked by other offers.
This is where PriceSpider's Where to Buy tool comes back into the picture. Knowing exactly where your products are in stock has the added benefit of allowing brand manufacturers to direct prospective customers straight to those channels. This capitalizes on a very basic truth about the omnichannel experience, which is that customers want to shop on their own terms. Make it easy for customers to buy your products, even if that means buying through a third party and not through you.
To learn more about how to make the most of your e-commerce resources, contact PriceSpider today.