As the holiday season approaches, retailers are facing a changing landscape where the traditional concept of a single storefront no longer fulfills the multifaceted needs of shoppers. Evolving shopper expectations have prompted retailers to recalibrate various facets of their operations, ranging from marketing strategies to technology investments, in order to effectively engage customers throughout their purchasing journey. While the notion of adopting an omni-channel strategy isn’t novel for retailers, it holds renewed significance and urgency as the holiday shopping frenzy approaches.
In our digitally interconnected era, shoppers have developed an expectation of seamless navigation between online and offline experiences. This is where omni-channel strategies come into play, acting as a toolkit to influence consumer purchasing decisions, ultimately surpassing their expectations. In this post, we’ll dive into several omni-channel strategies that retailers should consider integrating or improving upon, not only to thrive during the competitive holiday season but to sustain this approach well beyond.
Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS)
One indispensable omni-channel strategy that is set to gain substantial influence this holiday season is the evolution of Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) options. As the holiday rush ensues, customers’ desire for convenience and quick service takes center stage. Retailers are increasingly focusing on mitigating wait times and ensuring timely product delivery, solidifying customer satisfaction. Take, for instance, the innovative “drive up” service pioneered by Target. This approach offers designated parking spots where shoppers await the delivery of their purchases directly to their cars. Additionally, retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot are investing in the installation of designated lockers, granting members the flexibility to retrieve their purchases at their convenience. Brands such as Nordstrom Rack and Apple have strategically allocated in-store checkout areas dedicated to facilitating the pickup of online purchases. Notably, Kohl’s has taken a noteworthy step by intertwining their loyalty program with the BOPIS service, presenting bonus rewards as an incentive for utilization. Another benefit of BOPIS is that it is increasing foot traffic in physical stores. A customer is much more likely to begin browsing in-store and purchase additional products that are incremental to their original order.
As the anticipation of peak shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday mounts, and holiday shipping deadlines draw nearer, the seamless execution of BOPIS emerges as a critical omni-channel maneuver to enhance shopper satisfaction.
The utilization of geotargeting and location-based offers introduces an impactful strategy that delivers tailored promotions based on the shopper’s geographic location. This approach proves particularly effective in encouraging in-store foot traffic and catering to on-the-go shoppers navigating busy shopping periods. Noteworthy retailers include Sephora’s mobile app, which issues alerts concerning in-store events, individualized product recommendations, and exclusive offers based on the shopper’s current location. Similarly, Target excels at deploying location-specific deals that strategically surface as shoppers move through the store, effectively drawing their attention to ongoing offers and incentives. Overall, geotargeting makes your messaging more relevant and effective to convert shoppers.
Retailers are making robust investments in expanding the scope of their loyalty programs, with the objective of nurturing repeat purchases and cultivating enduring customer loyalty during the holiday season. Remarkably, the benefits and rewards of loyalty programs are harmoniously extended across various purchase channels, be it online or in-store. For instance, Kohl’s distinctive approach of offering “Kohl’s Cash” with every purchase fosters a compelling reason to shop there in the future, while other retailers, including Target, implement cashback incentives, exemplified by their “1% back on every purchase” offer. Moreover, membership-oriented perks are gaining traction, exemplified by Nordstrom’s “Nordy Club” and Amazon Prime’s unrivaled offering of free shipping and exclusive benefits.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that not all retailers have the resources to create complex in-house loyalty programs. This reality has led to solutions that leverage external partnerships to boost repeat purchases and enhance shopper happiness, especially during the holiday season. This is where Rakuten comes into play – offering retailers a way to harness the benefits of Cash Back rewards. By offering rewards on purchases, retailers can make the most of their marketing budget to boost sales both online and in-store. Whether shoppers choose to complete their shopping trip online or link their credit cards to their account for in-store purchases, Rakuten can effectively drive more sales and cultivates shopper delight.
Omni-channel is table stakes for holiday shoppers
In conclusion, the approaching holiday season serves as an opportune moment for retailers to adopt and implement omni-channel strategies that are designed to enhance the customer experience and effectively navigate the evolving shopping landscape. By embracing enhanced BOPIS services, capitalizing on geotargeting and location-based offers, and invigorating loyalty programs, retailers can set the stage for not only a successful holiday period but for enduring customer loyalty that reverberates well into the future.
Reach out for more information on Rakuten’s In Store Cash Back program.