Most retailers are aware that they do not offer a unified brand experience due to internal organization reasons and poor data quality. The inability to identify where the buyer are in the buyer journey is another reason for lack of consistency.
To foster and build brand loyalty with the customer is to cut through the noise and be where the target customer might need or want the products. Let's discover what Omni-channel shopping could look like and how investors of commercial real estate can help their tenants attract more customers.
What is Omni-channel retailing?
Omni-channel retailing has many different definitions so let’s define what we mean when we use the terminology. Omni-channel retailing includes the physical and digital presence of retail. It is the customer experience as they navigate through the contact channels. Omni-channel is to be everywhere the customer is and having unlimited knowledge about them. The focus is not solely on acquiring new customers so much as focusing on building a connection with the interested and current customers.
A sample Omni-channel customer experience
- A customer discovers your brand through word of mouth
- They go online to search for your products and where to buy
- They see your product on your website or Amazon and they put the item in the cart. Instead of purchasing the item, they abandon the cart possibly due to fear, failure of the retailer to build trust up until this point, or failure to reinforce the benefits of owning the brand.
Most retailers at this point do not have more touchpoints with this customer and they lose them to another retailer. In Omni-channel retailing the cart abandoners are still worthwhile targets. Therefore to continue to target the cart abandoners, one could have retargeting ads appearing when the customer browse other websites. Here is an example of this.
- Day 1- the customer may go on Instagram and notice the same item with more focused on the lifestyle behind the brand.
- Day 2- the customer goes to Facebook and may see a short video of the product.
- Day 3- the customer sees retargeting ads of the same product, thus creating that consistency across channels, which helps them to become familiar and builds trust.
- Day 4- when the customer returns to Facebook they may see an ad that prompts the customer to visit a location nearby or call for a free consultation.
- Day 5- the cart abandoner visits the store to see the same item they saw online. If the store has a nice layout, great displays and the product appears to be consistent with online reviews and word of mouth, the customer is highly likely to buy and become a loyal customer.
Behemoths like Amazon, Walmart and others are becoming more and more discipline in this type of retail sales. As they and other retailers follow suit, the Omni-channel philosophy will deepen and the single-channel retail, marketing and merchandising will become obsolete.
How can retail plaza owners support their retailers to help drive traffic?
As an investor in retail shopping centers, malls, etc. your product is your real estate. In similar fashion, the commercial real estate owner should advertise their physical location online and market the benefits of visiting their tenant stores. Using multiple advertising tools like video and photo ads to promote events at the center, promote tenants, the location and having a web presence with a blog that also list tenants and vacant spaces available.
The collective effort from the retail plaza owner and the retail tenant to be omnipresent will catch the attention from the target customers and can even help attract online retailers to fill vacant spaces at the retail plaza. Implementing Omni-channel retailing can be a win-win for both the retailer and the plaza owner.
The average shopper is bored when they take time to go shopping, so creating that experience is key in having a profitable physical store. The ability for an in-store visitor to see the same deals and products from their mobile device, through interactive catalogs, etc. is what separates retailers. The seamless transition from one channel to the next should be a blissful experience for the customer and will help to build a deeper brand experience.
It’s a great time to invest in Canadian CRE. ReDev Properties have retail investment opportunities in Western Canada and Ontario. Contact us today.