In today’s digital age, the retail landscape has undergone a revolutionary transformation, with consumers seamlessly transitioning between online and offline channels. The rise of the omnichannel consumer has presented both challenges and opportunities for businesses seeking to meet the ever-evolving expectations of their customers.
As a retail design agency, we firmly believe that adopting a thought leadership approach is crucial to excel in catering to the omnichannel consumer.
In this blog, we will delve into the various facets of the customer journey and explore how retailers can successfully embrace the omnichannel revolution.
"After over a decade of e-commerce growth vastly outperforming overall retail sales growth, the gap between the two will be much reduced going forward."
Understanding the omnichannel consumer
Omnichannel retailing transcends traditional multichannel approaches. While multichannel retailing involves offering products or services through various channels, such as physical stores, websites, and mobile apps, omnichannel retail takes it a step further. It seamlessly integrates these channels, providing a consistent and interconnected customer experience. Each channel in an omnichannel strategy complements the others, creating a holistic shopping journey. They want to browse products online, check reviews, make purchases in-store, and perhaps even use pick & collect, all without missing a beat. A study by Deloitte (1) reveals that 59% of consumers who engage with multiple channels expect consistent interactions across them. Meeting these expectations is essential to winning customer loyalty.
Mapping the Customer Journey
To create a compelling omnichannel strategy it is crucial to comprehend the customer journey thoroughly. Each touchpoint represents a unique opportunity to engage and delight customers.
Image Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-survival-guide-to-omnichannel-and-the-path-to-value#/
1. Research Phase: At this initial stage, customers explore products and services online. A study by Salesforce (4) reveals that 87% of shoppers begin their journey by searching for products on digital channels. Retailers should invest in a robust online presence, intuitive website design, and relevant content to capture these consumers.
2. In-Store Experience: Despite the rise of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores remain a vital touch-point. The in-store experience heavily influences purchase decisions. According to a survey by Retail Customer Experience (5), 77% of consumers say that the ability to see and touch products is a significant factor in their purchasing decisions.
3. Purchase Phase: Customers expect a seamless purchasing process, regardless of the channel they use. A joint study by Google and Ipsos (6) found that 85% of consumers start a purchase on one device and finish it on another. Implementing a unified shopping cart and flexible payment options is critical to prevent cart abandonment and ensure a smooth experience.
4. Post-Purchase Engagement: After the sale, maintaining engagement is essential for customer retention and loyalty. A study by Forbes (7) found that 57% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand after a positive shopping experience.
ISI Global's Expertise in Creating Omnichannel Retail Environments
At ISI Global, we specialize in designing connected/unified retail spaces. Our multidisciplinary team understands the nuances of omnichannel retailing. We leverage cutting-edge technology, materials, and design principles to create immersive environments that seamlessly connect the digital and physical worlds.
1. Live Experts: It’s not physical or digital. It’s people first.
ISI Global has delivered online retail spaces for HP and Sonos.
A physical store that works as an online shopping destination connecting client URL product pages directly to a sales promoter for that human interaction from the comfort of your home.
Both builds were created by ISI to work specifically ‘on-smart phone cameras’. Testing was done during the development phase to ensure that we got the best resolution of the site through to the user onscreen. This was a balance between the lighting in the ‘online store’ and the physical surroundings, as well as ensuring the phone cameras were set up correctly.
Both sites have multi-language live interaction points with clients via an ‘unboxing’ area, so brands scan offer up ‘latest promotions’ on social media and across platforms to generate interest.
The uptake has been exceptional; brands are reporting ongoing sales conversions of 23% of respondents who click through to the Live Expert.
Furthermore, smaller variants are being proposed as pop-ups for work-from-home sales teams.
These meticulously designed spaces achieved a dual purpose, serving as hubs for brand awareness and engagement. Through interactive and educational elements strategically placed throughout, customers gained insights into the cutting-edge technology behind Brooks running shoes while also experiencing brand engagement through gamified experiences. ISI Global ingeniously transformed the store’s foyer into a memorable, interactive, and enjoyable destination.
The gamification element wasn’t limited to the physical storefront; it played a vital role in driving campaign activation across social media channels. By incorporating game-like features, ISI Global fostered a sense of community among the campaign’s online audience.
Furthermore, we curated specific in-store setups to showcase both female and male apparel, ensuring a holistic brand experience that seamlessly transcends the digital and physical realms.
2. Experience & Discovery: The next level of Consumer Engagement
Integrating the power of two campaigns, “Find Your Run” and “Trail,” ISI Global took on the challenge of crafting an immersive and engaging creative concept for two exceptional locations in Germany: Engelhorn & Schuster. Our mission extended beyond the physical storefronts, encompassing online assets for Brooks own website as well as partner retailers. ISI Global also enriched the campaign’s online presence with a range of social media elements to amplify the brand message.
In addition to the central space in the foyer, ISI Global extended their creative touch to design five eye-catching window displays, each reflecting the essence of the two campaigns.
3. Reshaping formats
As an integral partner of HP’s ongoing ‘Digital Future’ strategy, we have embarked on a transformative journey that extends across a network of high-quality retail displays across EMEA and various global markets. A noteworthy addition to this evolving landscape is our latest branded area situated within the high-traffic Alexa Shopping Centre in Berlin.
Our comprehensive suite of deliverables demonstrates our commitment to seamless omnichannel engagement:
Connected Experiences: At the core of this retail experience are connected devices and digital walls. These innovative solutions not only serve as platforms for HP to showcase and educate consumers about our latest products but also function as data collection hubs. They provide valuable insights into demographics, click-through rates, and customer journeys, which, in turn, empower us to make data-driven decisions in shaping our future marketing strategies and personalized offerings.
Glocalization in Action: Recognizing the importance of adopting a global brand approach to meet the specific needs of local markets, we’ve taken a creative approach. In collaboration with a local artist, our store features a dynamic graffiti wall. What makes this feature truly special is its integration with AI, offering consumers an interactive experience. It enables them to explore the artwork in an animated, digital format, bridging the gap between global brand identity and local cultural relevance.
Sustainability Front and Centre: In line with our dedication to sustainability, the central wall display serves as a focal point within the store. It not only showcases facts about HP’s ongoing efforts to enhance climate action, promote human rights, and advance digital equity but also encourages consumers to engage with our sustainability report. By simply scanning a QR code, customers can delve deeper into our sustainability initiatives, emphasizing our commitment to a more sustainable and responsible future.
The story of HP’s retail presence at the Alexa Shopping Centre doesn’t stop at the physical store but extends seamlessly into the digital realm, providing a holistic omnichannel experience that resonates with customers at all touchpoints.
The omnichannel consumer is reshaping the retail landscape, demanding seamless and personalized experiences across all touchpoints. Crafting a robust omnichannel strategy, aligning brand messaging, leveraging data-driven insights, and merging digital and physical spaces are imperative for success. ISI Global’s expertise in creating unified retail spaces positions us at the forefront of this retail revolution. As we navigate the future, the retail industry will continue to evolve and thought leadership will remain the compass that guides us toward innovation and growth.