The customer purchase journey is always changing, and with online being a significant part of that, you’re probably thinking you’re doing enough to support retail traffic by offering a list of addresses. With 87% of online users wanting to complete their phone purchase in a retail store, you’d wonder why businesses aren’t doing more to encourage retail footfall.

On most telco websites we researched, many offered click and collect services (where services are now resumed due to COVID) and a store locator, but not much more. We at KNOWTHM spotted a few appointment options, but when using them, we couldn’t find a date suitable or there were plenty of appointment slots, meaning that there was no uptake of the service.

Store Locators are typically used on websites to show customers where their nearest store is, and although it is fundamental for businesses to do this, it is known that many store locators are only used for those seeking support more than the purchase journey.

Here at KNOWTHM we decided to pull together ways the industry could do better. In an Omnichannel world, customers are expecting more than mere directions. 

Read on to find out how to increase traffic from your website to your stores, and how KNOWTHM SmartQueue can help.

What is Omnichannel?

Simply, Omnichannel is a sales approach that provides customers with a seamless shopping experience. It doesn’t matter where they’re shopping, online via desktop or mobile, by telephone, or in a retail store. Wherever your customer chooses to shop they will have the same experience.

Is this not Multichannel? What is the difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel?

Not quite. Multichannel techniques focus on getting just information to the customer rather than on the customer’s needs, which is where Omnichannel comes in.

Is this not Multichannel? What is the difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel?

Buying behaviors have changed dramatically, with people going online to explore, research, and plan more of their purchases.

Jerry Dischler

May 2021, Think with Google

In Google’s recent Think with Google article, Jerry Dischler points out that in the last 18 months, the way people shop has changed. Moving away from traditional methods much faster due to COVID 19. The benefits of shopping online and delivery offered a safer alternative than visiting brick and mortar.

Due to this, customers have rapidly adopted online to explore and research their purchases. Not just by checking retailer websites, but by watching review videos on YouTube, reading comparison websites, and talking to those in the know.

With consumers now versed in these techniques, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re offering customers a seamless experience. In Dischler’s article, they continue to point out that more developments, such as curbside collection, were also started in the last 18 months. All in the name of putting the customer and their needs first.

Prioritizing the customer and their experience increases their overall satisfaction with their purchase as well as your brand. In doing so, they’re more likely to repeat business and recommend you to others, improving your overall sales numbers as a result.

Why should I send customers to traffic to retail stores?

Thanks to our research, we already know 87% of customers much prefer to purchase their device in-store rather than buying from remote channels. Why you might ask?

In our Future of Retail article, we shared with you the 4 most common reasons but here they are in a nutshell:

%

The item is expensive and the customer wants to see, and hold it before completing their transaction.

%

They need advice and recommendations before purchase.

%

Ensuring the item is working and set up for use.

%

Wanting instant gratification by walking out of the store with their purchase

As you can see, these reasons are things that cannot be experienced via online digital services. To touch and hold a new phone, you will need to go to a retail store to do that. Interestingly, instant gratification is seen as “fixed” by offering click and collect services, however, we know that this is more damaging overall.

To be Onmichannel in this case would be beneficial. It will ensure you’re not losing customers to competitors or chancing that they will go to visit your store or complete their online purchase. By simply offering customers an opportunity to speak to an associate, book an appointment or pick up their phone in an hour, would mean a committed journey. One more step towards a sale and a new member to your network.

It’s also common knowledge to know that sales conversions are higher within retail. This is thanks to your excellent customer service and teams within your stores. By simply driving traffic to your retail stores, you’re increasing your sales margins.

Why you can’t rely on Walk-in Traffic.

%

of walk-ins are support inquiries

Unfortunately, many businesses assume that the majority of walk-in customers are ready to purchase a device, however, the journey is a little more muddled than that now. Based on our in-store survey results, 54.42% of Walk-in traffic are those with support queries, meaning that only 45.68% are in the purchase journey.

To remedy this, online channels simply need to offer customers flexible options within the purchase journey. As they’re researching your products, hand holding them through to the store more than simply offering an address is beneficial. If a customer was to book a time slot to speak to an associate in store, 78% would turn up.

We also need to consider that having a higher percentage of support traffic to your store could be damaging. We know that most support queries in-store can take anything between 10 minutes or up to 2 hours depending on the complexity of the issue. This means many of your sales teams are dealing with support queries rather than those already in the purchase journey. It also means customers wishing to onboard your network are sat alongside those who are having a poor experience, potentially causing a negative impact.

How can online do better?

By simply offering a Store Locator or Click and Collect services is not enough in today’s world. Customers want personalized paths and plenty of options to be able to support them through their purchase journey. A fully Omnichannel experience.

Store Locators are typically found on the footer of the website or in support pages. Not so visible if you’re a customer on the main page or browsing in the shop pages. In addition, considering the path you want the shopper to take, would you really want them to wander from the journey that would lead to a sale? No, you wouldn’t.

Click and Collect is also used as a means to drive customers in their need for instant gratification. Not having to wait for a device and simply heading to the store to collect it after a few days, however, this option is only available once your customer has committed to completing the purchase. Missing all of those that are in the research phase. We also found out that 42% of customers purchasing via click and collect return the device, increasing refurbished stock.

What’s the Omnichannel solution?

There needs to be an interaction within the research and purchase process that offers the customer a simple and effective way to be able to get the information they need. Driving this traffic to your retail stores will satisfy this but also increase your sales margins, thanks to your sales staff.

How can KNOWTHM help?

KNOWTHM’s SmartQueue software helps both retailers and customers. It integrates into your online purchase journey and manages the flow of customers into your stores.

A simple embedding code offers your customers to collect their device within 1 hour, meaning they don’t have to wait for their device to arrive by post or click to collect. This option guarantees an interaction with a sales associate, meaning the customer will get the support they need to finalize their decision-making.

It also opens doors to additional products, and services which the customer may not have considered previously. Unlike online shopping and click and collect, this option also reduces the number of returns as well as increasing basket value.

To find out more, reach out to us to see how we can support your retail traffic and your journey to becoming Omnichannel.

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