The Covid-19 pandemic was something that no one was prepared for. Not only did it throw the world into a spiral of chaos, but it also left a significant question on how do we continue with our regular lives. Especially in a world where the larger mass possibly avoids the option of physical contact. And this will go on till a proper vaccine is available.
In such scenarios, continuing with business proves to be of great difficulty. However, as the internet has such a significant role to play, there is a solution to what the pandemic has left us with. Many businesses and industries are now solely looking at digital retailing as the only option until things go back to normal. Experimentations are being done with technologies to continue with the business. And these methods may be followed even after the situation gets better.
Keeping that in mind, in this article, we will look at the importance of omnichannel retailing and how it will prevail in a post-Covid19 Australia.
What exactly is omnichannel retail?
Initially, the traditional model for retail, consisting of single-channel source, was more than enough to meet the demands as well as do great business. This model included a direct connection between the buyers and the sellers, with the sellers owning either an offline shop or an online store.
However, as time changed and new modes of technologies were invented, customers became more demanding and started looking for a more convenient method of shopping. This is where the multichannel retail system came in. However, soon enough, it began encountering dozens of disadvantages. To cope up with the growing gap between supply and demand, we saw the omnichannel retail system step in.
In other words, the omnichannel retail model is a system that gives the customers excellent and convenient shopping experiences by integrating all existing channels. It allows customers to use various shopping channels simultaneously during the shopping process.
Why is omnichannel retail essential?
Australia is gearing up for the post-Covid 19 scenario where retailers and businesses will have to take an online approach to cope up with the situation. According to KPMG, the economy will see a growth in ecommerce in two waves. The first wave, the one that is currently going on, would observe the sudden shock of switching over from physical stores to online stores due to restrictions in public places. The second wave would see a permanent change in the behavior of the consumers as they get habituated to online shopping, thus boosting ecommerce.
In such a scenario, one needs to understand the importance of switching over from the multichannel retail model to the omnichannel retail model. For further understanding, here are a few reasons why omnichannel retail is and will be so important.
Combining various channels
In light of current events, visiting a physical store may not be preferred most of the time. In such stances, the omnichannel retail model blurs the lines between online, offline, and physical stores. This serves as an ideal setting for an environment where social distancing is practiced. All at the same time, this enhances user experiences as a more convenient and more accessible option of shopping is presented in front of them. This also allows both the customers and the staff to use multiple channels simultaneously.
A diversified reach
The omnichannel retail model also helps you widen your reach as you are offering various channels to your customers and letting them choose the ones they are most comfortable with. Doing so allows you to reach out to a diversified customer base.
You may reach out to one customer from various channels, thus gaining their loyalty. Or you may also reach out to those customers that prefer just one channel. Thus, the omnichannel retail model helps you by offering you more opportunities and reach. This can be of great help as customers slowly get habituated to their new shopping habits.
Better management and evaluation
In the case of the multichannel retail model, a customer can reach out to a business via various channels. However, that itself is not enough as soon enough, it becomes harder to manage as these channels have no cooperation in between them and there is no proper management of the pieces of information obtained from them. This leads to neglection of various elements that can otherwise enhance the business and customer experience.
However, with the omnichannel retail model, every channel is used optimally, and there are no empty spaces or blind spots left. With one head staff leading every channel, the management of information becomes easier and more efficient. Thus, with that, the evaluation of various elements of the business becomes more improved.
The safer alternative
Lastly, it would be the most obvious point for which the omnichannel retail model is the most suitable. Utilizing various channels allows the customers to have more opportunities and options rather than having to visit the physical store or come in direct contact with any of the employees. It also provides enhanced user experience to the consumers, while increasing scopes for the seller.
Thus, the omnichannel retail model becomes a much safer alternative for both the customers and the sellers. In the post-Covid 19 scenarios, the omnichannel retail model, therefore, is an ideal model for sellers to opt for.
The omnichannel retail model has become essential to the economy, especially in today’s time, where the pandemic has had such a colossal effect on the states of things. It will be even more imperative as a post-Covid 19 era comes in, as that will bring some permanent changes to the buying behavior of the customers.
Thus, it is highly recommended for sellers who are yet to update their systems from a multichannel retail model to an omnichannel one, to do so as soon as possible. Updating their Retail inventory Software will open up a lot of opportunities while acting as a recovering agent to all the retail businesses in Australia.