20 Jun The omni-channel : The strategy adopted by distributors
In the age of digital transformation organizations, companies are increasingly interested in how their distribution strategies are implemented with priority, the omnichannel.
According to the 2019 Shopgate Report, omnichannel has become the top priority for 67% of retailers. And this mainly for the following reasons: obtaining a competitive advantage, acquisition of new customers and their own profitability. In addition, half of the respondents to the same survey said that the development of mobile commerce applications is a priority point in their projects.
But what do the terms that are increasingly used in the distribution world, the multichannel, cross-channel and omnichannel strategy really mean?
First, the multichannel strategy refers to offering different distinct distribution channels to consumers. It seeks to multiply points of contact with customers by proposing different routes for each channel.
Secondly, the cross-channel strategy allows the various distribution channels of a company, be they physical or digital, to work together rather than compete with each other. It aims to make these channels complementary.
The omnichannel strategy, on the other hand, is based on the same idea as the cross-channel strategy by adding the notion of simultaneity. Indeed, it corresponds to the simultaneous and homogeneous use of distribution channels proposed by a company. This strategy focuses on the overall customer experience by aligning both online and offline touchpoints.
Web-to-Store or Store-to-Web ?
Paco Underhill, a New York-based environmental psychologist, noted that more than 40% of visitors to out-of-town stores are “pre-buying”. That is, when the customer wants to locate and try the product before making a purchase decision. Thus, it becomes necessary for distributors to digitize their points of sale and to create links between their various distribution channels (online and offline).
In the same vein, according to a survey by BVA, 78% of consumers get information online before buying in stores. This type of behavior is called ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) or Web-to-Store. This is what allows Click2Buy by presenting Internet users a route from their geolocation to the nearest stores. Indeed, distribution partners have testified to achieve more than 60% of their sales in Click & Collect. What is very beneficial for retailers since bringing the consumer directly into the store is to imbue him with his world. Thus, depending on the experiential degree of the strategy, the customer will come back and buy again.
Conversely, there are also so-called “Showroomer” behaviors. The consumer will need to see the product physically at the point of sale before he can buy it via the internet: it’s Store-to-Web. In the face of consumer 2.0, we must be ubiquitous in order to best meet our needs in terms of accessibility to the purchase.
Omnicanality: towards a phygital course?
A majority of customers want a fully integrated shopping experience, in which the same purchase can be made across multiple channels. And this without hindrance or detours. The omnichannel strategy responds to this need. Indeed, it promotes the multiplicity of possible customer experiences. It also allows the gradual transformation of the customer journey to phygital, namely the integration of digital assets in physical locations. It becomes essential for retailers to develop their online presence and make themselves visible to their customers.
“Our goal is to maximize the pleasure and minimize the constraints of our customers,” said Régis Schultz, president of Monoprix. This is what he did with the Monoprix des Halles, unique in its multiple digital and omnichannel devices. With a view to connectivity of stores, Monoprix makes the smartphone the indispensable tool of consumers. The customer can shop there by scanning product barcodes via the “Monop’Easy” application on the smartphone. What interest ? Do your shopping efficiently, without waiting in cash! In a way, this strengthens the online / offline combination and promotes consumer loyalty. The application is always downloaded to his smartphone.
The rise of mobile commerce
Always in this same logic, Monoprix proposes by its mobile application to situate the products in the points of sale. And even geolocate the user to propose a route. Just like what Click2Buy offers for a variety of brands and distributors.
Also, the emergence of M-commerce * is not a trend to neglect in its distribution strategy today. In France, in 2018, one in three online transactions is made on mobile. A rise of 27% is observed between 2017 and 2018. This same share has experienced a considerable growth in two years, rising from 16.6% in Q4 of 2016 to 28.9% in Q3 of 2018, according to the study “Global Commerce Review 2018 “de Critéo. In general, one in four French people buys on mobile phones.
By comparison, mobile commerce accounts for 43% of online sales in Europe. Sweden is the country where this rate is the highest with 60% of sales, followed closely by Norway with 57% and the United Kingdom with 54%.
The eMarketer reports that e-commerce will reach $ 4.058 billion by 2020 internationally. Up to 50% of revenue will come from mobile traffic. This demonstrates the growing trend of M-commerce in the world.