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Listen to a brief audiocast – Edelman recaps holiday sales challenges
Omnichannel is often used as the catch-all phrase as a key to succeed in selling to the consumer, but using it effectively truly separates the winners and losers. Winning and successful retailers will be those that offer the best customer shopping experience, including price and value relationship, which will vary by consumer, either in store or online, with the best delivery time and ease of return. Retailers need to be focused on their target consumers, understand what they want, when they want it, how they want to buy it and what they are willing to pay for it. Retailers should keep in mind, there are opportunities to grow profitable market share; however, if you are doing the same thing you did yesterday, someone has already caught up to you.
It starts with the consumer
The planning process begins with the target consumer. Consumer research is vital to both retailer and vendor. There is no shortage of merchandise to buy, places to buy it or how to buy it. Many retailers and direct-to-the-consumer distributors are of the opinion omnichannel is the key to success. They used to call this multichannel distribution. Some will throw a bunch of ideas against the wall to see what sticks, but often there is little thought behind the decision-making process.
Many retailers are beginning to realize a positive cross-channel experience requires a new level of engagement with its customers. Listening to the consumers and responding to a shift in their behavior will establish a stronger bond. This might require a different business strategy or additional technology to connect in a transparent manner. The successful retailer, therefore, will be able to capitalize on these changes.