With the advent of digital, the number of channels your customers are present on has exploded. At the same time, your customers’ expectations for relevance and personalization are also increasing. In this context, multi-channel retailing strategies are multiplying and are now part of the communication tools most used by companies. That is why it is crucial develop a coherent strategy to interact with your prospects and customers on different channels.
So what is multichannel retailing? What are the pros and cons of multichannel retailing? The answers to these questions are in this article.
What is Multichannel Retailing?
As its name suggests, multichannel retailing is a strategy that involves using multiple communication channels simultaneously. For example, a company can choose to make its offers accessible via at least two different channels (generally a physical point of sale and a merchant website ). On the other hand, the company can use more channels like phone calls, social media, direct marketing, etc.
The goal of multichannel retailing is to take advantage of the strength of each channel, digital or physical, to optimize the effectiveness and profitability of a marketing campaign.
The main difference between omnichannel and multichannel retailing is customer role. Omnichannel aims to put customers at the center of marketing, surrounding them with the most engaging media, ensuring overall integrity across channels. Multichannel retailing offers a variety of channels for the user to choose.
Benefits of Multichannel Retailing
Acquisition and retention of your audience
The multichannel strategy responds to many issues concerning your audience: acquisition and retention of your audience, generation of traffic online and at physical points of sale, generation of leads, and conversions.
By multiplying communication channels, you show your consumers your flexibility. It allows you to engage your audience on different channels and satisfy them.
And who says “satisfied customer” also says “loyal customer”! The more you offer a quality experience to your customers, the more likely they will come back to make purchases at your point of sale.
Thus, by diversifying the tools you use to contact your customers, you stay by their side 24/7. They can follow your news on social media and receive your promotional offers by message while visiting you in a physical store.
Gain a competitive advantage over your competitors
It’s no secret that online marketing is very competitive. With so many available shopping options, customers can easily choose your competitor if you don’t reach out to them first. That’s why multichannel marketing allows you to seize opportunities as they arise.
Indeed, if your competitors are not present on a specific channel, you can get ahead of them and capture the interest of your audience before them. Thus, you will obtain a competitive advantage by being present where your competitors are not.
Multi-channel strategy aims to think about the means of communication that will allow you to meet your objectives in the most cost-effective way possible. Your strategy must therefore adapt to your target audience and your budget.
The idea is not to choose all the available channels but only the most relevant to your budget and objectives! And you will see that you will see an improvement in the effectiveness of your marketing actions.
Increase sales and turnover
Undoubtedly, customers themselves choose the channels they wish to enter into a relationship with the brands. They, therefore, move from one channel to another depending on their objective at the time.
Thus, the more your advertising is visible on different channels, the more customers you reach and increase your turnover.
Disadvantages of Multichannel Retailing
Investing in new means of multi-channel communication can lead to additional costs for the company. Hence you should be interested in carrying out market and target studies before resorting to it.
Inconsistency of commercial messages and actions on different channels
On each channel, the codes and uses are different. We do not express ourselves in the same way on Facebook as by email! You have to adapt your message and your language according to the channels. The main challenge here is maintain the consistency of your messages and actions across all channels you use.
The immediacy and diversity of communication channels can lead your customers through the wrong channels, exposing them to inaccurate, improper, or uncertain information about your business.
The Internet allows everyone to publish the content they want. It may lead to an infinite number of erroneous, malicious, or distracting resources.
Therefore, be sure to inform your customers of the communication channels you use and be consistent in your communication so as not to lose them and create confusion between the different channels.
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