Brands favoring the omnichannel strategy, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Brands favoring the omnichannel strategy.

By Anand Ramanathan, Rohit Nasa and Aditya Bagri

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant shifts in consumer behavior with cascading impacts on brands’ business models and strategic priorities. Over a short period, we have seen consumers show a shift towards health/safety awareness, a preference for convenience and an increased focus on essentials/basics. According to the Deloitte State of Consumer Tracker, 73% of Indian respondents are willing to spend more on convenience. This is also reflected in increased adoption of online shopping, especially in non-traditional grocery/medicine categories, increased sales of ready-to-eat (RTE)/ready-to-cook (RTC) and durable goods such as dishwashers, as well as higher acceptance. digital payments.

In response, retailers/brands are addressing the new normal by delivering a consistent customer experience across all channels and creating targeted experiences with the dual goals of building customer loyalty and improving profitability. An omnichannel approach with a shift from a channel-centric mindset to a customer-centric mindset has become increasingly important for retailers.

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Brands are now extending offline experiences to the virtual world and amplifying customer experience through rapid e-commerce and omnichannel integration. Very clearly, this prioritization concerns all product segments, with lifestyle, food and electronics in mind. However, even traditional categories such as automotive and financial services are accelerating the shift from offline to omnichannel/D2C (direct-to-consumer) models.

The following areas have emerged as key conditions for brands to succeed in their omnichannel journey:

1. Single Customer View – Better understanding of customer behavior with a single customer master and a 3600 view of interaction data across all channels
2. Single Product View – Create a single repository of all product-related data with a single design code enabling product search across all channels
3. Single Inventory View – Provides real-time visibility and cross-channel inventory accuracy leading to better inventory placement
4. Customer Centricity – Empower customers to transact and engage across touchpoints with in-store technology, virtual try-ons, omnichannel shopping carts, and more.
5. Convenience and Personalization – Build customer delight by providing convenient and personalized experiences such as easy checkouts, hyper-personalized navigation, targeted discounts and offers, Try and buy from home
6. Digitally empowered store staff – Converge the digital and in-store experience by providing sellers with the right tools such as customer apps, digital tabs to display products in stores, etc.

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Embarking on the Omni-Channel journey is a complex transformation exercise spanning all aspects of the value chain. Retailers who had embarked on this adventure before the onset of the pandemic have weathered the storm better. It’s not just about the front-end retail store or e-commerce website, but a more holistic approach across 4 key dimensions: plan, buy/do, move, and sell.

Omnichannel implementation requires new policies, capabilities, and KPIs. Therefore, in addition to the fundamental pillars, there is also an important aspect of change management.

Although the journey can be complex, the business benefits are immense. The brands have realized multiple benefits such as:

– Enhanced Customer Experience: Provides a seamless experience across all channels to enable greater customer retention and loyalty to brands
– Drive traffic to stores: increased traffic to physical stores resulting in higher conversion rates, improved transaction value and increased sales
– Customer Delight: Ability to deliver personalized products and offers by leveraging analytics to understand customer interactions across touchpoints
– Optimized inventory: fewer instances of lost sales and optimized stocking points by allowing a real-time view of inventory across channels and distribution networks
– Reduced wastage and markdowns: Clear visibility of goods nearing expiration date or wastage and timely activation of offers and discounts. Consequently, a better realization of net income
– Improved return on investment of marketing spend: with better visibility of the impact of different campaigns and data-driven decision-making, advertisers/marketers can realign their media management and therefore higher return on investment

An omnichannel approach offers brands the opportunity to provide an integrated and seamless experience to their customers throughout the purchase journey. Interventions should extend beyond the store and website front-end dimensions to include elements of execution throughout the supply chain, including the important aspects of change management for interventions to have the desired results of more efficient value delivery for customers.

Anand Ramanathan is a partner at Deloitte India, Rohit Nasa and Aditya Bagri are both associate directors at Deloitte India.

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