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Omnichannel Retail: How to build winning stores in a digital world in 10 steps

Seize Digital
Author: Miya Knights

The final Eagle Eye blog serialising our CEO, Tim Mason’s new book, Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, summarises the most important points and key messages from its 10 chapters.

Tim argues throughout that retail, leisure and hospitality businesses must apply their merchant curation and creative marketing skills using digital and mobile both inside the store and online to win with customers today.

This is the digital imperative facing all consumer-facing businesses that operate physical sales spaces. They have to follow the customer and learn from digitally enabled and data-driven competitors operating online.

Putting business-to-consumer marketing theory into practice

In the final ‘Lessons Learned’ chapter, Tim describes the “non-negotiable elements” of an omnichannel strategy, as he outlines in the preceding, corresponding chapters:
  1. Know your customers; to serve them better, however they like to shop – online and/or instore. 
  2. Manage what you measure; use DIAL to understand why customers buy what they buy.*
  3. Generate data-driven insight; adapt the mechanics of loyalty and promotions for the digital age.
  4. Follow your customers; establish digitally-enabled connections with customers, online and instore.
  5. Recognise customers; gain a single customer view by digitally augmenting physical store visits.
  6. Improve the customer experience; use a mobile makeover to support omnichannel shopping journeys.
  7. Develop a customer-centred offer; use customer insight to operate more data-based operations.
  8. Harness the power of ‘now’; ensure customer engagement demonstrates relevance and offers utility.
  9. Reward behaviour you seek; marketing engagement and promotions can thank or stretch customers.
  10. Enable digital marketing content creation: design customer data-driven content for the digital medium
Making the most of the digital dividend to increase sales

The likes of Alibaba, Amazon, Asos and even Deliveroo are winning with customers by having launched online-only businesses. They are winning with digitally enabled and data-driven business models and operations.

But just as they are now looking to move offline and supplement their rich, digitally-informed view of who their customers are with what they do in physical sales spaces, store-based retailers need digital smarts too.

Tim recommends that organisations learn by doing to share in any potential digital dividend. Start small and use digital and mobile scale and traceability to quickly apply a rapid test-and-learn process across operations.

So, any customer-facing business looking to compete in today’s digital age needs to evaluate how an omnichannel strategy can help improve the total offer wherever your customers are, now and into the future.

Indeed, he often refers to the task facing brick-and-mortar businesses as one of “will, not skill”: 

“Although this subject can appear sophisticated, tech-dependent and jargon laden, it’s actually quite simple. Do you have the will to recognize your customers as individuals and serve them as such? Pursue this with every ounce of your corporate being and the skill will surely follow.” (Mason, T., Knights, M. Omnichannel Retail, p197, Kogan Page.)

*I.e. Data, leading to Insight, driving Action to promote Loyalty (DIAL)

Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World by Tim Mason and Miya Knights, is published by Kogan Page, priced £19.99.

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