To help bricks-and-mortar retailers rise to the online challenge, ecommerce search and navigation business FACT-Finder has published an e-book detailing five strategically important steps to blend digital and physical sales channels most effectively.
Entitled The Omnichannel Playbook – 5 Steps to Digitally Linked Retailing, the e-book states that the "future belongs to those who combine online and offline sales channels". However, FACT-Finder Founder and CEO Carsten Kraus, author of the e-book, is keen to point out that simply setting up an online shop will not be enough to increase market share.
"Such goals are seldom attained if the online shop is operated independently from the actual stores as part of a multichannel strategy," says Kraus. "This is because the intense price competition online creates a dilemma for multichannel retailers: online prices cannot be offered cost effectively in branches, because of the costs incurred by personnel and prime location. If the retailer does not take part in the price competition, customers buy from the online competition. However, if the retailer offers products in its online shop at a better price than in branches, then branch purchasers are driven online."
The key to success, according to Kraus, is to offer customers real additional value in terms of their shopping comfort and experience.
"Retailers should, therefore, link their online and offline worlds, and realise an omnichannel strategy that clearly differentiates them from the competition. This can give bricks-and-mortar retailers major advantages over those purely selling online."
FACT-Finder's e-book offers five important tips to help retailers pursue the right omnichannel strategy to put them in a strong position in the marketplace by getting the most from their physical location, strong brand and already loyal following.