April 20, 2016

Dear Retailer, Please Don’t Forget Us! Love, Your Physical Stores

View author's profile

By Barry Smith, Business Line Manager – Partners, Sales & Marketing at Ikano Insight


It’s no secret that omnichannel customers generate significantly more sales than single channel customers. Retailers may have given online channels a facelift to avoid losing ground to competitors’ digital stores, but whilst this is crucial, it should be recognised that the omnichannel mind-set is here to stay. This is a necessity to ensure customers receive a positive experience across all platforms and touchpoints.

However, the real question lies here: do retailers actually know how crucial physical stores are to omnichannel customers’ satisfaction and the overall omnichannel strategy?

Customers shop online for convenience, and shop offline in your physical stores for the experience. While most retailers’ online stores now deliver sublime convenience, this has naturally increased customer expectations towards offline shopping.

For some retailers, offline sales may have dropped due to an increasing number of transactions taking place online, but this doesn’t mean the physical store doesn’t hold importance anymore. The number of omnichannel shoppers is increasing rapidly and online and physical stores are complementing each other more than ever; so it’s now crucial that retailers don’t neglect the offline experience.

Omnichannel shoppers are some of the most valueable customers, but they won’t stay satisfied if retailers don’t invest in and optimise the physical store. Customers expect to be inspired and receive a personalised and value-adding experience in return for their valuable time of physical presence.

How do you make sure that your physical stores meet customer expectations?

  1. Make sure the right tools are in place to handle relevant information (eg from cashiers, web-shop, MyAccount, app, geo data, CRM systems)
  2. Create customer incentives for data collection and build trust. The customer needs to feel safe and see the value of providing you with their personal information and letting you track their actions
  3. Interactive tablets and POS kiosks can trigger additional engagement and data collection (eg personalised offers, self-service ordering, membership/loyalty sign-ups)
  4. Utilise all the available information/customer data to create an improved physical experience (eg personal offers via push notifications, iBeacons, include the data in your space management planning, in-store WiFi, and all the associated benefits)

Whether online or in-store, the omnichannel customer experience should focus on delivering a seamless approach across all available customer-facing channels. The data provided by Omnichannel customers will shape a highly accurate picture of your customer base, leaving you with valuable insight and targeting opportunities that will help deliver huge value back to your brand.


Written by

Barry Smith,
Business Line Manager – Partners, Sales & Marketing at Ikano Insight