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The retail world is taking a really innovative turn. We now operate in a very dynamic retail market, with information being brought to our attention through many routes before an eventual purchase. Merchants are aware of the changes in the rules that regulate sales, they consider how to implement a multi channel strategy as a strategic piece to meet the customer service requirements. Instead of this number of channels being a barrier to sales, however, the mind of the modern, multi-channel consumer is tuned to react positively to share through many media – something that companies can really do most from. Right before we delve into how this strategy works, let us first consider the concept of O2O and Omnichannel Marketing.
Omnichannel, O2O Marketing Impact on Online and Offline Business
Successful online stores know that it is not enough to focus their action on a single sales channel; Instead, they apply an O2O sales strategy. This approach which is globally known as the Omnichannel is the word on every dealer’s lips as devices of all kinds increasingly integrated into the ways of experiencing the information around us.
The Concept of O2O and Omnichannel Marketing
The concept of O2O and Omnichannel marketing refers to improving the customer experience by means of the possibility of buying where, when and how you want. It means putting it easy to customer thanks to the connection of all channels. But it goes further. We understand O2O and Omnichannel marketing as a multi channel sales approach that brings people an inclusive shopping experience.
It implies that a brand:
- Handle the same information on all channels
- Maintain a consistent personality in all channels
- Have all equipment cohesive and there are centralized communication and easy access.
The O2O and Omnichannel marketing leads to customer satisfaction thanks to a better shopping experience, useful when the price is not the only variable of choice. With the Online-2-Offline strategy, a person who starts a purchase through a channel (for example web page from his laptop) can continue the operation speaking with customer care and finish in the physical store. Interact with a company with centralized information. It goes beyond the timely trade. Interactions are not only given during the purchase click, but it becomes a coherent experience through all channels and in the whole relationship with the customer. Unlike the single channel, in the O2O and Omnichannel marketing, the user no longer perceives the sales channel but is immersed in an experience where the channels are blurred and Information flows naturally.
Online-2-Offline or offline-2-online (as preferred) has it root from the United State and spread strongly in other countries of the world in recent years, is the first step to omnicanality and it is about offering benefits to synergy between Online and Offline. In recent years, to promote the use of eCommerce, we saw how companies and businesses, applying this strategy, offered lower prices or additional benefits if the purchase was made online. And it worked. But many businesses failed to capitalize on the traffic that came to the locals to withdraw their purchase online. And instead of taking advantage of the physical presence of the buyer to offer other products and take advantage of the impulsive purchase and, more importantly, take advantage to build loyalty, they simply “delivered the package” as if they were a branch of mail. Thus, the stores saw some increase in their sales online, but these revenues failed to compensate and exceed the billing they achieved attracting traffic to the premises.
That is why many businesses and companies continue to think that their online presence harms them while feeling that they can not stop being in the digital environment. The solution to this evolution of the economy, in which the consumer seeks musicality, is the application of the O2O and Omnichannel marketing, which in reverse: Promote online shopping, but offering lower prices if the product is withdrawn at the physical location. The key to this strategy is to offer advantages to users by buying in this way, such as services or special discounts that could not be accessed through the simple and “traditional” virtual purchase.
The Internet is not only important to create sales in physical stores but is the means to attract and identify our potential customers, focus the promotion strategy and make our business visible. In short, this strategy allows to jump network to the traditional businesses and also to mount physical premises to eCommerce that were born online. In both cases, what appears as an obstacle is the integration of the management systems (billing, payments and collections). But using this strategy, it is not necessary to interpret the online sale as a channel with its own tools (different catalogue, inventory, etc.), but are managed as usual, with the advantage of having metrics to analyze efficiency in modes Of capture in the digital environment.
With the understanding of the concept, let us consider how O2O and Omnichannel marketing works:
How O2O and Omnichannel Marketing work
As consumer needs and requirements continue to evolve, some companies are trying to change with them under a new retail concept called O2O, or online-to-offline. Online to Offline & Offline to Online is a business model that draws potential customers from online channels to virtual stores. This has resulted in a strategic transformation in the retail ecosystem, where consumers can now browse products online before making the final purchase in brick-and-mortar stores.
Omni Channel Marketing has grown to become a widely known and also implemented the approach in the retail business. This approach which is globally referred as the Omnichannel combines the shopping experience over all devices on the internet (desktop, tablet, mobile terminal and mobile) and also off the net. By means of Mobile internet-connected devices, buyers are able to add offline items to their online wish listing, review items on the internet and hold up buying decisions before their Desktop computer. By collecting all of the online and offline product sales data, customer commitment packages could be thoroughly incorporated and also converted into a robust marketing tool. This type of marketing puts the customer at the center of the strategy, being the one who chooses which channel to use, how and when to do it. And you will not have to explain anything to anyone. The brand works in a systematic way so that the customer experience is completely transparent when passing from one channel to another. Moreover, many times the customer will not even choose the channel, but the brand will be in charge of doing “magic” so that he can buy what he saw on a channel elsewhere or to give him some benefit that he did not even imagine. In short, this strategy allows the leap to the network to traditional businesses undertaking eCommerce projects, as well as create viable opportunities to set up a physical establishment to companies that have conquered the online medium.
In short, this strategy allows leaping network to traditional businesses undertaking eCommerce projects, as well as create viable opportunities to set up a physical establishment to companies that have conquered the online medium.
Technologies that make possible the evolution towards the O2O Model
- The optimization and evolution of mobile devices
The phone has undergone an evolution unimaginable in its beginnings. These devices have been adding functionalities, which has made them, in turn, indispensable in our daily lives. With the rise of smartphones, we find applications for everything we may need.
- The development of mobile internet
The Internet has also evolved and the unification of these two technologies (Internet + mobile), in full swing, have formed the perfect union. We no longer need a computer, now we can navigate from anywhere and at any time with a phone in hand. The merger of mobile phones and the Internet has created the perfect environment for the O2O to naturally incorporate consumers’ online shopping habits.
- Location-Based Services (LBS)
This type of service facilitates the search of establishments near the user (through GPS). Depending on the location of the potential customer you will be shown special offers of virtual stores whose physical stores are in your area. Thanks to the Geo location that we have discussed and through portals or mobile applications destined to such use (sometimes also through the e-commerce websites themselves) the products are offered according to the location of the potential buyer and the category of the service/product what are you looking for.
Impact of O2O and Omnichannel marketing on online and offline business
Integration of an online store and a physical is the First step towards O2O and Omnichannel marketing to achieve the integration and technological unification of the different sales channels. below are the impact of O2O and Omnichannel marketing on online and offline businesses:
- It Helps Build A Reputable Brand
Among a lot, there are basically two essential aspects of brand building . 1, continuous visibility; and 2, storytelling. With O2O marketing you have the two. It offers a regular visible to your brand in both offline and online world . in addition, getting exposed, is accompanied by an essential message, that shares your brand’s to the world. These establish a connectivity between the audience and your business, which boost the trust and reputation of your company. Good customer experience improves brand awareness and positioning in the consumer’s mind. This has a positive effect on sales and improved conversions. The image of the brand will be more positively valued for the added services associated with the O2O strategy.
- It Helps To Keep A Customer For A Longer Term
A good user experience is a central feature in an O2O and Omnichannel marketing plan. The objective is customer satisfaction thanks to the knowledge of their needs, preferences and expectations. This way we can create specific products, services and offers. O2O strategies develop an enduring connection between the brands and the audience. At this point, with much better reputation, the company enjoys, even more, the loyalty of the consumers. This ultimately sustains the business and also raise product sales drastically.
- It Offers Advantage Over Others
In spite of the sustainable and higher ROI, very few businesses have incorporated their offline operation with the online marketing activities. Which in turn offers a huge potential for the early adopters of O2O marketing. With the suitable approaches, a company can simply gain upper hand over its competitors. An omnichannel strategy creates a unique ecosystem for each company. An organizational model difficult to copy by competitors at the level of structure.
- Higher performance
Actions to optimize the organization – in addition to the best user experience – positively affect business performance and optimization of resources.
- More information and communication
It provides better information on the stock and optimizes its management. It improves the internal communication processes of the company and minimizes the incorrect forecasts.
The conversion of the consumer will take place mainly online, but the establishment will be able to carry out complementary strategies of cross selling, ensuring that the customer does not only stay with what is acquired through the website. In this way, the average order value can be increased with the consequent increase in profit.
- Natural step to integrate an online store and a physical one:
this system allows to build a multi channel strategy and that all the actors involved in the process benefit.The first step towards multi channel. The integration and technological unification of the different sales channels is not something simple, as will be seen in the last section, but to start is a natural step, since, as we said in the previous point, from there It is possible to add more channels of pickup and sell more easily, for example, in the offline channel would still integrate the sales channels and in the case of the online channel, would have to integrate the mobile (in the case of a native app), the Social networks and virtual markets like eBay, Amazon, etc.
- Reduce Costs In The Rental Of The Physical Store:
It is not necessary to be on a busy street but to promote the local and Attracting customers through online visibility. If our case is to jump from the network to the traditional retail, it is not necessary to have a place in one of the busiest shopping streets in the city because the key way to promote the establishment and attracting customers will be through online visibility. Having understood the impact of Omnichannel and O2O marketing on businesses, let take a look at its consumer benefits as well.
A look at the Customer Benefits
With the pace of life to which we are accustomed, the traditional buying process is presented as an investment of time and travel that we can not face. A lot of supply and long queues make the purchase of necessary goods and services consume much more energy than it should. We try to make our purchases simple and fast. Through the O2O purchase, efficiency is achieved (time optimized compared to traditional purchase, for example, through search engines), speed (we can pick up the purchase from 24 hours, without having to wait practically) and the security of acquiring The product when you are available.
In addition, and as we have said before, the consumer has always liked to compare products and prices, and Internet makes the task much easier. That’s the reason why websites compare insurance, mobile rates according to consumption, etc. Are having so much success.
Therefore without further ado, below we compile a list of the consumer benefits:
- Better prices than a direct purchase just like any online purchase. Saves on shipping costs, we usually consider them as an annoying extra. Related products are found more quickly than in a direct purchase.
- Access to more information about products and the company:
When we visit a business we receive a lot of information that we use to form an opinion about the company. The stores that are only present online generate some distrust at the beginning by the medium because they are.
- Shorter time spent:
The long waits to pay, the search for products or the time that is lost while waiting to be taken care of is greatly reduced. The customer will optimize your time.
- Availability of collection:
You can choose when or where to pick up the product, which is essential for those without much time.
The increase in Internet penetration throughout the world over the years has caused e-commerce to rapidly evolve to changing environments, platforms, consumer mindsets, trends … Right now, the Internet offers us availability, comfort, etc., with the O2O method we would be adding customer trust and added value to the equation, among other issues. As we have said before, it is very important to know how to take advantage of the opportunities of all the channels that we have within reach and we must try to analyze the results obtained as a whole, regardless of the channel where they are made. Moreover, an O2O and Omnichannel marketing strategy does not mean that the company must be in all media but implement a plan where the points of contact with the brand are active and coordinated with defined objectives. The different channels are incorporated in a progressive way, in phases. Users assume that a brand will respond in the same way in any medium.
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