For brands to succeed in today’s mobile-friendly shopping environment they must first spend considerable time crafting and executing their online/in-store strategy. With more consumers researching products beforehand, this strategy needs to provide a seamless experience for the buyer from mobile to store. While many retailers are succeeding at this, some are not. Most notably, big box stores and established department stores have been lagging to catch up.
An omnichannel experience is imperative for these types of retailers to continue to evolve and remain sustainable. Recently, three major brands have improved the buyer’s journey from online to in-store purchase. And just in time for the holiday shopping season.
With the recent launch of Meet with an Expert, Sears aims to fully integrate appliance shopping from online to in-store. This unique service was developed for the customer who prefers not only to research major appliance purchases online first, but who wants the reassurance of an in-person sales associate.
Customers can begin their purchasing journey online at the company’s website. There they will notice an option to schedule an appointment in-store with an associate when it’s convenient. At their local Sears store, customers will meet with an associate who understands their specific needs and can offer personal assistance.
Recognizing that customers spend more on grocery items when they order online and pick up in store, Walmart is offering this option in more of its stores. In attempt to reach its customer base across many channels, Walmart is also providing an in-store notification via mobile to associates to alert them when a customer will be in to pick up their ordered goods. This same technology is also used to inform the customer when their order is ready for pickup.
Taking a different approach, Target is utilizing several different omnichannel strategies to streamline holiday shopping for its customers. The first is the Curbside app, which is currently offered in select metropolitan areas and gives customers the option pick up purchases online at the entrance of their local store. The second is the Instacart app now only available in San Francisco and Minneapolis. This on-demand service gives customers the option to order groceries online and have them delivered thus removing the need to even enter a store.
These innovations in omnichannel experience will likely only usher in more strategies for large retailers to stay connected with buyers by providing consistency on their purcase journey from online to in-store.
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