The right way to do omnichannel
If people walk into your store, you need to give them the best experience right there and then. The last thing you want to do is to tell them to go somewhere else. If a product is out of stock, it’s your omnichannel strategy that allows you to sell it anyway, but simply shipped from another place.
It’s the same if people start to engage with you online. The worst thing you can do is to try to get people to visit your local stores instead. If you sell people an ereader, don’t ask them to visit your physical stores to find what books to read. Give them that ability right from the device.
Think of omnichannel as “Whenever and wherever doesn’t matter. I’m ready to help you!”
Another element of a good omnichannel strategy is when you can use it to eliminate limitations. One example is reverse showrooming.
It’s no secret that people are exposed to quite a staggering number of products online, but one thing the online world cannot do is to allow you to experience the product before you buy it. So imagine you are selling shoes. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could say “Want to try these on before you buy? This store near your home has a pair in stock, and this store near your office has a pair as well”. Even though we are here directing people to the store, we are not doing it to protect the old. Instead we are enhancing the experience by using the best elements of each channel together. Brick-and-mortar stores are really good at discovery, guiding people and for experiencing the products before the sale. While online is also good for discovery, it’s much more based on people’s intent.
So if people have a specific intent that you can’t deliver in your local stores, you bring in the online channel to help you. And if your online customers’ needs guidance, you bring in your physical stores and helpful sales people to solve that.