O2O Transformation: A retailer’s imperative Part II
This is Part II in our O2O series
Until a few years ago, ‘showrooming’ (shoppers researching in-store and purchasing from online competitors) gave retailers the world over sleepless nights.
Since then, things have changed, as retailers realized that the reverse behavior is actually more prevalent. Now more than ever, shoppers are indulging in ROPO or ROBO (Research online Purchase/buy offline).
What is ROPO?
In our blog post on the 2nd of March, we spoke of how providing customers with fulfillment options such as click and collect, reserve and collect as per their convenience was bound to enhance their customer experience.
ROPO/ROBO allows a retailer to provide a seamless, fantastic shopping experience to its customers.
Simply put research online and purchase offline is a trend in consumer behavior where shoppers search relevant information to qualify their purchase decisions.
How does it affect you?
Consider the customer experience you provide to the customer as a cycle of the shopper decision. In this cycle, the customer passes through different phases which are – the research phase, trial and demo phase, buy phase, and the post-purchase phase.
Digital has a tremendous influence on the purchases made, throughout the customer’s buying cycle – across all channels.
So what is the big point?
While retailers are focusing on the in-store experiences of their customers, they are missing out on one crucial fact – that customer experience begins from the moment your customer begins to look online for your products.
How to give your customers what they want?
It’s simple – manage your information.
Information availability is absolutely critical to enabling ROPO for your customers.
- Inventory data availability – Retailers need to push their stock information and catalogs online. Customers should have the complete view of what all inventory is present and in which store. Is the product they are looking for in-stock, out-of-stock at the store of their choice? Is it available at another store? Will it be available in the coming future? Retailers should ensure that their inventory information is available across all channels – mobile apps, online stores and physical stores, which increases convenience to the customer. Here, for instance, the customer can see that their order is available for store pickup.
Also, Best Buy provides a list of all stores that have the order, giving the customer the freedom to choose whichever pickup location suits him.
- Accurate, relevant data – Give your customers clear, accurate information that they can use. For example, if your customer is looking for a Nike shoe – mention specifications – size, color, etc. Additionally, the customer should be able to see clear pictures of the product, find out about discounts and post/ share reviews. For example, if a customer is looking online on your retail website for the shoe in size 10 and the color green, this what he should see –
It’s important that the customer finds the product with exact specifications in-store. Taking this shoe example, if the customer goes to the physical store and finds his order in size 12 and the colour green, it is bound to give the brand and the retailer a bad reputation, and prompt your customers to leave.
Technology can ensure that your product information is consistent across all channels by providing a single version of truth. PIM software, Order Management software and real-time view of inventory solutions can streamline your data and ensure that your customers get the experience they desire.
Any tips or comments for us? Let us know in the comments below.
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