Omnichannel retail describes a retail philosophy that creates a seamless customer experience for shopping in-store and online. It is a retail philosophy that allows a traditional local brick and mortar retailer to utilize their online presence to further communicate their values and expand the shopping opportunities for their customers.

From the standpoint of today’s customer, and the customer of the future, it doesn’t matter to them whether they shop in-store or online. There is no line of distinction for the customer between the two channels, assuming both the store and the store’s website offer quality shopping experience. The consumer wants an item and in many cases want to spend their money locally, they don’t distinguish any unique value between making the purchase online or in-store. Retailers today need to accept this change in consumer behavior and reduce all barriers for shopping locally.

According to Forrester Research, 84% of consumers are using digital platforms to research purchases before they visit a brick and mortar store. And 70% of consumers today EXPECT to be able to view a retailer’s entire selection online and view what inventory is in-stock.

These facts make it more important than ever that independent bicycle retailers get their inventory online.

SmartEtailing is the fastest and most effective way to achieve that mission. SmartEtailing is 100% focused on creating the tools for local specialty retailers to compete in today’s shopping environment. With our online catalog, POS Sync, Supplier Sync, Supplier Fulfillment, marketing solutions and ecommerce enabled websites, we are the ideal partner for your business to thrive in an omnichannel world.

5-Point Omnichannel Checklist

1. Display available products on your local website.

Consumers today do online research before making buying decisions. Shoppers today rarely visit a store if they don’t know what product the store sells. It is essential that retailers wanting to compete show products on their website.

2. Integrate website with local inventory.

Consumers can view online on your business’ website what they can get today - your local inventory. 71% of consumers expect to see this local inventory and 39% of them won’t bother to visit the store if they can’t see what you have available.

3. Integrate with supplier warehouses.

Consumers can also view online on your bike store website the products that can be shipped to the store or their home quickly - the supplier’s warehouse inventory. Because retailers can’t stock every model in every color and size, activating the supplier’s inventory feed (SmartEtailing Supplier Sync service) expands the selection beyond what can physically be found in the store. This provides more choices, increases customer satisfaction and leads to more sales.

4. Turn on website shopping cart.

Consumers want to check online if their desired product is in-stock and then choose the right purchase path for them. They may visit the brick-and mortar store to purchase, buy online for in-store pickup or buy online for home delivery. Omnichannel is all about convenience for the consumer and 50% of consumers expect to be able to buy online and pick up in-store. Turning the shopping cart on allows for all purchase path scenarios, no matter what the consumer prefers.

5. Your local brand identity is consistent in-store and online.

Your unique passion, knowledge and personality, along with your hand-selected variety of brands and products are what define your individual store brand. The choices you offer are designed to meet the needs of your customers, whether that sale takes place in your store or on your website. The key to omnichannel is that it is an evolution of local retail. You are still building a relationship with each customer, you are simply removing barriers to purchase and creating a fluid shopping experience that meets the expectations of shoppers today.

Landry's Bicycles & Omnichannel

Landry's Bicycles has been serving New England cyclists all the way back to 1922. Today, they are universally considered one of the most successful and progressive retailers in North America. According to Landry's CEO, Tom Henry, Landry's was early to recognize the importance of being online, creating their first website in 1995 well before the first iPhone. Landry's has fully-implemented SmartEtaiing website solutions in order to capitalize on consumer behavior shifting to omnichannel shopping. 

Read More