Chapter 3

The Omnichannel Buying Experience

This chapter is about how to present your brand in a consistent and seamless way to this new shape- and place-shifting customer. It will take a look at how to optimize your ecommerce, and how to take your retail store online and connect with mobile shoppers and mobile payers.

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By Chris Tanner & Derek O'Caroll

What's Inside

The modern consumer is always moving; whether online, offline, on their phone, at a computer, at home, at work, or on the high street.

This chapter is about how to present your brand in a consistent and seamless way to the new breed of customer. We’ll take a look at how to optimise your ecommerce, and how to take your retail store online to connect with mobile shoppers and mobile payers.

We’ll also discuss how to set up your other sales channels; including telephone, marketplaces and B2B, so that all customers get the same high quality service from your brand, wherever they shop.

Make it easy for your customers to buy from you.

The Omnichannel Buying Experience

Our panel of retail experts discuss each chapter in detail with the authors of the Omnichannel Survival Guide

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Design for any device

Everyone knows that designing ecommerce websites for mobile is essential. ‘Optimise for mobile’ is the cry of every designer and marketer out there.

‘Responsive design’ is techy speak for ‘works on every device’. You’ll already know that your websites need to be responsive - where the layout changes when viewed on different screen sizes. But with people spending so much time on their mobile phones, you need to consider how everything you do can work for these users, not just your website.

So, for example, your email marketing and transactional emails (such as order confirmations) need to be nice and easy to read on a mobile phone. With clear links and calls to action, minimal fuss, and plenty of space to make it easy for fat, stubby fingers on dinky little screens. Website add-ons like web chat and promotions also need to be user-friendly on a mobile. All pretty straightforward stuff.

A few years ago, you might have been forgiven for assuming that you needed an app to get anywhere with retail on a mobile phone. Not so any more. Modern phone web browsers coupled with the latest web design techniques mean that you can provide an awesome experience for the user, just using your regular ecommerce site.

The best retailers have a completely different site for mobile devices, but it’s still a website that you control and can update at any time. No need for users to download app updates, easy to run A/B tests, and a whole lot cheaper to build.

Taking mobile design a step further, we can make use of the fact that smartphone users are holding a communication device in their hands. You can tap into this, and make it really easy for them to get in touch with you.

Of the shoppers who finalised their shopping session on a smartphone, 41% began it on a different device. 21% of shoppers who finalised their purchase on a tablet, began their session on another device. Source: Barilliance

What if a user starts exploring your site on a phone and then wants to carry on using a different device?

To survive in the modern omnichannel world of retail you must be able to provide support for customers who use different devices during their buying journey. Take a look at the portable cart app for Shopify to see how it can be done.

And, just like customers use different devices as they research and then (hopefully) buy, they use different communication channels to interact with you. It’s essential to link up all of your customer facing systems.

omnichannel guide

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