Your secret weapon for success is an omnichannel distribution network that works together with your current retail systems. See how you could upgrade to omnichannel and really wow your customer base. Why is omnichannel fulfillment important? For starters, not only is it more effective than trying to manage separate in-store and online sales channels, it’s also more efficient and actually results in better financial results. Instead of providing a single loyalty card program for in-store only customers or one that does not cross over to either online or internet purchases, you develop your omnichannel loyalty program to cater to all manner of customer needs.
When developing an omnichannel loyalty program, you have to consider multiple goals. Goals like reducing returns, increasing customer loyalty and improving the efficiency of your inventory control. There are several ways to achieve these goals. You can offer a cash incentive based on individual customer performance, you could offer coupons redeemable at selected vendors, provide point-of-sale (POS) software tools that gather the data on customer purchase behavior, provide store level data on Point-of-Sale purchase and placement data and reward programs. In this article I focus on developing a point-of-sale (POS) omnichannel strategy using data-driven insights to improve all of these areas.
Developing an omnichannel loyalty program that incorporates point-of-sale (POS) data to reward associates for their efforts goes by several names including incentive programs, incentive pay, retail incentive program and retail incentive programs. These retail programs may be presented as part of a broader loyalty initiative such as corporate gifts, employee discounts and retail job relocation. In some cases, when a company has a strong e-commerce presence or an affiliate presence in a particular geographic area, it can focus on that geography by designing a point-of-sale (POS) program that provides cash incentives, coupons and other rewards for those who spend more at that retailer. In this case, the retailer would need to develop an interactive website, in addition to a POS software application, that collects and reports the data from the online website.
With today’s economic environment, many organizations are looking to reduce operating costs by looking beyond traditional channels to drive more customer through advanced technologies and more personalized touchpoints. Incentives such as retail “cash for taste” programs and corporate gift discounts can go beyond simple discounts and reward a customer’s loyalty. In fact, these programs can go beyond rewards to create real loyalty opportunities by driving more purchases from other sources.
For example, hotels, restaurants and airlines can use their existing channels to provide incentive programs to customers who spend money at their locations. Incentives may include special discounts on room rates, additional freebies or complimentary tickets to events. Such programs can go beyond current channels of customer interactions to provide a brand with a deeper understanding of individual purchasing behaviors and brand loyalty. However, if an organization does not already have an omnichannel strategy in place, it may need to look to acquire or expand its channel list to include these new communication strategies.
An omnichannel loyalty program can also take advantage of new customer experiences to push sales. Stores that have a solid history of creating engaging displays can take advantage of digital signage technology to feature personalized messages on hand-held devices and kiosks. With new technologies that allow for data to be automatically pulled into a secure electronic format from any provider, stores no longer need to rely on costly push notifications to attract new customers. Instead, stores can use real-time data from existing customer encounters to make purchases and trigger advertising campaigns.
The ability to create personalized experiences across a broad spectrum of devices and platforms provides greater flexibility for retailers. This gives them the opportunity to provide exclusive content and application features to customers on touch-screen devices or through specially designed applications on tablets or laptops. Furthermore, an omnichannel loyalty program can make purchases more likely when a customer performs a certain action, such as filling out a form, opting in to receive emails or downloading an app.
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An omnichannel loyalty program offers a number of distinct advantages over traditional channels. Traditional channels are restricted to one-way communication between a brand and its customers. A customer can only interact with a brand if the brand allows that interaction to occur. Omnichannel strategies provide seamless customer journeys that span multiple channels and multiple devices, which enables brands to maximize the benefits of their omnichannel strategy. These strategies can make purchases from a single location or across multiple outlets more likely and provide customers with the opportunity to interact with a single brand and multiple distinct offerings across all venues.