Omni-channel Retail aka the Future of E-Commerce in the Middle East

by Julia Jackle - Apr 25, 2019

In this ever-evolving age of E-Commerce, the way retailers approach, meet and guide consumers through the entire buyer’s journey is important more so when it comes to influencing purchase decisions in their favor. Especially in the UAE and in general in the Middle East where the variety of retails is large, you need to position your brand in a different light and approach in order to stand out.

The thing is, consumers of this age don’t just want to buy things. Instead, they want to compare products, see prices, consult social media and also look up what other shoppers are saying about a product. On top of this, they want to experience a seamless and effortless experience through the entire buying journey. A brand unity across all channels is what the users demand and that is what Omni-channel stands for. For this reason, many online retailers have turned to Omni-channel in a bid to adjust and smoothen the purchase experience for the growing number of consumers who shop online.

If you are an E-Commerce business owner, you need to align your business towards this brand unity. The concept it sounds new, hip and revolutionary. But what exactly is Omni-channel Retail?

This is Omni-channel Retail

If we break it down to its building blocks, Omni-channel denotes the various techniques and channels an online business can formulate and implement to efficiently convert its leads into paying customers. And with surveys from all around the world indicating that 67% of millennials and 56% of Generation-Xers prefer searching for products and buying them online; it has become more important than ever for online retailers to broaden and smoothen their online presence so as to increase the platforms and paths that online shoppers can leverage to make purchase decisions. In response, Omni-channel seeks to optimize and establish conversion points on every stage of the buyer’s funnel.

How can your brand benefit from an Omni-channel strategy?

  1. More Personalization

The definitive objective of Omni-channel is to provide buyers with an easy, cohesive and smooth buying experience from awareness all the way to purchase. The argument is, online buyers want to feel that they can rely on a certain brand for custom and consistent products and services. Fortunately, Omni-channel retail helps retailers to identify with their customers in an effort to offer personalized services and products.

  1. Better Data on Customer Behavior

Besides improving buyer experience, Omni-channel gathers and presents retailers with insightful data that can help them improve the way they serve their customers. This is very imperative considering that there are so many channels from which potential customers can enter your brand’s ecosystem.

Taking this into consideration, it is important for retailers to know when a customer makes content and how they behave after first discovering the brand. For instance, did they meet your brand on Instagram, Facebook or perhaps from search engine results? After discovering you, what did they do? Browsed products? Made a purchase? Or just bounced?

Omni-channel offers you such insights which are very important when it comes to personalizing the experience your customers receive. It will help you recognize hot spots, from which you can direct your marketing efforts.

  1. “Bullseye Targeting” Customers

If you understand customer behavior and know the touchpoints they are using and how they are making their way through your brand, it becomes easier for you to convert them by optimizing their touch points.

I mean, if you have a clear understanding of how your potential customers behave, you can employ additional resources or focus your marketing efforts at the point where it is easiest to convert them and how to solve their concerns.

How to implement an Omni-channel strategy

  1. Focus on the Right KPIs

With the number of online platforms increasing every fortnight, it is important to focus on where and how you track data because making informed decisions is hinged on it. And though touch points work in unison to facilitate a seamless and effortless conversion, don’t forget that each of them is unique.

I am saying this because conversion is what drives any business and creates customer loyalty for a repeat purchase. The point is if your Omni-channel marketing strategy is anchored on a pleasurable and consistent buyer experience, ensure that a potential buyer is accessing every touchpoint over and over again.

  1. Maintain a Consistent Brand Image

Whenever it concerns the Omni-channel strategy, consistency is inevitable. Whether it is potential buyers sifting products in your store or visitors browsing through your online inventory, the spirit and message of your brand should be in tandem every time. The thing is, when you create a seamless, pleasurable and consistent buyer experience, you will be showing the seeds of loyalty. And when customers are loyal, you can rest guaranteed of repeat purchases.

Bottom Line

This approach demands also integrations and clear structures of your own internal business and product data and to connect your tools and platform correctly. The allure of this idea is not only rooted in enabling customers to find brands and products but also making the whole experience seamless and pleasurable. At its heart, it harbors the values of consumer’s buying experience from start to finish and from a front and backend on your business.

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About the Author:
Julia Jackle
Julia is the co-founder and CEO of Creative971 and has written blogs in the past for the Entrepreneur Magazine UAE. Her extensive knowledge in the E-Commerce industry in the UAE and GCC is widely appreciated.

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