Omni-channel retailing allows for an increase in both profit and number of clients. However, simply integrating the online and offline worlds does not guarantee success. Multi-channel communication proves to be vital.

Customers are becoming more and more demanding, not only of the quality of the products and services but also of the quality of communication with retailers. Response time and channels of communication available are the main factors affecting customers’ satisfaction. Some companies merely provide the exact same information through all channels of communication but customizing the content to the specific platform is a significantly more effective strategy. It does, however, require a preparation of different, yet complementary content for each channel.

An individual approach

Personalizing a company’s advertisements according to specific customer’s needs can help strengthen brand loyalty. In Poland, 44% of respondents would be interested in a customized offer based on their personal data. That’s 1% more than the average for the six European countries surveyed. The highest percentage was recorded in Italy (53%) and the lowest in Germany (34%). These calculations were carried out for the Comarch and Kantar TNS report “The future of shopping. The most important trends in retail today and in 2030”.

It is therefore quite surprising that only 4% of respondents in Poland have confirmed that they are receiving personalized offers. Another 4% of respondents felt that the content provided to them online is inspiring and arouses interest. These topics are addressed in the report titled “Total Retail 2017. How to survive in the digital world of commerce”, which has evaluated data collected in 32 countries.

The old meets the new

According to the “Survey of consumer behavior in the Omni-channel era” carried out by GfK Polonia for i-systems, internet is the primary source of information about products and brands. It is followed by TV advertisements, word of mouth and billboard advertising. Among the most popular internet sources of information are opinions on forums and blogs, producer’s websites and online stores. 95% of respondents would like to be able to purchase a given product on the producer’s website.

Traditional channels still play a significant role for participants of various loyalty programs, as indicated by the Comarch and Kantar TNS report. Only a third of respondents want to receive coupons and discount codes in digital form. Customers are becoming more and more attached to the use of mobile devices. This means that companies need to embrace responsive design. On the other hand, 71% of respondents in the PwC study are concerned that their data will be stolen from their smartphones.

Multichannel communication in omnichannel retailing is undoubtedly a challenge but it is first and foremost an opportunity. Integrating one’s activity and providing a high quality of service will certainly bring positive results. High level of client satisfaction, new audiences and an increase in profit await. Is any more motivation necessary to introduce change?

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