One of the largest home improvement retailers saw their online sales grow by 37 percent in 2014. In 2015 online revenue grew another 36 percent, accounting for over $1 billion in new online sales. For a business that is traditionally based on in-person sales at brick-and-mortar locations, this growth in online retail is both surprising and inspiring. One of the keys to this online growth is that this retail chain has been a leader in deploying effective omnichannel retail strategies that integrate a sales strategy across multiple mediums.
This article will show you how to leverage digital retail kiosks and signage into a supercharged omnichannel retail strategy that will drive more revenue to your business through multiple sales channels. But first, what is an omnichannel strategy?
What is omnichannel retail?
Omni is derived from the word "omnis" which means "off all things," and omnichannel retail is the synthesis of multiple sales channels into one seamless sales experience — with a focus on seamless.
For a true omnichannel experience, each touchpoint with the customer must be consistent. The home improvement retailer mentioned above is a great example because shoppers are able to shop for and buy their items online (e-commerce channel) from the convenience of their own home, and spend as much time as they want considering options.
With an omnichannel experience, the customer can purchase the item online and choose "pick up in-store," which allows the customer to visit a nearby store for a final in-person inspection of the product. If satisfied with their purchase, the customer leaves the store with the product. However, if unsatisfied, the customer is able to deny the item, leave it at the store for a full refund, and hopefully choose another item.
A key element of the supercharged omnichannel strategy mentioned above is that the retailer-installed digital retail kiosk banks to help facilitate completion of online orders in-store. The kiosks are part of an integrated strategy that allows customers to track their existing orders, check inventory and complete new orders through multiple channels, including an online portal, mobile app or kiosk. This, by definition, is a true omnichannel strategy and is likely driving this retailer's stellar growth in new channels.
Up-selling and cross-selling with retail digital signage kiosks
Suppose the customer arrives in-store to complete their purchase of a light fixture that they started online. They visit the retail kiosk to complete their order, and the kiosk is able to recommend complementary products the customer might need for this job (cross-selling) such as wire cutters, volt meters, electrical tape and of course safety glasses!
The kiosk could also suggest a more expensive light fixture that is superior to the one the customer chose (up-selling). Perhaps there is an energy efficient model available in the same style, and the kiosk can suggest to the customer "Upgrade to the Energy Efficient model for only $12 more and you can save 30 percent per year operating costs." Amazon has banked on 35 percent of its revenue coming from cross-selling and up-selling for over a decade.
Imagine the windfall opportunity that is growing an online channel, inviting the customer into the store, and then using cost-effective omnichannel retail kiosks to introduce customers to complementary and possibly better products. This is supercharged omnichannel retail!
Retail-area kiosks: Supercharging the planogram
The planogram is a retailer's architecture of where certain products are placed to maximize profit. An essential element to the planogram should be digital kiosks and signage, and there are a few simple ways to supercharge a planogram:
- Retail information kiosks allow customers to price check, locate items in-store (wayfinding), and if the retailer is omnichannel, the customer can locate an item in another store if their current store is out-of-stock. Also, like with any retail kiosk, the customer can be introduced to cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
- Customer loyalty kiosks strategically placed throughout the retail area will drive loyalty program sign-ups. One great way to drive sign-ups and profits is to offer a discount on the customer's next purchase by signing up for the loyalty program. Integrating loyalty program messaging into a retail kiosk experience allows for easy tie-ins of loyalty program enrollment with the customer's current shopping experience.
- Self-service retail kiosks are a great way to decrease wait times for customers. Seventy-two percent percent of customers want self-service when they have a limited number of items, and 55 percent of customers will defer to self-service when there is a line in the traditional checkout line.
- Digital signage is extremely effective at providing your customers with up-to-the-minute promotional messaging on latest product and pricing specials. Not only does digital signage give retailers real-time ability to influence buying decisions, but digital signage stands out! Digital signage allows retailers to grab attention and direct customers to the most profitable offers in real-time.
A basic omnichannel retail strategy is the culmination of synchronized back-end systems that provide a consistent experience to the customer at each touchpoint. A supercharged omnichannel experience is an investment in digital retail kiosks and signage that help combine channels, increase sales and increase customer satisfaction.
/ Frank Olea is the CEO of Olea Kiosks Inc. Frank has been designing and manufacturing kiosk solutions for almost 20 years and has held numerous kiosk industry Board of Director positions.