While traveling recently I found myself in an airport with a long enough layover to enjoy a leisurely meal. As I walked past four restaurants, trying to decide what culinary mood I was in, I noticed something I had never seen before. Each restaurant provided an iPad for customer use at every table. This is a trend that will soon spread to all physical retail venues, as the merging of physical and digital marketplaces continues to yield greater convenience for customers and more profit for businesses.
Of course, this multi-channel (or, omni channel) strategy is not limited to restaurants.< Dick's Sporting Goods recently expanded to an omni channel approach by sending weekly specials to targeted geographic areas near physical store locations, launching a stronger loyalty program app, and providing sales associates with mobile devices to help customers with online ordering while in stores. And Dick's uses brick-and-mortar locations for customer pick-up of online orders without shipping costs. As a result, Mobile Commerce reports that with Dick's omni channel approach, ecommerce sales have grown by 50 percent in markets that have physical locations. Tom Karren, CEO and Co-Founder of Moki, talks about the impact of customer-facing device strategies. “We have seen tremendous improvement in our clients’ ability to test and change content instantly in response to their target markets.” But this trend seems to be driven by a lot more than the ease and cost savings associated with better content management. Karren explains further, “The analytics can make the biggest difference, offering real-time data around session length, touches, digital interactions, views and impressions.”
In short, omni channel marketing, and merging the physical and digital access points for customers, is good for the bottom line. This is the inevitable result of more interaction, enhanced customer experience and loyalty, higher retention and conversion rates, and sales increases.
| Forbes.com | Larry Myler: CEO By Monday, Inc., adjunct professor in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU, author of Indispensable By Monday.