What is an Omnichannel Strategy?
An omnichannel strategy refers to a sales approach that targets customers efficiently via multiple sales channels. It provides customers with a flawless shopping experience, be it in a physical store, telephonically, shopping online from a laptop or a smart mobile device.
The Objective of an Omnichannel Strategy?
The goal of an omnichannel approach is to remain omnipresent throughout the customer’s purchasing experience through a number of channels. An omnichannel sales experience is less focused on product development, marketing, sales and support but rather concentrates on incorporating these elements in all channels, using customer personas as the foundation thereof.
Benefits of an Omnichannel Sales Approach for Dealers and Automakers?
The associated benefits stretch far beyond increased sales and revenue figures, reduced marketing and sales costs as well as creating a competitive advantage for dealerships or automakers, such as:
- Seamless connectivity of customers across all customer-facing channels through:
- consistent and lasting shopping experiences as no interruptions occur when switching sales channels
- improved customer service
- online and mobile channels serving as the ideal accompaniment to physical stores
- Increased customer retention rates: An omnichannel approach provides convenience to modern-buyers at all points of sale, thereby accurately satisfying their preferences without placing additional pressure on staff members to do so
- Increased Brand Awareness via Click-and-Collect Systems: Only a limited amount of inventory can be held on a dealer’s showroom floor. By providing all available options to customers online, you are not only advertising your physical stock on your shop floor but increasing exposure of vehicles available to you in your virtual stock, thereby increasing the likelihood of customers finding the vehicle they want and making a purchase. Click-and-collect systems allow buyers to search and purchase online, finally collecting the vehicle at the dealer’s premises once it’s already sold.
Launching an Omnichannel Strategy in your Dealership?
This next-gen sales model presses automakers and dealers to reconsider and enhance their current sales strategies by:
- Establishing new roles: An omnichannel sales model requires the creation of new functions as well as recruiting appropriately skilled employees to operate and service the model.
- Restructuring the organisation: Organisational silos and layers restrict the efficient implementation of omnichannel sales models. These models involve close cooperation across functions and business units to support customers through the entire buying process.
- Bridging channels: Without effective bridging of channels, disruptions will occur every time a customer shifts from one channel to another. This not only leads to the loss of important customer data, but customers themselves. Bridging of channels requires upgrading IT connections as well as a collaborative effort from all stakeholders.
- Developing analytic capabilities:
The more insight automakers and dealers have about their customers’ preferences through data analytics, the more tailored and appealing offers they can make to accurately suit their customers’ unique wants and needs.
- Attracting and keeping buyers involved: Buyers using omnichannel apps and tools enable dealers and automakers to keep buyers within their network, staying connected with them, learning more about them and being able to present them with new and relevant offers over time. Keeping buyers informed makes them more accessible, creating opportunities for dealers to develop long-lasting relationships with them over a vehicle’s lifetime and well into their next purchase.
- Revising incentive programs: Implementing an omnichannel sales strategy aims to achieve collaboration, not competition between channels. To avoid unwarranted competition, the following incentives could be introduced:
- Reward an employee for persuading a customer to buy online, thereby translating into system cost savings
- Reward an employee for persuading a customer to register with an online service, thereby securing the customer to your brand
- Adapting: Digital capabilities necessitate that dealer networks undergo changes by reducing dealer outlets and partners whilst simultaneously investing in downtown showrooms and pop-up brand experiences.