Omnichannel Retail Experience: The Future of Seamless Customer Journeys

Omnichannel retail experiences are crucial in a competitive landscape. Talk to TLC for adaptive display solutions for your omnichannel retail strategy.

Retail is growing more fiercely competitive year on year. 

Customer expectations are constantly evolving. Customers today, especially Gen Z, live out their dreams, aspirations, loves—and brand preferences online. The lines between in-store brand experiences and online or social shopping are blurring—and how!

Customers want to know: "If I walk into your store and the product I want is not currently in stock, can you accept an order and deliver it to me once it's back in stock? And can I track it online?"

E-tailers think: 'Would I do better if I also have a physical presence?'

While traditional brick-and-mortar retailers wonder: "I must build a mobile app that sends out personalized product recommendations and offers to local shoppers."

Integrating online and offline touchpoints to drive a customer's journey toward conversion is reshaping today's retail channel strategy.

The omnichannel retail experience is all about convenience, saving time on shopping, and making purchasing easier than before.

The Look Company offers adaptive and flexible display solutions to help retailers design omnichannel customer experiences.

The Evolution of Omnichannel Retail

The internet brought e-commerce to the forefront. It brought convenience and broke through geographical boundaries, allowing consumers the freedom to shop from across cities, states, and even countries. 

Back then, integrating online and offline touchpoints was known as 'phygital'—but it was challenging to demystify and define 'phygital.' It was an emerging trend with only a few large brands experimenting with interactions of customers across physical selling points and mobile apps or digital kiosks.

The internet-enabled mobile phone (or the smartphone as we now call it) revolutionized the shopping experience even further.

With a smartphone, connected shoppers could search for a product on the brand's website, then visit the physical retail outlet to experience the touch-and-feel aspects of the product in-store, and finally place the order either online for home delivery or purchase it physically at the store. They could even opt for a click-and-collect, which lets them pick up the order themselves from the nearest store.

The rise of social media channels and their influence on shopping behavior brought more twists and turns to the nature of omnichannel retail solutions. Now, Instagrammable displays are a common feature in brand showrooms. Hashtags are used in offline as well as online campaigns, encouraging consumers who view a print ad or TVC to take to their social channels and use the hashtags of the brands they follow and love.

The ability to integrate physical and digital touchpoints into a cohesive narrative has now become the proverbial double-edged sword that can give brands a competitive edge.

In the future, retail customer engagement will not be about static displays, digital screens or even thoughtful floor layouts—the future of retail will be all about the customer's seamless journey toward a purchase decision across many touchpoints—some online and some offline. 

The future of retail is omnichannel engagement.

But what does this mean for display solutions?  

Retail display solutions providers who adapt quickly to the current retail landscape and deliver innovative display solutions that enable seamless customer journeys will successfully transform physical spaces into engaging experiences.

Innovative Display Solutions for Omnichannel Success

Brands constantly seek creative ways to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experiences.

Let's look at some ideas to create a seamless omnichannel retail experience for today's savvy shoppers.

Engaging, interactive displays

Shoppers will turn a blind eye to your promotions if you use static, boring, or one-size-fits-all displays. Visual merchandisers must rewrite their retail display script and work to deliver displays that are not just eye-catching but blend harmoniously with the brand's online presence and social media strategy. For example, innovative uses of scannable QR codes within in-store displays or promotions that hinge on tagging the brand for giveaways or shoutouts work well. They give the shopper something 'to do' while viewing the display—which is, by definition, engaging. 

Mobile apps can also encourage in-store shoppers to scan items, check stock, and add products to their online cart for purchase.

One for the future! Voice recognition technology is growing at a swift rate. It may not be long before we can design in-store displays that respond to a shopper's voice commands and allow shoppers to explore product features—hands-free! Maybe even buy the displayed product via a digital kiosk integrated into the display!

The rise of retail analytics 

Companies are increasingly harnessing technology to gather customer data, such as their previous purchases, frequency of store visits, and categories of goods they regularly buy. They can further correlate this data with customers' online behavior and preferences. Collecting and analyzing all this data can help retailers understand customer behavior across various touchpoints and personalize in-store displays with targeted promotions that resonate with their customers.

One for the future! In the future, we may also see facial recognition technology used in physical stores to recognize returning customers and deliver personalized offers to their smartphones as they walk into the store!

Customer-Centric Approach: Crafting Personalized Journeys

The modern customer's journey from brand or product awareness to making a purchase decision is not necessarily linear. It's more likely to follow a wavering, circuitous path, alternating between online and offline touchpoints.

Personalization is the key to crafting seamless and meaningful customer journeys in this context. Visual merchandisers must place the individual shopper at the heart of every promotional display tactic and visual messaging strategy.

And to achieve a deep understanding of the omnichannel shopper, retailers must harness emerging technologies to gather valuable data from physical retail and e-commerce environments.

Retail analytics can reveal insights about shoppers' preferences, behaviors, and interactions across channels.  

Based on the data, visual merchandisers can envisage customer-centric in-store displays. When displays are tailored to customer preferences, they resonate with the audience and build lasting brand loyalty. 

For example, retailers may want to leverage data about seasonal preferences in specific outlets. So, the visual merchandising strategy may differ for each brand and store location depending on data insights into customers frequenting each outlet.

One for the future! There will probably be a time when we can design in-store displays using a combination of personalized data and product visualization aids. For example, shoppers may be able to use AR/VR glasses to view and experience a customized display with a dramatically immersive and engaging scene!

The Look Company: A Personalized Approach to the Omnichannel Retail Experience

Adopting TLC's display solutions facilitates a customer-centric approach to visual merchandising and supports your omnichannel retail strategy

Given the increasing impact of personalized journeys on brand loyalty and customer satisfaction, flexible and adaptive display solutions are of utmost importance.

At The Look Company, we offer modular display systems that give your design teams unlimited design flexibility to create displays that they can easily change to suit dynamic customer preferences and seasonal trends. 

They can create themed booths or even complete rooms to display products for different customer segments. They can integrate lit and non-lit fabric panels as well as digital screens to create an omnichannel display.

Tip: Download our Modular Display Guide here for a more detailed discussion of TLC's adaptive display solutions.

Reach out to our experts for innovative retail visual engagement solutions and explore how you can enhance your omnichannel retail strategies.

Connect with TLC for a consultation call to discuss how to build omnichannel retail experiences for your brand or showroom.