Multi-channel retailing broke the barriers of geographical locations. But with the advent of digital technology there are various platforms from which consumers have the access to purchase garments and integrating all the channels can help apparel retailers streamline their supply chain processes and achieve customer satisfaction. With the vanishing boundary between online and off-line shopping in the minds of consumers, it becomes increasingly important for apparel retailers to provide a seamless buying experience across all avenues and have a competitive advantage.
The growing numbers of smartphone users are influencing the rise of online apparel shopping. This means more number of consumers have the liberty to research about various apparel brands and retailers online. Moreover, the rise of social media marketing and blogs has also made brands to break out of their conventional advertising strategies and stay more updated web-wise to reach to their target customers.
Multi-channel vs. Omni channel retailing
Multi-channel retailing gives the shopper the options of buying a product from various purchase points like in-store, online mediums (Computer, tablet, mobile phones), interactive televisions, and even wearable technology, where each channel is independent of the other. Omni channel retailing on the other hand lets the consumers use more than one purchase point from a retailer for a transaction. For example, buying a garment in a physical store and asking for a return online.
Moreover, with the help of Omni channel retailing, an apparel retailer offers a 360 view of the purchases made by customers across all channels while with multi-channel retailing, retailers just offers customers an array of channels to choose from.
Data and analytics
In order to become a good and successful apparel retailer, having knowledge about the consumer behavior and purchase decisions is extremely vital. With digitization of retailing and modern concepts where retailers allows customers to down mobile applications, availing data about customers becomes easy. This can help retailers leverage on doing analysis on the collected consumer data. Besides that, with omni retailing platform, a retailer can also provide instant updates to a consumer, who has just entered the stores, with offers and discounts.
Moreover, by having access to such data, retailers can provide consumers with facilities like setting alerts on their favorite items, daily deals, offers, and special discounts. Smart consumers surfing the internet look for reviews on blogs and social media networking sites to compare and purchase a product. According to a recent survey on American apparel shoppers revealed 77 percent compare prices, 58 percent read reviews, and 71 percent look up for coupons and offers. The same survey also discovered that 68 percent consumers considered writing product reviews (for both online and physical store apparel purchases), 71 percent agreed that product reviews do influence them, and 81 percent think online reviews of products are believable.