Why OmniChannel Retailing is Important For Home & Garden Brands .

Omnichannel_Home_Garden

Savvy marketers are fully immersed in providing an integrated multi-channel approach but market leaders are already offering omnichannel retailing; breaking down the silos between online and offline interactions.

Omnichannel retailing is a fully-integrated approach that embraces all channels to provide a seamless shopping experience that carries online from desktop to mobile, over the phone or in-store; making it easier to ‘do business’ with brands.

As technology evolves so must our approach, and in the age of the consumer, this is becoming ever-increasingly essential for those wanting to lead the way in digital innovation within their sector, and for those not embracing this change… they risk being left behind by their ‘loyal’ customers for competitors offering a more seamless experience. Those already embracing this approach retain, on average, 89% of their customers compared to 33% for those that aren’t!

Consumers expect to be able to make real-time purchases, check stock, make same-day collections and have access to free delivery and returns as a standard and too many retailers just aren’t offering enough of these simple services to keep shoppers content and stay ahead of the competition.

It’s also important to note how Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming a common theme across the home, garden and manufacturing industries when it comes to omnichannel retailing because it gives users visualisation of the product they’re looking at, making the need for it all the more tangible and increasing the desire to purchase. However, AR tools are only valuable if they can connect online with purchase behaviours, because whilst it might be fun to use for it to be part of a successful marketing strategy brands still need to be able to measure if the user buys online or not.

Many home and garden retailers are already implementing signs of an omnichannel approach and for some, there’s still a long way to go, below I’ve included a few brands in this sector that are already leading the way in omnichannel retailing.

Karndean Designflooring

Karndean’s virtual floor fitting app puts a fun twist on an otherwise mundane task of walking around stores searching for flooring only to bring it home, discover that it just messes with the feng shui in the rest of the room and it’s back to the drawing board.

The app uses Augmented Reality to show users what a specific flooring type might look like in their designated room just from using their mobile device or tablet.

 

Jacksons Fencing

Jacksons Fencing offers website users access to a fence-builder tool which allows them to specify their desired product and prevents users from missing commonly forgotten items such as hardware, nails, screws and postcrete which in turn means that when customer’s items are delivered they have everything they need for the project and don’t need to return to the website or an alternative retailer for extra products.

Additionally, we’re in the process of helping Jacksons define and develop a ChatBot which will allow customers to self serve; helping to free up Telephone and Live Chat operatives so that they can continue to better serve customers.

Screwfix

Screwfix lives up to and exceeds the expectations of consumers looking to buy online and obtain products quickly and easily.

For consumers looking to buy parts for a broken shower or a fitting for their sink, the last thing they want to do is stalk up and down a store with lots of shelves and no clue what they really need. With Screwfix, shoppers can search and locate their part effortlessly via Google Search or in Site Search, read reviews, check stock, purchase their item and collect from a local store where they will be notified once a member of the team has picked their item within hours and sometimes minutes of purchasing; an effortless interaction. This no-fuss approach is what makes Screwfix such a hit with DIYers and tradespeople.

Dfs

With Dfs, the buying story is slightly different. Whilst a sofa-shopper will carry out lots of research online, they still want to be able to sit and ‘test’ the sofa before parting with their money, therefore it’s essential that Dfs provides a user experience that answers all of their needs. With this in mind, Dfs launched a new feature that allows shoppers to use AR to see their sofa in ‘real-life’ mode, ensuring that it fits / matches with the rest of the room which helps prevent the number of returns the retailer gets for sofas that are too big and this is where we see the AR offering really coming into fruition for brands.

 

Dfs have also been embracing other technologies including neural linguistics to analyse the performance of telephone interactions, in-store location beacon technology, as well as AI-assisted software to enhance learning and recruitment activity all in a bid to drive their omnichannel experience.

IKEA

Renowned not just for their meatballs, IKEA is at the forefront of innovative thinking in the industry. Back in 2013, they launched the first version of their ‘IKEAPlace’ a catalogue app that allowed users to see a preview of what items would look like in their homes using augmented reality. Fast-forward to 2019, the use of AR has streamlined the purchasing journey for IKEA customers as they can move from viewing items in their home to purchasing products in a few easy steps.

 

IKEA’s experience doesn’t just end there, they offer customers a variety of tools to help with planning the design of their homes from their wardrobe planning tool to the kitchen designer, users are able to access all of this online before then collecting their item or in-store at one of the designated design areas.

Even in-store IKEA use technology to join-up the customer experience; allowing users can scan items as they walk around the store using their app to determine if that item is in stock and then allowing them to add them to their basket before then telling them exactly where to go to collect their items.

Crate & Barrel

This US-based company is hitting the nail on the head when it comes to omnichannel retailing.

In-store they offer shoppers ‘Mobile Totes’ which is essentially a tablet shopping bag that allows users to scan items they like as they walk the length of their stores. Each scan gives shoppers the ability to read reviews, check stock and read more about the item. Customers can then choose to either email themselves their shopping list or check-out in-store where a member of staff will gather their chosen items for them.

If the customer chooses to email themselves their shopping list, Crate & Barrel are then able to retarget the customer with ads featuring the products added to their list and the brand even reported a 10% rise in sales within 2 months of releasing ‘Mobile Totes’ in one of their stores!

Speak to the experts

Are you ready to begin your omnichannel journey to business success? Get in touch with a member of our team today.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Naomi Harper
Head of Marketing & Communications
Naomi is the agency's Head of Marketing & Communications with a strong background in Public Relations, events, Marketing and Brand campaigns.

Naomi joined Sagittarius in January 2021 to deliver exceptional external brand experiences, engaging internal communications and to assist with the driving of sales and the developing of relationships with key strategic suppliers.
 

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Naomi Harper

16 Jul 2019 - 7 minute read
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