By studying the omnichannel practices of large French advertisers and retailers, we can easily draw two conflicting observations:
- customer journeys are more and more multi-channel, integrating both online and offline
- the sales channels are still mainly organized by verticals (digital, points of sale, telesales) with very little porosity in the processes and objectives defined by entity
For a few years, and all the more in this post- confinement, companies are multiplying initiatives allowing, for the different sales channels, to feed each other.
How can digital generate sales via other channels? What interest do agencies / shops have in encouraging online visits? What are the most effective omnichannel devices?
Here Converteo provides an overview of 15 initiatives enabling advertisers to launch or boost their omnichannel strategy.
Historical lever of the omnichannel approach, the web-to-store consists in redirecting part of the online traffic to the physical distribution network . It is a practice widely deployed by players who can rely on their own distribution network (retail, telecom, automobile, insurance, etc.) but also by brands (Estée Lauder, Whirlpool, etc.) which thus highlight the points of sale of the brands that distribute them.
Web-to-Store approaches can be deployed to meet 3 very different challenges:
- Removing some of the inherent obstacles to digital experience (delivery times, product tests, etc.)
- Using digital in order to simplify the physical visit of the upstream client (geolocation, making appointments, etc.) [Differentiatingthemselvesfrom pure eCommerce players
Among the main levers of Web-to-Store we find:
1 – The Store Locator
Indispensable functionality, it consists of mini ma at list the addresses of the points of sale and their opening hours but also to find the store closest to an address or point of sale, calculate the distance to the store, consult its status (open or closed…).
The store locator is an integral part of consumer habits and Google has largely contributed to democratizing functionality thanks to Google My Business.
Indeed, the search engine is positioned as an intermediary by raising the Google Maps results associated with a retailer very high, and by enriching the response with the ranking of points of sale and attendance by time slot.
Contribution of the digital in the sale : from 5 to 15%
2 – Stock Locator and Product Locator
Functionality which consists in sharing the availability of a reference given in a specific store to visualize all the points of sale with the reference in stock or to identify the nearest store in which the product is available.
Beyond the simple presence in stock or not, the most mature players highlight, for a specific point of sale, the volume of references available or a level of confidence allowing to inform the customer on “l ‘urgency’ to go to the store.
For example: Jouéclub! encourages online visitors to inform a collection store from the Homepage, at the very beginning of the purchasing process. Once the point of sale has been informed, the availability of products in store is clearly displayed and in case of unavailability, the brand simplifies the search for a store with the product in stock near the first.
To note : Jouéclub! received in 2019 the LSA Cross-channel Trophy for omnichannel strategy. If the Stock / Product Locator is a democratized feature among retailers, it can however be extremely complex to set up for brands distributed in several brands (Estée Lauder, Samsung, McCain…).
Contribution of digital in sales : from 10 to 15%
3 – The Click & Collect / Drive
Without doubt the functionality with the highest added value for the customer, and the most popular during the covid-19 crisis, it consists in offering the withdrawal in store of a product bought online. The Click & Collect thus makes it possible to remove one of the main obstacles to online shopping: delivery problems (delays, costs, damaged products, product returns, etc.).
Very democratized In the Telecom and Retail sectors, implementation can be technically complex since it requires, in addition to the two previous functions, the implementation of specific processes with sellers.
In an omnichannel strategy, Click & Collect can be particularly effective when approaching peak times, when delivery times will not meet expectations (ex: December 23, February 13 …).
Finally, Click & Collect is today put forward by a certain number of advertisers who see in it an element of response to the 1 hour delivery offered by Amazon and a differentiating element by compared to pure players .
Contribution of digital in sales : from 85 to 95%
4 – e-Reservation
eReservation allows you to book a product in store from the website before going to the point of sale to complete the act of purchase. This widespread practice in the fashion sector (Eram, Gémo, Promod, Pimkie, La Halle, Damart, Kiabi…) is spreading today in other sectors such as large household appliance retailers (ex: Extra )
Like Click & Collect, eReservation requires inventory management synchronized with online activity.
In addition, since the customer is less involved in the purchasing process, eReservation forces the advertiser to set up devices to ensure that customers will actually come and collect their product.
Contribution digital in sales : from 10 to 25%
5 – Making appointments
This feature is widely used in sectors for which online conversion remains rare (insurance, jewelry, automobile) given the prices of the products, the business constraints or the uses.
In this case, the digital plays a role of “lead generator” for the physical network and allows to qualify the customer and his request so that the seller can customize the relationship entry. Appointment scheduling is also used by certain distributors or certain brands which then offer point-of-sale experiences (eg: Estée Lauder with the reservation of an “Instant Beauty” in store). )
Contribution of digital in sales : from 10 to 30%
6 – GeoMarketing
Data collection from geolocation especially since some mobile applications, now allows the deployment of personalized Drive-to-Store marketing campaigns according to the location of the prospect.
For example, the GPS navigation application Waze makes it possible to promote points of sale directly in the application, to nearby motorists. The functionality is mainly used in the catering sector, or in petroleum distribution. But geomarketing can also be used by advertisers to promote their products or encourage them to go to a point of sale outside of navigation applications. In the real estate sector, for example, some players target and personalize the mobile pushes sent to users of the mobile application in real time, in order to promote new goods put up for sale nearby and encourage them to go to an agency.
Contribution of digital in sales : from 20 to 50%
8 – The return / exchange in store of products purchased online
This is the case opposite of Click & Collect: the customer has purchased a product online and wishes to return it. Rather than imposing the return by post, certain brands (Go Sport, H & M, etc.) offer the return to the store of products purchased on the web. Again the functionality simplifies the customer experience, this time in a logic of optimizing customer satisfaction more than ROI.
Contribution of digital in sales : NA
The web-to-call consists in redirecting part of the online traffic to call center agents .
This omnichannel practice is particularly used:
- in sectors where conversion by telephone is historically very widespread while online conversion remains the exception (energy and insurance for example)
- by advertisers whose target is particularly palatable to this channel (high average age)
- in mobile environments (mobile site and app) from which the call is simplified
Among the main levers of Web-to-Call we find:
8 – Appointment making and immediate call back
In the same way as making an appointment in an agency / shop, the making an appointment telephone and immediate call back by an advisor simplify the customer experience (choice of time) while allowing the advertiser to optimize its resources.
Contribution of digital in sales : from 10 to 30%
9 – Call tracking
Call-Tracking allows you to personalize the number displayed on digital spaces (site, app, campaigns, etc.) for each online visitor.
Thanks to this feature, advertisers are able to reconcile in real time the person browsing the site (the lead) and the call to customer service. This allows in particular:
- to direct the online visitor to the most relevant call center according to the pages viewed (termination, subscription…) without asking the customer the reason for his call
- to resume the journey on the phone exactly where the visitor abandoned it before calling
Contribution of digital in sales : from 10 to 30% The Store-to-Web
10 – Flaming and entering loyalty program
This is the most democratized approach: encourage the customer to leave their email in point of sale in order to then be able to initiate a digital relationship with him. embasement is most often backed by a loyalty program : the customer is then invited to create a customer account on the site of the brand or to install the application and register the number of his loyalty card. This reconciliation of the different customer identities (cookie – email – loyalty card) then makes it possible to reconcile the different interactions (navigation on the site, checkout…), an essential element in managing the omnichannel performance .
For example, bibi! – the loyalty program of Franprix – allows a customer to dematerialize his loyalty card on his application and to benefit from personalized promotions in the application based on purchases made at the point of sale.
11 – Lead generation
The lead generation store-to-web consists of relying on a salesperson in the store to analyze a customer’s need and then send him / her , the proposal via direct marketing (email, SMS…). This approach is particularly widespread in sectors where purchasing is engaging and / or medium baskets are important.
For example, Maisons du Monde allows its customers to make dematerialized quotes in stores accompanied by a seller. Customers then receive, by email, their quote easily redirecting to the sheets of the products concerned or to a basket.
The approach can also be extended and systematized, beyond quotes, to products out of stock at the point of sale but available online.
Contribution of digital in sales : from 20% to 40%
12 – The Web-in-Store
The Web-in-Store consists in inciting the customer to go online while he is in point of sale via for example QR code to flash, chips RFID …. The customers are thus offered an enriched shopping experience, the brand being able to promote content directly associated with the products (videos, customer reviews, product information, product range, promotions, etc.).
The customer can then make the purchase in the store, add the product to their digital wishlist or buy it online.
This potentially very powerful approach allows:
- to boost store sales thanks to an enriched purchasing experience and the promotion of complementary products (cross-sell);
- boost online sales for example for references that are out of stock at the point of sale.
For example, the Duraltag Smart anti-theft device developed by Exaqtworld allows you to find all the information produced by flashing a QR Code.
Contribution of digital in sales : from 10% to 90% depending on the customer journey and interactions
13 – The e-Ticket and follow-up of delivery  Dematerialized, the receipt receipt is sent to the customer by email, following the collection of his email address during his checkout at the point of sale. This approach is now implemented by brands such as Promod, Decathlon, Etam …
The digital receipt allows:
- to encourage the customer to create an account and enrich the customer base;
- to promote complementary products or associated with the items purchased in the email to generate cross-salt l;
- to encourage the customer to leave opinions and comments on the products ordered;
- to target and personalize marketing campaigns according to the products purchased (after CRM Onboarding);
- exclude products already purchased from marketing campaigns (“stop retargeting”)
- considerably simplify the product return experience
Please note : Cash e-Tickets, like order confirmation emails, have the highest opening rates with standards between 70 % and 8 0%.
Similar to the cash e-Ticket when the customer at the point of sale chooses home delivery, certain brands also collect the customer’s email address in order to send him an email to track delivery.
Contribution of digital in sales : NA
Share of digital attributed in cross-sell sales generated from email : 100%
14 – The Corner Stores / Pop-up Stores
One of the most powerful levers for pure players, the Pop-up stores consist in setting up pop-up stores (or not), in which customers can try the products before making the online purchase.
This approach has several advantages because it allows:
- to lift the brake on the product test
- to considerably limit stocks in stores (only a few units by reference)
- to capture data via the organization of meetings, which can be enhanced via relationship marketing (emailing, SMS, etc.)
- to work on brand awareness and image
Contribution of digital in sales : from 40 to 60%
The Web Humanized aims to respond to customers who suffer from the lack of support and personalized advice on spaces digital. It therefore consists of making available, on the advertiser’s site, experts usually available in stores or on the Customer Service side.
Among the main approaches of Humanized Web we find:
15 – Click-to-Chat
Click-to-Chat an online visitor to chat with an advisor in real time, directly on the site. Compared to immediate reminders or making appointments online, this device has the advantage of not taking the customer out of their purchasing journey and thus offering a more integrated experience . The most mature devices also allow co-browsing : the advisor, with the agreement of the customer, visualizes his screen in order to help him complete his order or take control of his navigation.
Note also that some advertisers associate the Click-to-Chat with their chatbot: the connection is made via the bot which answers the simplest questions while the call center manager takes control , directly in the conversion, for the most complex questions.
Contribution of digital in sales : from 75 to 85%
The 5 keys to success of an effective omnichannel strategy
As we can see, many devices exist today to put digital at the center of an omnichannel customer experience. However, these systems sometimes stem more from the POC than from a profound change in corporate culture.
In order to establish sustainable and industrialized omnichannel practices, several obstacles must be lifted by advertisers:
- Ensuring the consistency of commercial proposals between channels
essential prerequisite: ensuring the consistency of commercial proposals between channels.
If a customer buys a product in Click & Collect and realizes that there is a promotion in point of sale which he could not take advantage of on the web or that the product concerned is cheaper in store, his experience buying will be heavily tainted. The brand must therefore ensure the consistency of prices and promotions on different channels, otherwise risk creating dissatisfaction.
This approach must, however, be combined with logics of commercial animation and animation of the range (web exclusivity …) of the brand.
- Define uncoordinated common objectives and governance
In many brands the sales objectives are defined independently for each sales channel (digital, shop, customer service. ..).
Too often still, omni-channel routes are not managed with regard to clear objectives shared between the departments concerned (eg target of 5% of purchases in store following an online reservation, 15% of calls generated from promotion landing pages, etc.).
The success of an effective omnichannel strategy requires the definition of shared objectives and followed by its own authorities.
- Collect and reconcile the data necessary for omnichannel management
Once the prerequisites have been set up and the objectives and governance defined, organizations must develop the capacity to collect the data necessary for monitoring and steering omnichannel performances.
On digital devices, data collection will go in part through the tracking of interactions (click rate on the Store Locator, traffic volume from e-Cash tickets, e-Reservation volume, etc.) and must be anticipated before launch.
On offline devices, the collection of data and in particular of a customer reconciliation key can be more complex to deploy (ex: how to know that a visitor to a store has returned to the site upstream?) and may give rise to new processes (ex: collection of the reason for systematic visit during the entry into contact by the seller)
- Managing allocation and uplift
As we have seen previously, for each omnichannel device, the definition of the sales share allocated to each channel is relatively complex. However, this is an essential element in the management of omnichannel devices and the logic of sales attribution must respect certain rules:
- attribution must reflect customer behavior as much as possible;
- attribution keys must be defined, prior to deployment, for each device, and be co-constructed and validated by the different departments involved;
- Identify and promote, for each client, the most relevant device:
A Once the omni-channel devices have been deployed and piloted, the most mature players are part of a logic of personalization of the experience .
Indeed, the relevance of each device can vary greatly depending on the client’s profile, the period … The most effective omnichannel strategies are those that the brand can activate or deactivate in real time according to the constraints:  Reduce the self-promotion of Click & Collect online if the customer does not have a point of sale nearby or if the shops are closed
- Deactivate the offer of immediate recall from online journeys if customer service is overloaded [
- By Thibauld Vian, Manager Converteo