Every businessman wants to see their business grow. They would do everything just to achieve it including applying a new retail strategy.   In the year 2012, after losing $1.2 billion in sales, Best Buy revamped it’s multi-channel retail strategy and implemented an omnichannel retail strategy. They figured out that their customers would like to buy products at their online and offline stores interchangeably. They added an option to pick up products at their retail stores.   Since the implementation, they posted big sales growth. In this article, we would be breaking down the major differences between Multi-channel and Omnichannel retail strategy.          

Definition: Multi-channel and Omnichannel

  Multi-channel is selling of products across various sales channels. You may consider yourself as a multi-channel retailer if you are selling to two or more channels:  
  • Brick and Mortar Retail store
  • Online store (Shopify, BigCommerce)
  • E-commerce marketplaces (Amazon, Lazada, Shopee)
  • Mobile app with a customer shopping list feature
  While Omnichannel, from the word Omni, integrates all multiple sales channels in one platform. This is considered to be the future of retail platforms according to Euromonitor.  
Philippine retailing industry is also undergoing business model disruption, particularly the inevitable integration of digital platforms. Given Filipinos’ love of shopping malls, bricks-and-mortar stores will remain very relevant but will need to evolve.   Adopting an omnichannel strategy, with a particular presence in the digital space while enhancing the in-store experience, will be a must for retailers to remain competitive in the marketplace.   The Philippine retail industry will not go down the purely e-commerce route as both a physical and digital presence will be crucial to sustaining consumer interest. – An excerpt from Euronomitor’s retail report for 2018. 
  As market competition continues to rise, companies are in continuous search of ways to improve their customer’s experience. A lot of companies make sure that they are available for sale both online and offline. However, certain challenges arise upon managing these multiple sales channels:  
  • Customers wanting to know if a certain product is available in a particular store
  • Company managers who want to compare the sales among all the sales channels
  • Companies wanting to give incentives to customers who buy products online and offline
  • And a lot more!
   

Customer Experience

    Multi-channel solved the problem of products being available both online and offline. However, since multi-channel retailers have separate inventory system across all of its channels, customers sometimes have a hard time knowing if a particular stock is available in a particular sales channel.   Omnichannel retailers, on the other hand, connects every sales channel to ensure a positive customer experience. This is the main difference between multi-channel and omnichannel.  
Developing an omnichannel strategy is a uniquely-tailored process with customer-centric goals. The main focus should be on how your customers want to experience shopping online, and that focus should be supported by the infrastructure partners who can help to hold that customer’s experience to the highest standards. – Alexei Alankin, CEO, Eventige

Order Fulfillment

  Multi-channel Retailers get to fulfill their orders per sales channel. There is no direct correlation between online and offline channels, whatever is the sale in the online does not reflect in the offline.   In OmnichannelSince the sales channel is well connected, orders across all channels could easily be tracked thus business owners can expect faster order fulfillment.  
Think of the buying experience from your own perspective. Years ago, you would buy in-person only. At some point you started shopping online and using sites like Amazon.   But these worlds are beginning to blend and you’re more and more likely to check out something in-person but buy it online. Or vice versa.   The key as a merchant is to be able to accommodate your customer and take their order however they want to give it.   – Brett Owens, Marketing Director & Co-Founder, LeadDyno
   

Technology

    Being a new technology, there are few platforms who are offering omnichannel. To be able to connect all the sales channel into one platform is surely a dauntless task. That’s what Omnirio is trying to solve. We are one of the pioneers of omnichannel retail strategy in the Philippines.   If you’re interested to know more, please contact us below: [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]    

Conclusion: Multi-channel or Omnichannel?

  Omnichannel retailing evolves from Multi-channel because of the limits in the latter. Customers like fast and seamless transaction and as a company who wants to grow, you need to consider moving into omnichannel now.   Philippine retailers should embrace changes in their retail strategy. In fact, the country’s largest retail company, SM Retail, has launched a click and collect service which allows their customers to order online and collect it in their store. Overall, omnichannel strategy aims to integrate both online and offline sales channel.    

Guru Tip

      Stay in touch with the leading retail trends and provide your customers with the best experience they deserve.     As pointed out in various research papers and examples from market leaders, Omni-channel is the next step in retail evolution

Some business fail and some succeed

  While it is exciting to start a business that you are passionate about.   But truth be told, not all businesses are positioned for success… right away.   At this point, you may have already come up with a business idea and planned out your business goals of being the next big thing.   You may perhaps dream to be the next Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Google, and the likes.    
80% of businesses fail in the first 18 months of their operation.  There are a lot of factors that contribute to this sad reality and here are some of those – Bloomberg

In fact, only about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, and about half survive five years.

    So with this information that you are reading now, how do you position your business to grow and attain your mission?    

We have here five reasons why businesses fail and how would you avoid it

 

  1. Leadership Failure

  Let’s admit it.   Where you go, your business goes.   The rise and fall of every business lie heavily on the man behind it and that’s you.   You have the sole discretion on choosing your employees, what systems to use, what strategies to implement and so on.   As a leader, there are factors that you can control and cannot control and you have to focus on those you can.  
Steve-Jobs
Photo credit: http://www.thechurning.net | In this Photo is a young Steve Jobs addressing his people.
    The late Steve Jobs failed big time when he was younger.   This failure led him to the biggest opportunity of his life. He learned to never be reckless in his decisions and made calculated actions to reach his way to the top.    
“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me… It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life… It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.” – Steve Jobs
   

Guru Tip:

Guru Tip - colored     Be reminded of your vision in the first place.   You have to realize why you started the business.   Remember that very first day you got so excited to share about your vision to the world.   You want to make an impact, right?   Mind you, every entrepreneur experienced the same before they succeeded.   You have to keep moving forward.  

2. Culture

    More than anything, your business’ most important asset is your PEOPLE.   Some business fails to recognize it and do not work on the asset that gives them the profit.   1     Toxic work environment could hurt the productivity of the employees or worse they could end up looking for another company to work on.   These problems could be solved by providing them with a good and positive working environment.    

Guru Tip:

Guru Tip - colored   Here are the top 5 things that you must do to improve your company culture:  
  1. You have to handle conflicts immediately
  2. Empower your employees in doing their task
  3. Encourage your team to work together
  4. Set a standard that everyone would follow
  5. Remove Hierarchies
     

3. Bad communication with customers

  Some business fail because they forgot to talk to whom they need to talk to   If you do not know the people you are selling your products or services to, then we have a big problem.   You have to realize that your customers could change over time and not having communication with them could hurt your company in the long run.   You have to know why they buy a certain product and what do you think you could do to gain their trust.   Click here to read the factors on why they buy your product.  
20160414174525-entrepreneur-meeting-woman-talking-customers-building-relationships
Photo Credit: http://www.entrepreneur.com
    Increase communication with your customers would allow you to navigate your strategies based on their needs    

Guru Tip:

Guru Tip - colored   Launch a system that would encourage customers to speak to you, It could be in the form of a loyalty program. Amazon Prime is a perfect example of why every business owner should hear their clients.  
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
  We could help you launch your loyalty program seamlessly.  Fill up the link below to know how:   [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]    

4. Poor Financial Management

    Cash is the lifeblood of every business and unfortunately, a lot of businesses fails to account it.   F_Finances_Courtesy-of-Pexels-800x450   Having big revenues doesn’t account to good net income. Because of poor financial decisions, your business may fail.  

Guru Tip:

Guru Tip - colored     You have to take into account every transaction of your business regardless of how big or small it is.   Sometimes, our eagerness to sell more products could cost our entire business.   Let’s take for example the story of H&M and its unsold inventory that accounts for $4.3 billion dollars.   Because of their eagerness to sell more, they overstocked and made news headlines everywhere.   This kind of problems could be solved by having a system that would manage the inventory levels, sales projection, and order management of your company. Omnirio could be able to help you with that.    

5. Failure to adapt to trends

     
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein
 
1280-amdrone
Did you know that Amazon now delivers through drone?
    Yes, the world is fast evolving.   Failure to adapt to any changes could make your entire business fail.   We saw how Nokia thrived in the early 2000s only to be sold in the years later.   As a business owner, you have to be able to adjust to changes brought by factors you can’t control.    

Guru Tip:

Guru Tip - colored     Focus on things that would stay the same over a long period of time.  
“In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible,” Bezos shared.
  With these, your business strategy will never be lost even when the world is fast changing.   You have to position yourself for changes and be willing to adapt to it.