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    What Does "Omnichannel" Mean and How It Is Impacting Retail?

    As a business, it is crucial to have a plan for how you reach your audience and how immersive you make the experience. People generally think in a way of promoting their business on individual channels i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many others. With each of these multi-channeled approaches, it is very hard to attract customers all at once. Certain messages may not be delivered the same or provide the proper message. An omnichannel strategy is built around the idea to align a companies sales, marketing, and services into one cohesive and convenient experience for your consumer. 

    The purpose of an omnichannel sales and/or marketing strategy is to spread your messaging across several different communication mediums or outlets so that you are always meeting your customers where they are already putting their attention. Omnichannel strategies incorporate technology that allows both in-person purchases, as well as digital purchases, which takes convenience to the next level, the ideal situation for small business owners.

    1. Know what you want to do. Being the owner/operator it is up to you to decide what your company needs. Some business owners may choose to promote great service and others may rely on offering the lowest price. Knowing what makes your business unique is what will bring people into your store. Further along those lines, make sure you are aware of what you are putting out there. Not only do you have to publish information about your products, but things happening within your business on those different channels. Utilizing every outlet and publishing this information in a uniform way will create a better experience for customers.  

    2. Make sure your intentions are clear. When creating an omnichannel strategy, make sure all channels neat, organized, and clear. When customers receive the same message across multiple platforms, then your omnichannel strategy will be effective.

    3. Big corporations are still testing what makes up the ideal omnichannel approach and how it can benefit their business. Take your time developing your plan. When creating this cohesive environment you want to test what works. In detail, see what information your customer enjoys seeing and the formats that they enjoy. Collecting this information as you develop and grow will only make the experience better.  

    4. Technology seems to be key in creating a buzz about your business. Amazon Go has been so successful in bringing technology to the forefront of convenience stores. When developing an omnichannel, make sure you highlight technological advances that are happening within your business, like website redesigns. Creating an app is another way you can reach customers and make their shopping experience more in depth. 213-million adult Americans will use four different devices each day to access the internet and shop. Linking all forms of communications and purchasing processes can give you access to 1.8-trillion dollars in sales resulting from an omnichannel experience. 

    The process of mastering an omnichannel strategy can be complicated. Make a plan that is manageable for your business. Pick something and get it just right then replicate that same success on different channels. There are websites and software created to help manage your different outlets such as SalesForce. Creating this seamless process that allows customers to access your business anywhere, any time, and any way they'd like not only increases your sales possibility but it can also create broader brand awareness. Be sure that when you start merging your different channels/platforms that you do not focus on content quantity, rather, provide content with context and make it valuable to your customers.