When it comes to omnichannel retail, consistency is key, but how easy is it to create a uniformed experience in-store and online?
Research reveals that more often than not a customer’s first experience with a brand will be online, with those deciding to later come into store expecting a seamless journey.
Lloyd Blakey, founder of Innovare Design, explains: “As retail designers we are focussed on branding and brand stories. Today’s complex customer journeys frequently start by people researching online before they come in-store for a closer look, then maybe they’ll order online. So your multichannel success depends on consistent brand messages and delivery.
“We always say to clients don’t think in channels; think about your customers. Focus on reaching each one of them with the same clear brand stories, products, offers and service levels. Any disparity or confusion will impact their impression of you – it might cause frustration and it might even drive them to your competitor.”
Jewellery retailers can be quick to think of brand consistency as the ‘look’ of the channels they are present, but it also include the way consumers feel when they are shopping with a store online or in-store.
With this in mind, it’s important that the retailer’s teams – whether based online or in store – deliver the same level of customer service and experience.
“The way I think about it is that we are ‘putting on a show’ so we need to have a vast skill set these days,” shares Dinny Hall, founder of the namesake brand. “We are not only jewellery designers and makers but sales people, digital specialists, social media experts and event managers as well as being technically savvy – all these are critical in delivering a great experience for our customers – it’s what they expect today.”
As an independent jeweller with multiple stores in one location, managing director of W Bruford in Eastbourne, Ashley Pugh’s, is working hard to ensure the branding is consistent across all channels – something he hopes will be heightened by a new flagship opening before the year ends.
“As a smaller retailer we are on a journey to deliver a consistent on-brand experience,” says Pugh. “We invested in a new website last year and are using our weblog to tell our stories. Our new flagship store will be a major step towards improving the in-store brand experience too. It will be based in a shopping mall so it’s going to fundamentally change the way we have always done business – we will be opening later at night and on Sundays as well as major bank holidays like Boxing Day.”
Jewellers looking to create consistent branding new to look at their store, and web shop, and think about what can be done to make the engagement, experience, and service the same.
For some this might be something simple, like making the visuals connect, for others they might need to look at the communication offers online, or the training of staff in store who may need to get up to increase their product knowledge to make sure it matches what a customer can experience online.
These insights were shared during a seminar at International Jewellery London.