The Benefits of Omni-Channel E-Commerce
Why mobile electronics specialty and accessory retailers should embrace new strategyJanuary 10, 2014 By Mark Karnes, vice president of business development at Cobra Electronics
In today's internet driven retail shopping environment, nothing may be more important to the mobile electronics specialty and accessory retailer than partnering with branded manufacturers like, Cobra Electronics, who embrace omni-channel commerce.
Omni-channel commerce is the evolution of multi-channel retailing, but it is more concentrated on a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels: mobile internet devices, computers, brick-and-mortar stores, television, radio, direct mail, catalog and so on. Simply put, the consumer who shops today does so with any connected device, does it all the time, and from anywhere. Omni-channel commerce is the process that seamlessly connects shoppers with retailers.
The function of omni-channel commerce that is so compelling to the mobile electronics retailer is the link from the consumer's Internet shopping process to the purchasing and delivery process. Branded manufacturers, like Cobra Electronics, who practice this new form of commerce provide the consumer with the ability to connect from the brand's product, to buy that product online and to pick up that product at the most convenient store location. Any specialty retailer who is in the brand's omni-channel store network and order exchange system will now receive the customer, the customer's money and the opportunity to build the customer relationship, all because of the partnership with the brand and the mobile electronics accessory retailer, and all without having to invest in their own e-commerce system.
Even as online shopping becomes increasingly popular, there still remains an instant gratification need for consumers following their shopping transactions. Ordering online typically requires several days to a week for delivery unless you pay a premium for rapid delivery, and with today's digital-era providing online content - movies, TV, books, music, news - instantly, the latency and costs involved in online shopping can often leave consumers underwhelmed in their shopping experience. This objective to make purchasing locally more convenient and accessible is what motivated Cobra to effectively merge the company's online site with its local retailer partners' online shops and brick & mortar locations.
By providing the opportunity to locate an authorized retailer directly through a manufacturer's website, consumers who shop online can find the closest authorized retailer quickly and conveniently from their desktop, tablet or smartphone. Consumers can then connect directly by phone or email with an authorized local retailer to ask questions, transact a sale for same day in-store pickup or even schedule an appointment for a product demo.