The Consumer Durables (CD) segment has begun transforming itself. With modern-day consumer behaviour finding significant digital influence, CD retailers want to ensure they are on top of things in terms of both their physical as well as digital strategies. In other words, they are strengthening their omnichannel approaches, as they focus on attracting consumers and offer positive shopping experiences.
While digital developments were already contributing to several consumer activities and purchase decisions, the pandemic took it all to a whole new level. It resulted in consumers displaying exponential growth in digital engagement and desiring easily accessible solutions.
This behavioural trait of starting one’s journey with a digital touchpoint is something that has gotten more prominent with time. And, with the pandemic now behind us, consumers, particularly in the context of CD purchases, are showing an inclination towards digital actions as well as exploring products physically. As CD is a segment where high-involvement purchases are common, it is natural for consumers to touch and feel products and have complete assurance about their decisions and purchases. So typically, consumers are searching online for CD products around them and stumbling upon digital business profiles of CD retailers. Once they find relevant information through this kind of digital infrastructure, they feel the desire to engage with the brands and stores either digitally or physically in-store. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly important for CD brands and retailers to build consistency between these intertwined physical and digital ecosystems, refining the omnichannel focus.
Considering the nature of CD purchases, brands and local businesses are making significant efforts to keep consumers covered in every possible way and enrich their shopping journeys. As a result, there is greater action and investment around informative digital business profiles and engagement, in-store interactions, and smooth digital and physical transaction processes. It is such omnichannel approaches that help brands form and build credible associations with prospects and consumers, and stay ahead, in a highly competitive business environment.
Let’s look at some ways through which the omnichannel vision can be strengthened.
Build useful digital touchpoints
Research indicates that CD buyers tend to make a purchase when they need to upgrade or replace an item that has become unrepairable. That does not reduce the emphasis on first-time purchases though. Either way, the primary starting point these days, is an online ‘Search’. Consequently, brands and local CD retailers need to ensure digital presence and visibility enabling consumers to easily access them. Technology has been advancing at a rapid pace. Whether television sets, personal computers, or smartphones, the demand has been on the rise, and offering a smooth digital journey is on every retailer’s mind. The better the online experience, the greater the chances of consumers making store visits to engage with CD products.
Present relevant & relatable content
Digital content plays a key role in shaping shoppers’ purchasing decisions, regardless of where they ultimately buy. This is particularly true for categories like CD that involve significant investment and decision-making. To provide a cohesive shopping experience, the kind of digital information being shared by brands must be in alignment with the shoppers’ requirements and factors that influence a visit to the physical store. While details like name, address, contact details, business hours can offer basic information and awareness, reviews & ratings, product catalogues, links to local web-pages, can encourage consumers and assure them of a pleasant experience about making purchases from a particular store.
It goes without saying that once consumers are in-store, the treatment they receive and the experience they find there, are of paramount importance. CD purchases involve detailed product demos, analysis, and discussion. The more engaging and reliable the interactions at the store, the greater the chances of conversions taking place.
Keep consumers updated and informed
For initial or repeat purchases, it is important for brands and stores to be on the consumer’s consideration list. This is where local-level campaigns are beneficial. With eCommerce-enabled store-level web pages, local offers and discounts can be promoted, to attract the local audience. Through periodic communications through emails, messages, or even pamphlet distributions, brands and stores can keep local consumers informed about the availability of CD products and the offers associated with them. Because CD purchases are expensive, such frequent communications help consumers with decision-making.
Offer omnichannel support avenues
In a lot of cases, shoppers today prefer to either watch a product demo through online video or even demo the product themselves virtually. To cater to such preferences, brands can offer recorded video content on platforms such as YouTube along with live chat support available on their location pages as well as digital business profiles. Such approaches are useful for personalized interactions and enable brands and local CD retailers to positively impact consumers. On social media as well, keeping such relevant and useful content shared, goes a long way in helping consumers find the right fit for their lifestyle. While the in-store experience makes a major impact on consumers, the supporting digital environment with all the relevant information plays a pivotal role in offering delightful omnichannel experiences.
There’s a clear focus that CD retailers and brands are putting on omnichannel approaches. With ‘Digital’ making massive strides, it has become easier for brands to leverage digital capabilities and polish both the online as well as the physical parts of the journey. Since both digital and physical avenues are key, it is safe to say that ‘Phygital’ is what will largely influence CD purchases.
Consumers being increasingly informed today, look at not only the product and its service but also the entire experience and the likelihood of repeat purchases from the same brand or local stores. Considering such behavioural patterns, omnichannel strategies will continue to be attractive, as brands and local CD businesses grow their desire to deliver positive experiences and tap revenue opportunities.