Practicology Marketing Manager Sam Gaunt looks at the in-store strategies that Matalan has implemented to provide a truly omnichannel experience for its customers.
Last month Matalan posted a sharp jump in profits that was further boosted by a 60% spike in online sales (as reported by Retail Week).
Matalan values its online and offline channels and clearly understands the importance of investing in both. As well as planning to refurbish 50 more stores this year, Matalan also intends to launch a new ecommerce platform, cementing its commitment to providing customers with a truly omnichannel experience.
In the UK, 95% of shoppers interact with a brand across multiple channels, and retailers are striving to map these more complex customer journeys. Our Omnichannel CX Report ranked 30 UK retailers based on the cross-channel experience they delivered to their customers, with Matalan scoring particularly well in the in-store experience it provides. The traditional function of the bricks and mortar store has shifted dramatically with 71% of UK customers now ‘webrooming’ (browsing online and purchasing offline) and 51% of shoppers ‘showrooming’.
Matalan looks to have created an in-store environment that has been carefully cultivated to promote multichannel shopping, and has adopted strategies that many retailers would benefit from following.
Promoting online channels
Sales attribution models often discourage store staff from promoting online channels because they risk losing out on a potential sale, which will impact their targets. Customers do not distinguish between the online and offline teams and do not care which channel they use to complete their purchase. Retailers should instead focus on providing customers with a seamless omnichannel experience.
Matalan understands this and uses signage throughout its stores encouraging customers to browse extended product ranges online and take advantage of the fulfilment options available.
Matalan also publicises its click-and-collect offering well online and in its stores. Messaging about click-and-collect appears in-store, across its desktop and mobile sites, and in all email marketing. At the Oxford Street store in London, click-and-collect is emblazoned across the outside signage and instire, signs guide customers to the dedicated click-and-collect area.
Research reveals that 47% of UK customers sometimes or often use click-and collect services for the speed and convenience it offers over other fulfilment methods. Click-and-collect services get products to customers twice as quickly as standard delivery, shaving an average of 1.6 days off delivery time. The increased popularity of this hyper-convenient service has led to stores taking on the additional role of fulfilment centres. Our Omnichannel CX Report revealed that although 90% of retailers offered a click-and-collect service, only 57% of retailers clearly promoted it on their websites and only 33% provided clear click-and-collect signage in their stores. Omnichannel-focussed retailers like Matalan understands its customers and recognises the need to promote click-and-collect in-store and online.
Showrooming is often viewed as a threat to bricks and mortar retail stores. Retailers are concerend that they will shoulder the costs of overheads, staffing, and inventory management, while a customer can complete their purchase through an online retailer for a cheaper price. Amazon is a direct beneficiary of this consumer behaviour and has already patented technology that prevents consumers using in-store wifi to browse competitor website. But, this is probably with the intention of disuading retailers from attempting to block this behaviour themselves.
Matalan was among the 63% of retailers featured in our Omnichannel CX Report to embrace consumer behavioural trends and offer its customers in-store WiFi. Despite the risks, offering free Wifi encourages customers to spend more time in-store, provides an additional marketing opportunity, and allows you to collect valuable customer data.
Many retailers also provide in-store technology, installing web kiosks and equipping staff with hand-held tablet devices to help their customers browse extend online product ranges and take advantage of fulfilment options.
In response to shifting consumer behaviour, Matalan has taken a truly omnichannel approach to its stores, encouraging its customers to shop across its online and offline channels and triggering an upsurge in profit. If you need advice on adopting a more omnichannel approach, or would like to find out how your business ranks in our Omnichannel CX Report, please contact us today.