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Shopping used to be simple. People visit stores, try out products, and purchase face to face. Fast forward to today, we can now buy and sell through multiple channels and platforms, all thanks to the advancing technology.

However, with so many channels available, things can get messy for the sellers. From facing the customers to managing the inventory, the operations can go haywire easily.

To avoid becoming the victim and drowning in the chaos, omnichannel retailing is introduced. Because of these omnichannel retailing benefits and experience, it is now essential for retailers to incorporate its strategies to keep up with the way consumers shop.

Can't wait to dive right into it? Start by understanding the concept of omnichannel retailing and finding the right tools for it. Then, the path ahead can be paved with concrete planning to reach goals and successes without excess.

What is omnichannel retailing?

Retail purchases from multiple devices

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

People now shop through multiple channels.

Omnichannel retailing, according to PwC Malaysia, is the act of selling by retail on all channels to tailor a seamless shopping experience for the customers. By using a fully-integrated, consumer-first approach, retailers can offer a complete end-to-end consumer journey, providing a consistent and continuous brand experience while building a personal connection with each customer.

Why is omnichannel retail important?

Today, many retail companies have incorporated the multichannel model by promoting their products on various platforms including online and offline stores. It is often an attempt to push sales and increase exposure for their products. Customers can then choose to buy from whichever option they prefer. However, issues arise when companies struggle to update real-time stock balance or manage more than one marketplace with consistency. They have to come up with a structure or proper planning to make sure that there will be no mistakes or disorders causing penalties such as insufficient stock for customers, delayed responses on various platforms, or waste of expenses on channels that generate no return.

As sales, marketing, and customer services are made accessible on multiple outlets, the analytics and performance can also become confusing or troublesome to handle. The time, effort, and organisational skills required to combine everything for review will eventually create increasingly burdening tasks. This means that more manpower is needed, and the costs for all these can be daunting.

Moreover, the lack of efficiency in multi-warehouse management can also lead to a delay in delivery or slow service, adding more unhappy customers to the pile of worrying setbacks. Over time, it can even affect brand reputation and bring detrimental consequences that no brand would ever want. 

Nevertheless, there is a practical solution to this tricky situation.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel retail

Omnichannel retailMultichannel retail
Customer-centric approachSeller-centric approach
To offer a seamless shopping experienceTo sell more on various channels
Integrated and centralised managementChannels managed separately
Shared inventory strategyScattered inventory allocation
A centralised system that lowers the costs for serving each customerHigher operating costs for market expansions

Omnichannel retailing, an all-in-one model which integrates a greater range of channels, has been designed to free businesses from the troubles and offer customers a frictionless shopping experience. It is an innovation that most retailers now use to boost sales growth rapidly without being bothered by the risks of customer churn during expansion. 

On the other hand, multichannel retailing is more scattered, although it also involves selling through more than one channel or platform. The differences between omnichannel and multichannel retailing are minor, but the outcome generated from increased efficiency and improved workflow is significant.

If you’re part of the retail industry but have not dipped your toes in the omnichannel strategy, it’s time to explore its countless benefits!

Find out how ZENXIN Organic flourished with its extraordinary omnichannel approach.

I would recommend SleekFlow to companies which produce fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) as they face a lot of customers every day. It also helps educational apps to communicate with kids and parents.

Tai Seng Yee

Executive Director, ZENXIN

Benefits of omnichannel retailing for customer experience

In a world where customers can’t survive without having both in-store and online shopping, retailers must learn to take full advantage of the omnichannel approach. Its great deal of benefits includes:

  • Boosted sales with a seamless retail journey

  • A higher level of customer satisfaction

  • Quicker responses to customer enquiries and requests

  • Stronger brand loyalty with personalised customer experience

  • More coherent workflows and maximised efficiency

Omnichannel retailing is undoubtedly beneficial for marketing, customer support and stock management. Through features such as automation, personalised messages can be broadcasted across whatever channel your customers prefer. 

social-media-trend

Omnichannel marketing

As 68% of consumers were found to prefer buying from brands that offer convenient communications, having a myriad of communication mediums will surely help accelerate sales. By ensuring wide coverage of channels, no matter printed brochures or online ads such as WhatsApp broadcasting, Facebook Lead Ads, and many more, brands that utilise the omnichannel approach are bound to gain customer attention as much as possible.

Learn more about strategies of omnichannel marketing here in Malaysia.

Omnichannel customer service

Enhancing the customer experience with consistently reliable and fast support across all channels will surely offer more engaging interactions and improve customer retention. As a matter of fact, customer retention is 5 to 25 times cheaper than customer acquisition, and more than half of the consumers will much more possibly buy from brands that they trust. 

Also, omnichannel customer service can be an additional effort to diversify your marketing tactics as delighted customers are more likely to contribute to word-of-mouth marketing by sharing their great experiences with friends and families, verbally face to face or on social media, indirectly taking on the role of resellers for your brand.

Omnichannel inventory management

With click-and-collect trends on the rise, it can be quite difficult to keep track of up-to-date stocks, especially for sellers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). The integration of multiple selling platforms all into one unified hub will develop an organised, efficient system for inventory management, easing all procedures for faster order processing and delivery. 

Examples of top omnichannel retailers in Malaysia

Padini at KLIA2

Padini appeals to consumers with omnichannel competence

Being an apparel retailer that has to fight against the intense competition, Padini understands the criticality to adapt to the fast-changing trends to meet customer needs. Their team have realised the growing importance of having both physical retail outlets and online stores. As the purchasing pattern and decisions transform along with the influence of social media, Padini has embraced the omnichannel solution by selling on its own website, shopping platforms such as Shopee and Lazada, and also through Facebook Live to reinforce its online retailing performance and develop a full-fledged shopping experience for its customers.  

Uniqlo at Ipoh Parade

Understand how businesses in Malaysia are boosting e-commerce sales on Facebook.

Uniqlo strengthens its e-commerce structure through an omnichannel reformation

Uniqlo, even though a foreign brand, has gained strong recognition in the local landscape of the fashion industry. They have placed a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction and branding, establishing a robust business structure to boost profit margin, especially through e-commerce and online innovations. Besides the existing 20% sales coming in online, Uniqlo has also managed to accelerate sales with the implementation of O2O commerce, enabling the click-and-collect feature to ease purchases for consumers. Various channels including social media are also utilised to advertise and attract more prospective buyers.

With the acceleration towards digitalisation, we continue to identify ways to leverage digital tools to engage our customers and support them with a seamless shopping experience. - Yuki Yamada, CEO of Uniqlo Malaysia & Singapore

Get started with SleekFlow to become a top omnichannel retailer

Having seen the difficulties and hardship retailers, e-commerce and O2O businesses are going through, SleekFlow has established an omnichannel all-in-one platform to assist them in overcoming these challenges and demanding customer requirements. 

Other than the free plan with no expiration, there are also premium solutions catered to a wide range of business needs, making the achievement of success in omnichannel retailing straightforward and effortless.

SleekFlow is definitely suitable for any direct-to-consumer business, or anyone who needs to have regular communication with customers.

Wilfred Belsey

Wilfred Belsey

Head of Retention & CX

All-in-one omnichannel inbox for chat management

SleekFlow inbox

Business-to-consumer (B2C) or direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses often involve a large number of customer-facing tasks. This unquestionably includes online enquiries or order requests from various social media or messaging apps. 

On SleekFlow, employees can simultaneously log in to the same business account for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat and more to handle conversations and reply to customers as quickly as possible. From the customers’ end, they will just be communicating through their own preferred channels. Customers can be satisfied without retailers going through the hassle of signing in and out of various social media accounts - it’s a win-win situation!

Already on most social media platforms? Explore the importance of social CRM in Malaysia.

Generate more profit with payment links and product catalogues

SleekFlow inbox - payment Link feature

According to Shopify, impulse buying accounts for 40% to 80% of purchases. If sellers create a path that requires little consideration, consumers will naturally buy more to make their day better. 

Using product catalogues and payment links on SleekFlow’s all-in-one inbox, the sales team can guide customers from product exploration all the way to checkout and payment just within a few clicks. The convenient and frictionless experience can even cultivate brand loyalty where the customers return for more purchases.

Sending WhatsApp cart message from SleekFlow

E-commerce store integration for order management

Native Shopify integration allows sellers to manage orders with the most convenience and the highest level of efficiency as the order details will all be displayed right next to the chat. This means that when the customers reach out to ask about products or order status, the customer support team can instantly attend to them by referring to the details on the same page. 

Omnichannel retailing in chat inbox

In addition, automated abandoned cart reminders can be sent out to offer discounts and encourage the customers to check out right away. While half of the consumers who received abandoned cart emails will most likely complete the purchase, brands should make good use of this opportunity to give the customers a final push. Also, since WhatsApp messages have an open rate of 98% as compared to just 22% for emails, retailers must seize the opportunity to recover lost revenue.

Read more about how the SleekFlow-Shopify integration can benefit your business.

CRM integration for greater customer satisfaction

Consolidating customer details into a single profile is also one of the most efficient omnichannel retail strategies.

On SleekFlow, you can integrate your Salesforce CRM system to view all the details and purchase journey right next to the chatbox. No matter where the customer chooses to reach out to your brand, all the information required can be accessed within seconds on the same platform.

Learn more about the formidable Salesforce CRM integration.

Detailed analytics for better workflow

Online shopping is all about ease and convenience these days. Shoppers are expecting merchants to respond faster, understand their personalised demands, and assist with consistency and accuracy. This means that precise and comprehensive analytics are essential to studying customer behaviours and preferences. Analysing the buyers’ path to purchase from the numbers and data collected is extremely useful in refined targeting as brands can then land themselves with those who are already interested in their products, expanding the customer base and generating more sales in the shortest time possible.

Analytics example from SleekFlow omnichannel platform for WhatsApp marketing

Consult our experts and increase your retail sales with an outstanding omnichannel blueprint today.

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