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Benefits of multi-channel retailing

March 9, 2012

While some retailers worry that mobile commerce will threaten brick-and-mortar stores, there are some that have leveraged the technology to offer an enhanced, multi-channel shopping experience.

While some retailers worry that mobile commerce will threaten brick-and-mortar stores, there are some that have leveraged the technology to offer an enhanced, multi-channel shopping experience.

“Consumers are expecting this kind of integration already,” Ron Bowers, senior vice president of Wisconsin-based merchandising company Frank Mayer and Associates, told Retail Customer Experience. “They expect that if they order an item online, they can return it in the store, that kind of thing. It’s up to retailers to make sure that expectation is met.”

Developing a multi-channel strategy can improve customer loyalty, improve marketing efforts and collect valuable data, the source reports. Customers can enjoy the same high-quality browsing and buying whether they’re making purchases with online payment processing or in stores at a credit card terminal or via smartphone. Meanwhile, retailers can track customer data on the various channels and use it to make more comprehensive sales suggestions, thus earning more sales and loyalty.

Nordstrom is one example of a retailer that has embraced a multi-channel effort and experienced success. The company finished off 2011 with strong sales and continues to expand offerings online and in stores, according to Barrons. While the store deploys technology that allow it to hone in on customers’ needs, it can build customer loyalty and sales with multi-channel services, the source reports.

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