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Opinion

Consistency is key for traditional retailers growing online

More Australians are shopping online than ever as consumers look to e-commerce retailers for greater choice and convenience. Established businesses that may have traditionally traded solely in brick and mortar must embrace a considered omnichannel approach to remain relevant.

For Pillow Talk, adopting an omnichannel approach has been about evolving our offering based on our customers’ needs rather than our own, which is vital to creating superior customer experiences and building brand loyalty.

As a 40-year old business with 58 stores nationally, focusing on expanding and refining our digital offering to complement our physical footprint has been essential.

Investing in being present in all purchasing channels, i.e. physical stores, online stores and mobile stores is a retailing reality. For us, one simply cannot exist without the other.

We’ve learned that being online, however, is as much of an investment as expanding your physical footprint – if not more. Just having a digital presence is not enough. It needs to be an exceptional experience and complement the in-store offering. As is the case in-store, after-purchase care is essential. The relationship with the customer doesn’t end with a transaction – that’s where it starts.

Our e-commerce platform has grown significantly over the past few years and has given us the opportunity to connect with a greater audience in much more meaningful ways.

We have been able to deliver a better, more personalised experience by assisting customers in choosing the right product through recommendations and buying guides, offering live chat and feeding our customers’ appetite for content.

Regardless of where customers are shopping or what channel the interaction is taking place, the experience must be consistent with the brand. For example, if customer service is strong in-store, it must be just as strong online. Customers are expecting consistency.

As we know, many customers purchasing in-store have already made their buying decision based on what they’ve seen online. It is a deterrent to a purchasing decision if brick and mortar stores and digital stores don’t complement each other.

Presence in all channels is important to be able to contribute or influence a purchasing decision, but consistency across the channels is just as important to ensuring a transaction.

Pillow Talk is a finalist in the 2018 Australia Post Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS) for the People’s Choice Award – Large Retailer.

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