More convenience stores are taking an omnichannel approach to retail, and more customers have come to expect it.
An omnichannel approach involves creating a seamless shopping experience across integrated channels, such as online, in-store and via a mobile app. Today, we’re seeing more c-stores add the ability to order ahead foodservice online or in-app. To ensure an omnichannel approach, customers should come away with a unified shopping experience no matter how they chose to engage with your brand.
An omnichannel approach can extend to payments and includes giving customers choices in how they pay across a variety of platforms. They might use their credit card to order from the website, or use an ACH card via a mobile app, or they might come into the store and use Apple Pay at the self-checkout or opt for a frictionless checkout experience using a scan-and-pay app. Others might go through the drive-through and pay with cash.
No matter what touchpoint a customer uses, an omnichannel approach should be integrated across platforms. Whether customers are using a mobile app, website, shopping in-store, going through the drive-through or engaging with your brand on social media, they should have a similar experience and see similar graphics that showcase the brand voice in a consistent way.
Omnichannel marketing is a customer-centric model that uses data to ensure it’s targeting customers with the right messages on their preferred platforms. Jenny might prefer text messages about a sale on her favorite beverage, while Doug might prefer to get a coupon inside the loyalty app for a free candy bar. C-stores today are using data to personalize their loyalty programs to better appeal to customers.
The most important thing to remember about an omnichannel approach is that consistency is key to ensuring customers are receiving the same experience no matter how they prefer to engage with your brand or how they like to pay.
An omnichannel approach is thought to strengthen your brand image. The consistent, seamless messaging helps customers know who you are, and that can help grow customer loyalty. Plus, when they know they can engage with your brand on their terms, whether it’s in-store or in-app, they’re more likely to make your c-store a destination for future purchases.