We call omnichannel to the communication we establish with customers through all our platforms available to them: brick and mortar stores, online services, social networks…, therefore, the bigger we build that communication bridge between them, the greater our success as a company. If we compare ourselves with other sectors, Hispanic retailers still have a long way to go to finally take off in online commerce.
We would have to ask ourselves what is it that makes our Hispanic retailers clients behave so differently with us than with other sectors, but more than that we should analyze what other sectors are doing in relation to what we are doing or not doing correctly.
Was the demand that prompted the birth of Amazon Fresh or Instacart? Absolutely not, it was the need to establish a differentiating element, a way to offer new and more modern alternatives to the big national retailers such as Walmart or Target that remained out of focus of their objectives living permanently in their comfort zone.
We must be realistic and admit that among Hispanic retailers we still see the online channel as a world outside our traditional knowledge area of business acquisition and growth, because it escapes the ability to control and because with our current way of operating, we are not able to extract profitability.
Going from the offline to the online world is not easy, as it changes the way of managing and operating the business, although it has the same final objective, such as meeting the demand.
Changes Due to Technology
Meeting the needs raised by the demand 30 years ago was not the same as serving them today, although some Hispanic retailers still offer the same.
They think that the basis of this relationship is in the direct contact in the store, which is still a customer-associate-product-service relationship, when the fact is that this has already changed.
Access to information, new relationships fostered by technological elements are changing the way we do business. Today, all trade is in the palm of our customers, and Hispanic retailers who are not there will be left out of the market.
This new omnichannel relationship in retailers affects all areas of the business: logistics and operations, commercial, production, financial, communication…
Logistically we must prepare a whole process of transformation to adapt our distribution centers to the demand of online orders, we go from the physical store and its high levels of initial investment to the shared virtual space, to attract the nearest customer, to look for those who are in the virtual world.
The Challenges For Hispanic Retailers to Capture Customers
Here is a great challenge for e-commerce that is to attract customers with the same ease as the physical store in small local markets.
From the financial area, it is necessary to define the unit costs of attracting customers and maintaining their loyalty to the new online channel to apply directly to our total business productivity metrics.
In the online world, communication is the best weapon. It is not the same to open a store in a block of houses and wait to attract the attention of customers that launch electronic marketing campaigns on that same area of influence.
E-commerce needs a very detailed knowledge of its customers, their purchasing habits and their history as a way to promote their business. With physical stores, this knowledge is also very important, but it is much more difficult to obtain, since not all customers identify themselves before buying.
The base of the knowledge and of the improvement of the shopping experience is in the identification of the clients and in the physical stores, the best weapon to obtain that information is with the loyalty card.
Hispanic retailers need to start using omnichannel strategies with customers and companies. This will mark the business relationship of the future.
As Hispanic retailers and sellers, we must understand this new world of relationships where the consumer has always been important. Today, thanks to technology, the client uses the information to decide where he goes shopping.