The OMO Retail Experience Ushers in Showrooms without Walls

OMO Combines the Channels

Being adopted by retailers large and small, OMO is about bridging the gap between online and offline to provide a superior shopping experience that meets and even exceeds, customer expectations. The strategy plays to the fact that customers are basically channel-agnostic. In other words, they seamlessly switch from online, offline, smartphone and laptop when making buying decisions.

  • Buying Online and Returning in Store: Here a retailer leverages its stores or a network of independent stores to allow customers to drop off items instead of arranging pickup with a specific carrier. Case in point: Amazon allows customers to physically return purchases at select Kohl’s stores.
  • Accessing Company Website in Store for Online Purchases: Such a transaction allows the customer to physically interact with the product while viewing a wider selection of options that may not be available in store. Some companies, including Chinese giant e-commerce business Alibaba, allow customers to browse and select products in-store and have them delivered in half an hour within a 3-mile radius.
  • Integrating a Physical Store with an Online Presence: This can include promoting online shopping by displaying online-exclusive items in store. In another example, Nike stores offer NIKEiD, a software available online and in-store, that allows customers to create a personalized shoe that can be either delivered or picked up in-store.
  • Digitizing Touchpoints in Store: These creative and exciting experiences can be used to boost sales and position a store on the cutting edge. Virtual reality (VR), for example, can be used by kitchen and bath (K&B) retailers to display a limitless assortment of flooring, cabinets, faucets and more in a variety of virtual showrooms. The use of VR reduces the need for a huge retail footprint. The technology also enables retailers to track the entire sales journey — prospect to customer — capturing customer preferences and saving them to the cloud for additional marketing analysis.

Customers Want Best of Both Worlds

The customer likes to touch and examine the product. Hence, traditional retail storefront seems here to stay. Now is the time to invite an online presence into an offline environment — or vice versa. A shopping experience without boundaries has captured the imagination of retailers everywhere as it seems to be one that keeps retailers top on the mind and keeps customers coming back.

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Davinder Kohli

Davinder Kohli

Chief Digital Officer at Creospan — Digital transformation, Emerging tech, Strategy