Omnichannel retailing simply means using many channels in the shopping experience of the customer including research before a purchase. Through omnichannel retailing, retailers are able to freely interact with customers through various channels, for instance, websites (Rigby, 2011, 67). The recent advancement in the mobile technology has enabled consumers to interact freely with retailers through various means. Consumers are exposed to information which helps them to make informed choices as a result of the development of technology. Many channels give consumers the more options that are needed to obtain information about certain products before making buying decisions. Consumers feel that multiple channels of information make them to know more about the product and they feel good when the buying process is made easier (Bajorek, 2015.13). The topic of competing in the age of omnichannel retailing because will help consumers to know the best strategies to use to have a competitive advantage over others. The critical review will be organized in such a way that the arguments of the authors in the article will be summarized. This will be followed by a critique of the arguments that have been raised by the authors in the article and then my own personal opinion over the topic. This essay is a critical review and an analysis of the article of competing in the age of omnichannel retailing.
The opinion of the writers in the article has its own merits because it helps retailers to know the best strategies that they can use to remain competitive in the market. The author gives examples of organization which have embraced these strategies, for instance Amazon and how they have been able to go ahead of other because of Omchannel retailing. The authors manage to convince the target audience that the strategies that he has suggested are the best by using statistics and information from some companies.
The authors argue that the evolution of the retailing industry towards an omnichannel retailing experience will turn the world into a show room without walls. The retailing industry is changing to a model which is aimed at helping consumers rather than focusing on transactions that take place between consumers and retailers. The increased use of new technologies by consumers such as smart mobile and the growing in-store technological solutions create new opportunities and challenges for retailers (Piotrowicz, and Cuthbertson, 2014, 6). Traditional retail spaces that existed will be replaced by virtual content which will be accessed by consumers through smart phones. Old barriers like geographical distance and consumer ignorance that existed will be completely eliminated. The author argues that retailers are taking advantage of opportunities that have been created by location based applications according to pew research centre. The writers give examples of online platforms that are used by consumers to access vital information about products.
The authors argue that retailing technology has come with both opportunities and challenges. The authors opine that information that is found in digital platforms is on its way to changing the behavior and expectations of consumers. The availability of all the information that is needed by consumers about certain products has made the retailing industry to be so competitive (Karolefski, 2016, 6). The writers of the article talk about the successfully strategies for omnichannel retailing and argue that for retailers to be successfully in omnichannel, they should adapt best practices from both online and the offline worlds. Retailers should provide attractive pricing so as to attract consumers. The writers give an example of Amazon as a company which has set good prices so as to attract customers. Consumers like the products of the company because of the good prices and thus the company has a competitive edge over others. The reviews customers about the company on online sites aids in identifying and filling the gaps that may exit. The reviews make consumers to freely interact with the company by airing out what they feel that needs to be improved.
The writer also argues that for a company to have a competitive advantage over others in omnichannel retailing, its actors must harness the power of data and analytics. This gives the company the opportunity the transactions of customers and their interactions. Some companies have already introduced the use in store purchase history to personalize their mobile advertising.
The writers also opine that companies that want to have a competitive advantage over others in omnichannel retailing should avoid direct price comparison with others. This can help to prevent competitors from poaching customers by manipulating prices to their advantage. The writers of the article advice that retailers should use distinctive features for their products are unique and face less competition in the market. The distinctive features in each product should add value so that customers are attracted to buying the product. Products which have distinctive features and look like they have been modified attract consumers who want to try something different (How to Make The Most of Omnichannel Retailing’ 2016, 22). Retailers should also aim at offering products that are not available to other consumers. Retailers should make minor modifications to their products that are similar to those of the competitors. This will ensure that the uniqueness of their attract consumers who want to try something which is different from what they are used to. The authors opine that retailers should bundle products so that they can have an advantage over other competitors in the competitive market. He argues that bundling products makes consumers unable to make direct comparisons with others products. This is of great help because it adds value to the products. Bundling can help to increase sales and profits if the history of the product is used to generate bundles. The prices of products which are not offered by other competitors in the market should be customer friendly. Cost and efficiency is also vital for products that are not offered by other competitors because consumers are able to make comparisons in prices using mobile applications. The author also argues that retailers should learn how to sell niche products to the consumers. Online retailers have an added advantage over those who use traditional stores. Finding some products in traditional stores requires more effort and is time wasting as compared to online applications. Looking for a product in a traditional store is something which is unpredictable because the consumer is not sure if the product is actually in the store. Omni channel retailers may have an added advantage over online retailers in the near future because of the trust factor that omnchannel retailing comes with.
The authors also argue that retailers should emphasize product knowledge because of the contemporary market dynamics. Consumers in the contemporary society analyze information about a certain product from different channels before making buying decision s. Retailers who do not share the information about their products can fail because consumers can only use their product information to get knowledge about a certain product and then buy from other places. Retailers should also provide switching costs of their products so as to provide incentives to customers. Switching costs provide privileges to consumers who are loyal and only buy specific products from a certain retailer. Retailers should also embrace competition in the current market because exposure to competition will help them to improve their products so as to attract even more customers.
The authors of the article are professors in the area of business and thus they have vast knowledge and experience to talk about the issue. They have demonstrated that he has vast knowledge in the topic because of their argument which is backed with evidence and statistics. He has been able to cite and give examples on how retailers can gain advantage over other competitors in the modern market. The authors have used information from other sources to back up his arguments and statistics from companies to prove their point. The author has also used examples and statistics from other companies that have employed the proposed strategies in their business dealings.
The methods that were used by the authors to gather evidence raises some questions because they are not clear. The authors only give statistics from companies that have embraced the proposed strategies but they do not mention the methods that were used to gather the data. The evidence that is used by the authors is correct because they manage to convince the target audience with statistics from companies. Amazon and other companies that have embraced these strategies as proposed by the authors seem to have and added advantage over other firms. The use of these strategies by Amazon has made it easier for consumers to easily get information about certain products (Maras, 2016, 16).
The authors use and interpretation of the evidence leads the reader to the same conclusion because the authors use real life examples. The authors also use statistics from companies that develop applications to convince the target audience. The reader remains convinced that the proposed strategies can make retailers to have a competitive age over others if they embrace the strategies. The authors build a logical argument by using statistics to convince the target audience on how certain strategies can be used to gain a competitive advantage in the current market. The modern world is characterized with competition and thus retailers should up their game if they want to remain relevant in the market. The authors give an example of how Amazon has embraced these strategies and thus has given consumers more channels to obtain information about certain products. Decisions that are made by consumers are shaped by information in which they get from various channels. Retailers should thus ensure that the information about their products is accessed by consumers at any given time. The advancement of technology is making omnichannel retailing to be investable because it is helping to reduce barriers that were very common with traditional retailing. Challenges that were very common with traditional retailing like distance and different geographical locations between the consumer and the retailer are slowly being eliminated.
The arguments of the authors that are found in the article are still relevant and valid because of the advancement in technology. Dynamics in the modern market makes it necessary for retailers to embrace multiple channels so as to reach a wider market. The ignorance of consumers that existed during the time when traditional retailing was common has been eliminated. Competition has increased in the current society because of the advanced technology that has enabled the consumer to easily access information about various products before making buying decisions. Nowadays consumers found it more appealing to buy goods online than going to the traditional stores (The Omnichannel Tide Is Rising’ 2016, 56). Retailers should thus use multiple channels to showcase their products to various consumers and convince them why their products are the best. Omnichannel retailing has also its challenges in the modern market due to geographical distances that may exist between a retailer and a consumer. Building an effect omnichannel network is difficult because some issues like the organization of the process of delivery (Hübner, Holzapfel, and Kuhn, 2016, 255).
I agree with the arguments that have been put forward by the authors of the article because they have been able to convince the reader by using logic. Technology has helped to address the challenges that existed with traditional retailing. Modern consumers are enlightened because and knowledgeable by the fact that they easily access information about various products at the click of the button. The internet has revolutionized the experience of the customers because it has enable them to shop anywhere at any given time (Hansen and Siew Kien, 2015, 51). This has led to high competition amongst retailers because consumers are able to look at a wide range of information about products before making buying decisions. Retailers should employ omnichannel retailing so that they can have a competitive advantage over others. Embracing competition, switching costs and emphasizing product knowledge are some of the strategies that can be used by retailers so as to gain a competitive advantage over others. An omnichannel approach of managing customers is vital because it helps to capture as many customers as possible (Mark, Bulla, Niraj, and Bulla, 2014, 24).
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