A common quandary in modern-day retail is how to successfully straddle the line between longtime, loyal brick-and-mortar sales relationships and the rapid rise of social media and online selling, all while maintaining a consistent brand message.
It’s enough to perplex even the most seasoned sales and marketing professional, but the omnichannel approach to a complete customer experience doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, sorting out the strategy that works best for your business is first about striking an ideal balance of traditional, in-person relationships with tech tools and innovations in order to deliver the most effective and authentic message to your customer.
The Balancing Act
“We are putting what we stand for out there in the world,” says Jack Gabriel, co-owner of New York City–based Gabriel & Co. If this sounds oversimplified, it’s anything but. In fact, it’s the driving force of how the brand has been able to successfully navigate the omnichannel process while keeping its brand identity and ideal customer experience intact.
They have prioritized their retail partnerships and online selling, combining the two in a visionary new way.
“People want to buy directly online and via social media and we are now offering those sales capabilities.” Adds co-owner Dominick Gabriel, “Having said that, we also have our retail partners and we’ve been growing with them since we started. We are loyal to them and vice versa, so we treat them as our stores.”
Case in point: On its website, Gabriel & Co. allows shoppers to choose the retail partner through which they want to buy its product—putting the final purchase power in the customers’ hands while simultaneously giving its retail partner the credit.
Gabriel will also ship jewelry to the chosen retailer for the customer to see and potentially buy in person, effectively ushering shoppers into the brick-and-mortar locations so the experience can truly be 360 degrees for both the shopper and brand.
Owning Your Brand
Conversely, on its retail partners’ websites, Gabriel & Co. has created its own virtual shop-in-shops, taking ownership of its presence on other retailers’ websites so all elements represented remain on-brand.
“We take ownership of our presence on retailers’ sites as our own miniwebsite,” says Dominick. “We co-brand with them because the goal is that no matter where people experience Gabriel, it’s always a Gabriel experience.”
He reiterates that this approach is a true partnership. “The retailer is a brand too. They have a certain image and business practices they want to uphold and we want to be respectful of that. It’s important to make sure that your brand and the retailer is a beautiful mesh.”