How Technology Enables Omnichannel Customer Experience
It’s a misconception to think that bricks and mortar businesses should be locked in a Highlander-like battle for supremacy, where there can ‘Be Only One’ dominant platform.
The reality is, those businesses embracing success in a digitally disruptive retail sector, are those who recognise the importance of both in delivering the consistent omnichannel customer experience the customer expects.
As discussed before, the modern buying journey is not a singular path. Shoppers will use websites and other online platforms (like social media) to help their decision-making at the shop, while in-store experiences can play a crucial role in what a customer will buy online.
We move fluidly from social media to websites, to Live Chat, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings.
And, we expect each interaction to be consistent with the other.
Applying Tech to Integrate the Channels
Omnichannel customer experience is not just about delivering your services across different physical and digital channels. It’s about ensuring that these channels are fused together.
Seamlessly integrated online and offline experiences are at the heart of a successful omnichannel strategy. The application of your technology is the driving force behind this.
For instance, while many (most?) retailers accept that e-commerce is, in one form or another, a required channel for the business, you are missing a potentially costly trick if it is a separate entity from your bricks and mortar business.
Tracking products that your customers are searching for and purchasing online offers insight that can not only personalise their next visit to the website, but should feed into a company-wide, multi-channel customer profile that can be used to engage with said customer at every touch-point.
A well-integrated technology infrastructure allows this data to be used, for instance, to inform the customer of in-store deals related to their purchase history, or to invite them to an in-store event (maybe the launch of the new line from the designer they bought online).
Helping the flow from Online to Lucrative In-Store Sales
A powerful website and e-commerce platform with sound user experience (UX) not only provides the essential digital presence your business needs and an effective channel for sales, but it will also invariably be an integral part of a broader buying journey.
It’s extremely common for customers in-store to reach for their mobile to research a product that they’re looking at on the shelf.
Conversely, it is via social media engagement or a visit to your website where many a customer journey will begin. Which presents you with an opportunity to encourage them to visit your high street store in person.
Offering a seamless way to book and schedule in-store appointments, consultations and experiences directly via your website can help deliver the omnichannel personalisation that can deliver higher spending, loyal customers.
It’s another means of gathering essential data, targeting the product to the individual and creating a sense that you are going the extra mile to deliver exactly what they want. And it’s a strategy that works:
- 59% of consumers say their buying is influenced by personalised services
- Consumers are 3x more likely to impulse buy in-store vs online
- A consistent experience online and in-store increases spend by 62%
The Driving Force Behind Omnichannel Customer Experience
Technology that brings together the online and in-store experience, through data and a consistent service plays a crucial role in a successful omnichannel strategy. It creates multiple routes for the consumer to make their purchase, keeping their personal tastes and wishes front and centre at every stage. But more than this, it provides the platform for the humans within your organisation to deliver the level of service that will ultimately drive sales and brand loyalty in the long-term.
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