While customers want and expect a seamless experience across all business channels and touch points including instore, call center, customer service, mobile app and online, what they are receiving instead is a fragmented inconsistent experience that creates friction and frustration.

According to research by Accenture, 65% of consumers are frustrated when they’re presented with inconsistent offers or experiences across channels. This is a concerning statistic given that cross channel shopping is now the norm with two-thirds of customers researching products online before shopping for them instore according to Retail Dive’s 2017 consumer survey. The same study showed that over half of consumers will browse instore before purchasing later instore.

How is Omni-channel different to Multi-channel?

Omni-channel has been a buzz word in every customer facing industry for some time now, and for a good reason, yet still more than 80% of retailers haven’t fully embraced it. Reasons quoted are mainly related to the common misunderstanding between Omni and Multi-channel.

‘The terms Omni and Multi-channel are commonly used interchangeably, and while both solutions bring multiple touchpoints such as online and instore to the customer, only Omni-channel connects these touchpoints to provide a consistent fulfilling experience to the customer. In other words, Multi-channel is channel based, while Omni-channel is customer based’ Urbanbuz.

Multi-channel sees each channel separately, with different goals, objectives, KPIs and with very little interaction with other channels; and usually managed by a different team. Sounds familiar?

Omni-channel brings the channels together creating a seamless and unified experience for its customers, and one unified customer lifecycle marketing automation. This has shown a major lift in the customer lifetime value, as it engages customers in a timely, relevant and personalized manner; as well as a major optimization of the marketing budget (targeting the same customer once not multiple times by channel).

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The customer journey is easy to track when a retailer is truly Omni-channel

If a truly Omni-channel strategy is implemented, a retailer should be able to know a customer is looking at a specific pair of jeans instore or at the e-com site and have the ability to push an email out with content relating to the jeans, or seeing an advert pop up for the product whilst browsing on social media – without stalking the customer. They should also be able to see if a pair of shoes was left in the cart of a retailer’s e-com site, and offer to try it instore.

According to CX Network ‘By 2020 it is expected that customer experience will be more important to customers than price or product’ highlighting just how important a successful Omni-channel strategy is. So how can it be done?

The right technology can transform a retailer from Multi-channel and Omni-channel

The key to moving from multi-channel to Omni-channel is tracking the customer across every channel. As well as online and instore purchases, this also includes any social media activity that is trackable, any interaction with the retailer’s customer service line or with a sales consultant instore. Technology can provide a way to track across all channels, and when this done, retailers can use the information they have on the customer journey to understand and interact with its customers, driving purchases and building loyalty with its customers.

Should you like to know more about how you can transfer yourself into an Omni-channel solution in a quick and a cost-efficient manner, request a demo here.

Happy Omni-channeling!!

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