Omnichannel, a strategy for companies to improve their user experience, is a way to think about the relationships between people and organizations. It includes several channels that may not be explicitly linked together, for example, display advertising, social media or websites, but they help to build one-way or two-way communication between customers and a brand.
Every company is supposed to develop its own omnichannel strategy so that it can offer its customers the best user’s experience. To make up a way that is consistent means to understand the company’s goals and initiatives and requires the cooperation between different teams representing for example products, marketing, sales, customer support and customer success. Of course, such a strategy should consist of a plan so that it can make it possible to create a coherent experience between different platforms.
Why is omnichannel a key thing to consider?
In general, omnichannel is referred to a multi-channel sales approach that provides a customer with an integrated user experience. That means that customer can do shopping directly from they desktop, a mobile device or from a high street shop. And this experience is supposed to be seamless.
Omnichannel experience is to account for every device a potential customer can use to contact a company. The knowledge obtained from each one of them can, later on, be used and transformed into an integrated experience. This translates into aligned messages, goals, objectives and even design. This approach, in comparison to traditional retail, is developed in the way there are always unified experiences to let customers move within the whole ecosystem of a brand — to be present everywhere a buyer may want to find information about a particular product or a company.
Let us give you some data
According to Magestore, 73% of customers are now shopping across channels. This means that nearly ¾ of them are using different channels in their shopping journey. However, at the moment the demand is for something more than using various ways to do shopping — it is about purchasing products through many integrated channels to meet the demand and provide easy ways of buying, delivering and returning products (98% of customers report that, according to a survey conducted by Force). The whole process of acquiring goods should be for customers, therefore, as easy as possible.
Taking into consideration that a large number of potential buyers are now more keen on buying through the Internet (the Big Commerce’s report says 98% of Americans have ever bought something online), being present on the streets of cities is not enough, especially when thinking about expanding business to countries abroad. As it was shown in the 2017 study by PwC’s Strategy, in such countries like Singapore, China or Canada, the majority of customers expect to be provided with seamless service. What is more, among the companies that are introducing or already have an omnichannel retail strategy are such big enterprises like Disney, Sephora, Starbucks or Virgin as they have discovered that more and more customers are willing to pay for the convenience of using omnichannel retail services.
Your omnichannel strategy
In the above-mentioned report by PwC says that in order for companies to introduce omnichannel services, they need to invest in IT and their supply chains to be able to integrate their online and offline selling. It is also essential to develop their mobile presence as this is the factor that helps to link purchasing online and offline. Most importantly, companies need to determine their role in the whole selling process: offering consulting services, after-selling assistance, better interactions, etc.
While creating the strategy, it is essential to note that omnichannel retail focuses on each interaction with any customer and they experience with goods. It is recommended to find answers to such questions as: if customers are able to browse for products, scan them through an app, if a company can offer more new styles, products to buyers who search for them through social media, or if loyal customers can be provided with more benefits or being informed about additional discounts, and many more.
The more opportunities and better user experience, the more satisfied customers can become. And assure them that your assistance does not finish when they have purchased a product, can help to transform single-time buyers into loyal customers.
If you are thinking whether or not to introduce omnichannel service into your business, we will recall the conclusion from the PwC’s report: this option is not a choice, but a requirement. Customers are more and more technology-oriented and they will demand from companies to meet their requirements also in this field.