Digital GEMs
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Digital GEMs

How to approach the challenges of an omnichannel strategy using data?

From cross-channel, to multi-channel, to omnichannel, retailers’ strategy and offer in the last years have changed a lot with the development of digital. Today, omnichannel is becoming a priority for almost all retailers. So what are the challenges of an omnichannel strategy and the key to its success?

The challenges of omnichannel customer experience

Digital and the Internet have taken an almost systematic place in the consumer’s purchasing journey. Even if the degree of involvement of digital is different depending on the sector and industry, the choices open to consumers are increasingly varied, with a multiplication of possible options at each stage of the purchasing process (online or in-store purchase, click and collect, drive, live-shopping…).

From the point of view of the retailers and their increasingly important challenges regarding digital, these transformations imply a multiplication of contact points with the customers, both online in e-commerce and offline in physical stores. This multiplication of contact points requires ensuring fluidity between channels and consistency between all contact points, globally between the website and physical retail. Merging in-store and online sales channels allow retailers to offer a more fluid purchase journey that meets consumer expectations in terms of experience.

Omnichannel is indeed about following and adapting to changes in consumer behavior and being present where customers are. Changes in consumer behavior and habits have been widely evolving, especially during the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to the development of mixed online and offline customer journeys.

Concerning the stakes linked to the customer experience, these can be translated by an improvement of the customer experience offered to the consumer and by intensifying the use of digital to serve the customer experience.

The financial challenges of omnichannel

In an omnichannel logic, a retailer is indeed looking to offer the most qualitative, fluid and least complex customer experience. But above all, if a retailer implements an omnichannel strategy with a synergy of its different sales channels, it is also to avoid losing sales and to maximize revenue. Therefore, an omnichannel strategy also responds to many financial challenges.

Measuring the effectiveness of an omnichannel strategy from a financial point of view will be done by measuring the revenue generated thanks to omnichannel sales and the percentage of omnichannel purchases on total purchases. To do so, it would be interesting to compare the performance of the different scenarios or sales paths in comparison with the traditional in-store or e-commerce paths.

As said before, an omnichannel strategy is also about following and adapting to the evolution of consumer behavior and offering an interesting experience to the customer. Therefore, it is also interesting to determine how these sales paths can attract new customers and save money.

Analyses related to the financial stakes of omnichannel will require a consolidation of the analyzed data. Studies such as the Marketing Mix Modeling will help to answer some of the questions mentioned above, to measure the contribution of each communication channel to the sales generated by this omnichannel strategy.

Data: the key to a successful omnichannel strategy

A successful omnichannel strategy requires a retailer to have a global vision of the efficiency of the different channels used to sell, whether online or offline and ensuring complementarity between these channels is essential today. Therefore, data takes all its importance to put figures on omnichannel performance, whether these figures are related to business, media, acquisition, online traffic or in-store traffic.

These data sources imply reconciling online and offline data for use cases such as synchronized inventory between stores and the website, synchronized offline and online order history, or measuring the share and impact of each channel and sales paths on omnichannel sales and global sales.

Collecting, measuring, and processing quality data efficiently will enable better management and piloting of an omnichannel activity and, in particular, a better understanding of the performance of digital on the whole business.

The data will therefore allow retailers to answer both financial and customer experience challenges thanks to an omnichannel strategy and assist in strategic decision making.

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Alexandre Poulain

About the author: Alexandre Poulain

Alexandre Poulain : Media Consultant at Converteo in Paris
Alexandre Poulain

Currently a Junior Media Consultant at Converteo, a French consulting firm specialized in Data, Media & CRM, and Web Analytics, I am also a Digital Business student at Grenoble Ecole de Management, passionate about tech, internet and luxury businesses.

About this article

This article has been written by a student on the Grenoble Ecole de Management’s Advanced Masters in Digital Strategy Management. As part of a content creation assignment, students are given the task of writing articles based on their digital interests and disseminate the articles online. Articles are marked but we make minimal changes to the content. Thanks for reading! James Barisic, Programme Director, MS DSM.

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