Omnichannel - the future of retail
Omnichannel is all about creating seamless and solid user experiences across multiple channels such as the brand’s physical store, webshop, social media, customer services etc.
By using data, companies and brands can create a connected user experience across many different channels. As a brand, you can use data to develop services and features that create more value for your customers – and to stand out from the rest of your competitors.
Omnichannel is a relatively new concept, but basically deals with creating a good customer experience and increasing sales. Today’s consumers are channel indifferent and expect the same products, the same price and the same level of service on all channels. Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses, but it’s important that you choose to focus on the benefits.
Your journey to become a pure omnichannel company starts with analyzing the areas where you have contact with your customers – also called touchpoints. Touchpoints might be:
- Customer service
- Salesmen on the go
- After sales
- And many more.
Data on these touchpoints should be collected and analyzed according to the customer experience, and gives us an idea of how we can create more value for each of these areas; the more you know about your customers across the different channels – the more you can influence them in terms of better customer service and a better user experience, resulting in additional sales.
The hard part is to get the process started and structured so you’ll reach your goal. It can seem as a big project, but from a competitive perspective; it is always worth the effort.
Tools for collecting data
To gain more knowledge and collect data, you can use a wide variety of tools. It can be anything from online surveys, buying and browsing history, Google Analytics, user testing, interviews, social media, customer clubs (CRM), etc. Furthermore, the choice of tool also depends on which industry you are in, where in the process you are, and what goals you have set.
The next step is to make sure that the data you have obtained can also be used to personalize the message and / or time it right so that you reach your current or potential customers at the right time.
You have to think omnichannel into your business
A lot of companies tend to feel that they’re running behind when it comes to the whole idea of becoming a true omnichannel business, but that’s far from true. So, if your brand isn’t already on your merry way towards a full omnichannel transition – don’t despair. You are not alone. In a recent study by SPS Commerce, more than 37% of companies feel that they are still in the research phase, and have not yet made an omnichannel strategy.
I am aware that this is American numbers, but they usually show a trend that also applies to the rest of Europe. Last year, the figure was 29%, which most likely indicates that omnichannel trade is moving at a pace where it is difficult to keep up.
In Adapt we are specialists when it comes to omnichannel and creating connected user experiences, and in May 2015 SPORTMASTER came in first for this year's e-commerce prize in the category “Best omnichannel”. So if you need advice on getting started with omnichannel - then we will be more than happy to help you through a journey towards a successful omnichannel brand.