Don’t miss the boat!
Remember the days when your webstore simply got basic information and some few items for customers to buy? Sad to say: Those days are gone.
As technology advances, it becomes embedded our culture in different ways.
Our customers begin to be more demanding for their shopping experience. They want to engage with your business in person, over the phone, on your website, through social media or some market website. Never stop there. The process needs to be the more seamless across all the different channels.
Think about it like this, if you needed to communicate a special message or offer to your customers, you wouldn’t just choose one channel. You would spread your communications over a variety of channels including advertising, social media, email marketing and maybe even a letter in the post.
Why should it be any different for customers trying to reach you?… They need to be able to communicate their feedback or ask you their questions at a time that best suits them and through the channel that best suits them.
That is how Omnichannel Customer Experience started its era.
What is Omnichannel Customer Experience?
|The Omnichannel Customer Experience is customer’s ability to contact with your company via various linking channels. It means your customers can start and leave their activity on one channel. Then, you can pick them up on another channel to continue their activity. This action will not stop even when they have successfully purchased in your store.|
In a nutshell, Omnichannel Customer Experience is an endless customer journey in shopping.
Related Post: What is Omnichannel Customer Journey?
To clarify this, let’s take an example.
If an online shopper asks a question via web chat, then he/she changes to talk via call center. The agent in call center might be able to see all actions the customer has worked with the brand, such as customer’s web request, online conversation details, activity history, etc. Therefore, the agent would not frustrate the customers about background questions before resolving their request.
How Omnichannel Customer Experience impacts on your brand
Omnichannel Customer Experience brings customers a higher level of shopping journey. The customers are served as a “true king”.
Here are the reasons why you should implement Omnichannel right now
1. Advanced Marketing
Quick and Effective! Omnichannel retailers can easily collect, store and track big databases from customer shopping journey. Then, the marketing team can use the wealth of data to refine business statistics and build best strategies.
“Why is it so easy, simple and effective?” you may ask.
With an Omnichannel system, all it takes is a single transaction to create a customer profile. Next, the system will automatically collect the information you need to start building “long-live” relationships. Better yet, these profiles can include anything from in-store and online purchase history to birthdays, pick-up and payment preferences and social media activity.
So that, there are no obstacles that block your way to crucial customer information.
Easy access to this information enables you to initiate targeted interactions, which are more relevant to your customers and more profitable for your business. With no doubts, you can identify more opportunities to cross-sell, upsell, send out personalized offers or product suggestions via customer’s purchase history or social media activity.
The fact that you can track and store everything allows you to easily measure your marketing efforts and refine your strategies as time goes by.
2. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Never judge a book by its covers. Never judge your customer’s technical skills if they only buy products in physical stores. Most of them are the tech-savvy consumers. You cannot know how much time they used to “research” for your products on the Internet.
So how to handle with these smart customers? Flexibility is the key.
You should spend a huge amount of time on accommodating your customers’ lifestyles and shopping preferences. Besides, you need extra time to provide them with seamless experiences. No matter where they shop – in-store, on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops or a combination of any devices, customers want the qualified service. What a time-killer, right?
However, Omnichannel systems can solve all these puzzles in a blink. The Omnichannel approach opens new chance to choose where, when and how to browse, buy and pick up. This is literally essential when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Your brick-and-mortar store may be restricted by opening hours and location, but your online operation is open all day – all night. On the other face, your customers love to shop in the brick-and-mortar store but tend to research the product online before purchase. Therefore, to follow and support your customer journey, you cannot ignore the help of Omnichannel operation.
In brief, customers want choice, which means you must provide them with various options. More options, more satisfy.
Not only will you see a boost in loyalty, you’ll see a boost in sales.
3. Higher Retention Rate
According to a report by Aberdeen Group, companies with Omnichannel customer care strategies have 91% better year-over-year (YOY) customer retention rates than others.
Why? Let me list you few reasons:
- Customers can get quick support in everywhere they go
- They can have a lot of options in shopping – shipping – payment
- Consumers feel like being “cared” whole-heartedly as retailers know their birthdays, special days, and other personal special things.
And many more reasons.
So, you may wonder why Omnichannel retailers can get this high level of satisfaction? Because of the innovative system. Omni-channel operation synchronized all channels in real-time. This helps retailers keep track on customer journey in every little second, collect and store customers’ information automatically, and have strong management system behind to meet customers’ demand in time.
Brand Challenges in Omnichannel Customer Experience
Although more and more businesses are gearing up for the adoption of an Omnichannel customer experience with its myriad benefits, most of them fall prey to the few challenges that haunt this exercise.
Here are two of the biggest issues that most businesses face while constructing an Omnichannel customer experience:
1. Not knowing your brand promise by-heart
This means the business lacks a consistent customer experience.
In this crazy buzzword, most businesses tend to expand their market in various channels, such as webstore, physical stores, marketplace or partner stores, etc. This leads to a big problem. Some channels do not have the same brand feature, which brings out mistaken – understanding customer experience.
The brand promise is the big point and belief that your brand is aiming for. It trickles down to each employee and activity within the organization. Only when each staff understand and know your business message by-whole-heart, can they performance in a positive and consistent way to your customers.
So, how to provide consistent customer experience via all touchpoints? Here are two keys: Understand what your brand stands for and Remember a tight grasp of the message you want your brand to send out. Once this is taken care of, align all your customer experience activities around it. Train all your employees, especially customer-facing staff, to ‘row the same boat’.
Your customers should know exactly what awaits them when they come to you, whether from online or offline, physical or digital.
2. Not knowing your customers
An ugly truth! No matter how “hot” your business is, your customers’ tastes are changing every single day. If you wish to stick to the old ways of doing business, be warned that your customers may move onto someone else who serves them with better choices and brings them “WoW!” experience.
The crucial keys to succeeding in the business world full of Omnichannel are: Clarify to your employees who are your target audience and Be united to create a seamless customer experience
In today’s digital world, you cannot afford to lose out on any channel on which you can communicate with your customers. So, what does this mean for your business? In a nutshell, the more customer-centric your brand is, the more customers you’ll attract.
Just think about it!
If you were to do business with a brand that gives you a grand total of two platforms on which you can reach out to them, would you continue to do business with them? Especially knowing that other brands throw open the doors of communication across a huge number of channels? Your customers expect more and rightfully. This is the era of the customer. So, your Omnichannel customer experience strategy could be a game changer for your business, only if you keep the experience you deliver seamless and consistent across all the touchpoints!
Therefore, by carefully planning Omnichannel strategy, you can surpass these challenges and reap the myriad benefits that you were promised!
So, how to get the best Omni-channel strategy? Don’t quit here!
How to improve brand via Omnichannel Customer Experience
Every business has its own features. Each company has their specific quality that satisfies their customer experience, and vice versa. So that, no one can find out the best strategy for you, but only you.
However, to improve brand by Omnichannel Customer Experience, there are four basic sides that you must take a clear look:
1. Customer Engagement
One of the most critical components of rock-solid marketing is connecting the customer experience across every channel they engage with and sell through. Everything from messaging to creative must be aligned to provide a seamless experience at every touchpoint.
As more brands restructure and put more chips behind their online channels, creating an immersive Omnichannel customer experience must remain top of mind. The same goes for “click to brick” players that open physical stores. This level of consistency will ultimately generate greater brand loyalty and trust. When these expectations are met and exceeded, the result is greater customer lifetime value whether they come through your door, click on a social media post or press the Add to cart button.
2. Shipping Experience
While many brands don’t consider Amazon a direct competitor, we cannot escape from their impact. The main reason customers gravitate to Amazon is the breadth of its product assortment with free shipping. Even though Prime membership comes at a premium price, it has had profound effects on purchase behaviors, including the widespread expectation of free shipping.
While offering free shipping can certainly bump up purchases and topline, it can also be expensive and quickly erode margins. To remain competitive, you might consider offering promotional free shipping options at an order value threshold, or a free ship-to-store or pickup in-store option.
But stop! Don’t be so rush like this! Take a consider.
The key to success is determining what’s right for your brand, what’s consistent with your value proposition and what’s appropriate for your competitive realities.
The idea of free shipping sounds wonderful, but it’s not the only way to build customer loyalty and increase lifetime value. If you plan to offer free shipping, make it part of your overall product pricing (pre-discounts/sales).
Related post: Omnichannel Order Fulfillment: The Key to Growth
3. In-Store Experience
Once again, let’s get back to Amazon. Do you know why Amazon, an online business, had to open Amazon Go, a physical retail presence in Seattle?
Customers love brick-and-mortar, as they can check the products directly and can try the products to decide whether it is compatible with them or not.
In the “buzzy” world, it’s imperative to make your physical locations a complement to your eCommerce presence.
A physical store affords brands the opportunity to engage with customers in ways that eCommerce alone is never able to support.
However, this does not mean that you need to build a huge physical store to show all the Qty. of products you sell online. That is never a good idea! Do more with less
Instead of bigger and larger footprints, consider downsizing and optimizing the store to create a showroom, thus offering a more immersive brand experience. Besides, you might also consider RFID, a store-within-a-store model (which has grown in popularity recently).
RFID, powered showrooms, only need to stock enough items for customers to touch, feel, and try on. It embedded product tags allow customers to approach a kiosk, select their size, color, etc., and have the item delivered to their home. Alternatively, a store-within-a-store reduces overhead expenses like rent and electricity.
As you can see, all these above factors sound fascinating and innovative to work on. But have you wondered how to work on it? In another word, which is the core factor to run all these basic factors smoothly? Yes. That is the backend system. You cannot implement the Omnichannel Customer Experience without a strong Omni-channel Backend System
4. Back-end System
A car cannot run properly with a bad machine. As well, Omnichannel Customer Experience cannot work with a bad backend. In the modern technology life, the backend system is the “one and only” supporter of every store owners. Finding the best system for Omnichannel is the core key to success.
No one cannot deny that Omnichannel Customer Experience can boost your revenue significantly. But this does not mean that you do not need to spend “a significant” expense on products, shipping, managing information, etc. Seriously! You cannot provide items to your customers in time if the items are continually out-of-stock. You need someone to help you manage and predict the supply Qty. you need for your store.
So, how much does your profit grow? Approximately zero, I guess.
Everything will change with a good back-end system. It can help you reduce these expense by doing it for you. In details, you can save time and save money on hiring a new staff for your business.
In a nutshell, if you get a good system that supports Omnichannel Customer Experience, not only your revenue but also your profit will increase “amazingly”
Despite the drumbeat of eCommerce daily changes, these are exciting times in retail. There is ample opportunity for brands to reimagine their engagement with customers while also rethinking the logistics that fuel their operations.
No matter what, where and who you’re selling, a solid approach to logistics and fulfillment that puts the Omnichannel customer experience front and center is a must if you want to compete and succeed in commerce.