Seamless Omnichannel Shopping Experience
Omnichannel provide customers with a seamless retail experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick and mortar store. An omnichannel approach means there’s integration between distribution, promotion and communication channels on the back end.
Omnichannel is neither a technology solution nor a means to an end. Rather, it is a transformational way of doing business that connects disparate processes and technologies around an integrated, customer-centric operating model. It also provides the means to meet consumer demand in the “right now” economy, empowering consumers to do business on their terms – anyplace, anywhere, any time.
To architect a successful omnichannel experience, it’s important to define a customer-centric strategy, optimize processes, and design the underlying enterprise solutions that drive transformational change. Key steps include:
- Review the corporation’s operating model to enable functions to collaborate in a new way that directly and indirectly drives accountability for consumer engagement, conversion, and service. This step is integral to delivering transformational change. All parts of the organization are responsible for the consumer experience, providing the framework for enterprise-wide decision-making and asset deployment, and positioning the corporation to efficiently adapt to consumer-driven changes.
- Develop a customer-centric approach, with an operating model where people, processes, and technology revolve around the consumer. This is a leadership, cultural, and operational imperative.
- Build a single view of the customer, incorporating interactions from different touchpoints and developing robust customer profiles and data models. This requires aggregating and normalizing data from disparate sources to realize a 360o customer profile.
- Develop the infrastructure for transacting in real time, taking advantage of AI and machine learning, which are “revolutionizing omnichannel strategies, starting with customer personas, their expectations, and how customer care, IT infrastructure and supply chains need to stay responsive to grow,” as another Forbes article points out.
- Drive stickier relationships with customers by using technology to optimize their experiences so that these are personalized, authentic, seamless, memorable and convenient.
Today, service leaders want to reinforce better digital customer experience with more instant, seamless, easy service, says Gartner. The research and advisory company identifies three imperatives for delivering digital customer service experience in 2019. First, meet increasing internal pressures and accountability. Second, prioritize and improve the digital experience. And third, explore digital applications to improve operational efficiency. Gartner concludes that “customers today have higher expectations for digital experiences based on their interactions with other businesses.” This observation is echoed by a Hubspot blog, which notes the need for an “integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out,” highlighting companies who successfully achieve this. Leading the pack, according to the blog, are Disney, Virgin Atlantic and Bank of America.
An omnichannel environment that is dynamic, integrated, and continuous will enhance the customer experience and deliver corporate value. Paying careful attention to detail, hearing and acting on user feedback, and monitoring technology performance, will ensure that customers receive a differentiated experience. With a customer-centric operating model, a mature and integrated underlying technology architecture, and a culture focused on ongoing observation and consumer-driven improvement, businesses can set the standard for consumer experiences and lead their categories in the “right now” economy.