Mon, May 15, 2023
The retail industry has undergone significant changes due to the increasing popularity of e-commerce both pre and post-pandemic, and the shift towards digital experiences. However, this has also resulted in many new challenges for retailers who are finding it difficult to keep up with changing consumer preferences and expectations. To address this, brands are adopting an omnichannel experience, seeking to eliminate any existing friction between in-person and digital experiences. It’s even led to the term ‘phygital’ shopping experiences according to McKinsey to describe where the future of omnichannel is taking us to a world of physical and digital simultaneously, completely connecting all experiences.
Here, we will explore the advantages of the omnichannel shopping experience, how it can assist retailers in thriving in today’s highly competitive market, and how to get the help your brand needs to deliver this.
When we refer to omnichannel shopping, this is where a comprehensive approach is taken by brands that focuses on delivering an integrated shopping experience, so that customers can interact across a variety of channels no matter which they choose. From visiting physical stores to using online platforms, mobile applications, social media sites, and other touchpoints, the central goal is to ensure that all customer interactions are as seamless and consistent as possible, regardless of the channels they prefer to use.
By offering this unified, ultimate experience that removes barriers, omnichannel shopping helps retailers build strong relationships with their customers and foster greater customer loyalty. This is something all brands need to stay consistently competitive and ensure their customers’ expectations are met, and ideally, exceeded.
Providing a seamless omnichannel shopping experience to shopping is becoming increasingly important. By leveraging multiple touchpoints, retailers can increase their chances of improving sales
by connecting with customers in a more meaningful way. Omnichannel provides customers with the freedom to shop in-person or online at their convenience without any loss of information, enhancing the overall shopping experience. Retailers can then leverage this data from various channels to provide a more personalised shopping experience.
By analysing customer behaviour across different channels, retailers can customise their products and services to cater to the individual needs and preferences of each customer. According to PWC 2023 consumer insights survey, 82% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for a better customer experience, meaning brands that do use detailed customer insights are more likely to discover what exactly their customers need and want.
Adopting an omnichannel approach is a win-win for both retailers and customers alike – brands can improve their reputational standing by delivering world-class customer service, whilst customers can effortlessly shop in the most convenient way for them, connecting every interaction. According to Deloitte, omnichannel can bring tangible business results such as up to a 17% increase in sales uplift across channels, whilst sales representatives sell 1.5x better in person and remotely.
It’s this all-in-one approach that if not adopted will leave brands lagging behind, with customers seeking out those that can offer omnichannel experiences that resonate with them. How often do you think a customer has been left frustrated when contacting a brand to find they have no previous history or information about them? This common pain point is resolved through omnichannel, so that they can start an interaction through chat, for example, then finish their query or purchase through another avenue such as in a brick-and-mortar store or online.
According to Sprinklr, 74% of customers are left “extremely frustrated” when having to contact a company multiple times for the same reason, with 66% unhappy with repeating the same information to multiple employees or through multiple channels. The minimum aim for brands should be to provide the seamlessness customers seek and improve interactions overall with minimal friction, otherwise, they may start to struggle.
With only 28% of UK organisations adopting omnichannel and 60% seeing the value but struggling to integrate this, the concern for many businesses is that slow adoption could impact performance and cause further friction for customers. Those retailers who aim to implement an omnichannel approach to shopping sooner rather than later must consider investing in several areas to achieve success. Specifically, they need to focus on technology, infrastructure, and personnel.
Investing in a robust e-commerce platform that can seamlessly integrate with physical stores will allow for a cohesive omnichannel shopping experience across all channels. Developing a mobile app can further enhance this experience by providing a convenient and accessible way for customers to shop too. It’s this convenience that adapts to consumer behaviours and helps them have a more positive CX they’ll want to come back to.
Using data analytics to provide a personalised experience with offerings based on customer behaviour is essential for delivering a tailored and engaging shopping experience. Brands that create an effective omnichannel strategy that meets the needs of their customers are more primed for success than those that continue to hold back.
It’s a fiercely competitive retail market, and it always has been, so businesses must adopt a seamless omnichannel shopping experience to remain relevant and successful. Seamless experiences across various touchpoints, including brick-and-mortar stores, online marketplaces, and social media platforms is the blueprint for success in the present and long-term. By offering convenience and personalisation at every stage of the customer journey, brands can build strong relationships with their customers and increase their overall satisfaction.
However, whilst the theory is clear, going ahead and bringing omnichannel to life may leave some brands unsure of where to start. That’s where we can help at Ventrica, providing expert assistance as customer experience specialists. We can help you work out the challenges you face and identify exactly what your brand needs to do with a clear roadmap and strategy.
While implementing an omnichannel strategy requires a significant investment of time, money, and resources, the long-term benefits of increased sales and customer loyalty make it a worthwhile endeavour for any forward-thinking brand.
To find out more and discuss your CX goals, contact us today to start your omnichannel transformation.
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