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July 28, 2014

Pre-requisites for
Omni Channel Experience

Author Charlie Brown
Category Blog | eCommerce |

Retailers are facing tough business, competitive, and customer pressures today than ever before. They understand the need to incorporate mobile, ecommerce, and Omni-channel capabilities into a more aggressive, consumer-oriented retail strategy. Need of the hour have compelled them to develop Omni-channel capabilities to better serve demanding, fickle customers.
Key component that need attention while building one’s brand through Omni-channel retailing is the power of a personal connection. Shoppers should experience the same quality service from retail or brand representatives that they do via social media and vice versa. Retailers must be able to provide a level of knowledge about products or services that meets or exceeds the information available to shoppers across a company’s digital and physical channels – all while providing top-quality customer service. Important is to have the same information across channels so that the customer can enjoy the coziness while searching for a product info on mobile and buying it in-store.
Integration is obligatory for the retailer to ensure a rich Omni-channel experience and yes, all the respective systems need to coordinate synchronously to have uniform information everywhere.
Ecommerce cart: It displays a list of items for customers and allows them to select items of their choice for eventual purchase. If you want your customer to find you online, this is the first place they expect you to be in. With Omni-channel experience, shoppers would love to have the same product information here as it is in your brick & mortar store.
ERP/CRM: Customers want to feel they are dealing with a single person for all their needs, across all their products. They want you to know their personal profile, including devices, services and content purchases across the entire portfolio and across all accounts—personal and business. Metrics and incentives will therefore need to expand to include holistic customer value, with comp “customer” sales becoming as important as comp “store” sales. So you need to have your ERP/CRM strong and stable and integrated well enough with different systems so that any information that a customer appends or changes is reflected across channels in no time.
Third party marketplaces: Customers, these days, expect online retailers to provide them a range of options to choose their desired product from. By offering shoppers flexible delivery options (e.g. buy online/pick-up in-store), online retailers enable consumers to browse, purchase and receive items on their own terms, without relying on anyone. Omni-channel strategies today include achieving a broad presence across third-party online sites like eBay, Amazon, etc. to maximize opportunities to showcase the brand through consumer purchase journeys. Information remaining same across all digital channels of an organization helps the customer to select their product from any channel without hesitation. Third party marketplaces help retailers win new customers as they now have the right solution to help them simplify and streamline business through Omni-channel management.
Social Media: Each channel’s features are combined to help you achieve your overall business objectives. Today, social media is extensively used by retailers to have a strong grip on floating customers. All you need is to integrate social media within your Omni-channel strategy. To make sure that your strategy is as efficient and effective as it should be, it’s important to make social as visible as possible. It’s time for people to know your social media presence – using of icons on your website, including them in your email signature and displaying them on online and offline marketing communications appeal customers.
Business circumstances have changed with technological advancements and the changing needs of the customers. It’s no longer okay to have one strategy for online activities and another for offline. Today, customers expect uniform information for a single product in all channels they traverse through. Plus, Omni-channel retail customers are digitally adept and demanding and they also dig deeper into their wallets. For that, they expect consistent, quality experiences from retail brands across channels wherever they engage. Coherent integration among all the systems enables retailers to entice their customers with rich Omni-channel strategy but that’s not the end of it, as retailers hold the key to incorporate consistent information across channels which is the lifeblood for accomplishing absolute Omni-channel essence.

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