Retailers often use the word “Omnichannel retail” to define selling one’s product on multiple channels. However, at SkillNet we believe “Omnichannel” is a much broader term which puts the customer specific behavior at the center of all actions. New microservice technologies with the combination of customer data, are the tools that enable a true omnichannel customer experience.
Multichannel retail strategy
To map a future Omnichannel retail customer journey, we must look at the progress that has already been made. Over the last couple of years customers have come to expect a seamless multi-channel experience. This includes everything from the ability to use a coupon in store or online to curb side pickup on a web order. In these multi-channel experiences, the customer will see similar marketing efforts whether they are shopping in store, on a company’s website, and even on Amazon or their Facebook page. Typical use cases include when a customer abandons a brand’s shopping cart to competitive shop on Amazon, a customer sees the same price for the product.
Usually, in these situations the brand is pushing one product across multiple channels to the potential customer. Being able to accomplish even this level of multi-channel functionality by any retailer may pay revenue dividends down the road.
Omnichannel retail customer journey mapping
Being a real Omnichannel retailer involves pulling a customer into your brand by using his/her specific behavior to initiate an action. So, for example, if in the previous multi-channel situation, we know the customer went through our shipping options page before competitive shopping on Amazon, this may tell us the customer is sensitive to either shipping costs or delivery timelines. Hence, rather than offering a static price discount that may be offered to any customer when they abandon a cart, the Omnichannel retailer solution may offer free overnight shipping.
We know customers prefer to try on a specific product before purchasing it. A true Omnichannel retailer, would pop up a message prior to a customer abandoning their cart with a message asking if the customer would like to make an appointment with a store associate at local store, or even remind the customer of your no risk refund policy via that customer’s Facebook page. This is just one example of achieving omnichannel customer experience.
Retailers have a vast amount of data at their disposal. Omnichannel retailers can use this data with microservice technologies to drive customer specific reactions to continually engage this customer. In a true Omnichannel environment, using this data and web services, the whole organization and technology stack work in concert in the same way a strong store associate would approach the relationship they would create and manage with a loyal customer.
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Creating true omnichannel customer experience
Creating a technology stack and organization to support omnichannel retail solutions will require a review of a customer’s behavior not only during the sales transaction, but the complete customer’s journey through the whole buying process which may include creating inspiration, awareness, research, purchase, and post transaction support. An ultimate successful retail customer journey, in a true Omnichannel retailer will initiate new journeys. It can be as simple as offering a friends and family discount to any customer giving you a 5-star rating.
The start to being a true Omnichannel retailer is understanding and cataloging your customer’s journeys that pull them into your brand. Engage with one of our experts to understand how you can be a true Omnichannel retailer.