The digital era has changed the face of retail and given rise to an entirely new kind of shopper. Today’s digital consumers enjoy navigating a wide range of channels and shopping journeys. If businesses expect to attract, convert, and delight customers in this highly competitive environment, they should make customer experience seamless, consistent, and engaging across channels irrespective of the point of sale.
According to a report by Aberdeen Group – companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies on average retain 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.
Top global brands are spending millions of dollars on building multichannel strategies. However, as companies spin their wheels, channels continue to evolve, customers adopt innovative technologies, and take on new behaviors. Yet at the end of the day, they just want to shop. Customers don’t think about the channel, they care about the experience. To meet evolving customer expectations, retailers need to immediately shift their focus on the customer experience through an omnichannel approach. This change of focus creates a customer experience that advances with technology and the customer, increasing customer retention and in turn revenue. If a business aims to get the best results from an omnichannel strategy, it should have a clear understanding of these terms.
Multi-channel Experience refers to the ability to interact with customers on various platforms. Companies with a multichannel approach focus their priority on two or more channels such as the website, mobile, or a retail location to engage with their customers. However, retailers are not necessarily focused on delivering a seamless experience across multiple touch-points and unintentionally work in silos.
Whereas, Omnichannel Experience is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless, consistent, and integrated shopping experience across any channel. If a shopper wants to buy from a mobile device, let them. If they want to order online and pick up in store, make it happen. The idea is to meet shoppers where they want to be. The key difference between multichannel and omnichannel is that omnichannel joins touchpoints together, so that whatever journey the customer chooses to take the experience is consistent and unified. Keeping this in mind, we have outlined 4 ways to improve your omnichannel customer experience:
1. Create buyer personas: Creating buyer personas helps in understanding customer needs, making it easier to tailor content, messaging, and cater to the specific needs of different customer groups. It gives a full understanding of customer likes/dislikes, and helps accurately identify target audiences through interviews, surveys etc.
2. Charting a customer journey map: Customer journey maps helps in understanding the path a customer takes to get to your product, from initial contact, through the process of engagement and customer retainment. It helps businesses to address customers pain points and outlines how they can improve customer experience by identifying what prospective customers need to complete a purchase.
3. Implementing initiatives that address pain points: Pain points are simply “cries for help.” A customer’s pain point is the frustration they feel when their specific need is unmet, or a problem/struggle does not have a solution. Defining and then avoiding customer pain point gives an opportunity to create trust and credibility for your company.
4. Enabling continuous improvements: Delivering excellent customer experience isn’t a onetime consideration. What’s considered an exceptional customer experience today may not be tomorrow. Businesses need to make consistent updates as technology evolves and customer behaviors shift.
Companies that leverage an omnichannel approach are well-positioned to move ahead of their competition. As new technologies emerge, and customer expectations continue to change, retailers need to adapt quickly to meet those changes head on.
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