From multichannel to omnichannel: the 4-step guide to make it real
Published on 18 November 2021
In addition to meeting the expectations of the French, 50% of whom are now omnichannel customers according to a Harris Interactive survey, the adoption of an omnichannel strategy is an essential lever for optimizing several areas of the business. Discover the steps to follow and the tools to use, such as Generix Omnichannel Sales, to efficiently move from multichannel to omnichannel.
Good reasons to migrate to omnichannel
Twenty years ago, the emergence of digital technology and new communication media (websites, social networks, e-mails, etc.) led companies to multiply their contact channels in order to be present where their customers are also present. With the evolution of consumer habits, this multi-channel strategy has quickly shown its limits, for one main reason: the lack of complementarity and integration between these different media and contact points.
The migration to an omnichannel strategy, which consists in merging channels, is the answer to this problem. Allowing to erase the boundaries between physical and digital and to offer customers a global experience, without discontinuity, omnichannel is a solution with many advantages for the company:
- Better customer knowledge: adopting an omnichannel strategy first of all makes it possible to track and identify a customer across all the channels they use (website, application, store, etc.). This gives the company more information about each individual and in particular how they use the different touch points.
- An enriched purchase path: this better knowledge of the customer and his purchase path allows to enrich his relationship with the company: in addition to being able to adopt a personalized approach, it is possible to intervene when it is necessary and can benefit the consumer (sending an SMS if the customer has not validated his basket on the website for example).
- Optimized inventory management: by connecting and centralizing its various commercial supports (store, website, etc.), the company has an accurate and "live" view of its inventory. It can thus take the appropriate decisions (restocking for example), but also inform consumers in real time of the availability of products.
- A lever for innovation: by interconnecting its points of contact, the company can open up new development perspectives. For example, it can adopt online appointment booking, click and collect, fashion-to-mobile or even be at the origin of new innovations.
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Step 1. Harmonize all contact channels
The transition from a multi-channel strategy to an omnichannel strategy addresses a key issue: eliminating the differences between the multiple channels used. In order to achieve this objective and thus offer a global customer experience, several steps must be taken:
- standardize the information present on multiple channels (products, prices, stock, promotions, etc.);
- Offer identical and/or complementary services across channels;
- Guarantee message homogeneity and visual consistency across all contact points;
- Automate cross-channel interactions: an action on one touchpoint should/may trigger another on a different touchpoint.
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Step 2. Bounce channels together
The key to an omnichannel strategy is also that all channels interact with each other. The objective is obvious: to allow the customer to move easily from one medium to another in order to enrich their purchasing experience. From a simple multi-channel approach, the company can offer a 360° buying journey by creating connections between channels. Many existing solutions - and others yet to be invented - can help you achieve this, including :
- online appointment booking: the customer books a time slot (in store or elsewhere) directly from the company's website or application;
- click and collect: the customer orders online, before picking up the product directly in the store;
- in-store connected services: by means of interactive terminals, QR codes or digital walls, the customer can access his account, his history or even an order directly in the store;
- fashion-to-mobile: the consumer flashes a magazine or an advertisement in the street in order to be redirected to the product sheet on the magazine or advertisement in question.
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Step 3. Centralize multi-channel data
The interest of an omnichannel strategy is also to better know its customers and prospects thanks to a greater diversity of information (click rate on e-mails, bounce rate on the site, purchase history, store visits, etc.). In this perspective, it is therefore essential to centralize all the data in order to have a unique and real vision of the customer. Once again, this means changing some of your practices:
- eliminate silos between different departments;
- Use a single tool to aggregate all data;
- Automate data collection and database feeding;
- Consolidate customer records by cleaning up the database;
- Qualify customers and prospects in order to classify them according to their purchasing potential.
To supervise your entire activity in real time and benefit from actionable data to facilitate decision-making, discover the Generix Analytics & KPI solution.
Step 4. Adopt applications adapted to the issues
In addition to the previous steps, the implementation of an omnichannel approach can only be done with adapted tools and applications. Migrating to platforms and ecosystems that fully integrate omnichannel, such as Generix Omnichannel Sales, for example, allows you to benefit from advanced functionalities that guarantee unified commerce:
- management of a single shopping cart: a tool that aggregates orders from any medium makes it possible to desilute channels, unify data more easily and add value to shopping carts, particularly by proposing offers at the right time.
- Improved customer qualification for greater loyalty: loyalty program settings from a single interface, centralization of customer data, scripting of customer behavior, etc. These are all essential features for strengthening loyalty and are offered by Generix Loyalty.
- centralization of promotional marketing: Sales Marketing Promotion enables you to manage your entire sales and promotional strategy from a single interface, while helping you build your offers and defining relevant indicators to measure their effectiveness.
- Sales and marketing analysis automation: the key to a successful omnichannel strategy is also to be able to centralize all your data and automate its analysis from a dedicated tool, such as Generix Analytics & KPI, with a view to making relevant marketing, sales or even strategic decisions.
Do you want to adopt an omnichannel strategy?
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You may also be interested in these contents:
- Sales receipt dematerialization: how to transform this obligation into a marketing opportunity?
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- Retail: how Covid-19 has transformed your loyalty levers in your omnichannel journey
Source: The omnichannel consumer in retail - Harris Interactive for Budgetbox - 2020