Moving from multichannel to omnichannel, a necessary step to reinvent the customer experience
Published on 30 November 2021
Whether it's trying on a piece of clothing in-store that has been noticed on Instagram, or ordering online a tempting product seen in the window, customers now switch nimbly from digital to physical or from physical to digital. With the multiplication of contact points, it is no longer possible to compartmentalize the channels: the idea is to make them bounce between them, to exploit the customer data to improve and fluidify the experience! Explanations.
With a few clicks, anyone can now buy anything they want from the comfort of their sofa. Everyone experiences this on a daily basis: no need to go to a store to buy a product anymore, and successive confinements have only accelerated these trends, with the generalization of click and collect or home delivery.
At the same time, digital and real-life experiences are becoming increasingly intertwined: customers are researching online before going to the store (the famous research online purchase offline or ROPO), consulting their apps while walking the aisles of the store, communicating with brands by phone as well as via Messenger or chatbot, buying on Instagram a product seen in the window...
In order to reach and interact with its customers, a company has to go and find them where they are, both in the real world and online. It needs to be present on all the channels - e-commerce sites, mobile applications, social networks... - that its customers use on a daily basis. By implementing such a multi-channel strategy, the company multiplies the points of contact with its customers and maximizes its influence. This is good, but it is far from enough to guarantee an optimal customer experience in 2021!
Towards a unified commerce to overcome the limits of a multi-channel strategy
The main flaw of a pure multi-channel strategy is to consider each sales/communication channel separately, to propose a differentiated and isolated customer journey per channel.
This siloing of channels has a detrimental influence on the customer experience, as the customer's purchase history and relationship with the brand is fragmented. It is impossible to have a complete overview, to accurately gauge the relationship between the customer and the brand, and to offer an appropriate and truly personalized service.
As a result, with a multi-channel strategy, it becomes difficult to recognize and reward customer loyalty adequately (a very good customer in store will not be offered a preferential offer online, for example) or to personalize the site/in-store reception according to previous purchases made on all channels. Another problem is the management of returns: if the store and website stocks are not linked and synchronized, items purchased online cannot be returned to the store and vice versa.
In order to offer an exceptional customer experience that is both coherent and fluid across all channels, it is necessary to erase the boundaries between the different channels, to consider them together as an indissociable whole: this is the whole purpose of omnichannel commerce.
Reinventing the customer experience through omnichannel... while reinventing the sales path
Omnichannel transcends the different channels and aims to offer - via adapted tools such as Generix Sales Marketing - an exceptional customer experience and the same level of service, whatever the contact point
An omnichannel strategy allows to have a very fine knowledge of the customer - his contact information, his buying habits, his interactions with the brand, his behavior on the networks... - and therefore to deploy ultra-targeted and personalized marketing towards him: promotional offers that are more likely to hit the mark, on the right channel and at the right time.
Moreover, thanks to the single omnichannel shopping cart, the company can centralize in real time all the information of the customer's purchase path on all channels. The physical and digital paths automatically converge and are synchronized for a smooth and optimal customer experience.
In-store, knowing the customer's online history is another key asset, as the in-store salesperson will be able to instantly calculate the customer's benefits when a change occurs on the receipt, thus boosting customer satisfaction.
An omnichannel strategy also allows you to manage your loyalty program more effectively by rewarding customer loyalty at its true value. For example, a cross-channel points system can be deployed (different depending on whether the customer is registered or simply identified) associated with specific and personalized benefits, which go beyond the simple purchase voucher.
Thus, choosing omnichannel means working towards excellence in the customer experience by proposing global and coherent management of sales and communication channels, while making the best use of customer data to drive growth