Three ways an omnichannel transformation can go wrong
Published on 6 February 2018
Driven by a rising number of consumer demands, many companies are pushed to offer an omni-channel sales approach. An perspective that offers clear advantages: an increase in the average shopping cart amount, a smooth-flowing purchase process, an edge in the fight against the pure players... But implementing an efficient omni-channel approach often ends up being complex. Why? Your questions answered in this article.
A long-standing organization of systems in silos
With today’s customers being more mobile, more fickle, comes a purchasing behavior that is more fragmented than ever before. Expecting a seamless experience, customers want to have access to the same advantages regardless of the sales channel they have chosen. This is a problem for companies that have been built around silos and closed channels.
They have built their sales channels right next to one another, gradually laying brick after brick, without even considering the possibility of merging the different databases. The result is that communication between long-standing sales channels (stores) and more recent ones (e-commerce and even m-commerce platforms) is at a standstill, thus dangerously gambling with the seamless experience so sought after by consumers.
A different organization for each sales channel
A direct consequence of organizing a company in silos is that the sales channels become antagonists, even competitors. Behind these channels are different hierarchies, made up of different elements, that cannot reach a common strategy. As a result, the image of a traditionally managed shop versus a young team in charge of e-commerce strategy is today a reality in many companies.
Promotions available only online, specific customer loyalty programs and non-standardized sales operations are all bumps in the road that slow down a customer’s purchasing journey— not to mention the company’s willingness to change. In fact, when it comes to making changes to reconcile channels, taking about an omni-channel transformation can be seen as a major upset.
Read as well: Optimize your omni-channel sales processes with an OMS
The emergence of "sub-channels" curbing the omni-channel transition
To initiate the digitization process in stores, some companies have installed interactive machines in physical points of sale, equipped their sales assistants with tablets and implemented self checkout systems. However, each one of these systems uses its own set of data, has its own administration model and thus makes it even more difficult to access the information collected.
By introducing these digital systems into physical points of sale and even by developing a network of franchisees on an international scale, companies have rather complicated their operations to reconcile databases. Therefore, the challenge lies in figuring out how to manage and seamlessly operate an entire information system that is composed of various layers. All this while simplifying the company’s organization model.