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The Future Of Retail Isn’t Physical Vs Online, It’s Omnichannel

By Heikki Väänänen | CEO & Founder

In my latest Forbes article I look at the changing commerce landscape and the need for a greater focus on omnichannel customer experience. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘omnichannel’, it’s become commonly used within a number of different sectors and describes a multichannel approach that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.

The rise of the internet has brought with it the ability for business owners to expand their reach across continents. It enabled what might have once been a standalone store on a main street to become a global empire, with shoppers able to make purchases from hundreds of miles away, while receiving a completely unique experience to the shoppers visiting the physical store.

When it comes to customer experience, simply ensuring that you’ve nailed down physical and online commerce isn’t enough anymore. Successful businesses must have a strong omnichannel overview of customer experience, ensuring the needs of the consumer are being met, regardless of how they’re shopping with you.

How can this be achieved? The answer lies in data. Data has become a fundamental tool in improving and refining the shopping experience, and the detail and precision of data available through the monitoring of online and offline shopper behavior affords businesses invaluable insights into how to improve and streamline their cross-platform commerce experiences.

Making use of data, such as mouse clicks and heat maps on a website or customer happiness within stores, businesses are able to understand how to implement effective change by actively engaging with its patrons. In addition, allowing customers to provide feedback on their frustrations (and joys!) to find solutions, and to not feel that they are dealing with a faceless machine, is crucial to securing and retaining customers.

Crucially, when enabled in real-time, omnichannel customer feedback allows a business to let its customers guide it on what specific issues are arising and what elements can be improved: from website bugs and store layouts, to the implementation of new procedures or store features.

We have experienced an increased demand for omnichannel solutions from existing and prospective customers, and in June 2020 announced we have expanded our digital suite to cater to different business requirements. We have introduced the Solo, the company’s first-ever digital solution that doesn’t need to be linked with a physical terminal, and the Embed. HappyOrNot has also revamped and re-branded its Web Smileys, now known as Pop-up.

To see what our Digital Smileys and omnichannel capabilities can do for your business, head over here.

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