Forbes: The three pillars of omnichannel success
Heikki Väänänen | Executive VP of Growth, HappyOrNot
An omnichannel customer experience is made up of individual touchpoints over a variety of channels, for example, in-store, webshop, social media, and more, that seamlessly connect. It allows customers to pick up where they left off on one channel, and continue the experience on another.
However, customers don’t think in channels. To them, their journey through your channels, from the moment of purchase interest to research, buying your product or service (or not!), and, the ultimate goal, becoming a repeat customer, is a series of experiences that forms an overall impression of your brand.
How can, and should, a business measure and monitor the experiences along each stage of the customer journey to ensure they deliver a channel-less customer experience? Where should they focus? .
Retail businesses, specifically, have one of the hardest jobs when building an omnichannel strategy. The customer experience between online and in-person shopping is vastly different, so ensuring cohesion between the two can be a challenge.
In my latest Forbes article, I look at the three pillars that form the foundation of omnichannel success, and the most important things a business should focus on:
1. Identify channels and measure impact
Omnichannel success requires businesses to have their fingers on the pulse of every touchpoint and, more importantly, have a way in which to measure how customers are interacting with the business across channels. Key tips:
- Identify the channels that your customers utilize
- Identify the touchpoints within each channel
- Ensure the business has a fully integrated tech stack to be able to monitor every touchpoint across channels
2. Adapt communication
Customer habits and preferences changing all the time, so communication must be consistently adapted to ensure that customers are receiving the absolute best customer experience possible. Key tips:
- Stay on top of changing trends and customer expectations when it comes to communication
- Make assessments for each channel and unify messaging
- Experiment to get it right; consider A/B testing etc.
- Pay extra attention to cross team collaboration to ensure that where multiple teams are in charge of different channels, nothing is lost in translation
3. Optimize operations
Complete operational efficiency is hard to obtain, and often it’s only through trial and error that a business discovers how best to optimize processes to positively impact both the company’s bottom line, but also customer experience. The goal here is to be able to consistently stay on top of what needs changing and how their efforts are impacting each channel. Key tips:
- Look to technology to ensure operational efficiency is improved where possible
- Don’t be afraid to spend money smartly; retailers should invest in the right solutions to help reduce overheads and lower customer acquisition costs.
- Invest in the delivery experience to compete with digital-first companies entering the space
Ultimately, omnichannel success is no easy feat, but ensuring these pillars are executed effectively, retailers are able to not only ensure they are providing customers with a smooth and consistent experience but also a personalized one that sets them apart from the competition.