Megan Dennis is a passionate blogger at PNC Digital, an Orlando based digital marketing agency. She specializes in SEO and SEM techniques. Follow on twitter for more updates.
Want a real example? The true love look to the brands who are using an omni-channel approach to ensure their sales and user experience to their customer then let’s deep digger into this.
Businesses today have become aware enough to spread their message and promote their services with a much broader approach.
One such effect of this approach is that users aren’t restricted to access the particular company’s services from just one channel as was in the past, i.e. via desktop.
Now, the presence of handheld devices, the e-commerce’s social presence, advertisements both offline and online and of course, the traditional channels like email and phone contact, have made it possible for the users to access the business’ content anywhere and everywhere.
In the digital era of today, utilizing all the channels in a way that they’re connected and transition seamlessly from one to the other only adds to the viability of the system and the overall user satisfaction and experience. This is where the concept of an ‘omnichannel’ strategy comes in:
What exactly is an omnichannel strategy?
An omnichannel strategy is the unification, interconnection, and integration of all possible channels for a business. These include both online channels and their physical counterparts (if any exist).
For e.g. a fashion retailer may make use of such a strategy this way: Customers are first allowed to visit the nearest branch to get an idea of the size and texture of the particular apparel, maybe even try it out.
Then, after a visitor may be satisfied with the quality of the product or may need to think it over, they can resort those matters to online shopping carts.
So once they’ve made their minds, they can simply browse the brand’s web through a computer or a mobile device, whatever’s most convenient for them at a given time, and confirm the order and the respective transactions thereafter.
The visitor will be notified about their purchase and receive the subsequent receipt via email.
Lastly, the status of the delivery or shipment can be communicated forward through the individual’s social media account or any other channel that’s worthy of a fit. Soon, the consumer receives the product at their destination and the whole picture is complete.
how smooth and hassle-worthy the whole experience was? This ease of use and seamlessness is what omnichannel retailers are about. You don’t see the channels as individual pieces, but as part of a bigger thing, like pixels contributing to the formation of a picture on your computer screen.
Brands, nowadays, don’t shy away from the benefits of such a strategy. In fact, Disneyworld provides a unique experience thanks to this innovative system. So what factors contribute to the success and importance of an omnichannel system?
The viability of an omnichannel strategy
The potential that an omnichannel strategy sets for a business’ success are undoubted as studies have shown that customers lean more towards retailers that allow for multiple channels for availability.
Other interesting statistics show that customers are more likely to spend on products online from the comfort of their home than they are to check-out in an actual store.
Thanks to satisfying the user’s need and keep them up-to-date regarding latest promotions favorable for them and instant notifications of the status of a particular purchase at any point, businesses are more than likely to retain their consumer base and grow on it in the long-term.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of such a strategy can only be described as the constantly shifting action in a ping-pong match between two competent athletes.
In the case of the ecommerce market, the action switches continually between the business and the consumer, and the ball never really falls outside the table.
1. A Complete Package for the Customer:
While the business capitalizes on such a system, the user’s experience is also a swell one. As already discussed briefly above, the consumer gets the whole package in a smoothly transitioning system which prioritizes the user’s convenience and comfort.
Take the example of many successful companies such as Amazon with their grocery pick-up services.
In a supermarket, there’s room for human errors like forgetting a particular item on the list or other inconveniences including the unavailability of a product when the stocks run out.
But thanks to this extended channel service, orders can be placed online and the specific item will be reserved for when you can drive over at one of the nearest branches and collect it.
You don’t even need to leave the seat of your car, as one of the staff members will bring the goods over while your car is parked.
2. Payments Made Conveniently:
We’re also no strangers to how QR codes are quickly changing the landscape of omnichannel strategies, and for the better. Walmart’s latest mobile technology, Walmart Pay, allows customers to avoid the hassle of crowding by skipping queues entirely. This is done via a smart payment method through their mobile phones.
Thanks to the interconnected network of multiple channels, losing a customer just because they forgot their wallet or drove up when stocks just ran out won’t be the case anymore.
Your business retains its customers and doubles up on its presence to create an even wider audience.
3. Engaging the User on Social Platforms:
Utilization of social media is also a key factor in your omnichannel strategy, as we can see in the below example of OfferFactor.
As you can see in the screenshot just below the Add to Cart option, with your permission OfferFactor will notify the user of any changes to their wish-list or shopping cart on Facebook and its messenger service which can be accessed on the go.
This feature is activated by default and so the brand can always reach out to the potential customer on the most accessible platform while the customer himself will have his cart imported from the web to his Facebook messenger app.
This creates a back-and-forth approach that makes it easier for the user to keep track of any of their confirmed purchases or potential ones.
The omnichannel system is on its peak; with every passing day, users are getting used to the fast, mobile, and seamless journey that it facilitates all the way from deciding to try a service to actually purchasing it.
There’s constant feedback between the two parties involved: the business and the consumers, and both share the fruits of success with the former flourishing on the basis of customer satisfaction and maintaining the user base, while the latter making use of the most convenient and accessible service for themselves.
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