Is Omnichannel Dead? Of Course Not…However, the Focus Is Now on Customer Experience in Omnichannel
Omnichannel has been a go-to plan for retailers since 2008, but it is changing. Omnichannel, as a word and strategy in retail, is shifting. According to Michael Jones via Forbes, the word, omnichannel, will go away in the coming years as retailers move to become hyper-focused on what customers want, need, and find useful while shopping. While omnichannel is still going to be around, denoting the blending of channels into one experience, the customer experience in omnichannel will become the new unit of measure for success in modern shopping.
Wait. So, Omnichannel Is Not Dead?
Not exactly. Omnichannel is more of a misnomer now. According to Kelsey Lindsey of Retail Dive, more than 64 percent of retail transactions are impacted by digital technology before a consumer enters a store. If a consumer wants to view a product on a smart device while in-store, they are 20-percent more likely to complete the purchase. Instead of focusing on the separation and combination of channels, retailers need to move to a new mindset.
It is just shopping. Omnichannel is shopping. Omnichannel is just business. It is the standard way consumers interact with retailers, so companies must turn their attention to how they can convert shoppers into final purchases.
Consider the Customer’s View of Shopping
As explained by Steve Dennis of Forbes, customers care about experiences, about solutions, about shopping with ease and simplicity. Instead of focusing on omnichannel, it may be better to describe the seamless shopping experience as “unified commerce.”
Levy Mobile Technology to Encourage Positive Experiences and More Purchases
Mobile technology is a game-changer when approaching unified commerce. Major retailers, like Target and Walgreens, have successfully used mobile technology to promote their products and guide more consumers into the store. Walgreens’ mobile app also integrates with third-party apps, like Google Fit, promoting a healthy, happy lifestyle. Remember the company’s saying, “At the corner of Happy and Healthy?” The campaign continues without consumers even realizing it, says Jones, and the use of mobile technology for unifying commerce will only continue.
Connect All Data to Understand Customers’ Shopping Experiences
If the phone is searching for a Wi-Fi network, the store could track its MAC address. This could allow stores to automatically track consumers’ shopping movements, actual purchases, and returns to the store. Algorithms can be used to analyze information gathered from a mobile phone’s MAC address to identify online shopping habits; retailers will be able to provide a better product, experience, and degree of service level.
The same technology does have implications for obtaining consumer authorization, storage of cookies and personal data, and giving real-time feedback for store associates. The amount of information increases when connected to the point-of-sale system, further enhancing consumer experiences.
The Customer Experience in Omnichannel Is the Key to Your Organization’s Growth
Put customer experience in omnichannel at the front of your organization’s goals and mission. Amazon is entering this learning curve as Whole Foods stores feel the pressure of reduced employee morale and near-empty shelves, reports Daphne Howland via Retail Dive, resulting from a strict inventory management system. Although costs may be down, the potential impact on consumer experiences could be severe, and they will hold Amazon accountable. Instead of focusing solely on being more than just e-commerce or brick-and-mortar, retailers need to plan for better customer experiences across all channels. They need to unify the experience, not just unify the operation.
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