How to Level Up Your Omnichannel Customer Experience
With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about implementing an omnichannel customer experience for your brand.
What is an omnichannel customer experience?
Omnichannel brands sell their products across multiple channels. They also ensure that these channels are integrated with each other.
The omnichannel approach accepts that many shoppers cross between channels during the buying process. For example, someone might conduct product research on your website before using their Amazon Prime account to make a purchase.
With this in mind, the omnichannel customer experience is all about creating seamless connections between these different channels. This allows consumers to begin their journey with your brand on one channel and easily continue it on another.
To do this, brands need to treat all their sales channels as a whole and make it easy for shoppers to jump between them. However, this isn’t easy. To perfect their omnichannel customer experience, brands need to align marketing, sales and customer support.
Omnichannel vs. multichannel
Both omnichannel and multichannel eCommerce require multiple sales channels. The main distinction between these two approaches is how brands view and treat these channels.
With multichannel eCommerce, each sales channel operates independently. They aren’t interconnected and each channel has its own strategies and targets. Whereas, with omnichannel eCommerce, these channels link together whenever possible.
This allows shoppers to navigate between channels easily and creates a better overall customer experience.
Why do brands need an omnichannel customer experience?
Great eCommerce customer experiences can boost trust and loyalty among your shoppers. This can encourage repeat sales and help your brand stand out among competitors.
Because it facilitates customers who want to navigate between sales channels, an omnichannel customer experience can also increase conversions. This is because shoppers are less likely to give up on a purchase.
In fact, research from Harvard Business Review shows that omnichannel customers consistently buy more than single channel ones. On average, they spend 4% extra in-store and 10% more online.
It’s also worth noting that an omnichannel customer experience isn’t just beneficial for your shoppers. It provides better data for your business too.
By implementing cross-channel experiences, brands gain access to cross-channel tracking. This provides deeper insights into consumer behaviour, which should help your brand make better business decisions.
How to create an omnichannel customer experience
If you’re just getting started, here are three essential steps that every brand needs to take before they can create an effective omnichannel experience.
1. Figure out what your customers want
There’s no one-size-fits-all omnichannel strategy. If your target audience is young, they may want more shoppable media and social commerce. Whereas, if your target audience is older, they’ll probably appreciate a shortcut from your website to your Amazon products.
That’s why it’s important to use big data, surveys and analytics tools to understand how customers currently interact with your brand and what would make their experiences better.
You should review customer feedback to identify issues too. A Digital Shelf solution will instantly analyse the reviews written across your entire retail network.
Gathering insights will allow you to understand your customers and build an omnichannel approach catered to their needs. To get started, figure out which channels your customers use most and start to integrate these.
2. Map the customer journey
The modern consumer journey is complicated because interactions take place across so many platforms. That’s why mapping it out is more important than ever.
This will allow you to highlight the touchpoints that generate interest and sales, as well as the ones which lose customers. Monitoring the likes of impressions, visits, click-through rates, bounce rates and abandoned cart rates across each channel will help you determine where omnichannel integrations are needed.
3. Implement technology to enable an omnichannel customer experience
Omnichannel experiences are only made possible through the use of technology. The solutions you implement will depend on the needs of your customers and the channels you use.
Options include shoppable media and shoppable video, which will take shoppers from across a range of channels through to your checkout. Adding Where to Buy technology to your website also allows shoppers to see where your products are in stock and click through to their favourite channel to convert.
Every omnichannel brand should benefit from a centralised customer service desk too. This allows support agents to deal effectively with support queries coming in via email, Facebook, Amazon or any other channel.
Tips to optimise your omnichannel customer experience
Once you’ve done your research and implemented the right technology, here are three other ways to improve your omnichannel experiences.
Improve your mobile commerce
All brands should ensure that their stores are optimised for mobile devices. You can also take your omnichannel customer experience to the next level by launching a user-friendly mobile app.
Because app users usually sign into their online account, this allows brands to provide a consistent experience across both desktop and mobile. You could potentially target app users with highly relevant omnichannel advertising too.
Explore digital in-store experiences
The huge majority of product searches start online – across search engines, retailer sites and marketplaces. However, many shoppers still like to visit local brick-and-mortar stores. So it’s important that brands allow consumers to conveniently transition from online to offline shopping.
Whether you have your own physical locations or partner with other retailers, you can show shoppers where stock is available in their local area with a Where to Buy solution. You can take advantage of Buy Online Pickup In-Store options too.
If you sell products through Walmart, you could also use Walmart Connect to integrate your online and offline experiences with its omnichannel advertising options.
Personalise the customer experience
72% of consumers now say they only engage with personalised marketing messages. Offering these experiences is becoming more difficult as the world moves towards cookieless browsing, but personalisation can still be achieved through the likes of email retargeting and product recommendations.
Encouraging shoppers to download your app, follow your social media, join a loyalty program and sign into their online account when shopping can all make omnichannel eCommerce personalisation easier for your brand too.
Examples of omnichannel customer experiences
Omnichannel eCommerce is nothing new, but many brands have yet to take advantage of all the integration opportunities that modern technology offers. To inspire your omnichannel strategy, here are examples from three brands that are doing it right.
Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel discovered that its shoppers often switched devices prior to purchase. So, to make their journeys easier, the furniture brand ensured that shopping carts and browsing history were available across all devices – once customers signed into their Crate & Barrel account.
As well as offering greater convenience to customers, this move reduced cart abandonment and increased revenue within two months.
As part of its omnichannel customer experience, Crate & Barrel has introduced curbside pickup and digital wallet payments too.
For years, Ted Baker has led the way in creating shoppable content which takes consumers from social media through to checkout.
It started with movies, videos and fashion shows. But, more recently, the brand also began working with influencers to create live shopping events.
As part of its omnichannel offering, Ted Baker has also introduced click-and-collect options, cross-channel stock monitoring and the ability to checkout on Instagram.
Thanks to its use of VR, live chat and omnichannel tech, Logitech has become known for its outstanding customer experiences. To lead omnichannel efforts, the company even has a ‘Head of Omnichannel’ for each geographic region.
To create a seamless omnichannel customer experience on its website, Logitech uses ChannelSight. Its ‘Where to Buy’ tool allows visitors to click through to Amazon, BestBuy, Walmart and Logitech’s other retail partners to make a purchase.
As marketplaces become increasingly popular and the number of social media channels multiply, the importance of providing an omnichannel customer experience is only going to grow. So it makes sense to get started now.