Omnichannel for the consumer experience.
We live in a world where screens permeate our physical reality; where information is literally at our fingertips; where we can tap into another dimension and become almost superhuman with the computers we carry in our pockets. This digitally-connected world has expanded the number of channels and opportunities for consumers to connect, research, shop and buy.
With this level of access, consumers are quickly becoming a moving target for companies. They go in and out of different mindsets, channels and devices with different triggers than we’re used to seeing. The rise of social media, mobile behaviors and now aggregated shopping experiences, consumers are creating new ways to interact with and buy products. The expansion to this multi-channel environment has businesses struggling to keep up with their consumers. But, it’s about to get even more interesting.
The multi-channel strategies that we’ve started to adopt as businesses are now becoming more complex. Consumers are demanding more than just interacting with companies across the various channels - they are now expecting interconnected and integrated interactions that create a singular experience. This new reality is called the omnichannel experience.
Simply put, omnichannel goes beyond companies simply being active on multiple channels. It evolves into the integration of channels into a seamless experience for the consumer - across screen, store and aisle.
To get a more intimate view of the omnichannel world, let’s do an exercise. I want to put you in the shoes of a consumer in today’s marketplace. Ready?
Imagine you’re a consumer and you need to buy a new mattress.
You start doing your research on your mobile phone.
Through your search, you see an ad for Mattress Company X and you click on it.
You land on their mattress selection tool and you take time to find and build the mattress that is right for you.
You want to see how others think of it, so you go to Amazon to check out the reviews.
Seeing good reviews, you now want to try it out for yourself, so you go back to Mattress Company X to schedule a viewing at their local store.
On the way to the store, you check your social media feed and notice an ad with a customer testimonial about the mattress you’re going to try out.
When you get to the store, the sales person knows you’re coming and has the mattress ready for you to try with a customized presentation based on your needs.
You try out the mattress and buy it in-store with an easy delivery option.
You receive the new mattress, decide to take a nap and sleep like a baby.
In this example you see how an omnichannel experience comes to life. And you probably see a lot of your own behaviors as a consumer happening in the example. As you experienced, a consumer uses multiple channels, both digitally and offline to shop and make a purchase. You also see how a company integrates the various channels together to create a seamless experience for the consumer.
However, this usually isn’t the case. Many companies are still using a multi-channel strategy only participating on the various channels, not connecting them together in a single, seamless experience - forcing the consumer to repeat steps, experience breaks in the conversation and even become confused or disorganized throughout the journey.
To have this truly come to life companies need to create a holistic consumer experience strategy that connects the consumer journey across screen, channel and store - passing personal and interaction data throughout the entire experience - creating a true omnichannel experience.
Now, at first blush, an omni-channel experience is a nice thing to do for your consumer, but is hard to see the real business results. However, the results are better than you could ever imagine.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Aspect Software - Businesses that adopt omni-channel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.
Zendesk even says, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience.
Finally, the Aberdeen group says, companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.
Are you crafting a successful omnichannel strategy for your consumer? Let’s chat.