Customer expectations now start with the idea that brands should offer a seamless shopping experience across channels. The technical and user experience baseline has now climbed to such an extent that your hesitation to commit to a comprehensive omnichannel strategy could kick your business out of the competition before you even get going.
A recent study found out that:
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The above study suggests that customers love synchronizing their physical and digital retail experiences. The trend has definitely risen in recent years, highlighting that brands’ investment in omnichannel approaches pays off.
Why do customers love to remove the divide between their experiences in brick and mortar and online stores? What motivates them to sever their relationships with brands that fail to meet their omnichannel expectations?
Therefore, more and more companies have decided to connect all their sales and marketing channels, removing any sort of friction from the customer journey. However, implementing a flawed omnichannel approach will be more detrimental to your business than not having one. In other words, you should know about common mistakes in implementing an omnichannel approach and think about ways to avoid those mistakes for your own business.
Implementing an omnichannel approach is a business decision that involves your technological capabilities. A common mistake among businesses is that they fail to consider the cost of in-house development and maintenance of their omnichannel environment. On top of that, developing an omnichannel architecture and supporting it over time takes a lot of time from your developers, preventing them from focusing on your business’ core projects.
The good news is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. With global IT spending projected to grow to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, an increase of 5.1% from 2021, it seems companies are increasingly finding it more convenient and efficient to buy their required tech solutions. This also includes omnichannel solutions, which - if selected properly - can save your company a considerable amount of time and money. Headless platforms can ensure you’ll connect all your channels without having to allocate a large part of your resources.
Here’s a great quote from one of our partners, Digital Detox, showing how headless and other SaaS platforms can provide businesses with innovative omnichannel solutions:
“Many of our clients simply want to get out of maintaining their IT systems and digital products. That's where headless and other SaaS platforms come into play. It’s not all about operational efficiency and cost cutting, it’s more about using our clients' same talented teams to experiment, ideate and innovate new digital experiences.”
Donovan Justice, CEO and Co-Founder, Digital Detox
When you decide to operate within an omnichannel environment, you need to ensure you deliver a consistent brand voice regardless of the channel you sell. Working across multiple marketing and sales channels can be disadvantageous to your overall branding strategy if you’re inconsistent in sending out your messages. Inconsistent messages on different platforms sabotage your omnichannel efforts. They will only confuse your audience and detach them from your business.
Imagine Company A promises a smooth BORIS (buy online, return in store) option to their customers. However, when customers want to trigger the option, they face numerous difficulties in terms of having to stand in long queues, filling out several forms and getting their money back with latency. This obvious inconsistency ruins the trust between Company A and their customers, nudging them towards switching their provider.
The way to avoid such inconsistencies is to build your omnichannel approach around your business’ core values. If your existing financial system is incapable of swift and quick return of money to your customers, make sure to get services from agile fintech companies if you decide to add money-returning options to your omnichannel approach. It’s crucial for your business to address the desire of your customers for a unified experience.
Having a consistent brand voice doesn’t mean you should duplicate your messages across all your retail channels. Your brick and mortar store, website, app, LinkedIn page, etc. have their own specific features which affect the format and frequency of your messaging. Copying a highly successful Instagram post on your LinkedIn page may look totally unprofessional and irrelevant.
You need to define your omnichannel consistency based on the requirements, audience and features of every channel. This also influences your UX/UI design strategy. Your design team should particularly focus on creating device-specific experience. An important element in delivering the optimal design is “responsive web design” (RWD). RWD addresses the issue of consistent designing for a wide range of devices available to customers, from small mobile screens to huge desktop monitors. The use of the same HTML and single codebase makes
The global retail automation market is estimated to grow to $33b by 2030. Executing an omnichannel strategy ensures you’ll have a fair share of this growing market. When we talk about designing an omnichannel architecture and implementing it, are we talking about a project that’s done once and for all without the need for ongoing maintenance?
Definitely not. Keeping your tech stack frequently updated is a prerequisite for the success of your omnichannel strategy. A Microsoft survey shows 55% of customers expect better customer service year over year, with 58% of them showing little hesitation to end their relationship with a brand if those expectations fall short.
If you don’t have the sufficient tech or financial resources to stay up-to-date, you can outsource your omnichannel operations. This is what nearly half of retailers did in 2020. If outsourcing isn’t an option for your business for any reason, do think about the ongoing tech support that you’ll need when you dissolve the online-offline divide.
Real-time functionalities are the defining characteristics of omnichannel operations. From real-time store-level product availability information to real-time updates on the mobile app, every single interaction between you and your customer must take place without any delay. If you react with delay, you’ll disappoint those customers who expect quick and agile responses to their actions.
According to an IMB study, customers increasingly demand brands to deliver on omnipresence, agility and sustainability. Our client SHARE NOW recognized this golden triangle, using Talon.One to provide their loyal customers with real-time incentives.
SHARE NOW wanted their customers to get the rewards of their loyalty on the spot. “We wanted our customers who refueled or recharged the car after their ride to receive their incentives immediately after the ride was over. Talon.One made this possible for us”, says Raphael Stange, CMSO at SHARE NOW. Not only did such a feature helped SHARE NOW build a stronger trust with their customers, but also it decreased the cost of their customer service. According to Raphael, “Such real-time services increased the transparency and clarity of each transaction for our customers. That, in turn, reduced inbound traffic on our customer service.”
The real-time feature also helped SHARE NOW respond to their customers’ sustainability concern. A free floating car-sharing system involves a lot of activities, including charging, fueling, cleaning, repairing and relocating cars. “One single provider cannot perform all of these activities because it is way too expensive”, says Raphael. “With a loyalty scheme such as the one provided by Talon.One, we are able to encourage our customers to take charge of some parts of the process. In the end, it is more sustainable, takes fewer resources and, from an economic perspective, has more advantages for us.” Talon.One helped SHARE NOW to deliver on omnipresence, agility and sustainability.
Your loyalty program, as an important element of your omnichannel approach, should be scalable and flexible to be easily integrated with other components of your system. Talon.One’s loyalty solution integrates seamlessly with CRMs and other third party APIs, allowing you to get up and running quickly with a scalable, versatile and future-proof promotion solution. You can benefit from in-depth developer docs that guide you in every step of the way.
Our white paper, Talon.One’s Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel Retail, is a comprehensive study of the omnichannel approach in the retail industry, covering a wide range of topics including crucial questions to ask when deciding to move to the omnichannel environment, hyper-personalization, best omnichannel practices and many more.
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