Research from Magento found that 59 percent of customers are unsatisfied when they can’t access the information they want on their preferred channel.
‘Omnichannel’ has been top of the buzzword heap for some time. But digging deeper into what is really meant by an omnichannel experience, we explore how to create one that actually makes an impact on your business.
In this blog, you’ll find out…
- What an omnichannel customer experience is
- The benefits of creating an omnichannel experience for your business
- How Adobe Commerce makes implementing an omnichannel strategy easy
What is an omnichannel customer experience?
Digital channels have transformed the way customers prefer to interact and shop. Customers today expect information to be available in just a few clicks. Not only this, but they’re a savvy lot too who have become accustomed to engaging with brands through multiple channels. Whether it’s social media, in-store, websites, apps, email – we like a choice.
An omnichannel strategy connects the dots between these channels, providing a unified experience across every interaction, whether in-store or online.
What’s the difference between omnichannel and multi-channel?
Often confused, omnichannel and multi-channel are two different things. Multi-channel strategies involve brands being present on multiple channels. However, these channels are usually operated in siloes which can create a poor and fragmented customer experience. This is where omnichannel comes into the picture.
An omnichannel strategy takes these multiple channels and optimises the customer shopping journey into a seamless, frictionless and all-around connected experience.
What are the benefits of creating an omnichannel experience?
In the ever-growing eCommerce world, omnichannel experiences have become an important asset to your business.
A way of simplifying brand interactions and providing an excellent customer experience, here’s why you should consider taking an omnichannel approach to your operations:
Increased traffic and sales
Connecting your brand across multiple channels can lead to an increase in traffic and sales. Offering a frictionless path to conversion, customers are less likely to drop off the shopping journey or abandon their cart. In fact, those brands that deployed an omnichannel strategy saw an increase of 9.5 percent in their annual revenue.
Even better, by leveraging multiple channels, an omnichannel approach not only increases revenue for your eCommerce store but can also drive traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, increasing revenue further. One way of connecting your online store to your physical one is by creating a loyalty app that can be used to earn and redeem points whether shopping digitally or in-store.
Increased customer loyalty
With 73 percent of customers becoming frustrated when retailers fail to offer convenient interaction methods, there’s no wonder omnichannel experiences can have a big impact on customer loyalty.
Research conducted by Aberdeen’s Group found that those businesses with the strongest omnichannel strategy retained approximately 89 percent of their customers. An omnichannel experience puts the customer first which is an enticing reason to continue shopping with a brand.
By focusing efforts on producing a high-performing omnichannel strategy, customer lifetime value can increase bringing with it a boost in sales, profit and growth.
Increase operational efficiency
An omnichannel strategy can even benefit your business through increased operational efficiency and reduced costs.
As touchpoints are connected, you only need to collect a customer’s data once rather than at every touchpoint. A holistic overview also means you can focus on your omnichannel strategy as a whole rather than implementing strategies for each channel in silo. This will in turn reduce wasted time and boost efficiency.
Better inventory turnover
One of the most frustrating ways that brands lose custom is due to items being out of stock. However, an omnichannel strategy can help overcome this challenge by providing a better picture of inventory as orders can be fulfilled from various channels.
An omnichannel approach can make it easier for businesses to optimise their stock levels while also developing better restocking processes.
How can Adobe Commerce help you create an omnichannel customer experience?
Many retailers fall short of delivering a true omnichannel experience. This is often due to merchants not fully getting to grips with the wants and needs of their customers at different stages of their shopping journey.
To plug the gaps in this customer experience, an omnichannel system is needed. An effective omnichannel system pulls data from different touchpoints into one area for analysis and management. However, as your business grows, you need a platform that can scale with the complexities.
Fortunately, Adobe Commerce offers the functionality to meet your customers’ growing expectations while making your life that bit easier too:
- Buy online, collect in store: Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) is one of the most popular omnichannel features. For brick-and-mortar stores, BOPIS can offer a competitive edge and a higher quality customer experience by making the purchasing process hassle-free and convenient for the shopper. Merchants could even consider more advanced options such as self-service pick up stations that allow customers to scan their bar code and signal to in-store staff they’re ready to collect their order. To effectively implement in-store pick up, smooth internal processes need to be carefully considered.
- Real time inventory: Inventory visibility means knowing what inventory you have and where that inventory can be found at any given moment. Covering three major components of the supply chain, these real-time insights are the backbone to omnichannel activities:
- Order taking: Purchase management with suppliers
- Availability check: Staff or customers can check product availability during any sales process
- Fulfilment: Allowing customer service to fulfil orders with ease for customers
You need to know inventory at all locations to create a successful omnichannel strategy as this is what gives customers options. For example, if a customer has chosen a product but doesn’t want to pay the delivery fee, the item could be located in-store and collected from there. This enhances the customer experience by allowing shoppers to purchase anytime, anywhere without the hassle.
- Ship to store: Buying online and shipping to store is a handy tool in a the omnichannel toolkit. The customer follows the same online shopping process but shipping to the store. This can impact the retailer’s fulfilment process. For example, if an item is out of stock in the chosen collection point, merchants will need to move stock from elsewhere to that store to fulfil the order.
- Ship from store: Ship from store is a fulfilment process where merchants use stock from their stores to fulfil orders. Living up to a true omnichannel experience, the orders may have come from any channel including website, phone, email or even an app. This is a speedy alternative to shipping from central warehouses, with delivery from the closest store meaning faster delivery at lower costs.
- Returns: A real omnichannel experience isn’t just about offering customers the ability to buy from multiple touchpoints. It’s about the full shopping experience which includes allowing customers to return items at multiple touchpoints too. This could include:
- Buy online, return in-store
- Buy online, return via courier collection
- Buy in one store and return in another
Omnichannel experiences and your business
Customer preferences evolve alongside technology and as an eCommerce merchant, you must be flexible and ready to adapt. An effective omnichannel strategy ensures a consistent customer experience regardless of the channel, device, time or place a customer is shopping from.
If you want to talk more about creating and implementing an omnichannel strategy for your business or need a hand implementing any of the Adobe Commerce features we’ve mentioned throughout, get in touch with team Pinpoint.