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  • Blog October 8, 2020

    How to Gain Competitive Advantage with Omnichannel Digital Customer Experience

    4 Minutes Read

The number of companies1 investing in an omnichannel customer experience has spiked from 20% to more than 80%.

Companies2 with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10% Y-O-Y growth, a 25% rise in close rates, and a 10% increase in average order value.

These stats and more prove that the digital era has changed the face of retail and given rise to an entirely new kind of shopper. Today’s digital consumers enjoy navigating a wide range of channels and shopping journeys. If businesses expect to attract, convert, and delight customers in this highly competitive environment, they should make the customer experience seamless, consistent, and engaging across channels irrespective of the point of sale.

Top global brands are spending millions of dollars on building multichannel strategies. However, as companies spin their wheels and channels continue to evolve, customers adopt innovative technologies and take on new behaviors. But customers don’t think much about the channel, what they care most is about the experience. To meet evolving customer expectations, retailers need to immediately shift their focus on adopting an omnichannel digital CX strategy with in-store trends diminished in the wake of coronavirus. This change of focus creates a customer experience that advances with technology and the customer, increasing customer retention, and ultimately revenues.

Ways to Improve Your Omnichannel Digital Customer Experience

Create Buyer Personas

A buyer persona refers to a realistic description of a person. Creating buyer personas helps in understanding customer needs, making it easier to customize the content, messaging, and cater to the specific needs of different customer groups. It gives a comprehensive understanding of customer likes, dislikes, and helps accurately identify target audiences through interviews and surveys. You need to create more than one buyer persona and then personalize the experiences of your customers. Personalizing customer experiences enables your shoppers to have a seamless shopping experience across channels. As you customize CX across the various touchpoints informed by real-time data, you end up building consistent relationships with customers everywhere they interact with the brand.

Chart Out a Customer Journey Map

Customer journey maps help in understanding the path a customer takes to get to your product, right from initial contact, through the process of engagement, point of sale, and customer retention. As you create offline and digital customer journey maps, you can easily plot out multiple touchpoints, helping you provide a better integrated buying process spanning across these touchpoints. Learn where your business should be and when your customers need you through deep journey mapping. Employing mapping and analytics, determine where you shouldn’t be for a few customer segments, thus saving on time and resources.

Enable Post-Sale Omnichannel Experience

Many enterprises provide a seamless omnichannel digital customer experience only during the initial stages of the customer journey, but not after sales. The pitfall here is that the omnichannel experience does not extend as far as it is needed to keep the customer satisfied. Whether it is B2B or B2C, there is no option but to deliver a fully omnichannel experience. Assistance should be available for your customer across the various touchpoints, thus ending the customer journey and keeping the sale.

Draw a Robust Plan for Disruption

It is possible to deliver effective omnichannel customer experience only when the underlying technologies run properly. Customers expect and demand seamless and flawless customer service. Create and share effective robust proactive plans to overcome commercially damaging disruptions. Besides, stakeholders across departments should be aware of what the plans are, where to find the plans, and what action should be taken for each channel, in case of disruption

Align Investments with Strategy

mproving your omnichannel CX demands you to align multiple components. You must align strategy, technology, processes, and people to accomplish your business objectives. In case you fail to properly invest in areas that support your strategy, even execution may not help you achieve your business goals.

According to Forrester Research’s “Your Digital Experience Technology Strategy Starts With a Customer Journey Map,” the most complex companies use their corporate budgets to fund three-to-five-year programs. It’s all about a meaningful strategy and commitment, instead of one-time projects and disconnected experiences. Though digital is just a part of the customer experience, it’s the one that has been capturing maximum attention and investment.Now let’s understand the difference between multichannel and omnichannel customer experiences.

What is Multi-channel Experience?

Multi-channel Experience refers to the ability to interact with customers on various platforms. Companies with a multichannel approach focus their priority on two or more channels such as the website, mobile, or a retail location to engage with their customers. However, retailers are not necessarily focused on delivering a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints and unintentionally work in silos.

What is Omnichannel Experience?

Omnichannel Experience is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless, consistent, and integrated shopping experience across any channel. If a shopper wants to buy from a mobile device, let them. If they want to order online and pick up in-store, make it happen. The idea is to meet shoppers where they want to be.

The major difference between multichannel and omnichannel is that omnichannel joins touchpoints together so that whatever journey the customer chooses to take, the experience is consistent and unified.

The Bottom Line

Companies that adopt an omnichannel digital CX strategy and leverage digital customer experience are well-positioned to move ahead of their competition. As new technologies emerge, and customer expectations continue to change with the changing times, retailers need to adapt quickly to meet those changes head-on. Only then can they survive and thrive in this world of cutting-edge competition.

To learn about the biggest omnichannel retail challenges of today, don’t forget to read on.

1. Retailing 2020: Winning in a Polarized World, PwC
2. A Forrester Total Economic ImpactTM Study Commissioned by Adobe, December 2018

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