Commercial message sent through several communication channels is not enough. Allowing the purchase of the product both in the brick-and-mortar store and online store – better, but still not all. Yeah! After all, the customer can buy through the smartphone or tablet! That’s true, but RWD in e-commerce is patency, not innovation. So how can you stand out and keep up with the competition? In addition to reaching out to the customer through multiple channels, you should take care of their integration and functioning in the symbiosis of “equal rights” – especially in terms of customer service. Welcome to the OmniChannel era – sales methods created for the needs of the customer from the twenty-first century, the “Supercustomer”.
1. Who is „Supercustomer” ?
Supercustomer is a person perpetually online – with smartphone in hand, willingly uses the the tablet, who treats the Internet as a fact, not supplementation. What does this mean for marketers? This client will not be ashamed to pull out the phone in the store and check opinions about the product. A web browser is for him/her the primary source of knowledge about the products.
Supercustomer expects to be able to make a purchase from anywhere in the world, via a device that is at hand, on the same level with the customers who choose direct walk to the shopping mall. The customer wants to decide how, under what conditions and through which channel he/she makes a purchase or make use of the the service. Hence the need to harmonize the customer experience, regardless of how he/she interacts with our brand.
Is this a problem? Yes and no. On the one hand, supercustomer profile requires reformulation methods of operation, but on the other hand, his/her characteristics provides the tools by which we can increase sales and customer loyalty.
2. Customer service in the omnichannel era – what am I doing wrong?!
We’ve covered the absolute basic features of OmniChannel and characteristic of current e-commerce customers. Time to ask what should be done to bring our e-business in the direction of a complementary multi-channel sales. The first element, about which is a bit of a shame to write, is the need to implement responsive version of the online store . It is surprising, but it is still not clear to all owners of e-shops.
According to the report, “ E-commerce in Poland in 2015 “, the two most serious errors of online stores interface – from the perspective of users using mobile devices – are uncomfortable forms (61%) and the inadequacy of pages to purchases via smartphone or tablet (56%). Taking into account the fact that already about 37% of Poles who shop via the Internet, using for this purpose the mobile devices, the effect imposes itself – a decline in sales. An alternative to RWD is mobile version of the online store or a dedicated m-commerce application. One thing is certain – the impossibility to make purchase or a complaint, not to mention comfortable reading the offer via phone, is currently unthinkable. “How is it – I have to go to the store or turn on the laptop, but I can not buy this beautiful blouses going by bus from work? SCANDAL!” – said Supercustomer.
If you do not know what’s going on, it is about money, specifically about the price. This is the second problematic element for companies which conduct business online and offline. It happens that prices in the online store are different from that in the boutique and auction site . If you implement the Omnichannel strategy, you can not afford it. It is not about, of course, differences in delivery costs, but about how much the customer nominally pay for our product. In a moment I will write how to “kick-start” sales in one of the available sales channels without lowering its prices, but first I will write about the last fundamental problem in offline and online customer service – returns and complaints .
Several times it happened to me that I had to make a claim on a product purchased through the auction site or online store. The whole procedure was rather frustrating and time consuming. And if integrate storage systems and customer service? I would go to the nearest salon and made complaint stationary – saving time and nerves. This is an essential element of modern customer service, which play an important role in the perception of the brand.
I will not name all the possible errors in the service of the supercustomer. I only mentioned three fundamental issues (to these three you can add the inconsistency of data and product information – a nightmare!)the implementation of which can boost our sales and improve brand image.
3. How can you develop a mutually sale in several channels?
Omnichannel retail strategy has this fantastic feature that in addition to building a consistent, positive brand image, can also affect on conversion in several sales channels at once. Example?
I want to buy trousers in online store X. I’ve been in their customer base because I have previously bought in this shop. Store flashed me a pop-up with information, that close to me I can pick up a discount coupon for shopping online. I’m going to a nearby shopping mall, and get from store support a discount code signed on my login. I recalled that I needed a roll to clothes. I buy it and leave the store with discount coupon. Returning home, I turn on the smartphone page of the e-shop. I am greeted by a new pop-up with a thank-you for visiting the boutique X and they show me previously viewed products in the online store (pants) with matched belts. I have a coupon. Why not to use it? I am ordering through mobile and check where I can pick up the products the next day. Great, they are available in two boutiques from my city. I opt for personal collection, and the next day after work I have new products.
To sum up:
– without implementation of omnichannel and marketing automation, I would buy one pair of trousers, on which I would wait 3-4 days and paid a 10% more (no discount code). It is possible that I would be unhappy with the waiting time for the product, the cost of delivery and the final price of the product.
– thanks to appropriate marketing and sales system, I bought pants, belt and roll to clothes. I had the product the next day and took three sales channels instead of one. In my opinion (the customer) it was worth it!
So what are the advantages of the implementation of the omnichannel retail strategy ?
– Increased customer loyalty – very important in an era of increasing competition. If you adjust your sales to customer needs, you can gain his allegiance.
– Increased sales – the possibility of “winding” sales in one channel through another. The principle is simple – sales and marketing systems must be integrated. This will give the customer a sense of security and comfort. It is a win-win situation, in which we (entrepreneurs) gain and the client, receiving the highest quality service.
4. Stay one step ahead of the competition!
Omnichannel is primarily flexibility. The need for unified multichannel sales is undisputed for companies which intend to grow or at least maintain its market position. This text is only a prelude to other articles concerning Omnichannel. This method is almost un-ending source of inspiration and ideas for variety ways of sales and marketing . Many of integrated channels = many ways for one purpose – to improve your e-commerce!