An Omnichannel buying experience can be defined as a multichannel approach to serving customers with an integrated and cohesive sales experience. Customers can be involved in making a purchase through a desktop, telephone, mobile, or in a physical store, but the experience needs to be seamless and independent of the channel of interaction. Essentially, it boils down to intercommunication of channels in a business ecosystem.
“Omnichannel experiences use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omnichannel.”
The multi-channel experience is the outcome of businesses using multiple channels social media, website, mail etc. to engage and connect with customers. However, such enterprises fail to offer and transmit a seamless or consistent message across myriad touch-points. Further, adopting a multi-channel approach is an expensive endeavor too as despite investing in a multitude of brand awareness strategies, businesses don’t qualify for carrying out the required sales conversion.
The omnichannel experience, on the contrary, accounts for a multichannel approach that lays its entire focus on providing integrated sales experience to customers whether they are investing in a product via mobile app, desktop application, or a physical store. While employing this approach, businesses align their messaging, goals, objectives, and designs across each channel by and large and ensure an integrated experience. The end result is a delighted customer who connects with the brand and commits long term to the business.
“Transforming your company into a truly integrated Omni business is critical to take care of your customers and give them a seamless experience”
--Julio Hernandez, Head of KPMG’s Global Customer Centre of Excellence
The crux of the matter is that you can have many engaging social media or mobile marketing campaigns along with a well-designed, highly responsive website, but if they don’t act in unison, it is certainly not omnichannel, and if it is not omnichannel, it does not contribute to delightful customer experience.
Whether you own or work with small business frameworks or the "giants", data remains the priority - Data trumps everything!
For any business to flourish, working with customer intent data is absolutely essential. In other words, companies having enterprise-wide data management and enterprise-wide analytic capabilities in place are successful in their omnichannel efforts. This, in turn, translates into a seamless experience for the customers, increasing productivity, delivering rapid time to value, and making your brand easier to do business with.
Data integration plays a crucial role in collecting data from myriad sources in the front, middle, and back offices, and finally feeding it to an organization’s data analytics hub. It proves effective in handling problems of having disconnected, channel-specific systems in place, however, fails miserably when employed in conjunction with another channel.
Currently, product information management tools used for online buying or selling activities have schemes that are different from what the core ERP systems use in stores.
For instance, if or when a user invests in something via online shopping mode and wishes to return it back to a store, he or she will experience discrepancy or delay as odds are the stores' technology will fail to recognize the product. Such loopholes in the system create a crumbling user experience which, in turn, hurts the business rapport terribly.
To ensure access to data sources and locations respectively, along with a crystal-clear landscape, starting from the scratch on smart IT systems is necessary. However, a plethora of omnichannel businesses have accumulated their systems in years, establishing a complex architecture and appending new layers for new channels.
So, chances of scraping off such framework and substituting it with a brand-new interconnected system are highly dim.
To keep pace with the evolving data centricity and customer centricity, thereby offering omnichannel business experience, organizations need a central business application that can work in the business ecosystem for unified customer experience.
With this central application, users can onboard customer data faster, work to develop integration flows that establish a connection between applications either residing on the cloud or on-premises that the customer is interacting with, and then use that intent data to feed into supporting systems for a consistent customer experience across all channels, making you easier to do business with.
Offering improved data centricity by ensuring the enterprise’s stronghold on its data analytics, such an application can also increase IT and Business productivity while fast forwarding revenues.
With such an application residing at the center of your business ecosystem, organizations can modernize their onboarding of business data with a self-service approach that delights their customers through unified brand experience.