How to build omnichannel strategy when channel loyalty is fading
26 Nov 2019 How to build omnichannel strategy when channel loyalty is fading
As the old saying goes, it is cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. However, as the omnichannel retailing model conditions consumers to shop across a consistent brand – not fragmented channels – retailers are struggling to build lifelong loyalty among increasingly fickle customers. As conventional loyalty strategies continue to fall short in a digitally influenced ecosystem, retailers are compelled to adopt new, agile platforms and solutions to build a personalized shopping journey.
Omnichannel shoppers’ expectations are fairly simple: they expect consistency in experience and full transparency when shopping their favourite brands, from any channel whatsoever. Within a decade, online shopping journey has transitioned away from a fragmented channel experience – all operating independently of one another to a deeply integrated journey that allows shoppers to move between channels as simply as they may flow between a store’s aisles.
Retailers must tailor the experience to individual shoppers if they want to build long-term customer loyalty. To ensure that they can create a highly personal relationship, retailers need to deliver offers and experiences that are completely relevant to their shoppers’ known interests and buying habits. However, using traditional methods to understand fickle omnichannel shoppers’ preference are no longer adequate – relying solely on loyalty program data will cause more harm than good.
There is no question that retailers recognize the value of a seamless, consumer-centric experience designed to deliver value, bolster loyalty, and create a competitive advantage. By following a process, that can help retailers understand how their consumer truly interact with the brand across all channels, retailers will create a robust engagement strategy that will drive long term loyalty and associated profitability.
Transition from “shopping experience” to a “Brand experience
As consumers demand more digital customer-facing tools across their shopping journeys, retailers are forced to rethink how they connect with their omnichannel shoppers. However, there are only a few brands who actually have an omnichannel operation. For example, many brands still support individual channels, cobbled together with fulfilment options. This doesn’t allow shoppers to seamlessly hop channels between touchpoints and continue their shopping journey regardless of which channel they used last. As consumer transition between channels, brand consistency is a must from a messaging, navigation and service perspective.
Integrate system to deliver a unified commerce experience
One of the top priorities for every retailer is to deliver the brand consistency that shoppers crave, as well as the promise of seamless shopping experience – one that supports consumers interchangeably using any or all channels when purchasing, procuring or even returning merchandise. They can achieve this with a unified commerce platform, or a centralized transaction engine that supports ordering and fulfilment and advanced customer service that recognizes omnichannel behaviour.
Make a move towards enterprise mobility
Retailers are evaluating ways to connect with shoppers in real-time, as a means of driving more personalized messages during their many paths to purchase. Mobility fits the bill perfectly. Whether enabling shoppers to access information via web browsers, allowing them to use proprietary solutions in-store, or working directly with store associates empowered with their own smart devices, mobility is another way to merge a brand’s webstore, in-store order applications, and other back-end operation in an effort to integrate a brand’s physical and digital channels.
Embrace integrated order management
An integrated smart order management is becoming a prerequisite to supporting a successful omnichannel operation. Once considered just as a software, order management systems have evolved into the liaison between customer demand and fulfilment across an all-channel shopping journey. More specifically a smart order management solution unifies order placement, delivery, fulfilment and when needed, returns, regardless of where these services occur.
Are you looking for a smart omnichannel platform that can kick-start your unified commerce journey? Learn more