Omnichannel commerce creates a seamless integration between multiple channels at once. Whether a customer is reading a product review, interacting with a brand on social media, browsing a magazine article, clicking on an email campaign, visiting the store, or viewing a video on a website, an omnichannel strategy will provide a consistent, personalized experience through your customer’s journey. Providing a seamless omnichannel journey for your customers can also strengthen your brand by creating consistency between your in-store and online experience. Why? Studies show that not only do customers prefer to shop this way (73 percent, according to Harvard Business Review), but it establishes brand loyalty – not a bad omnichannel strategy!1 All of your content and engagement with your customers are seamless on every level of your business, whether customers call, email, interact on social, shop online, watch your TV commercials or walk into your store. This connects the physical to the digital, which is also known as Online-to-Offline (O2O) commerce.
Explore Omnichannel Commerce Solutions >
Setting up omnichannel commerce is an important step to help your business survive and thrive. Single-channel commerce only uses one channel, such as a Brick and Mortar store or an online platform. However, if you utilize multichannel aspects of marketing and sales, which means using both your Brick and Mortar store and an online platform, then you are multichannel commerce. The multichannel approach means that you can engage at multiple levels with your customers. However, this still is not quite the omnichannel approach.
Due to the competitive nature that retailers face today , from eCommerce giants like Amazon to the local store down the street, a well-rounded strategy is best. Amazon has opened brick and mortar stores over the last few years to compete on a true omnichannel level. Businesses that hope to compete with them will need to embrace this omnichannel strategy to their sales efforts in a holistic way. Through strategies that include a personalized customer experience gained through data insights and customer interaction both in-person and via the Internet, companies can leverage their brand to meet the needs of the customer.
Research shows that customers who enjoy a robust online experience with a company increase their purchases in-store by 13 percent.2 Customers will also window shop in-store and then purchase online later. Having access to the retailer's offerings online and offline enables customers to shop your brand in the way the prefer, including digital and social channels. More importantly, implementing an omnichannel strategy allows consumers to interact and engage with you how and when they choose, giving you an competitive advantage.
Customer touchpoints are part of the brand experience – meaning the different points of customer contact from the beginning to the end of the omnichannel shopping experience. Customer habits show that consumers use an average of six touchpoints, and most use four touchpoints at least 50 percent of the time during the customer experience.2 Therefore, a seamless and unified brand experience is essential to any strategy that encourages touchpoints.
There are key reasons why omnichannel commerce provides the best commerce strategy.
Nine out of ten customers expect an omnichannel experience.3 Omnichannel customers spend more than single-channel customers according to a study of 46,000 shoppers.1 Customer expect omnichannel commerce and are willing to spend more, which provides your business with a competitive advantage.
In addition to spending more, omnichannel customers are more loyal to the brands that offer omnichannel commerce. According to the same study, 23 percent of customers shop again with the same business within the six months of an omnichannel experience. 1
The omnichannel commerce approach allows for a seamless and integrated data collection for in-store and online customer interactions. This allows you to better understand how your customers are engaging with you. This information is crucial to dynamic and innovative marketing and sales strategy that set you apart from your competition.
Want your customer to experience a seamless shopping experience via your omnichannel commerce?
Think you know your customer? Not enough. Companies need to dig deeper and keep it up. Behaviors, needs, and interests of your customers need to be paramount. Utilize social listening tools, set up surveys for your customers, go live on social media, and ask them for feedback.
Each industry, each brand, and each location may have a different channel that their customers prefer. It is a company's job to figure out which channels they are. How are customers engaging those channels? Narrow down the purpose of each channel and cater to which customer is there. If your most important channel is your website, then you should post the key information there. By honing down on the channel that your target audience is most likely to be, you can devote your energies there while still maintaining a seamless brand experience on all other channels.
You cannot be omnichannel unless ALL of your channels are connected. Often this means investing in technology that will encourage and enable your customers to use touchpoints efficiently through their shopping journey.
So your brand is now omnichannel commerce enabled. This is not the finish line! It is just the beginning. To consistently offer your customers the best seamless brand experience, you will need to maintain all channels. Test them. Re-strategize. Continue to learn your customers' habits and study the data you gain from these touchpoints.
We offer an open ecosystem where endless goods and services are connected. Syncing your brand and product information across all channels is a must. Merchants want to ensure that every customer has a consistent experience online, on mobile, in person or in some combination of all three. Growing and perfecting your brand’s presence and your customers' loyalty to your brand through channels include:
Sounds strange, but headless commerce part of the omnichannel universe! This is when the front end (the “head”) technology has been removed or decoupled from the backend technology. This means that the front-end development is not like the traditional eCommerce platform with pre-defined user and admin experiences. Instead, it enables design changes and allows for unlimited customizations made on the front-end.
In other words, there is no more complicated coding on the front end. Databases on the backend can remain the same, saving development time and costs, which enables marketers to design the front end that the customers see.
Interested in your small business, large business, or financial institution changing over to omnichannel commerce? Fiserv has the right technology, expertise, and partners to make your true omnichannel commerce vision a reality with connected commerce.
Contact an Omnichannel Expert >
Source: (1) Harvard Business Review, (2)ScienceDirect, (3) CX Today