The term Omnichannel is actually not new to the RetailTech scene, however recently it got a lot of hype surrounding this term as more and more brands are using this strategy to reach their customers. In this article, we will dive deep into the definition of Omnichannel, its benefits, and why you should not confuse it for multichannel commerce.
What is Omnichannel commerce exactly?
Omnichannel commerce is a sales approach that allows retailers to provide a unified experience to customers across all channels (physical store, online store, social media, etc.).
More specifically, omnichannel commerce (or retail) is a multichannel approach to a company’s selling strategy. This approach will be focused on creating seamless customer experiences, regardless if the customer is shopping online or offline.
Omnichannel approaches have been created in order to give traditional brick-and-mortar retailers an edge over their competition, but also to create a direct and seamless connection between the offline and online shopping experience. Although applying such strategies may result in a considerable investment of resources, there is significant economic value to be gained from providing digital channels to traditional store shoppers, and fusing the shopping experience across channels.
Some considerations about Omnichannel Commerce
Over the past years, retailers have counted on Omnichannel strategies to be their “golden goose” to boost their sales. But is it actually the case? Are omnichannel shoppers more valuable to retailers?
In the paper “the State of Commerce Experience 2021”, the data shows how almost half (44%) of B2C customers and 58% of B2B buyers, are researching the items they are interested in online before completing the purchase in a physical store.
Based also on these figures, how can Omnichannel strategies impact Retailers’ profits?
The customer experience is one of the key aspects of online selling. Because customers want to shop in the most convenient way, every pain point in the customer journey could represent a reason for the customer to abandon the purchase.
How does Omnichannel Commerce work?
In order for a company to implement Omnichannel commerce strategies, what is required is the synchronization of all components of the eCommerce architecture. In other words, all the data gathered across different channels must be shared and integrated across every other channel.
Integrating and sharing data across every channel of a company can be achieved by implementing a headless architecture to pull information to any channel, including websites, apps, smart appliances, social networks, and online marketplaces. When a customer makes a purchase, the API communicates between payment processing and other backend services to ensure all data is up to date. Because all frontends use the same API service layer, customers receive a unified user experience across all channels.
Benefits of Omnichannel Commerce
Better Customer Experience
As mentioned above, today’s consumers want an easy and connected customer experience, the more a brand is able to provide this, the better its results will be. What do your customers expect? Number one on the list is a unified experience.
According to CX Today, 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel retail experience, and more than 70% of users expect companies to know their purchase history. There is a clear demand for a unified experience across multiple channels, the more touchpoints a brand is able to create with its audience, the more seamless integration of data is needed, whether it’s a social ad, an email newsletter, a mobile push notification, a conversion with your chatbot, or a face-to-face chat with your store staff.
The customer will be empowered to interact with a company in a natural way only if the walls between communication channels are removed as much as possible.
Increase in Sales and Traffic
Surely when implementing an Omnichannel commerce strategy there are hurdles that are not easy to overcome, however, it is definitely worth the time and investment!
A study of 46,000 shoppers showed that customers of companies that implement omnichannel strategies spend more money than single-channel customers. It is estimated that the more channels are added to the communication strategy, the more the customer is willing to spend. In fact, users who used four or more channels spent an average of 9% more in the store compared to those who used just a single channel.
Boosted Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is the byproduct of a great customer experience. If the buying experience was positive the customer will likely repeat it. On average, it is estimated that customers who completed a purchase using omnichannel commerce, after six months, logged into the same retailer’s site 23% times more often. As an added bonus, customers that have completed a purchase via omnichannel commerce are also more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.
Better Data Collection
A more personalized customer experience can only be achieved by carefully tracking the customers over the different channels that a company decides to use. An omnichannel approach allows businesses to gain insights on how to create content and offers that will encourage their customers to shop both online and in physical stores too.
Omnichannel is not Multichannel
Often times multichannel and omnichannel approaches can be confused together. Therefore, it is important to understand the key differences between the two strategies. While omnichannel strategies provide centralized data management with the goal to connect all channels so that the customers have a consistent experience at every touchpoint, multichannel strategies are not centralized. A multichannel approach focuses on spreading the company’s message through as many channels as possible, there is no link between the means of communication. While this strategy may be applied when it comes to distributing a message in bulk and may be less expensive, it surely isn’t well-connected and is not customer-centric.
In conclusion, omnichannel commerce strategies focus on the customer, it is an effort to create the smoothest and easiest buying experience possible. It is a proven method to increase sales, brand reputation, and brand loyalty. Omnichannel commerce is the direction every brand wanting to improve its sales should be looking at!
At Storm5, we work with RetailTech companies wanting to revolutionize the customer experience and customer journeys. Regardless of the stage of funding, you’re currently in, we can help you with your hiring needs. As leaders in Omnichannel Commerce Recruiting, we take pride in working with the best talent on the market. Don’t hesitate to get in touch in case you’re looking for a growth partner to help you transform your purchasing experience!