What is Omni Channel?
Omni channel is primarily aimed at providing customers a seamless experience irrespective of how and where they are shopping from. An omni channel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and meeting the customer’ needs in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience irrespective of the platform used. However, it is important to note that an omni channel strategy is different from a multi-channel retailing. In multi-channel retailing, businesses use platforms such as website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter in order to connect with customers. However, a major drawback of this technique being customers lack a seamless experience and consistent messaging across each of these channels. Omni channel retailing, on the other hand, involves each platform and device a customer will use to interact with the company. This knowledge is then used to create an integrated experience for the customers. Companies using this an omni channel strategy tend to align their messaging, goals, objectives, and design across each channel and device.
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Key Benefits of Implementing an Omni Channel Strategy
The advent of new technologies has forced companies to think strategically and adopt newer ways of doing business. So, those with stock visibility and fulfillment options across various channels stand a better chance of improving sales when compared to companies sticking to a single channel of business.
Ensures Better Data Collection
Omni-Channel strategies harness various data streams which enable better and more accurate data collection. It proves useful in tracking customer behavior and gaining meaningful insights through business analytics. This, in turn, makes critical inputs while formulating engagement plans that increase the probability of impulse buys through predictive analytics.
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An omni channel strategy can provide companies with tools and information that can help improve their efficiency. Considering the major role technology plays in our lives today, smartphones and tablets are a great way of capturing feedback and customer data into loyalty-building elements.
Tips to Create a Good Omni Channel Strategy
Know Your Audience
The first and foremost criteria for building a good omni channel experience for your customer is to have a clear-cut idea of who and where your target customers are. This would help provide a better picture on the channels that you need to focus on. It is essential to identify which platforms your customers frequent, and which devices they use the most. In case it is identified that a majority of your customers seldom use a particular platform, then it is advisable to reduce your investment on this medium.
Ensure Smooth Transition
If a company has established its presence both on online and offline platforms, it is essential that they ensure a smooth transition between both the platforms. The main aim behind this is to ensure a smooth transition between transactions taking place on both online and offline platforms. For instance, some top companies have recently introduced business models where customers can place the order online and pick it up in the brick-and-mortar store rather than waiting for them to be shipped to their homes. This provides an enhanced omni channel experience to customers and saves them a lot of time.
Make Every Touch Point Shoppable
One of the key steps in building a perfect omni channel strategy is to make every touch point shoppable. One of the remarkable examples of this is how Disney does it with their mobile apps, theme parks, and websites. Disney ensures that every time they provide an experience to their customers, they have the opportunity to make sales. If a customer adds a product to their cart from your website, it needs to be in their mobile app too. If they are using Facebook, it is important to suggest them products based on that previous product viewing. These deep, symbiotic connections between channels help companies to run promotion campaigns on social media, drive traffic to their website, have users explore how others use their product through Pinterest, and check out the products directly from there.
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Inter-departmental Coordination and Agility
Siloed organization structure proves to be a major roadblock for omnichannel implementation. In several organizations, different functional teams including sales, marketing, product development, PR, and customer service operate independently of each other. So, companies must consider restructuring traditional roles as this can put the responsibility for the customer experience on more than one or two departments. This would allow each team to understand how it fits into the omni-channel puzzle in relation to others. It also sets clear expectations that can streamline communication between teams.