These days, the journey of making an e-commerce purchase is neither linear nor universal for modern consumers. One buyer may enter a brick-and-mortar retail shop to purchase a smartwatch, while another might spend days online researching different brands before deciding to make the purchase.
Still, others might read endless reviews of the product they’re eyeing before buying it directly from the manufacturer online. From these different routes of purchasing arose the omnichannel approach to marketing.
Geared toward creating an integrated and seamless customer experience across multiple platforms, devices and touchpoints, the omnichannel approach means modern consumers get what they want: more B2C options, greater online functionalities optimized for mobile device browsing, and a consistent and convenient shopping experience.
So how are e-commerce companies implementing this approach? Through various personalization, customization and communication efforts, which we have highlighted below.
For businesses, the omnichannel approach typically means profit flows in from different sources and that purchases are made via multiple channels. It also means that since modern buyers enjoy having personalized features and services, and because they participate in online communities through social media, e-commerce retailers are diving into digital platforms and focusing on these key factors of community and personalization in order to expand their customer base.
It’s no secret that consumers want to feel valued throughout their buying journey. One company that excels at offering this form of personalization is Stitch Fix, an online fashion business that pairs customers with personal stylists who then recommend specific clothing. Stitch Fix also utilizes algorithms to select items its customers might fancy and ships them out at no cost to them. And, if the customer isn’t happy with the selection, they can send it back to the company free of charge.
Granted, Stitch Fix is a big company with a large staff, and while smaller e-commerce businesses may not be able to offer these exact services just yet, they can begin by analyzing existing data on customer behavior and habits to initiate personalization.
The omnichannel approach also applies to call contact centers. Though IVR technology has been in use for decades, the IVR innovation wheel is a relatively new concept that provides a personalized customer experience to call center clients while maximizing IVR containment.
In essence, the IVR innovation wheel is designed to make every customer interaction meaningful by adapting to each caller’s experience level, providing consistency of service across all channels. Additionally, this technology can help companies predict a caller’s needs based on their recent transactions, proactively send notifications and reminders, and offer mobile IVR solutions.
In fact, many call centers now emphasize a user interface that’s easily customizable and which can be designed to minimize IT interventions, which can cost time and money.
One of the end goals of adopting the omnichannel approach is to provide a seamless experience for customers. However, the capability of providing this kind of experience is dependent upon the company’s ability to communicate internally, from one department to another.
Beauty store chain Ulta demonstrates this kind of single experience for its customers. To pull this off, Ulta focuses on communication between its internal operations, syncing efforts with multiple teams throughout its numerous departments.
These teams communicate constantly so that the company’s brand and vision is consistent regardless of which department a guest comes in contact with first. Inventory, supply chain and merchandising are all synched in the understanding of the company’s mission and values, and all strive to deliver the same experience.
A New Way of Personalization
Current buying trends show buyers want B2C options that connect them directly to a particular business. They also desire a singular online shopping experience predicated on the use of mobile devices. By utilizing personalization, customization and communication to reflect the omnichannel approach, e-commerce companies are succeeding in making their customers happy.
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