In order to truly go channel-less and deliver a consistent, cohesive, and consolidated experience, you need to evaluate your current omnichannel customer experience and prioritize opportunities to make it more memorable.
#1: Actively manage your inventory and product availability
Your products should be available at every interaction point, including both physical and digital touchpoints. However, when you’re selling on multiple platforms, managing a centralized inventory can be tedious more so if you store order and inventory data in multiple systems. Not only will that lead to conflicting datasets in different systems but an unsynchronized inventory data might lead to overselling or underselling.
To counter the situation, ensure that you display accurate product availability information across all channels- web, app, mobile, and in-store. Manage your platforms in such a way that a customer can browse a product on the social store, find the same on the website, browse consistent product information on the mobile store, and if need be, try it out in a local store.
Blur the lines between digital and physical storefronts by connecting all your platforms to a cohesive inventory management system that gives you a unified 360-view of your inventory, provides insights on best-selling products and top-performing channels, and makes product pages localized for customers from different regions.
#2: Ensure clear, consistent and accurate content across all channels
Today’s customers don’t just check your products at one channel, but several, which is why inconsistent product descriptions, prices, policies, and imagery might confuse them. Customers find it highly frustrating when the return policies are different on digital and physical channels. Or when they find something different when visiting one of the physical stores than on the digital platforms.
Therefore, delight your customers with the same product descriptions, high-quality images, price and discounts available, applicable checkout codes, shipping and return policies on all the channels. Moreover, regularly audit your channels to see if you’re offering a consistent omnichannel customer experience.
#3: Add flexibility across all your platforms
Customers don’t just want to wait around, they want an experience that is flexible, seamless, and well-integrated across multiple channels. Remember, you don’t sell products, you sell experiences, which is why you need to make them as flexible, reliable and engaging as possible. Flexibility in an omnichannel commerce platform include:
- Flexibility in payment solutions: The more payment options, the better. You want to include credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, PayPal and other preferred payment models to your customers. Moreover, you might want to offer localized payment solutions, depending on a customer’s behavior and preferences and a specific geography or region. But that is not it. Customers also want checkout experiences that combine promo codes, discounts, coupons, gift cards, payment installments, and credit/debit cards for a single order.
- Flexibility in shipping & delivery: There is a sharp rise in BOPIS solutions where customers want to buy products online, but pick up in stores or warehouses. They want the luxury to choose between fast and free shipping while demanding the delivery of certain items in a single order earlier or at different addresses. Customers also don’t want to pay for shipping, which is a big contributor to cart abandonment rates.
- Flexibility in product returns: A positive omnichannel customer experience is incomplete without flexible return policies. Over 66% of customers read the return policies of brands before placing an order. It is why customers comfortably buy multiple items since they can return a few. Moreover, customers also want the ability to buy products online and return them in store (this is a benefit for online retailers since they might browse through the store while on a trip to return products). Even in cases of free shipping, customers don’t want to pay charges for returns.
#4: Personalize brand-customer relationships
Personalization is another imperative wheel to your omnichannel customer experience with over 63% of customers demanding more personalized recommendations. Therefore, personalization should be a part of your entire digital commerce strategy. From sales emails to promotions, all activities must be based on your customer’s behavior, preferences, interests and demographics. Every stage of a buyer’s journey must be personalized so that it feels unique and distinctive. Even while creating ultra-personalized campaigns, it should only cater to a customer and not the entire population.
Before you feel overwhelmed, remember personalized omnichannel journeys and customer experiences are 10 times more appealing and valuable than generic ones.
#5: Clear, transparent and universally visible
Your customers are no longer satisfied with half-cooked information. They want clear and unambiguous product and order details before and after checkout. Empowering your customers with a 360-degree view allows them to view and track their orders, buying history, personal details, buying trends, overall spend, etc., at all times, across all touchpoints. They also want transparent and immediately available customer service to update them regarding their deliveries on mobile and desktop systems. In terms of data, they need details as to what you’re doing to keep their payment, order, shipping, etc., information secure. And they want all of this now.
Such a holistic product view across all channels assists customers to visualize their interactions with your brand, improving loyalty and trust quotients.
Omnichannel customer experience is the future
As an online retailer, you don’t prepare for short-term goals, you prepare for long-term successes. And the trick to achieving it is by taking the omnichannel way. Omnichannel customer experience is what your customers desire. It is the only way you can connect with your customers throughout their buying journeys, unify all your channels for consistency, and a lifetime’s worth of value to your customer’s purchases.
Our experts have vast experience in connecting the disjointed experiences of iconic brands and they can check the health of your eCommerce platform to evaluate whether you’re truly omnichannel or not. Book a free consultation and get ready to provide experiences that your customers will surely love.