Mapping Your Journey to Omnichannel Adoption
Much has been said about omnichannel strategies this year, but most retailers are still experiencing inertia when it comes to achieving full implementation. According to an October survey conducted by the Hay Group, only 14 percent of retailers reported having an omnichannel strategy in place, while 64 percent said their strategy is “still in progress.”
Retailers who find themselves a part of this majority are still working to connect the dots between traditional brick-and-mortar processes and e-commerce integration. A comprehensive understanding of how to leverage quality data for omnichannel success is needed to move forward in 2014. Let’s break down the retailer’s journey toward this evolution.
1. Learn how customers interact with product data. Today’s consumers are pressed for time, so it’s typical to hear them say shopping online is simpler, provides better deals and offers more control than shopping in-store. The first step in understanding the omnichannel opportunity is to align customers’ experiences with product data. What are the keywords shoppers are searching for? Are the right products displayed in the search results?
Unfortunately, most current digital information about products is inconsistent, which leads to customer frustration. A GS1 global research study found that 74 percent of consumers consider it important that product information is trustworthy. Additionally, 38 percent wouldn’t purchase the product if they didn’t trust product information found on their smartphone, and 35 percent would never use an app again if it contained incorrect product information. Once you know what your customer expects, you can better align consumer-facing operations and supply chain practices to adapt to their behaviors and attitudes.
2. Standardize your data. Retailers are mixed in their approach to data. While some participate in a seamless fulfillment experience, created upon a foundation of scalable, repeatable processes, others adopt a more traditional, siloed view of channels that relies on custom-made, proprietary data solutions.