How to Develop a Seamless CX for the Omnichannel Shopper
Retailers that refuse to embrace and perfect an omnichannel experience will lose customers and revenue. Whether they’re shopping via mobile app, website, social media or in-person, consumers expect a seamless and consistent experience when interacting with a brand. Optimizing the omnichannel customer journey has become a competitive differentiator and a necessity in the retail world — market experts predict that omnichannel sales will comprise approximately 46 percent of all e-commerce sales by 2023.
However, transitioning to an omnichannel strategy requires a deep understanding of customer needs as well as the full functionality of a business’s digital platforms. The wrong approach to omnichannel experience can damage a brand’s reputation and relationship with customers.
To sustainably develop an omnichannel customer experience (CX), businesses must start by solidifying their overarching goals, then work backwards, focusing on how each initiative within the holistic customer journey creates value. Given that e-commerce sales grew by over 50 percent in the past two years, brands need to heavily invest in digital channels — connecting them and eliminating all points of friction.
When building and implementing an omnichannel digital strategy, key tactics include:
1. Break down data silos.
Omnichannel success requires buy-in and work from multiple departments (IT, web developers, app engineers, marketing, business intelligence, etc.). To collaborate, teams must work from a single source of truth — i.e., the same data source that captures and analyzes all digital customer interactions.
Digital experience intelligence (DXI) platforms offer a full end-to-end view of the digital CX, mapping the customer journey across platforms. DXI insights can be leveraged by all teams, eliminating data silos, increasing decision-making efficiency and providing clear, actionable recommendations on how brands should improve the omnichannel experience.
2. Develop specific user profiles.
Utilizing data, businesses should develop specific user profiles, crafted from what “normal” interactions on digital platforms look like. Through these user profiles, brands can more easily detect fraudulent patterns, quickly address site errors, understand which features should be prioritized in each channel, and identify cost-saving opportunities.
3. Leverage VoC and session replay technology.
To gain insight into the complete customer journey across platforms, businesses should utilize available technology such as Voice of Customer (VoC) and session replay. More information yields better, more responsive results.
4. Take a different approach to personalization.
While some brands personalize communications and digital platforms based on a customer’s demographics, businesses should consider personalizing based on event triggers. For example, if a customer abandons their cart, searches for "hats" on a website, or buys a cardigan via mobile app, brands can leverage this information to personalize each customer’s experience and engagement.
5. Mirror flow.
Consumers expect brands to recognize them and understand them regardless of the touchpoint. Order history and personalization must be present on mobile apps and on their websites. For consistency and to lessen customer confusion, the flow and format of desktop and mobile app platforms must mirror each other, and retailers must extend their visual identity into any brick-and-mortar locations.
6. Provide reliable cross-channel customer service.
Online shoppers want convenient, 24/7 customer service — from chatbot to customer service rep to in-person help. Support must be integrated into every omnichannel strategy. To enhance customer service, customer data should be available across the entire organization. Pain points can be minimized using DXI, which alerts teams to urgent issues and technical anomalies.
Today’s empowered shoppers expect to be catered to, they expect convenience; they expect to be able to shop whenever they want, however they want. Retailers that use data, analytics and detailed customer insights to optimize the omnichannel experience will meet customer demand and excel.
Asim Zaheer is the chief marketing officer at GlassBox, a digital customer experience analytics platform.