Thanks to the ever-increasing capabilities of mobile devices, more and more people are using multiple channels when making a purchase. Just 27% of people use only one channel during their buyer’s journey. That means the other 73% of individuals are omnichannel customers. These omnichannel customers are more valuable to your business, spending 4% more every time they shop. It’s essential to design a high-quality omnichannel experience to cater to these high-value customers.
These six omnichannel best practices are vital to winning the business of customers who make purchases using multiple channels.
1) Strive for Consistency
With such a large percentage of people using multiple channels to make purchases, it’s important to provide a consistent experience across channels. A true omnichannel experience lets customers do research on one channel, continue researching on another, and finally make a purchase using a third channel. Brands should provide a consistent experience, making it simple and straightforward for prospects to navigate across channels.
Consistent design and messaging can enable people to shift between devices quickly, finding the required resource regardless of which channel. Resources with consistent design and messaging will be instantly recognizable, making it easy for prospects to find resources on different channels.
Back-end consistency is the most important part of the omnichannel experience. People do not want to have to start their shopping experience all over again when they transition between devices. Organizations need to break down back-end data silos. By fully integrating the back-end, brands can ensure there is a smooth transition between channels, eliminating customer frustration.
2) Bring Digital Technology in-Store
Organizations should bring digital technology to the in-person experience to create cross-channel consistency. Marrying digital technologies with the traditional in-store experience lets brands create unique interactions that can thrill their customers.
Bringing digital technology into traditional in-person experiences benefits organizations in two ways. First, it enhances the in-person experience, introducing non-traditional mediums to share product information and motivate sales. Secondly, it introduces consumers to new digital technologies, increasing the chances that they will interact with those technologies online.
How can brands bring digital technologies to the in-store experience? Creating a mobile application is often the first step. An app lets brands used location-based tracking and beacons to provide local offers to customers when they are in-store. An app can also use artificial reality to showcase products visually. Another way to integrate digital technologies into the in-store experience is to create interactive content displayed on touch screens, creating in-store digital engagement opportunities.
3) Real-Time Updates
To create a true omnichannel experience, organizations must be able to update information in real time. This is necessary because what is done in one location must be reflected in others. Customers will become frustrated if they proceed through the entire journey on one channel, only to find out that the services they need are not available. This might mean the product they purchase sold out, and the inventory hasn’t been updated, or that they cannot book a meeting with their financial advisor through a mobile device. Frustrations like this can alienate customers and cause them to make their purchase elsewhere, therefore losing your business a customer.
According to a study by Accenture, 50% of customers expect to be able to place an order online and pick it up in-store. Customers want to be able to see their purchase and resource search history, regardless of which device they use.
To facilitate the expectations of a complete omnichannel integration, brands need to eliminate data silos with complete back-end integration. To learn more about the importance of integrating data silos, check out our article: You Won’t Believe How Data Silos Are Killing Your Business.