How to Meet the Expectations of Omnichannel Customers

May 16, 2019

The modern customer journey now spans multiple devices and channels, across a brand’s website, mobile app, social media, physical store, loyalty programs, and more. As complicated as this is, customers nevertheless expect to be engaged with the brand throughout these touchpoints. Studies show that companies with weak omnichannel engagement retain only 33% of their customers, compared to the 89% retention rate of companies that invest in building a successful omnichannel customer engagement strategy.

Evidently, the stakes are high. Yet, only 8% of retailers say they have achieved a successful omnichannel strategy. The fact is that retail marketers are challenged to deliver a consistent and seamless customer experience across engagement channels. Below, we offer several tips for meeting—and exceeding—the modern customer’s expectations.

Bridge the online and offline customer journey

Marketers know the importance of aggregating customer data from different touchpoints for a comprehensive view of the customer journey. Combining this data enables marketers to better understand customer preferences—for example, if their customer base significantly prefers to shop online instead of in stores, their preferred locations, and so on. But this integration of online and offline touchpoints should be evident in the customer experience, too. For example, retailers can provide the convenience of buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in-store (BORIS) models. Customers appreciate the value of these offerings, which also provides retailers with the opportunity to upsell and re-engage.

Deliver omnichannel fulfillment

To ensure customer satisfaction, it’s essential to invest in providing an effortless and engaging experience. Online, this means optimizing the brand’s UI and UX across digital channels. For in stores, retailers can implement meaningful applications of technology to the benefit of both the customer and the brand. For example, providing the salespeople on deck with a simple mobile application can help them find inventory more efficiently and provide more accurate product recommendations, while a back-end system can help store associates optimize order fulfillment to maintain customer satisfaction. For customers, in-store touchscreens encourage them to explore and find products through an interactive shopping experience.

Reach customers at the right time and right place

Strategic geofencing is key to reaching customers on their most personal device. Retail marketers can leverage geolocation data to target customers with regional promotions and sales at nearby stores. Not only does this help retailers successfully market to customers while on-the-go, but it also has real-time capabilities that enrich the customer experience with engaging interactions that build brand affinity.

By investing in their omnichannel strategy, retailers can provide better, more engaging shopping experiences that satisfy customers both online and offline. Retailers that exceed customer expectations for seamless, personalized omnichannel engagement will be rewarded with loyal customers and increased lifetime value.

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