The journey in deploying a fully functional omnichannel solution doesn’t just happen overnight. That’s why its important to plan ahead for an effective strategy that works for both your brand and your audience. The objective here is to offer a seamless shopping experience utilizing brick-and-mortar stores enhancing the customer’s buying experience.
As you plan for success in 2018, here are some omnichannel complexities to keep in mind:
• Product Information Management: Managing the information required to market and sell products through distribution channels. The real threat for brands is the lack of inventory transparency, and keeping inventory in synchronization across all retailer channels. To successfully fulfill online orders from different retail channels and locations, requires visibility and flexibility.
• Distribution Strategy: Specifies how products are intended to transfer to the end consumer. In omnichannel, both the digital eCommerce end and physical storefronts, must connect, meaning there must be transparency for orders processed, orders picked-up, shipped and returned. The brand needs to own and manage the communication aspect in order to create a repeat customer.
• Customer Data Management: Keeping track of customer information; such as buying history, habits and preferences. Most customers utilize various touch points prior to purchasing items. Customers today find products through social media, mobile or brick-and-mortar stores. It is important to expose your brand to multiple channels, creating a robust customer success strategy. In order to implement effectively, large amounts of data must be properly tracked, analyzed, and applied. Customer data should be relative to understanding your target audience properly to engage without exposing information.
• Customer Support: Customers expect a seamless and convenient shopping experience across all-channels with high-levels of customer service. To do so, it's important to not only have a customer support line, but a live support chat on your site for ultimate customer care. This is important in order to keep things simple for the customer, maintain customer feedback from different timezones, and successfully manage customer needs.
“All omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omnichannel.” - HubSpot 2017