Whether you are a pure online retailer, a stationary retailer or supplier using a multichannel distribution, an omnichannel solution can be developed from various starting points. The following tips are for orientation and to set the course for a successful omnichannel concept.
The customer comes first
Although most traders claim to be completely customer-oriented, only a few truly are. This is often reflected by disinterested and unfriendly sales staff, confusing showrooms or online stores and unstructured product placement. For the long-term success, it is however important to include customer requirements in the corporate strategy. ‘The customer is always right!’ - This well known claim should rehall in every retailer’s mind as it is undoubtedly influencing business.. Therefore, it is useful to analyze user behavior in order to better respond to customer needs.
Complete the customer journey
Online merchants can offer their clients the missing testability and tangibility by expanding to stationary sales. Onsite retailers on the other hand have the opportunity to compensate for their deficit in product availability by offering the "endless-aisle" approach. For example, allowing customers to browse on mobile devices for product variations that are not available locally. A customer survey will help you to determine if an expansion of your product assortment is useful.
Experiment with lean projects
As tempting the advantages of an omnichannel concept are: You better start with small projects and test the new channels before deciding for further expansions. Gradual improvements are better manageable during implementation, they have a short time-to-market span and their effects can be analyzed much easier.
Become agile and strengthen innovations
Do not leave it with just a single improvement, be creative and keep on developing your channels constantly. Try new ways of doing things to surprise your customers.
Know and observe KPIs
If you try a new channel, you have to define your own objectives and related metrics, such as:
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Rate of recurrent visits
- New customer segments
Adjust organizational processes
Creative ideas alone are not enough. For a successful omnichannel strategy, it is also useful to adjust the company's strategy and to work on interdepartmental solutions, rather than looking at onsite and online retail as separate parts of the organization.
Flexible programming interfaces
You can only react to market changes flexibly, if your technical platform also allows and provides open interfaces allowing you to exchange data and connect third-party systems.
Use best-of-breed approach in all areas
Avoid the use of an all-in-one solution. An adaptation to individual needs can be accomplished easily using individual providers of CMS, ERP, CRM, etc.. These are docked via an interface to an e-commerce system according to a modular principle. As a result, high costs are avoided in case there is a shift in your requirements.
Centralized data streams
Capture and collect your data centrally. This not only simplifies the analysis of user behavior, it also reduces interface problems between customer touch points and the underlying logistics. From a customer perspective, almost nothing is more annoying than interruptions in the ordering process because of data inconsistency.
Future-proof e-commerce platform
Everything rises and falls with the right e-commerce platform, which is the basis of the integrated omnichannel solution. Easy to use, with low maintenance requirements and high scalability: These are the main criteria that a platform should cover. commercetools meets all of these requirements by providing its highly flexible, robust e-commerce cloud solution and customizable microservices.