Omnichannel is a buzzword in the world of retail customer experience. But despite its popularity, there is a lot of misinformation about what it actually means and how to create an omnichannel strategy that works for your business.
This article will give you a better understanding of what omnichannel is, and four myths that are standing in the way of it benefiting your brand.
This is one of the biggest offenders. While they might sound similar, omnichannel and multichannel are NOT the same.
Though there are similarities, the difference is that a multichannel approach dedicates a team, system and messaging for each channel. This results in siloed communication and a disjointed customer experience. On the other hand, an omnichannel approach weaves together communication touch points across all channels to create a more cohesive journey.
The benefits of going omnichannel? Customer data is centralized so that agents can resolve issues faster and more efficiently, customers can move seamlessly between communication without having to repeat information, and with everything in one spot you’re able to integrate existing or new tech much more easily. Not to mention a more cohesive journey across multiple channels helps create more engaging, personalized experiences.
Omnichannel platforms are meant to limit disruption and simplify the customer experience, as well as grow and change with your business.
When implementing an omnichannel-focused strategy, it’s not necessary to launch every channel at once. In fact, we recommend you don’t. Start by analyzing what’s working and what isn’t for your team and customers. Thankfully, an omnichannel approach makes it easy to integrate other technologies into your system as you go along — meaning you don’t need to overhaul your entire customer service process overnight.
It’s important to invest in your business with the right tools and technology, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to do so. This isn’t to say that implementing an omnichannel platform is cheap, but instead that the ROI is well worth it. Consider these statistics as you weigh the pros and cons:
- Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single channel, with the average order value being 13% more per order. (Omnisend, 2020)
- Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value. (Google)
- Companies with well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies see a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to those without. (Aberdeen Group)
- On average, companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers compared to 33% for companies without. (Aberdeen Group)
While it may require an upfront investment, the payoff is customer retention and loyalty, which leads to more sales — essential for any business to thrive.
There are plenty of companies still taking the multi- and single-channel route. And while it may be working for them, they are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve their customer experience.
For starters, omnichannel platforms simplify things for both agents and customers. With a cohesive customer journey, customers have less of a chance to become “lost in translation” as they move from channel to channel or from online to in-store. And when agents have all the information they need from across that journey, they can better serve customers.
Customers also expect omnichannel experiences. According to the Harvard Business Review, 73% of consumers shop on more than one channel, and nine in 10 consumers want seamless service between all communication channels, according to UC Today.
If you’re not keeping up with consumer demand it makes it easier for your competition to swoop in and win. With nearly half of all companies today taking a digital-first approach, we’d like to think that’s a pretty strong sign that omnichannel platforms do indeed work and that it’s time to make the switch.
As the retail landscape continues to rapidly evolve, it’s essential to make the necessary changes to keep your customers happy and your business thriving. At this point, it’s safe to say that omnichannel isn’t just a phase but a defining approach that will make your brand stand out to consumers and give you the competitive edge to succeed in this new era.
Mariana Ruiz is the Senior Copywriter at Acquire, a conversational customer experience platform. She enjoys using stories to connect with people and typically writes about customer experience, entrepreneurship and digital marketing.”