Are you aware that you're being tracked?

In my previous blog, I had explained about why omnichannel is getting prominence in the retail world and how etailers are leveraging this technology to create better customer experiences. Well its time that we dig deeper into how omnichannel retail can help create seamless customer experiences.

With the rapid evolution of retail marketing, technologies today can perform a near instant match of your facial features as you enter a store and determine whether you're new or a repeat buyer. While many of you may be uncomfortable about being photographed but it helps the store identify loyal customers and provide them additional services like personalized greetings or a guided buying process, thus enhancing Customer Experience. What cannot be measured cannot be improved. In a world where we keep a yard stick for everything we aim to accomplish, do we have a yardstick for measuring omnichannel success? An omnichannel approach typically puts the customer at the centre i.e. the ability to provide the same shopping experience whenever and wherever he wants. In order to measure omnichannel success it is important to measure all of the levers that drive customer behavior across the entire customer journey.

The paradigm shift in the ecommerce industry towards omnichannel sets up challenges for etailers that significantly impact their customer's purchase decisions. Some of the key challenges are,

  1. Creating personalized marketing offers based on the customers' shopping behavior
  2. The ability to adopt safe, simple and reliable mobile payment solutions
  3. Better fulfillment and supply chain strategies that meet customer demands

Omnichannel customers display a higher level of loyalty to a brand and typically out-spend multichannel shoppers by over 20%

Retailers are quickly realizing that connecting consumers across channels requires bringing the brick and mortar services to the digital world. Retailers in the fashion and apparel sectors have great potential with omnichannel strategies, but only if they know how to attract and connect with these highly desirable consumers can they cash their cheques.

Once the relationship between digital and in-store experience for omnichannel shoppers is understood, it's important to think about reaching them wherever they are and making the experience seamless.

A famous American luxury department store improves customer experience online by connecting customers with known associates from near-by stores and helping with guided purchase process online. This has improved customers confidence in the brand.

A mobile app by a well-known cosmetics company uses webcams to enable customers to virtually try on different shades and styles of makeup. To the customer, it is an easy, seamless, and enjoyable experience. But it is enabled by complex technology that involves coding dozens of makeup shades, matching them to a near infinite variety of skin tones, and collecting data on which types of customers try on which shades, then tracking their satisfaction levels after purchase—all of which are analyzed to further refine the matching process and improve the customer experience. This two-way flow of information is an important aspect of modern marketing operations. This feedback loop is not just about optimizing the customer experience, it also helps decision makers adjust campaign spending based on trends and opportunities

A renowned American fashion house reconfigures various elements on its website based on a visitor's click-behavior history—some see more product reviews, for example, while others see more videos, images, or special offers. The algorithm the company uses constantly learns which content works best depending on the customer and renders the site accordingly.

Omnichannel today is presenting huge opportunities, understanding shoppers better to create seamless customer experiences is more likely to increase sales across the organization. With evolving technologies like Augumented Reality, Artifical intelligence, IOT and ibeacons the ability for merchants to identify brand loyal customers across channels, provide personalized offerings and consistent experience is only going to improve further. Early adopters are bound to learn from mistakes and improvise.

For customers it's never been a better time to research, get best offers, shop and be treated exclusively by the brand. We are being spoilt for choice today but staying loyal to a brand, sharing some insights to the merchant surely has its perks.

Lister Digital, 2017. All rights reserved.