Welcome to the world of Omni Channel E-commerce, where the lines between physical and digital retail are blurred, and the customer is at the center of the shopping experience. In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect a seamless and personalized shopping experience across all channels, whether it’s online, in-store, or via mobile devices. Omni Channel E-commerce is the practice of integrating all these channels to create a cohesive and consistent shopping experience for customers.
In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of Omni Channel E-commerce, the latest trends and strategies, and how businesses can leverage technology to stay ahead of the curve. So, whether you’re a small business owner or an e-commerce giant, join us on this exciting journey of Omni Channel E-commerce.
What is Omnichannel E-commerce?
Omnichannel e-commerce unifies the customer experience across all touchpoints where customers interact with your e-commerce store. It involves developing an integrated e-commerce strategy and implementing it in your business to improve customer experience.
The e-commerce omnichannel or omnichannel retail uses multiple channels that deliver an integrated purchasing experience to customers. This is irrespective of the method of shopping. A powerful omnichannel e-commerce strategy focuses on the customer’s buying experience instead of the individual experiences on various channels.
Difference between omnichannel vs multichannel e-commerce
Let’s understand the depth of omnichannel e-commerce and its difference from multichannel e-commerce.
|Omnichannel E-commerce||Multichannel E-commerce|
|In omnichannel e-commerce, a brand exists on multiple channels.||Multichannel e-commerce offers sellers an opportunity to grow their sources of revenue by allowing sales over multiple online channels.|
|It connects all channels to give customers a seamless experience over all platforms.||Customers can choose the medium they want to engage in. Although it’s flexible, it anticipates brands to behave within the limits of the channel.|
|It completes a multichannel strategy and optimizes the same for online customers. It uses multiple channels, so omnichannel e-commerce doesn’t exist without multichannel e-commerce.||It can be considered like a wheel of spokes, where your product is at the center while a customer is on the outer edge. This gives customers an equal opportunity to reach the product present across the channels.|
|It focuses more on customer experience.||It focuses more on fragmentation.|
|It spreads the message to the customer and also tries to know the customers better.||It spreads the message to the customer across different channels, after which they act.|
|It is consistent because the customer obtains a consistent personalized experience through each channel.||It doesn’t maintain consistency when offering a personalized customer experience.|
Why is omnichannel e-commerce important?
- Omnichannel e-commerce offers an integrated e-commerce experience to customers irrespective of the platform or device they use.
- It streamlines customer’s shopping experience.
- It serves businesses with improved analytics to customize the customer experience.
Find the best omnichannel e-commerce platform for you
Plenty of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are adopting e-commerce solutions. This implies that managing e-commerce platforms is a solution to the omnichannel issues retailers face. Therefore, your business must choose the best omnichannel e-commerce platform.
Retailers find it challenging to connect offline and online stores into a single channel. The solution is to choose a flexible, intelligent platform that perfectly meets the standards of the omnichannel model.
What Are the Benefits of an Omnichannel Commerce Strategy?
i. Understands your customer journey
Omnichannel e-commerce helps your company to gather and consolidate customer data from various channels. This provides a complete overview of the customers interested in your business. It also gives insights into customer behavior that empowers you to tailor your customer journey.
ii. Personalizes the customer experience
You can significantly personalize your customer experience by discerning the customer journey. Omnichannel e-commerce lets you formulate a personalized experience. It is vital to create this experience because customers’ lifetime value is more than shoppers who only buy via one channel.
iii. Greater customer retention
Customer retention is more significant than acquiring new customers in e-commerce. Businesses can increase retention and customer loyalty by creating a consistent and personal customer experience. Provide your consumers with a positive shopping experience across all channels. When e-commerce businesses focus more on the retention rate, they perceive more feasible growth.
iv. Increased per-customer spending
With better customer service, omnichannel e-commerce guarantees satisfied customers boosting the range in per-customer expenditures. If the customers are satisfied, they will likely spend more.
Understand customer insights and design marketing strategies across all channels. Data allows marketers to understand customers’ preferences and make informed decisions for a better customer experience.
v. Improves profits
The higher customer retention ratio results in more sales. An omnichannel e-commerce approach offers a practical offline and online sales framework through which the sellers can sell products to anybody at a favorable price.
vi. Improves data collection
It is challenging to discern the demand if the data from the customers is insufficient. Commonly, it happens to those e-commerce brands that don’t share on various channels. The omnichannel e-commerce approach facilitates unified data collection across all of its channels.
Integrating your customer experience and sales channels helps you to track your customers’ searches and shopping habits. This data can be used to provide more customized product recommendations and marketing campaigns. These insights can help you to determine which products may sell the most.
How to Build an Omnichannel E-commerce Strategy?
Map the customer journey
Customers will not pass through just one journey while discovering the product before buying. It is beneficial to define different potential journeys they may take.
A suggested way is to represent different stages of customer purchasing behavior. This includes:
- Problem acknowledgement
- Purchase, etc.
Moreover, you can identify their goal (research, purchase, or comparison) and implement a suitable strategy accordingly.
Create engaging content
The different approaches to creating exciting content are:-
- Appealing email subject lines to the A/B test for your subsequent email marketing campaign.
- Attractive product pictures on social media. This will excite your customers about the new product launch.
- Make sure to highlight how your product targets customers’ needs.
- All your created content must point towards the customer objectives.
Select the right customer engagement
It is advised to analyze your customers’ needs and persona to align them with your omnichannel e-commerce platform. The following customer engagement tools help you improve your omnichannel customer experience at various touchpoints.
- Live chat: They provide real-time assistance to sales or support-based queries through live chat.
- Chatbots: They help you to engage with customers 24×7 and quickly respond to queries.
- Visual engagement tools: You can have a direct conversation with customers through tools like video chat and co-browsing. It will help you to discover their issue faster and provide immediate solutions.
Define the purpose of channels
You need to decide the aim of each channel after you choose all the media to use.
Outlining each channel’s purpose implies that you will create content for each of them. Make sure the content is personalized for every omnichannel e-commerce platform, and the same content is not reposted everywhere. Remember that an all-purpose approach will not yield identical results on all the channels.
Keep the website mobile-friendly
The role of e-commerce websites in omnichannel is dominant. Whether you are selling products on your website or not, the website must be optimized for mobile. Anybody visiting your website, irrespective of their device, must have an experience tailored to their usage.
An engaging mobile-friendly website is easy to navigate, features clear labels, a dedicated section, an easy-to-use search bar, and accessible buttons. Making your website mobile-friendly helps visitors find what they want from any device.
All omnichannel, all the time
One of the greatest mistakes that e-commerce businesses commit when using an omnichannel strategy is prioritizing only the sales. For this reason, every part of your e-commerce business must be omnichannel.
When customers add one of your store’s products to their cart while on Facebook, they must see this activity while navigating your website on mobile. This means that you must be able to recognize your customers irrespective of which omnichannel e-commerce platform they use.
Integrate data analytics
The only approach you can adopt to use data and analytics about your customers is to integrate them across all channels. Integrating your analytics across all channels helps you to constantly build more experienced customer personas.
Test, test, test
Building an omnichannel e-commerce strategy is not a one-time task. You must deliver your best effort when implementing this strategy and address the challenges that come along the way. You can compare your omnichannel e-commerce strategy with other strategies to determine how well it performs.
What Are the Challenges with Omnichannel E-commerce?
i. Lack of infrastructure:
The existing technology is often not up to the standards to execute an omnichannel operation smoothly. So, it is imperative to implement relevant and advanced technology to streamline processes of omnichannel e-commerce.
ii. In-store vs online stock
Many businesses include the stock they have in their offline stores on their online platforms. However, the in-store stock may fluctuate, and products might be sold-out in online and offline stores. This may cause customer dissatisfaction. Hence, decreasing the availability of “best-selling” products in your online stores is recommended.
iii. Joining forces with the right partners
The omnichannel success depends on the logistics, shipping, and e-commerce partners. So, your e-commerce business must collaborate with the right partners to guarantee success.
How Companies Provide Omnichannel Experiences
You can sell your products over multiple channels to improve your conversions and bottom line. But consistency is inevitable to provide a satisfying omnichannel experience to your customers. The following tips will help you offer a great omnichannel experience.
i. Use a headless CMS
One of the main motives of omnichannel e-commerce is to provide a seamless experience to customers regardless of the platform. You can consider a headless Content Management System (CMS).
In a headless setup, you must remove the CMS head (front end) from the body (back end) to access your content through a network request. By doing so, you can use the same back-end data across different platforms with minimal effort. With a headless CMS setup, you only have to create your content once and then publish it over multiple platforms.
ii. Provide a Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) service
Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) protects customers from long delivery times and expensive shipping costs. It can help you to blend the practicality of online shopping and the proximity of in-person pickup.
iii. Provide cross-channel customer support
Decent customer support can transform one-time shoppers into repeat customers. If you work on multiple channels, you must offer customer support on all those channels. You can provide cross-channel customer support through email assistance, live chat, a ticketing system, or directly speak to customers over the telephone.
iv. Allow offline payments
This option is suitable for customers who are not comfortable with online payment gateways or those who can’t access online payment methods like debit or credit cards. Moreover, you can use offline payments to accept pre-orders without asking customers to make payments immediately.