BEST PRACTICES & CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY IN YOUR BUSINESS (WITH CASE STUDIES)

BEST PRACTICES & CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY IN YOUR BUSINESS (WITH CASE STUDIES)

Omnichannel Case Studies

Companies trying to properly implement an omnichannel strategy need to overcome a lot of challenges and take into account many things for the implementation to be successful. One of the most important factors is customer engagement, which is the primary driver of loyalty and profitability. For customer engagement to be high, companies need to make sure that they regularly update their customer data, they properly manage the data flow between the different channels, and that they consistently optimize their marketing campaigns to add value to their customers. Integrating customers’ preferred channels and self-service options also help in creating an omnichannel experience that will promote engagement and loyalty.

Challenges in Implementing an Omnichannel Strategy

1. Customer engagement

  • For a business, it is very important to be able to adapt to customer demand and preferences.
  • However, many companies struggle with offering a unique omnichannel experience that differentiates them from the competition.
  • Customers have the option to chose from many brands and channels, which makes it difficult for companies to stand out, especially in the face of major online retailers like Amazon that eliminate the need for customers to visit multiple locations to get what they need.
  • Another important factor that is driven by customer engagement is customer retention and loyalty, without which a business cannot be profitable.
  • As such it is important to adopt a strategy that doesn’t simply follow the traditional methods of shopping but rather focuses on understanding the customers’ preferences and consistently upgrading their solutions to match their needs.

2. Managing the omnichannel integration internally

  • One of the major hurdles for successfully integrating an omnichannel strategy into a company’s operation is its problematic synergy with other business departments.
  • This lack of synergy is usually created because of the lack of communication between departments, which can eventually impact the company’s inventory and supply chain management.
  • There is a general lack of understanding about the amount of resources that need to be invested in brick-and-mortar and online operations for them to remain profitable.
  • Unfortunately, this can also create tensions between the company and their suppliers or contractors, as many companies that have made the switch to omnichannel operations do not effectively communicate their needs to their partners.
  • In many cases, companies that switch to omnichannel grossly underestimate the burden that it will have on their existing system, which is further complicated by the lack of experienced and qualified staff.
  • One of the ways to prevent a situation like this from happening is to gather meaningful customer data to predict their behavior, which will allow the company to plan accordingly.
BEST PRACTICES & CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY IN YOUR BUSINESS (WITH CASE STUDIES)

Most Common Mistakes in the Implementation of an Omnichannel Strategy

1. Not using the right customer data

  • Whenever customers interact with a brand, they leave some important information behind, such as telephone numbers and email addresses.
  • However, such information needs to be kept up-to-date in order to be useful.
  • According to Neustar, 60% of the customer data becomes outdated within two years while another 37% of customers have reported switching their personal information every year.
  • Not keeping up with customer data can make a company’s marketing campaign useless, which can hurt their profitability.

2. Not collaborating between the different channels

3. Properly training the staff

  • Customer service representatives are one of the cornerstones of a successful omnichannel strategy.
  • However, a lot of the companies that have implemented omnichannels in their business solutions are not properly training their employees.
  • Only 30% of contact center decision-makers train all their agents to support multiple channels.
  • This has resulted in a huge discrepancy between what customers feel about customer service and how companies feel about it, as customers reported that only 8% of the companies that claimed that had great customer services actually did.

4. Not optimizing the marketing campaigns

  • Content is one of the most important features driving the success or failure of a marketing campaign promoting a company’s omnichannel experience.
  • According to One Spot, 78% of US shoppers have noted that the right type of content increases their purchasing intent for a brand’s products and services.
  • Unfortunately, many companies do not make efforts to improve their omnichannel strategy based on the audience data they collect, hurting the company’s engagement with their customers.

5. Not adding value to the target market

  • A survey conducted by CMO Council and RedPoint Global revealed that omnichannel marketers cannot use existing data to create better customer experiences.
  • Moreover, while 42% of marketers have reported that they have incorporated ten new solutions because of marketing, data, and analytics, only “3% of them feel that they are fully connected and aligned with the systems and data” of the company.
  • This considerably hurts a marketer’s ability to create a meaningful strategy for the promotion of the company’s omnichannel services.
  • Kevin Hartwood, the VP of technology at Outdoor Voices, has noted that companies cannot use a one-size-fits-all approach to omnichannel, as it will result in a failed implementation of the service.

Best Practices in Implementing an Omnichannel Strategy

1. Using the customers’ preferred channels

  • The most important step before even starting the process of omnichannel integration is to understand the customers.
  • It is imperative to understand whether they prefer digital channels or use review sites in order to determine how the omnichannel experience can be best used to drive customer engagement.
  • As 90% of all customers look forward to consistent interactions across channels, it is imperative to understand the customers’ most preferred channel in order to be able to customize the omnichannel experience for it.
  • Moreover, the majority of customers are multichannel shoppers.
  • Research has shown that multichannel shoppers spend more money and buy more products compared to single channel shoppers, which means that companies need to know which channels are most effective with their customers to get the most value out of the solution.
  • For instance, studies from Schambach have shown that companies that were able to integrate in-store technology programs in their omnichannel solutions, like mobile point-of-sale, and using payment options like Apple Pay have successful in generating positive customer engagement.
BEST PRACTICES & CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY IN YOUR BUSINESS (WITH CASE STUDIES)

2. Implementing self-service options

  • Self-service options have become a core capability in the customers eyes.
  • According to Answer Dash, 70% of customers expect companies to offer self-service options in their omnichannel experience.
  • Moreover, 40% of the customers also mentioned that they prefer self-service options over speaking with customer support representatives.
  • Interestingly, a study by Oracle and Forrester has noted that online self-service can decrease the overall cost by $11 dollars per call, while Accenture reported that companies that use self-service options save from $1 to $3 million per year.
  • It is also important that self-service options are available on mobile as over 90% of customers interviewed by Software Advice did not find requesting customer service on mobile helpful.

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