As the fifth-largest retail industry globally by economic value, the Indian retail market has been on an upward growth trajectory, projected to reach $350 billion by 2030. The rise in digital channels like mobile and social media will continue to open the door to new opportunities, blurring the lines between in-store and online retailing.
While the retail industry is often applauded for being digitally ahead of the curve, the substantial move towards e-retail during the pandemic has been a boon for consumers and retailers. By leveraging online and offline channels, forward-thinking retailers have been increasingly adopting new business models to influence shopper behavior and facilitate the personalized customer experience. From hyper-personalized shopping to automated fulfillment centers, the industry is witnessing digitized experiences being offered to customers. When it comes to delivering a seamless, consistent omnichannel approach for those customers, however, there is still an opportunity for growth.
The move from the multi-channel environment into omnichannel is essential to break down the barriers between communication channels and provide a single connected brand experience in multiple touchpoints. However, many retailers are still relying on different platforms and channels that act independently of each other to reach their customers. Despite being a leader in many of these individual channels, not linking them together creates data silos, disjointed conversations, and inconsistent customer experiences.
Here’s how an omnichannel approach can help elevate your retail business:-
A Seamless Shopping Experience - Customers today expect a cohesive experience and aren’t concerned with how it’s delivered to them. They simply want convenience, efficiency, and to connect with the brands they care about whenever, wherever they’d like on the digital channel of their choosing. Further, online shoppers today want the context of their requests to be readily available regardless of whether they are starting a new inquiry or resuming an existing conversation with a customer service agent.
As we leave the pandemic and find that more and more customers are looking for a hybrid model for their shopping journey, unifying engagement channels will help retailers enrich the customers' shopping experience. This synchronized, frictionless experience will help create a consistent customer journey regardless of where your audience finds you.
This also better serves the retail companies from the inside out, as by utilizing various sales channels for engagement, retailers can empower their teams to deliver a unified, seamless brand experience at any time, and on any channel regardless of whether the customer initiated a conversation. Whether in a store with an associate, or on the phone with an at-home agent, when done effectively, omnichannel engagement allows users to move freely from one channel to another, building a trusting relationship that improves their overall experience and encourages brand loyalty.
READ MORE: Why Should Retailers Invest in AI for a Connected Omnichannel Experience?
A Better Approach for Customers and Employees - Many companies think they have an existing omnichannel approach when in reality they only are offering multi-channel options to their customers. Omnichannel engagement is different from multi-channel engagement in how each channel is managed separately with a different strategy.
An omnichannel approach allows agents to access any information about a customer’s previous interactions on a different channel, expanding the level of service they can provide and improving a customer’s overall experience.
For example, when your customer begins a chat session on your website and then continues that chat into a video session or voice call with your agent, that customer is receiving a more quality, seamless service. With this kind of omnichannel engagement, retailers can improve the speed of service, while offering contextual, helpful, and personalized support.
From an employee engagement angle, an omnichannel approach also has massive benefits. By giving agents all the information available on a customer, they can feel empowered to give informed support and prioritize their tasks through the automation features that eliminate repetitive tasks and solve for simple tickets.
Omnichannel engagement enables companies to also improve their bottom lines and increase customer retention. Marketing teams can ensure their content delivery strategy is successful, as sales teams can convert and nurture customer relationships more effectively, while the operations teams can be more efficient in fulfilling orders.
Embracing Omnichannel Engagement
Integrating omnichannel communications and seamless context throughout the customer journey requires the right infrastructure. Omnichannel is difficult to achieve with “out-of-the-box” solutions that don’t allow for scale, security, or customization. Any system requiring a lengthy installation process, limited features, and restricted integration with other platforms will not provide the agility needed to deliver an excellent customer experience in an omnichannel world.
When choosing an omnichannel customer engagement solution for your brand, it is important to consider a single interface for multiple channels that let you build, scale, and customize as per business requirements. With this type of platform, adding new and custom channels to your contact center can be easily implemented as the omnichannel approach grows in popularity.