Customers love omnichannel retail experiences. While they might not use that specific word, they have clear expectations for how they want to engage with your business online and offline. And they will definitely let you know when you get it wrong.
Think of this common scenario: when a customer visits one of your brick-and-mortar stores, they expect that visit to go smoothly. However, that doesn’t just mean friendly associates and having the item available that they came in to purchase (although that is certainly a part of it!) Critical aspects of that visit have already taken place across your other sales channels. That customer may have already browsed your online store for price comparison, downloaded your app to look for discounts, or even ordered items online and stopped in to pick them up. If you’ve done your job correctly, each of these feels like a part of one seamless interaction.
That’s the goal of a truly omnichannel strategy – connected customer experiences across every medium. If your business can’t offer that, your competitors will. And that’s just as true for B2B buyers as B2C shoppers.
73% of all customers use multiple channels during their purchase journey.
Getting Started with Omnichannel Commerce
Every digital tool and shopping venue you offer is a separate channel – but it shouldn’t feel that way to your customers.
The first step towards a strong omnichannel solution is making sure your business is accessible on the platforms your customers and clients actually want to use for both sales and customer service.
Consider one example: if a customer starts their purchase through your dedicated app, and has a question during the buying process, they can reach out to a sales agent on the phone. Once they get the answers they need, they may want to finish the transaction with the agent while on the phone – or they may want to complete their purchase online. Whatever the point of sale, every single touchpoint needs to begin where the last one ended – with the same purchase and payment details available.
Customers expect the same continuity when it comes to customer service. Increasingly, consumers reach out through social media, and if that interaction then moves over to email or a phone call, they expect to be able to pick up right where they left off.
That is the minimum level of service that customers expect.
Across both retail and B2B organizations, companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared with 33% on average.
Omnichannel Commerce = Bottom Line Results
A sales and marketing strategy that delivers on your brand promise with true omnichannel buying experiences is a tall order, but it delivers big results.
A study from Harvard Business Review found that on average, omnichannel customers spend more money with your business than single-channel customers – up to 4% more in-store, and as much as 10% more online.
So while there is a big upside, customer expectations have also grown. Since 2020 brought on a rapid evolution in the way people shop, buyers have become accustomed to omnichannel experiences – and they are increasingly loyal to the businesses that get it right.
Read how one organization leveraged technology to power a nimble response to ecommerce challenges and provide an exceptional, customer-focused experience.
Prioritize & Personalize
From customer service to sales to marketing, omnichannel commerce means a frictionless flow of information across your organization. Every point of interaction should be informed by the powerful data you have about your customers, from payment history, to shopping patterns, to product feedback. The right hand needs to know what the left has been up to, so to speak – and none of your systems can keep data to themselves. Connecting your CRM to critical commerce data lets you create personalized, targeted experiences that better serve your customers – and show that you really know them.
A truly omnichannel approach requires a fully integrated platform for consumer, purchase, and payment data. One popular option is Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which can be customized to fit your needs with many available add-on applications from the Salesforce AppExchange – like Chargent, which helps you tackle omnichannel commerce, faster, by simplifying commerce payments at scale.
Unlock the keys to connecting omnichannel commerce to cash collection. Learn more about Chargent for Commerce Cloud, and discover why payments are a critical piece of delivering the omnichannel experience your customers expect.