Shopping online should be just as easy and fun as in a brick-and-mortar store, right? Apparently, the makers of this sketch experienced that differently. Although this is not the reality, the sketch does indicate nicely that in a webshop you have to focus on completely different things in order for the customer to be king or queen. How can you meet this challenge? Below we list two important tips.
1. Determine a clear omnichannel strategy
Online shopping can best be compared to a huge market square in which everyone is shouting at each other. Everyone wants the consumer’s attention and everyone has the best deal. To stand out positively within this information overload, recognisability and clarity are essential. You can achieve this through a so-called omnichannel strategy. You offer the same (online) shopping experience to all your customers through all your points of sale. It should therefore not matter whether they buy something in the physical store or via Facebook from your webshop. The experience is always consistent and therefore the chance is much greater the customer feels like a king.
Should this concept still seem a bit vague: almost all large supermarkets, such as Jumbo and Albert Heijn, use an omnichannel strategy. By visiting and comparing their points of sale (social media, website, mobile app, store), you will undoubtedly get a good idea of what omnichannel content is. And whether and how it has added value for your company. If you really want to go in-depth, read this study about how Albert Heijn set up its omnichannel strategy.
In any case, the numbers speak for themselves. Companies that use omnichannel keep their customers on average 91 percent longer, according to research by Aspect Software. A huge difference when it comes to loyalty.
2. Use a central IT approach
To be able to successfully execute an equal shopping experience at all your points of sale, online and offline, you really cannot do without an IT-system in which all these points are integrated. Such a central IT approach, where all (customer) data is in one place, has major advantages. For both you and your customers.
- Personalization: The assortment can be tailored per store to the behaviour of people in your online store. If people from Utrecht, for example, buy more cookbooks online, then you ensure that the physical store in Utrecht also has more of them in stock.
- Data: You can map exactly where, when and even why your customers buy something. These new insights help you to better tailor your offer to the needs of your customers. This data is also the basis of predictive AI models. You can use a discount card to monitor the behaviour of your customers in the store.
- Customer friendliness. Because you know more about your customers, both in terms of behaviour and actions, you can help them better when they have questions. For example, if there is a question about a delivery, you can quickly see where and when it was sold and where this product is now.
Switching to a new way of working
So yes, there are plenty of benefits using an omnichannel approach! On the other hand, switching to this new way of working is certainly not easy. Building a new centralized IT-system that supports an omnichannel strategy is usually a time-consuming and costly undertaking. Besides, it also requires a lot of technical knowledge, especially if your current IT-system is a bit older. In addition to the technical side, it can also be quite a challenge for your staff to master a new, more data-based way of working.
Taking up the challenge
Concluding it is clear there are plenty of challenges. However, when you take into account the many advantages of omnichannel and centralized IT, it is undoubtedly worth the effort. At LINKIT we like to think along with you about how you can realize a new customer strategy, including the additional technical challenges. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you’re looking into this idea for your business.