Last week I am sure you either heard or read about the predictions for the 2014 holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation’s (NFR) official forecast calls for holiday sales to reach $616.9 billion in the U.S. alone, a 4.1% increase over November and December of 2013.
Shop.org, NFR’s Digital Retail Division, forecasted online sales to grow between 8-11% this year. Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) stated that 43% of all spending will be online. The “trade-off shoppers” – as PwC refers to them – account for 40% of consumers who do their research online and will buy online if the product is cheaper than in stores. Another 32% are primarily online shoppers, and only 29% still prefer a brick and mortar experience.
According to a recent article in USA Today, “This holiday season will bear witness to a digital shift in the retail world as more retailers and shoppers than ever embrace what’s known as the omnichannel experience.” Omnichannel is driven in large part by the adoption of mobile and tablet devices. While using them, customers easily shift between multiple channels and touch points.
To provide for the best personalized omnichannel customer experience (CX), it is an imperative that the end-to-end customer journey is understood and planned for every step of the way. As a result, many companies look to solving issues and innovating improvements within specific channels and touchpoints. While each channel and touch point are important, it doesn’t address the complete picture, since most churn does not occur due to any one specific touch point. Rather, churn is the culmination of the overall experience across multiple touchpoints and in multiple channels over a period of time. A channel is an entry point to what can be a fragmented and complicated flow of interactions, resulting in a poor customer experience.
By effectively leveraging a customer’s context – including purchase history, recent interactions, past service issues, and unfinished processes – and combining this with effective business rules, companies can deliver a more satisfying omnichannel CX. Taking all of this context and information and applying it across the omnichannel environment will enable a personalized customer experience at each and every channel and touchpoint. Regardless of which or how many channels the customer chooses to use, companies that get omnichannel right will be able to:
- Present the right product, service and/or promotion
- Through the right channel
- To the right customer
To learn more, check out our best practices on-demand webinar titled, How to Deliver a Seamless Omnichannel Customer Experience. You can find out how organizations create an environment to drive a consistent customer experience across all channels, and across key customer journeys to deliver an effortless omnichannel experience.