When omnichannel hit the hot button trend term two years ago, I squirmed. The very idea of providing an “ever present” engagement of the brand to a customer in a form of the most abrasive ways possible (NFC! SMS! Let me annoyingly smash you while you’re already doing something you don’t want to do!) I recoiled. And thanks to the multiple definitions of omnichannel, there’s push for the retail store experience to reflect the e-commerce and the email program and the social media conversations happening. Really? That means you’re successfully marketing in 2016… do we need to term that “omnichannel”?
For the truly connected retail marketing experience, technology, brands, and the customer aren’t prepared for an omnichannel reality. There is value in the concept of consistency. There is value in utilizing customer data to its potential and lifting the retail experience to be relevant. There is absolutely value in combining digital with brick and mortar. We know all this. But how can we better incorporate these benefits into something the customer truly values?
We’ve lost site of the opportunity for service. This is to be the best your brand can be in every instance. That doesn’t mean an NFC alert walking into the store. Best Buy developing in-home consultation services that bring their expertise to you, Amazon providing Echo as a voice-activated assistant, CVS offering in-store health clinics, or Dollar Shave Club sending sharp razors when you expect them. These brands realized within their ecosystem that there was more to give. Can you be more to your customer?
Focus on the totality of your ecosystem to be the greatest service to your customer. Look to omnichannel’s values of consistency, data, relevancy, and the combination of digital to retail floor. But don’t look to it as a one-size-solution. Instead consider them as connection points. These connection points offer the gateways to simpler solutions for your customer’s needs. Ultimately you’re generating a customer reliant on not just the products you offer, but your unique service.
A few questions to ask:
• Am I satisfying my customers in every sales avenue?
• Am I allowing my customers to purchase on their terms?
• Can I be a better service to my customers?
• Is my ecosystem flexing to the needs of my customer?
And screw the ominichannel when thinking these through – if you’re only an online retailer or not intercepting new retail customers with an email, or not retargeting from cart drop-off then so be it. But be sure at every touch point within your ecosystem, are you servicing your customer to the best of your ability?