Understanding omni channel experiences
What is an omni channel experience?
An omni channel experience channel involves providing sales, marketing, and customer support to customers across different channels, touchpoints, and devices. Breaking down silos between online and offline touchpoints to provide customers with a holistic and personalized journey, omni channel experiences support integrated customer journeys across multiple channels such as physical stores, web shops, mobile apps, social media, SMS, and other channels.
According to Harvard Business Review, 73% of all customers use multiple channels during their purchase journey.
Thus, with omni channel experiences, businesses can allow customers to receive promotional offers, complete purchases, trigger returns, and avail customer support across all channels. This involves having all their shopping interactions reflected in real-time across each touchpoint, which also helps businesses maintain unified customer profiles that can be used to provide unique personalizations such as offers and recommendations.
However, it requires building several types of e-commerce integrations to provide different kinds of omni channel customer experiences.
The different types of omni channel experiences
Let's dive into the various types of omni channel experiences that businesses can adopt to stay ahead in the competitive landscape:
1. The in-store to online omni channel customer experiences
Online and in-store integration is probably the most common form of omni-channel experience. This approach involves synchronizing the customer experience between physical stores and online platforms. Customers can browse online, visit the store, and even return or exchange products effortlessly. This could also include something as simple as a web shop or mobile app store locater, or the web shop displaying in-stock products within the nearest stores. Such in-store and online integrations are perfect for customers who love browsing online, but buying in-person.
2. Mobile-friendly omni channel customer experiences
With billions of mobile shoppers worldwide, mobile is paramount to building omni channel experiences. Many customers use smartphones for various aspects of their shopping journey, from browsing products to making online payments and payments in person. Omni-channel experiences can involve integrating mobile apps with in-store and online shopping experiences, enabling features like mobile payments, in-app offers, mobile customer support, and location-based recommendations or deals.
3. Social media omni channel customer experiences
Social media platforms have evolved into powerful marketing tools, with customers spending most of their time browsing through them. As such, many businesses integrate social media channels into their omni channel experiences by offering customer support, product promotions, giveaway contests, and even the ability to make purchases directly within the social platforms themselves. When customers who spend most of their time on social media can directly reach out to a brand on social media and get their query resolved, it eliminates them having to go through the often tedious process of customer support. To add to this, social influencers tend to share their positive engagement with brands within their social network, increasing positive word-of-mouth for the brand.
4. Chatbot and AI-powered omni channel customer experiences
The popularity of chatbots and AI-powered systems is soon becoming a necessary evolution in customer service and support. Implementing Chatbot and AI integration into omni channel experiences enables customers to have their queries addressed immediately with predictive and problem-solving responses, instead of the generic responses that customers would previously receive. This helps improve response time, the speed of queries resolved, and the filtration of customers who actually need live support. At the same time, AI-powered personalization systems can also predict individualized promotions and recommendations based on the unified customer profiles that omni channel experiences develop.
Read more on how businesses can benefit by connecting e-commerce with AI →
5. IoT (Internet of Things) integrated omni channel customer experiences
Omnichannel experiences also include integrating IoT devices, such as smart home appliances, wearables, connected vehicles, and voice-assistant devices. For instance, a customer might receive notifications on their smartwatch about a nearby store promotion, order groceries using their voice-controlled device like Alexa or Ciri, and receive delivery notifications in their car. This extends to receiving bill payment reminders and personalized recommendations on other smart devices.
While these five essential integrations outline how omni channel experiences are shaped and the benefits that businesses and customers can enjoy, there are many other essential omni channel integrations. This includes content and marketing integrations, data and analytics integrations, email and messaging integrations, and more.
Discover how businesses can build seamless omni channel experiences with fast, flexible, and future-proof integrations →
The world of omni channel experiences is vast and multifaceted, offering numerous ways for businesses to engage with their customers across various channels. By integrating various channels, providing personalized experiences, and enriching customer experiences, omni channel experiences help businesses thrive in today's competitive market. As such, building omni channel experiences is no more a luxury, rather it is a necessity for businesses to future-proof the growth of their commerce.