Since the number of channels where customers can buy products have increased, retailers have been looking for ways to keep their customers satisfied by understanding their shopping behavior.
However, businesses that scale up and expand often have difficulties in consolidating data from different sales channels. This results in a host of recommendations that are uncategorized.
This begs the question: how will a retailer know how to redirect customers from one sales channel to another through personalized content if the data being gathered is unconsolidated?
The first step to driving customer loyalty is by paying attention to their preferences, and without a solid strategy of data collection and analysis, a brand will make uninformed business decisions that may hurt more than they help.
And that is the reason why companies like Nike have capitalized on omnichannel strategies for their brands very early on. By doing so, they’re able to segment their consumers effectively and create targeted campaigns that work.
In order to make sense of the whole journey into driving customer loyalty, let’s explore four factors that omnichannel retailers integrate cohesively to delight their customers.
1. Data Collection
There are so many ways a customer can interact with a brand in today’s retail landscape, and the opportunity presented here for retailers is that any of their sales channels can contribute to a greater understanding of buyer behavior.
After identifying who and what to track, retailers can execute their data collection strategies through an omnichannel platform. By connecting data from a consumer’s interaction in both offline and online stores, retailers can better pinpoint: a) what a consumer tends to buy in either channel, and, b) stock up inventories according to the demand.
This creates a segregation that not only includes consumers, but of how retailers approach those consumers. Without an omnichannel platform to collect and consolidate the data, retailers will have to manually review inconsistent and highly repetitive data, making it tough for them to personalize each sales channel.
With an omnichannel platform at a retailer’s disposal, personalizing content becomes easy. The concept is for consumers–who are becoming increasingly difficult to segment–to buy certain products from retailers in a given sales channel, and to make sure that they get the best offers for things they want and might want
Because as much as it is important for retailers to be able to provide more of what customers have previously purchased, the trick is also to use the data to offer them products that they’re looking for but haven’t necessarily purchased from the same brand.
Over 60% of customers are looking for personalized shopping experiences, and one sentiment they share is that they want to be given recommendations that they weren’t consciously aware of. This is especially true for shoppers who don’t feel that they need more offers about products that they just purchased, and would rather discover similar items instead.
Having an omnichannel platform addresses these concerns by letting retailers decide how to mix and match their diverse range of offline and online channels, creating individualized recommendations for consumers on either end that they weren’t currently receiving from their usual channels of choice.
3. Customer Service
Driving customer loyalty doesn’t just mean offering high quality products to a target customer base, it also means being able to provide top-notch support in whichever channel they’re at.
A common problem for retailers is having different teams managing different sales channels. This creates problems for both the retailers themselves and their customers. Firstly, any communication made by the brand has to be disseminated repeatedly across all teams, presenting a likelihood for inconsistent service messaging and philosophies across channels.
Secondly, consumers don’t expect each channel to act as separate entities – they expect a brand to exhibit the same level of commitment and service from one sales channel to the next. If there are discrepancies in between, customers are likely to equate one channel as representative of the whole brand – this is exactly why omnichannel platforms are important: they create the seamless shopping journey that customers inherently expect.
4. Rewards & Loyalty Programs
Aside from offering solid customer support and a personalized range of content, long-term customer loyalty also depends on a robust rewards & loyalty program.
74% of consumers prefer brands that offer great loyalty programs. Furthermore, 71% of brands were able to increase transaction volumes by over 50% by using omnichannel rewards & loyalty programs.
By connecting technologies such as chip-based smart cards, RFIDs, wireless E-tags and the like, retailers can give consumers the options to receive and redeem rewards in their preferred method of choice, and in any sales channel they want at any given point in time.
This flexibility helps consumers identify with the brand very quickly, and creates a relationship of trust resulting in long-term loyalty. Consumers don’t expect the same offer sent out to all channels – buyer’s have become increasingly keen and perceptive when it comes to sniffing out brands that go the extra mile in servicing their needs.
Thus, by connecting data collection, personalization, service, and rewards programs, omnichannel retailers provide today’s consumers with the bare minimum: a seamless experience that every customer expects brands to have right out of the gate – and without this experience in today’s retail landscape, there’s little reason for a customer to continue supporting and staying loyal to a brand even if they’re products are high-caliber.
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