eCommerce software improving Omnichannel shopping experience
Retailers now have far more sales channels to engage prospective customers through. Between social media, mobile websites, eCommerce stores and brick-and-mortar shops, the number of commerce channels through which prospects can make a purchase is growing at a fast pace. At the National Retail Federation’s annual BIG Show, several industry experts spoke extensively about how to effectively utilize eCommerce software to push the omnichannel shopping experience. The general consensus among attendees was that customer data and customer profiles collected by eCommerce software play a pivotal role in this pursuit.
Adjusting operations around the omnichannel shopping experience
The reason customer data is so important in the context of modern retail efforts is because people can shop through so many different channels. If merchants aren’t able to use eCommerce software to identify specific customer data across all of these different interaction points, they won’t be able to reach them in the most effective way possible. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that if a retailer can’t attribute a specific sale to a customer, they can’t effectively up-sell them on other items in the future.
Yet retailers need to make all of these purchase points available to customers. ABC News reported that Americans tend to take less vacations, work longer days and retire later in life. Shopping is increasingly becoming something that’s done when it’s convenient, whether that means sneaking in a shopping session from a mobile phone on the way to work or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
Retailers are quickly coming to the point where they need eCommerce software that can help them consolidate customer data from across multiple channels and put it into specific customer profiles. This can go a long way toward improving the customer shopping experience in a number of different aspects, ranging from customer service to promotions and sales planning.
“Collecting information about customers’ purchases and preferences can help retailers provide better experiences,” explained Jessica Elenstar, the Web content manager at Shop.org, the NRF’s eCommerce blog.
However, “there is a fine line between welcome information and spam. And that line is defined by relevancy,” Elenstar added.
For more on the use of customer data, check out three pitfalls that merchants tend to encounter when trying to leverage information to improve the omnichannel shopping experience.
Doing more than simply offering multiple shopping destinations
The omnichannel shopping experience is about more than offering different points of purchase to customers, so it’s crucial retailers keep that in mind as well. This is most common with in-store pickup, which allows customers to make purchases online and then skip waiting for the delivery by simply going to a nearby brick-and-mortar shop to get the item.
The omnichannel shopping experience could also involve mobile devices, enabling merchandisers to send a coupon to a customer as they walk past a certain item in a physical store. With technology rapidly improving, savvy retailers will be able to find more ways to incorporate omnichannel shopping. According to IBM, the industry may even see a rise in virtual reality or augmented reality over the course of the next decade.