The customer journey used to be simple.
Retailer managers mastered the ingredients of success: physical retail outlets and customer loyalty programs; passive multimedia and billboard ads; and a simple sales funnel from point A to point B, with one or two touchpoints, at most.
The advent of e-commerce has changed all that — particularly in the wake of the pandemic, which accelerated its adoption by over a decade. Today's shoppers undergo an incredibly complex path from awareness to action. Throughout that journey, they may interact with a brand across multiple channels and mediums.
And they expect a seamless, tailored experience across each and every channel. Research by Salesforce revealed that 84% of consumers now feel the experience a company provides is equally as important as its products or services. Simply put, it's imperative that you meet their expectations.
So, how can you do that? It starts with not only embracing an omnichannel approach to e-commerce, but making sure you offer a next-generation experience that connects your products to online shoppers in highly personalized and differentiated ways.
Prior to making a purchase, a customer might interact with your business on social media, through a mobile app, via your website, and in-store. An omnichannel strategy treats each of these distinctive channels as part of a cohesive whole. It aims to provide a unified, tailored experience across every single touchpoint of the customer journey.
Compared to omnichannel, traditional e-commerce is relatively passive. Certainly, you might reach out and engage with your audience through your marketing campaigns. But all interactions beyond that initial touchpoint happen on your terms.
By linking everything to the same customer relationship management platform, you arm both your sales team and your support team with the capacity to instead meet customers on their terms. You give them the opportunity to interact with your brand however best suits them, and their unique sales journey flows out from that initial point of engagement.
First and foremost, you need to understand the difference between omnichannel and multichannel. Multichannel is exactly what it sounds like, and means that your brand simply maintains a presence on multiple channels. These different touchpoints and mediums are by no means unified or linked.
Many businesses mistakenly conflate omnichannel and multichannel. They think they're engaging in the former, when their approach can best be described by the latter. In addition to presence, omnichannel requires the following to be effective:
The fact is — omnichannel is a customer-first strategy.
The value of this cannot be understated. When omnichannel e-commerce first emerged as a concept, most people didn't take it seriously. At best, they viewed it as little more than a buzzword; the latest flavor of the week trend pushed by people whose understanding of e-commerce could charitably be described as "tenuous."
As recent events have demonstrated, those naysayers are mistaken. Applied effectively, an omnichannel strategy can simultaneously increase conversions, engagement, and customer retention. Perhaps more importantly, when executed properly, it gives you unprecedented visibility into the customer journey, empowering your business with far deeper understanding than would be possible if your channels remained fragmented.
Retailers both physical and digital are no doubt aware of this. The global market for omnichannel retail platforms is expected to hit $14.5 billion by 2027. Analysts and experts alike have identified omnichannel as the future of e-commerce, the best way to engage your audience and create genuine value.
There's another benefit to omnichannel retail, too — one discussed a little less often than those detailed above. As it turns out, connecting and unifying your sales channels creates a powerful foundation for immersive shopping. And an immersive shopping experience is arguably the best path to merging digital and brick-and-mortar storefronts together.
This is something Tangiblee understands very well.
The lines between virtual and physical shopping have never been more blurred. Online, customers expect retailers to provide an experience that's as close to in-person shopping as possible, complete with the ability to see how something might look on themselves or in their space. Offline, they want to be able to try on and customize items without requiring physical interaction, particularly in light of the pandemic.
Tangiblee provides both by bringing the personal touches of the in-store experience to online shopping.
Augmented with features such as auto-capture, our Virtual Try-On (VTO) feature allows customers to place various jewelry items on themselves. They can even try on multiple items at once, courtesy of ring stacking. By attaching a QR code to each product, this VTO experience can be offered in-store to avoid interaction between customers and employees.
Integrating Tangiblee into the software used by Virtual Consultants empowers them with the ability to create a curated, collaborative VTO experience for each customer. With the ability to see how each product looks on their client, they're able to provide the same level of feedback as in-person jewelry consultants. This also opens up multiple upselling and cross-selling opportunities they might otherwise miss.
Discover how Tangiblee can become the cornerstone of your omnichannel selling experience by unifying virtual and physical retail to create a better, more engaging experience for your customers.