Right now, I’m seeing trailblazing experimentation from companies looking for new ways to drive connections along customer journeys.
With so many inventive strategies and exciting technologies out there, it’s time to explore how you can open up your channels while still offering a consistent experience.
Here are four ways you can build on your omnichannel strategy:
1. Make it personal
As consumers haven’t been able to shop instore during the pandemic, e-commerce sales have soared and created new behaviours and expectations. Customer journeys are also evolving, as many now use multiple channels during a single shopping experience. So much so, that boundaries between channels are blurring. It’s increasingly clear that in the not-so-distant future there won’t be e-commerce and physical commerce, it will all just become ‘commerce’.
It was once accepted that separate departments or teams would manage different channels, such as online and retail. For today’s omnichannel consumer you need to rethink your strategy to create a consistent and recognisable brand identity across all platforms. This means greater convergence.
Experiences which focus on consumers and incorporate digital and physical platforms are also seeing a sharp rise in popularity. These technologies include smart wearables, voice activation software and connected homes, which get individuals engaging with brands from the comfort of their homes or via their personal devices. Integrating payment gateways into these channels will make purchases easy, instant, and centred around each customer’s preferences. Plus, all of these new interactions have great potential for helping you to understand your customers better. By harnessing user data, for example online behaviour or the channels they prefer to use, you’ll be able to create relevant experiences tailored to each individual.
2. Make experiences feel real
Real-time immersive experiences are becoming a successful alternative route for engaging and interacting with customers. As countless trade shows have been cancelled over the past year, VR product launches have become a reality. In the physical world, capacity is always going to be limited, but virtually, capacity is practically limitless. Plus, 360-degree live streaming now has lower latency than ever and can connect to headsets, tablets and smartphones across the globe.
Shanghai Fashion Week is a great example of this innovation in action. The show usually attracts around 80,000 attendees a year, but in 2020, with restrictions preventing them from going ahead, they hosted an online live stream which attracted an impressive 11 million viewers1. An added ingenuity saw the fashion week including an e-commerce button into the experience, which generated five months of merchandise sales in only a few hours1.
3. Explore direct-to-consumer models
More and more consumer goods companies are experimenting with direct-to-consumer models so they can build a direct relationship with their customers. Direct interactions give you the opportunity to understand your market better. New subscription services, flagship destination stores, pop-up experiences and direct messaging platforms are some of the strategies that can entice customers directly to brands.
I strongly expect we’ll see some exciting explorations of these direct-to-consumer strategies in the future, as brands strive to create stronger relationships, remove intermediaries and maximise profit.
4. Put your connection first
In a rapidly changing world, relationships between brands and consumers need to keep up. Those who provide consumer-first experiences that feel personal and direct will come out on top. At BT, we offer solutions to help you interact with consumers in new, effective ways. These include VR live streaming applications and our broad set of cloud customer experience solutions to give you your perfect blend of voice, video, email and web interactions to support customer journeys across your platforms.
We also provide dynamic, flexible and secure connectivity options to put you on the path to closer customer relationships. If you’d like to find out more about the services we can offer, download our latest brochure here.
1Biondi, 2020, Vogue Business, 8 October 2020.