Omnichannel retail has many definitions, but the common thread is a shopping experience that flows effortlessly from one sales platform to another, and from one session to another.
That means that your customers could seamlessly go from your site to your brick and mortar store, and then back online to your mobile app.
The key challenge for retailers is that customers don’t think in terms of offline and online. They want to get the same service and experience across all channels.
At the same time, it’s a big mistake to think that traditional stores will die in the near future and that retailers should think only about online channels.
As you can see, in-store sales are actually growing. And unsurprisingly, Forrester Research predicted that the majority of in-store sales in the US in 2016 were digitally influenced.
A critical part of any omnichannel strategy is knowing how to drive marketing offers and loyalty programs through digital and offline channels while providing the same service to customers on all channels.
With this in mind, here’s a list of typical problems that we usually solve with our clients when they start transforming into omnichannel retailers.
1. Legacy Software
Most retailers use legacy software on their POS that includes modules for loyalty programs and CRMs, but most of them were built 10-25 years ago.
In most cases, this software can’t even be used for real-time syncing of clients’ data between the retailer’s site and POS.
To solve this problem, our SaaS solution integrates the POS software, site, mobile app and social networks. This makes basic things like real-time synchronization, notifications, recommendations and personalization possible.
2. Single Customer ID
The digital and offline world are much closer than they were five years ago. But still, many different things separate customer behavior, habits and tools online and offline. An example is how customers identify themselves.
The traditional approach in the digital world is to use email or a Facebook account on a signup form on your site. But they’re both useless when your customer visits an offline store and uses credit card number, loyalty member card, or phone number.
The key thing is how to link the online and offline activities of one person into one account in CRM.
Based on our experience, there’s no silver bullet. Because retailers all have their own business processes, their client data all looks different.
More than that, when retailers start to transform their processes into omnichannel patterns, they usually realize that they have a few different IT systems with separate client profiles.
This is why SailPlay Loyalty doesn’t include one specific ID or one specific logic for this.
3. Cross Channel User Experience
Once a retailer builds a single customer profile, it needs new tools to manage marketing campaigns and communications.
If previously, marketing activities were divided into offline and online (they’re usually separated even at the corporate structure level), now there’s no offline or online at all. So when you start a marketing campaign, it should be relevant for all channels.
That’s easy to understand, but hard to implement, which is why SailPlay Loyalty and SailPlay Sender were built with omnichannel logic in mind.
There are no separate tools or interfaces. If a marketer creates a company, he does it in one interface where he can specify channels for communications with customers (e.g. text messages, emails, POS screens, mobile app notifications or tickets).