Why is a customer omnichannel experience important?

What is an omnichannel experience? It’s a phrase that tends to get thrown around a lot, though it’s actually a fundamental concept in modern consumer marketing. ‘Omnichannel’ refers to different ways that customers connect with businesses. For example, they may choose to shop online with a branded supermarket or head into a physical shop to buy products.

With so many people connected to the internet, and with brands and businesses so pervasive in our modern lives, it makes sense that big companies will need to start thinking about an omnichannel experience. Supermarkets, bakeries, clothes retailers and even bookmakers (such as are getting in on the trend.

But why is this concept of an omnichannel experience so important to our customers? Let’s take a closer look.

It’s full power to the customer

If there is anything that a customer appreciates, it is power over the decisions they make. By offering an omnichannel approach, a business can give them access to all their favourite products across multiple devices. For example, if a customer doesn’t want to head to a store, they can go online. If they don’t want to talk to an agent through web chat, they can speak to someone via telephone instead,

It is all about giving customers as much choice as possible. Infringing on choice or restricting their experience is only going to lead customers to look elsewhere. Maximising channels – and presenting them in a clear and accessible manner – is vital.

It blends worlds together

More and more people are using the internet to shop online. Media doom and gloom surrounding the ‘death of the high street’ is yet to hold true, however. This is because more brands are blending their online and offline channels.

It is hugely convenient now for customers to search for a product online, to buy and reserve it at their local branch, and then pick up when they are ready. There are many chains in the UK which use this smooth, omnichannel approach. It, again, offers customers complete control. They do not need to explore shelves for the products they want but can instead search and tap to add to basket.

It builds loyalty

A genuinely effective omnichannel experience will breed loyalty in customers. For example, a customer who makes regular purchases in-store might receive a discount code to try buying similar items online. Conversely, online shoppers could receive alerts as to when their favourite lines are available in local shops.

Omnichannel experiences harness modern technology to ensure customers stick by specific brands. Those who offer disparate or less appealing choices are likely to fall behind the competition in years to come.

Is omnichannel as easy as it seems?

With it getting easier for companies to set up simple eCommerce stores on their own time and knowledge, there are fewer and fewer excuses emerging to avoid omnichannel. It is not only getting easier to create these experiences, but they are now expected by a large number of customers.

The New 20s will likely be a strong decade for omnichannel evolution. It is time, arguably, for even the smallest of firms to take notice.