As we stand on the cusp of a new year, and we think back on the year that is gone, we realize that the predicted future of Omni Channel Communication and retail apocalypse never came. While 2017 was all about the e-commerce boom in India, I strongly feel 2019 will be the year when brick-and-mortar emerges victorious, for after all, while Internet may have penetrated the heart of India, the hearts of Indians (and their trust) still lies with the physical retailer. So, we foresee a union of offline and online in 2019.
There will be no such thing as online vs offline experience. There will be a single touch point, focusing on the consumer. Offline stores will become extensions of online businesses and vice versa, with traditional retailers tying up with bigger, horizontal players to extend their brand reach.
The Age of Technology
And then come the biggest disrupter of them all for the year 2017 – consumer data and technology. These disruptions took retail towards a new phase of growth where consumer experience was the focal concern for all retailers and brands. The use of smartphones, apps, web, and social media led to a boost in Omni channel communication retail and as a result, brands increased spend on digital marketing.
When we reflect back at retail in 2017, we see that a large part of the sector was dominated by new and exciting technologies like Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, and with good reason. The rise of AI will allow retailers to run targeted campaigns and market their products a lot more effectively using data analytics.
Why Omni Channel Communication rules multichannel?
With the onslaught of new technology and new marketing strategies comes a wave of terminology with which marketers need to become acquainted – and quickly. The reality is that today’s consumer has a different set of expectations – he expects superlative experiences spread over a gamut of seamlessly integrated channels.
Two definitions that are becoming more and more important in today’s digital age are multi-channel marketing and omni channel marketing. This is the new battleground for experience and the winning or losing of loyalty. It's called omni channel and the direction brands should be heading if they want to succeed in this rapidly evolving, increasingly digitized customer-centric marketplace. All businesses communicate with their customers – they pull out all the stops and do whatever it is that they can to sell their products or services. What ends up happening is that customers get a ton of messages about irrelevant products and services that they are quite happy to do without. To make matters worse, they automate these processes!
Businesses should start thinking of all its channels as under one umbrella – and not as separate entities. When everything is connected – the marketing strategy covers all channels from one point. They are all not individual channels with separate strategies – but one strategy covers all channels. Then multi-channel becomes Omni channel – and customers can hop from one channel to another, pick up where they left off and not feel like they have switched touch points. It doesn’t work to create strategies for various touch points – on the other hand, Omni channel works when you cover all touch points under one strategic plan.
Why there is a need for Omni Channel?
Today customers want to have complete control over their buying decisions. They want to purchase products whenever they want, wherever they want, that too with their own methods that suit best to them. Omni Channel retailing helps businesses in enabling this seamless experience for its customers.
Omni Channel retail is a modern approach to commerce that focuses on designing a cohesive user experience for customers at every touch point. This differs from a traditional approach, where individual channels were optimized without necessarily taking the whole experience in mind.
Omni-channel picks up where multichannel falls short
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Publish Date: July 30, 2019 8:01 AM