It’s easy to be distracted by buzzwords in a busy marketplace filled with disruptions, but omni-channel commerce is more than a trend—it’s what consumers are demanding.
Whether the organization is a retailer, or a manufacturer or distributor, their customers want one single thing: A consistent, compelling experience that crosses all channels, no matter if they buy in-store, online, or through social or mobile channels.
To help build an agile, customer-centric brand, business must:
Create the right organizational foundation. Thought leadership begins with hiring the right people. Do you have a commerce and content team dedicated to creating an authentic brand experience? Is that team set up for success within the organization?
Ensure channel consistency. Here’s where the rubber meets the road in an omni-channel world. Will the customer have the same experience on the web, in the store and on their mobile devices? Accomplish this by breaking down internal silos and centralizing operations, people and product information.
Implement a flexible commerce platform. The technology platform is critical to a successful omni-channel commerce strategy. Is it scalable? Is it designed to promote a rich, immersive brand experience? Making the right investment in the right platform can also help support a best-in-class content strategy.
Keep emerging channels in mind. Mobile and social channels can be part of successful experience-driven commerce if executed strategically. Mine available data to see which mobile channels your customers use most, and embrace them. Similarly, social engagement requires a commitment to authenticity. Brands must be prepared to drive relevant dialog with consumers in the social world.
Ensure IT and marketing agility. Look for out-of-the-box agile commerce components that speed implementation time for new and updated commerce sites. Look for platforms that include merchandizing and marketing tools that enable business users to perform rapid and flexible customization of product pages, shopping cart and checkout options based on target visitor segmentation and evolving merchandising strategies.