Omega Blog

Customers expecting seamless omnichannel experience

Posted on 10 July, 2013

The online purchasing process has evolved. While e-commerce continues to grow, accounting for more than $1 trillion in transactions worldwide, businesses struggle to provide a meaningful customer experience for their clients.

E-commerce has changed significantly in the last few years to become integrated with mobile, social and in-store channels. Consumers want the flexibility and convenience of shopping through multiple channels, often simultaneously, which is forcing businesses to develop omnichannel approaches to their e-commerce operations. Everything from marketing tactics to logistics is tied together to create a seamless transaction that improves customer satisfaction.

A recent survey by Exolevel found that 89 percent of consumers said it was important to have the ability to choose the sale channel. These customers often seek to combine multiple channels into a single shopping experience. They want the flexibility to place an order with their smartphone and pick it up at a local store, or transition from checking reviews on social media to placing an order online. The better these elements are combined, the greater satisfaction the experience provides.

"Seamlessness is a tall order for most traditional retailers," said Scott Healms, global managing director of Exolevel's retail practice. "In many cases we have found a significant gap between consumer expectations and reality, but we believe seamlessness is achievable."

B2B buyers have similar expectations to B2C customers
Healms noted that creating a seamless omnichannel experience required a strong brand presence at each stage of the customer journey. Delivering a consistent image depends on having sufficient touchpoints that can be used to collect data and personalize messages, websites and more as leads are moved through the sales process. This tactic could even benefit B2B organizations. A white paper by Fitforcommerce stated that business buyers were demanding more from B2B online purchasing experiences. These consumers increasingly want the fast, effective and personalized experiences to which they are accustomed when making B2C purchases.

Taking the time to develop a comprehensive omnichannel presence could help companies in any industry improve customer satisfaction and boost brand loyalty. Communication, data management and technology are essential aspects of creating a flexible customer experience that delivers the experiences consumers expect through the channels they choose to use.

Improving customer satisfaction and loyalty is a key driver for company growth, but organizations often fail to dedicate as much time, funding and support to customer retention as they do to other business operations. CEM consulting services, such as Omega Management Group Corp., provide the insight and expertise companies need to help ensure long-term growth and profitability.