What an Omnichannel Approach can do to Build Customer Loyalty
Technological advancements are driving disruptive and transformative impact on the global retail industry. The emergence of multiple shopping channels – brick-and-mortar, Web and mobile, among others – is forcing organisations to transform product-centric business models into customer-centric ones to ensure a seamless shopping experience across all retail channels. Businesses employing the traditional multichannel retail approach in adopting customer centricity are struggling to build customer loyalty. Customers are demanding this change and the Omnichannel approach has enabled businesses to harness the shift by focusing entirely on customers instead of single-point solutions for individual channels.
The Omnichannel approach essentially unifies the brand story across all retail mediums to provide a consistent customer experience, and integrates the customer-facing and back-end operating models with agile technologies.
Revamping the Business Model
Present-day customers are more tech-savvy than an average brand advocate, and in more control to make appropriate purchase decisions with the proliferation of digital technologies and the resulting internet economy. Customers are therefore empowered to choose any path on their purchase decision journeys. As a result, conventional competitive differentiators such as manufacturing, processes and to some extent, service quality have been commoditised.
The Omnichannel approach enables businesses to focus on enhancing loyalty across all stages of the customer lifecycle. This strategy helps businesses to interconnect all touch points of the purchase funnel by ensuring seamless shopping experience across all channels, and therefore contributing to the overall customer journey.
Customer loyalty is no longer just about offering discounts and coupons. Businesses have to incorporate loyalty well before engaging them in sales by offering the right information and offer at the right time, which is the primary purpose of Omnichannel practices.
Omnichannel retail solutions leverage big data and analyse customer behaviour to yield actionable insights that empower businesses to deliver personalised shopping experience to every individual customer. Understanding varied customer behaviour is crucial to optimising shopping experience across all channels. This customer-centric approach strengthens existing customer relationships as they are incentivised to respond positively, encouraging the additional personalised services that set brands apart from the competition.
The Omnichannel approach is used as a coordinated strategy aimed at maximising cumulative benefits across all channels. The returns are measured across campaigns and tactics spanning multiple retail avenues. The improvements are therefore reflected simultaneously across multiple channels, allowing businesses to strengthen relationship with a growing pool of customers seeking relevant information via different retail media and sources before making purchase decisions.
Enhancing Customer Experience
Enhancing customer user experience across all channels is at the core of these improvements. Mass digital disruption has forced a significant shift in customer purchase journeys and decision patterns. At the same time, businesses are expected to address these changes efficiently, integrating disparate retail channels for a seamless user experience. The loyalty loop therefore spans across all touch points of the consumer decision journey, enabling customers to participate in cross-channel retail simultaneously, which is necessary in the modern consumer-driven retail industry.
The channel optimised approach not only engages customers during the initial stages of the purchase funnel, but also drives brand advocacy upon successful engagement. With the Omnichannel strategy, brands serve appropriate information to potential customers well before they are engaged. Customers therefore respond by placing more trust and advocating the approaching brands to their wider social network. The Omnichannel strategy also enables businesses to track brand advocacy from each customer and reward them accordingly.
And the results are staggering, to say the least. A recent Aberdeen Group research concluded that businesses employing the Omnichannel strategy achieve 91 percent greater year-over-year increase in customer retention rates and five times higher average profit margin per customer as compared to competitors incorporating conventional consumer engagement strategies. The IDC Group also finds Omnichannel customers spend 30 percent more than multi-channel customers, who spend 30 percent more than single-channel customers.
The end result is a mix of highly coordinated and compelling cross-channel engagement, relevant business interactions and incremental growth of loyalty among existing and potential customers.
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Mobile Apps are Indispensable to Modern Businesses
The profusion of mobile gadgets has transformed how consumers want to interact with businesses. The convenience of accessing information, products and services from mobile apps is defining the business success for consumer-centric organizations. Adapting and leveraging mobile applications as an extension to core business services promises new opportunities to engage millions of customers and building brand strength.
Proven Success Stories
The world-famous U.S. coffee maker Starbucks has experienced unprecedented business growth since its mobile app launched in 2011. The company generated over $1 billion in mobile payment revenue last year – that’s 4 percent of the entire U.S. mobile payments volume in 2013!
Starbucks customers are so fond of using the app that every tenth purchase in the coffee shop is made via smartphones, over three million times per week.
Chipotle, another global food chain offers similar mobile payment services to speed up its services. Mobile payments services have enabled the company to process six additional transactions per hour during peak hours.
Starbucks is already using a similar app service that allows users to order before they even arrive at the coffeehouse. Perks like these have a viral effect on sales, but hitting the sweet spot with mobile app marketing requires businesses to mold their mobile services in response to changing market trends and app usage patterns. For this reason, Chipotle plans to invest further $10 million to improve their app service.
Indispensable in Nature
Mobile apps are essential to serving a growing customer-base that’s increasingly over-reliant on smartphones. Research firm Gartner predicts mobile apps will generate revenues of more than $77 billion by the year 2017.
Smartphone apps have emerged as the ‘glue’ binding physical products and services in-store to the digital world. Proliferation of the cyber-era fueled by mobile technologies is shaping consumer habits across all industry verticals. This phenomenon in turn is driving appropriate business strategies designed around smartphone usage. And these usage trends suggest apps are by far the most preferred choice for the well-connected customer-base to access Web-based mobile services.
Apps enable users to get to your products and services with fewer clicks and save transactional data and relevant information required for future purchases. And once customers download and use apps specific to your business, they will likely use the same app again in the future instead of seeking services from your competitors.
A Cautious Mobile-First Approach
However, users aren’t clamoring to add more apps to their already-cluttered smartphone home screens. On top of that, business competition has already taken center-stage in the app market segment. Organizations need to push an omnichannel mobile strategy with their app investments in linking multiple Web-based marketing channels through their mobile services.
Venturing into the mobile marketing segment with an omnichannel approach and using mobile app services is essential to delivering a unified customer experience. This mobile strategy promises high brand strength and loyalty while reducing brand confusion.
And for developing apps intended to enhance business success, hiring third party vendors is a viable strategy as the frame of mind required for traditional IT services is starkly different than the mindset required to develop viral app services.
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How Mobile Apps Change the Landscape of Today’s Business
Traditional brick and mortar business is dead. Proliferation of the digital disruptive era has given birth to multiple new and diverse retailing channels to engage businesses with the ultra-connected tech savvy customer-base. Merchants are aiming for a competitive differentiation by leveraging mobile apps to integrate the dueling world of digital and physical commerce and customer engagement. To an average customer, services merging mobile and on-site commerce into a seamless Omnichannel shopping experience go a long way in making well-informed and convenient purchases.
Mobile Apps Help Your Business to Create Instant Sales
Meet John, your average customer staring at Tablet devices at your big box retail store, pondering over a few questions: Is this device good for my needs? Is this item available at the store? Is this the best price and warranty I can get?
So he takes out his smartphone and goes online searching for his best purchase option. In the meantime, the wireless network analytics at your department store alerts the nearest available sales agent to offer personal assistance to John. The agent equipped with enterprise-class mobile gadget accesses the store’s database and checks for unit availability, product information, customer reviews and latest pricing options to accommodate possible discounts.
The agent has all the necessary information to assist John in purchasing the Tablet device from your store and is able to make the sale before the customer has second thoughts. John opts for mobile payment instead of standing in a long checkout queue and orders shipping with a complementary personalized gift wrap for the intended recipient on his behalf – all within minutes of wondering about the purchase.
The Role of Mobile Apps in Omnichannel Approach
In essence, mobile apps for Omnichannel business functions create new sales opportunities, enhance customer engagement and boost efficiencies by transforming the way customers interact. Integrated with cloud-based analytics technologies enable businesses to understand the goals of their customers; as such that mobile apps serve the most relevant and convincing information to make sales.
According to a U.S based app analytics firm Flurry, 80 percent of U.S. citizens spend their mobile time on apps and only 20 percent on standard Web browsing. Mobile commerce is also on the rise in Asia according to a MasterCard online survey, which says 40 percent of online shoppers in Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong purchase via mobile.
Consumer habits are influencing business strategies and mobile commerce has emerged as the center of digital innovation for businesses offering seamless customer experience across all digital channels. However, digital presence alone is not sufficient to engage customers seeking multiple channels in accessing information relevant to your business in their Omnichannel buying journeys.
Merging in-store physical experiences with digital insights maximize business opportunities as the consumer and corporate sector takes a mobile-first approach in their purchasing practices. Omnichannel retailing is a new territory for businesses and the future of mobile commerce will be driven by Omnichannel marketing services. For businesses seeking an early competitive edge with this marketing strategy, now is the right time to invest in mobile apps offering these services to customers as well as the workforce.
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Title: 5 Rules for Maintaining Clean Customer Database
It’s a tradition before Chinese New Year to clear things up and the same goes to your data system.
In every organisation, it is necessary to maintain cleanliness and order of customer information as well. Clean data help organizations to save money, spot opportunities and maintain fruitful relationship with valued customers. Sounds complex and confusing? There is no better time to get this right than during this Chinese New Year Period. Get your customer information organised neatly and you are ready to gallop your way into the year of horse with confidence.
Here are the 5 rules for maintaining your customer database.
1) Maintain complete Data
The CRM account requires you to fill in numerous mandatory fields; it is tedious and time consuming. Therefore, before you decide which piece of information is to be stored in your customer database, you should ensure completeness of the information. Even if the person does not have an email, you should record the fact that there is no such information instead of leaving it blank. Another advice that we want to give you is that you should always keep your data simple but don’t fall into the trap of trying to ‘know it all’. Strive to record down only important and relevant information such as these nine bits of information:
1.1) Company name
1.2) Contact’s first name and surname
1.4) Contact’s designation or work title
1.5) Direct telephone number (land line)
1.6) Switchboard number (if different to direct number)
1.7) Handphone number
1.8) Email Address
1.9) Fax number
2) Update and Scrub Data Regularly
In order to keep any relationship alive, we need to constantly update, refresh or the relationship will slowly wither away. You should introduce a process to systematically organise the information and update each detail accordingly, at least once a year. You wouldn’t want your intended email to be forward to a customer’s previous email address. Let alone sending to a non-existing email. It seems like a trivial matter but it is all these little things that would account to your overall brand reputation. Also, with the recent enforcement of Do Not Call Registry in Singapore, you wouldn’t want to risk the chance of calling prospects that are on the list. Besides, money will also be saved for calling only potential numbers that are likely to give you sales revenue.
3) Take care the health of existing data – Get Rid of the 3 Is
Inconsistent Data is probably one of the most difficult problems to detect as its detection requires inside knowledge.
Incorrect Data is difficult to validate for it does not appear to be invalid, inconsistent or incomplete.
Invalid Data – non-existent email addresses, impossible phone numbers can be detected at early stage of entry.
These problems cannot be solved using technology; rather it is the users that are responsible for the quality of data. Hence, one has to be watchful when keying in data. Such a quality can only be enhanced through human touch.
4) Date each entry
Milk is known to have expiry date, and so does other perishable food. Information is no difference. Putting in entry dates will help users to identify relevant data more efficiently. As such that every time a new data is keying in, the old information will be updated and you will be able to make amendment whenever it is necessary. Not only does this practice help you to organise data, it also help to take care the health of your data ( Refer to rule 3).
5) Invest in tools that help to organise your data
Managing a clean and systematic customer data base can be a daunting task. If you do not have enough knowledge and expertise, it will be a better idea to outsource this task to professional organisations that specialise in this field to take care of the data system for you. The system will cost you money, but in the long run there are plenty of benefits arising from owning an organised customer data base.
If you can invest millions of dollars in your business, why can’t you show some love to your data system. We promise you it will be a good investment. Click here for enquiries.