In the latest issue of Swedish retail magazine, “Market,” Kalle Östgren wrote an article (in Swedish) about omni-channel with input from our CCO, PJ Utsi. The following is our translation of the article.
GET TO KNOW THE CUSTOMER
Almost everyone in the retail business tries to grasp the essence of the omni-channel customer. While merchants and retailers understand the different ways to reach their customers, no one seems to have figured out the ultimate solution to the omni-channel challenge.
Self service and e-commerce brought massive changes to shopping behaviour, a phenomenon that resulted in a complicated situation. Smart phones add to the complexity, as most customers now carry around a device that increases the number of possible channels exponentially.
Smart phones blur the divide between online and brick-and-mortar stores, at-home and in-town, and leisure time and work time. That’s exactly what makes the modern customer journey chaotic and difficult to map. As Vaimo’s Omni-channel Strategist, PJ Utsi, puts it, “the customer journey is a cloud of touch points, and it’s entirely possible you will have 30 stops along the way.”
This creates difficulties for merchants and retailers, who need to understand what determines the choice between the physical store and the online store for the customer. The customer may not be aware of the logic behind their decisions, especially when the user journey begins impulsively through ads on Youtube, Facebook friends, text messages, online influencers, Google search with retargeting, TV commercials, price comparison pages that link to e-commerce sites, the retailer’s own channels, outdoor advertising or image tips on Snapchat. This ultimately leads to a decision to shop online or in-store – where all the channels are still in their pocket.
The retail industry faces its greatest challenge when it comes to understanding modern shopping behaviour, and everyone searches for guidance and inspiration. It’s important to remember that the customer journey is not only online – everyday factors influence buying decisions, such when we finish work, whether we commute, when we pick up children from school, and the proximity of physical stores to our location. That’s why merchants need to turn their attention away from the internet in order to understand modern shopping behaviour.
Original article available here.
Having any of the described challenges above? Get in touch with us today to discuss and improve your omni-channel strategy.