Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google continue to disrupt conventional approaches, driving up consumer expectations for ease and relevance. And increasingly, as customers hop their way through the purchase process, they expect a harmonized omnichannel experience.
At its core, omnichannel is the fundamental practice of providing a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels.
Retailers today are in a much better position to take the leap towards a holistic omnichannel experience because much of the earlier conceptual and technological obstacles have been removed. Technologies of today are far more resilient and flexible as compared to yesterday and so retailers have a great opportunity to harness these advancements to their benefit.
Here are three most important technologies whose evolution will likely power the development of the omnichannel format:
As we all know, cloud is an extremely important way of sharing resources. It enables retailers to cut costs because it requires little upfront investment and is an on-demand resource that can be tailored to meet individual needs. The retailers are not compelled to run their own servers and can pay as they use. It also offers a unified repository of information that can be remotely accessed from anywhere in the world.
Smart phone as a shopping device is particularly appealing to shoppers of all ages and tastes. Mobile and related software capabilities like mobile wallet, near-field communication, Mobile POS applications, etc. are acting as drivers of online sales. Modern shoppers like to have a choice of shopping online wherever they are and having the products delivered at their convenience. Mobile phones offer the best experience to such shoppers.
Retailers are increasingly using big data analytics that will give them deeper insights into customer behaviour, touch points, drop offs etc. and will help them create better solutions using test and learn strategies. A lot of research is going into how you generate relevant consumer insights out of all the data and make the whole shopping experience better and more satisfying.
For a deeper insight, join Philippe Nobile, MD of Javelin Group, one of the world’s foremost retail strategy consulting companies, on the eve of IRF 2015 (September 14). Nobile will be conducting an exclusive Knowledge Series session on ‘OMNI CHANNEL FULFILLMENT FOR DRIVING EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE’.
Philippe Nobile is the Managing Director of Javelin Group, France, and delivers strategy and omni-channel projects to some of France’s leading retailers and luxury brands. Prior to Javelin Group, Nobile ran the brand strategy and omni-channel practice at Kurt Salmon, advising retailers and brands on international development and omni-channel 2.0 retail. Prior to this, he spent 11 years at Unilever, where he held executive positions in finance, marketing and media.
Paris-headquartered Javelin Group, part of Accenture Strategy, provides strategy consulting and digital transformation services to the world’s leading retailers and consumer brands. The organisation helps clients improve their competitiveness by anticipating and responding to the rapid changes in customer shopping habits and retail technologies. Among its clients worldwide are Carrefour, Walmart, Tesco, Sephora, John Lewis, Auchan, Waitrose, Harrods, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Debenhams, Metro AG, among a host of others.