Implementing a good omnichannel strategy remains one of the biggest concerns of retail companies. And it is that, finding the perfect combination and the balance between strategies and tactics in both e-commerce and in-store, to target and interact with consumers, is not easy.

Today, Amazon owns most of the e-commerce retail sales, but it should not be overlooked that more than 94% of retail sales are still generated in the store.

Retailers understand that the gap between the personalized experiences of online shoppers and in physical stores are problematic, so it is important that they rely on technology to satisfy consumers across all channels, in any time and through the method of their choice.

The study “Ecommerce, Analysis and Outlook 2018”, prepared by Kanlli and DA Retail, shows the current percentage of those companies that have already put measures to reduce that gap.

In addition, most companies that already have an omnichannel strategy in place are confident what a 10% profit will bring them.

A unified strategy

According to the report published by Boston Retail Partners (BRP), unified cloud-based commerce is identified, which means that the use of a single platform will serve to support both the physical store, mobile and mobile becoming the key piece to compete in an omnichannel environment. In the online survey of North America’s top 500 retailers, BRP found that 28% of respondents had already implemented unified commerce, three times more (9%) than last year. In addition, it predicts that by the end of 2020, 81% retail companies will deploy a unified trading strategy. On the other hand, BRP assessed the progress of retailers in implementing technology solutions to meet the growing expectations of customers. And he found that the top three priorities of retailers for 2018 are, identifying or customizing customer profile, customer experience in mobile apps, and ultimately empowering partners with tools Mobile.

According to Perry Kramer, senior vice president and chief practice officer of BRP in a statement:

“Customers appreciate personalized recommendations when they shop online or mobile, and now expect the same customization, or better, when they shop in a physical store… As customer expectations have changed thanks to the digital retail experience, successful retailers have shifted their focus on the physical store environment.”

That’s why it’s so important to maintain a clear and functional sales strategy across all channels through which to reach customers, both online and offline.

The four fundamental pillars

Retailers’ progress can be quantified in four pillars that define the customer’s required experience: personal, mobile, transparent, and secure.

personal:

Customers do not have the same experience if their purchase is through an online or offline channel. The key to avoiding that difference is to access the individual buyer’s shopping habits and preference.

It would be interesting for companies to be able to identify buyers once they are in the store, either web or physical, in this way it would offer the customer the best possible experience.

Mobile:

The omnipresence and ease of use of mobile devices offers huge opportunities for retailers as the use of mobile devices, both in the hands of partners and customers, continues to increase.

Transparent:

With “real-time” retail, shoppers can access a unique “cart” to buy through a smartphone, computer or store. Unified commerce enables this seamless customer experience.

Sure:

As retailers look for new ways to use customer information to provide personalized experiences, they need to address how to protect that data. This requires retailers to provide data security beyond payments and the networks used.

Artificial intelligence and omnichannel

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming present in the retail industry. By 2025, it is projected to reach $27,238.6 million, according to a report by The Insight Partners.

This very substantial increase is due to three trends mainly, the growth of the mobile market, the proliferation of startups and finally the acceptance of omnichannelity.

As retailers strive to bridge the gap between online and offline commerce, artificial intelligence will have a key role to play, as data from each channel offers a different activity from the rest.

ListenLogic 3.0

An example of how artificial intelligence can be used in omnichannel campaigns is the ListenLogic platform, which is a provider of digital solutions for business.

This technology automatically gives meaning to customer data, obtained through the various channels, by identifying patterns and trends that are often obscured by the immense amount of non-information distributed across multiple systems.

Some features that define this platform are:

  • Advanced extraction of topics using AI and machine learning, allowing organizations to diagnose what is happening in customer interactions.
  • Sentiment analysis and entity recognition using open source and proprietary algorithms to understand general opinion data and labels by types such as person, organization, location, events, and products.
  • Data connectors send classified information to an internal display tool.
  • Self-service or fully managed organizations can work directly on the platform, or data can be managed and converted into intelligent information.

1

Odigo

Odigo V.5, is another example of how artificial intelligence can be implemented, to improve and facilitate omnichannelity.

It is a modular platform aimed at managing customer service, sales and desktop service for end users, company employees and public sector citizens. The modules that integrate it are:

  • Self-servic Odigo: to provide instant and automatic responses, powered by artificial intelligence.
  • Odigo Contact Center: for omnichannel routing, recording, WFM and quality monitoring.
  • Odigo Concierge: “smart” study of each channel to understand customer requests.
  • Odigo Campaign: to send marketing campaign messages and notifications.
  • Odigo Analytics: for customer information.

Conclusions

As we have seen, the distance between online sales and physical selling exists, and is that, the advantages that an online channel can have, such as the collection of customer data, faces the advantages of face-to-face treatment.

It is important that companies themselves consider a good omnichannel strategy, covering all channels in the best way and if for this purpose you have to adopt new tools, do so.

If retailers want to survive, it’s critical to adjust their supply chains to really understand what their working radius is and then meet consumer expectations, but to do that, more investment and greater investment is needed leverage aI.