Omnichannel Gets Personal: Why Consumer Expertise Is Critical

There’s been much said about the benefits of going omnichannel. With the ability to access consumers in both the physical and digital realms, as well as the use of one channel to amplify another, retailers are now incredibly responsive and accessible. Yet, with many retailers heading in this same direction, and ‘hyper-service’ becoming the norm for consumers, how can an omnichannel retailer stand out from the crowd?

According to the recent article Omni-Personal is What Makes Omni-Channel Retail Truly Disruptive, penned by Huffington Post reporter Roberto Ramos, the true power of omnichannel, “is only unpackaged when informed by consumer insights.”

For Ramos, retailers must look to consumer insights to go beyond omnchannel to omnipersonal. The following methods equip retailers with a wealth of consumer-based knowledge, allowing in-the-know brands to quickly outsmart their competitors:

“Consumer is in Charge
Today’s consumers have adroitly managed to edit the dizzying pace and volume of information they receive. They expect content and experiences that are relevant to their needs and lifestyles. Brands must speak the language of hyper-relevancy, through an unrelenting focus on personalization and customization. This must be the strategic initiative of highest priority.

Consumer as Chief Strategic Officer
An Omni-Personal approach begins by putting the customer at the core of your business thinking, before you even start mapping out channels. This means making the unrelenting pursuit of consumer insights paramount to the organization. The exercise begins at the very top, with CEOs and other C-level executives pushing for and demanding stronger consumer findings at all points in the consumer journey. This insights gathering initiative should be lead by research and innovation but should be truly cross-functional, with all different teams asking the important question: what does the consumer want and need?

Change the Conversation from Channels to Consumers
Part of the appeal of an Omni-Channel approach is how it maps out the different touch points through which to interact with the consumer. This checklist of sorts, which can include store, mobile, website and more, can become a slightly automated fulfillment process that can lead to the commoditization effect mentioned earlier. The focus on channels should first be which channels the consumer prefers along with an understanding of why to be able to serve the right experience per channel.

Map out Your Consumer’s Needs and Journeys
There’s no excuse for not knowing the nuances of your consumers’ lives and preferences. Make sure all your research initiatives result in actionable profiles with key information, such as what life stage they’re at, what they value in life, what they want in terms of fashion and lifestyle, the role your brand can play, etc. Make sure you’re also charting their digital footprint with your offerings. Is there content that is more appealing, what digital platforms do they prefer? The goal is being able to identify both points of pressure and joy to address or amplify. A fully fulfilled customer should be something you plan for and deliver through ongoing iterations and exchanges.

Keep it Human
A channels approach should not reinvent the wheel of human interaction; it should instead provide tools to deliver a timeless human need: to be listened to and catered to? A bit of personalized high touch can go very far in making your retail strategies more breakthrough.”

Are you planning on going omnipersonal? What do you think about Ramos’ advice? Tell us below!

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