Avoiding Omnichannel Barriers

The lines between what we do online and offline in our daily lives are blurring more and more each day. These days it’s hard to find someone who isn’t a cross-channel, or what we now call an omnichannel shopper. Most consumers are savvy enough to shop a company’s website, check out their social media, search for coupons and even go to the store before making purchasing decisions.From what I know, most companies can attest to the fact that delivering that omnichannel experience efficiently isn’t easy. To succeed, you must deliver a consistent message, and more importantly, you have to have your data accessible in one place.

According to the 2017 Data & Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book, there are three main obstacles that prohibit companies from providing a consistent integrated omnichannel experience.

These barriers are:

    • Lack of budget
    • Having non-integrated tech platforms
    • Disparate data sources

Many of our own customers complain about having data in different places that cannot be readily integrated to meet their business demands.

If you want to be successful at omnichannel marketing, it is essential to shift from having fragmented customer data to platforms that support a centralized repository that everyone can access. And that means everyone needs to be involved — IT, marketing, customer service, executives and anyone else who directly (or indirectly) impacts the customer experience. You must keep information up to date and automate the process of updating customer information across departmental applications.

Having your data in one place – with technology that allows for easy output – easily creates a unified customer view.

Speaking of…today’s customers expect to be treated as individuals, not as a series of transactions, so integration of disparate systems and automatically aggregating customer data is paramount to making this a reality.

Organizations that can change their thinking to be customer-centric, not product-centric, will reap the benefits. Take Starbucks. Their free loyalty program is considered to be one of the best omnichannel user experiences out there. Unlike the old-school loyalty programs, the Starbucks app makes it possible to check and reload your card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app! If there is any change to the card, your profile gets updated across all channels in real time.

That wouldn’t be possible without the integration of customer data, and the investment in the technology that makes the experience a seamless one.

Time for me to go get my caffeine fix – Starbucks anyone?