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In a context of change in the market, buyers have different expectations and demand omnichannel experiences, and sellers must keep up with the pace of change they constantly face.

What are the challenges and priorities that determine the design of the omnichannel strategy?

The real situation is that it is estimated that only 14% of retailers in Europe have reached full omnichannel, even though they consider it a priority, and a large majority are in a process of development. 100% online business are the most important competition for these retailers, who face, among others, the challenges of data security and privacy in their omnichannel implementation.

Omnichannel is about delivering a unified experience to clients and customers across all touchpoints, and they expect brands to step up and offer an excellent omnichannel service. Rather than a multichannel approach in which touchpoint can be siloed, a truly omnichannel customer experience is consistent and unified no matter the touchpoint or channel. CX should feel holistic and entirely streamlined across sales, support, and marketing, and no channel should be considered individually.

But omnichannel is not just for retailers, of course. Developing omnichannel capabilities has never been as important to B2B marketers as it is today. B2B buyers have been actively incorporating digital channels into their buying process, leaving behind sellers who have not yet developed these channels.

What factors can determine the success of an omnichannel strategy?

Training
Many companies find it difficult to develop and integrate the right skills, people, and teams. We must look for a tool that makes it possible to merge, evaluate and group customer data obtained through various channels.

Product Category
Different product ranges require different channel and customer strategies. Companies should be able to determine customer channel preferences in their own product and service segment and be able to forecast the development of their customers’ channel preferences. On the other hand, a comparison with the competition is also relevant.

Channels
Another question companies should ask themselves when testing their omnichannel strategy is whether they are using the right channels. The term “channel” can include apps, calls, store pickup, chatbots, QR codes, and more. It’s also important here to define a multi-channel customer journey and then link the various channels to enable cross-selling. A constant analysis of the channels, including their strengths and weaknesses, can be considered a success factor.

Cost analysis
Companies must achieve potential savings with the omnichannel strategy through channel-specific incentivization. From omnichannel implementation concerns its cost, due to the complexity of integrating new technologies with existing ones, but it does not have to be like that with an agile and flexible integration tool that accepts existing technology.

Data
Customer data must be recorded at touchpoints, combined, and used for campaigns. The challenges are access to customer data and possible legal restrictions on personal data. Data is crucial to offer a good omnichannel experience, but in turn consumers / customers are not always favorable in the transfer of data. The success factors in customer data are the definition of the customer journey and a successful segmentation of the target groups by channel.

Code
Omnichannel excellence requires the rapid and consistent use of new digital technologies. Therefore, companies should ask themselves if they are making optimal use of digital technologies. This requires, for example, a review of all the backend and frontend processes. The challenge is to forecast the acceptance of new technologies by customers.

Regularly survey customers
Capturing and monitoring customer feedback to gather, learn and apply your customers suggestions to enhance your offering needs to be an integral part of your omnichannel experience. Understand the customer journey at every stage and on every channel, while identifying what needs can be improved to deliver better outcomes is a success factor.

Supply chain
Omnichannel sales are linked to a flexible, transparent, and complex supply chain. Therefore, companies must ask themselves if their existing supply chain can meet these requirements or if it should be adapted to meet the requirements of the omnichannel strategy (for example, through real-time visualization of product availability or decentralized returns management). The success factors are the technical support of the supply chain, and its control.

Corporate culture
The success of omnichannel requires a corporate culture that is conducive to innovation and that goes beyond silo thinking. The success factors are pilot projects with cross-functional teams. On the other hand, clear communication of the omnichannel strategy and the omnichannel KPI are also part of the success.

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