In the last post, we explained why it’s important to offer an omni-channel buying experience, tailored to the regional and personal needs of each client. To remain competitive, you must make online shops, mobile functionality, point-of-sale interaction, and call-center support available to your customers, at the very minimum. And more important still is connectivity among these channels, because every single customer follows their own journey, encountering different touchpoints along the way. But what does that actually mean for individual companies? How do your customers or potential customers around the globe navigate the purchasing process?
The following scenarios illustrate where a multi-channel configuration causes roadblocks on a customer’s journey, and how you can overcome them with an integrated omni-channel platform like hybris.
Why multi-channel just doesn’t cut it anymore
Most businesses today use a wide variety of sales channels. But simply having these channels in place is not enough – a lack of integration can actually cause harm. If a customer can’t seamlessly switch from online shop to call center or from mobile app to brick-and-mortar store, there is a high chance they will abandon their shopping basket. According to the Baymard Institute, an average of 68.53 percent of online shoppers do.
The reality in most companies often looks like this: The online shop’s database is stored in one location, while the mobile selling applications are stored in another. Customer data may be unnecessarily duplicated and scattered in different silos. And up-to-date information about what’s in stock where is saved in yet another system altogether. Let’s explore the effect of such siloed channels on the customer experience.
Before implementing hybris, this well-known industrial sewing machine manufacturer had a fairly complicated ordering process. With 350 different machines on offer and 35,000 replacements parts available – and none of it consolidated into an online database – buyers often had a hard time finding the exact component they needed. Products could be viewed online, but pricing was not included – the company stored that in a separate offline system. The ordering itself was done from hard-copy catalogues – so a simple search was not possible. When a buyer called in, sales reps were unable to quickly call up their order history due to a lack of a centralized customer database.
With the hybris commerce suite, the sewing machine manufacturer was finally able to offer seamless online and offline buying experiences. Clients are able to filter results to their specific country or region, instantly view prices in their currency, and place their order directly from the product page – just as they’re used to when doing their personal shopping online. Their customer data and order history is already waiting for them. And the process for buyers who still prefer to get advice from a sales rep stays consistent with the online process, with the same level of personalization. No matter how they choose to buy, they receive a truly targeted, local shopping experience.
How to maximize cross-selling opportunities with hybris
The key to customer retention is making the buying experience as convenient as possible. In this next scenario, a buyer for a home décor chain is exploring new products for his store. Social media, especially sites like Pinterest, give him a good idea of current trends. One of his usual suppliers also has a social media presence and has posted a featured item using the hybris social login and sharing feature. The buyer sees a flurry of comments and likes on an item – other buyers saying how well it’s sold in their stores. By clicking on it, he’s linked directly to the supplier’s online shop. He can already start the buying process in the same place he’s doing his research. And since he’s on the road, he’s doing all of this from his smartphone. No problem – the interface is just as fast and easy to use as if he were at his desk. The system recognizes that he’s never purchased this specific product before and recommends items that are known to sell well alongside it.
It’s a cross-selling win-win for both the buyer and supplier. The convenient, fully integrated process only took minutes and has the potential to generate plenty of revenue. There was no frustration or interruption on the buyer’s end, all but ensuring repeat business.
Personalized integration is critical
Every business has its own unique set of channels and challenges when it comes to customer retention. itelligence ensures hybris is configured to suit your individual needs and IT landscape – so that none of your customers fall through the cracks.