Omni channel experience – Building the Ecosystem

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There is a global drive amongst retailers to transform their customer experience from multi-channel to omni channel. Many pundits have covered the philosophy and benefits of this emerging thought process. However, little is discussed about the impact for this on the operational challenges it brings. This article will throw light on how to build a robust and scalable ecommerce ecosystem to support omni channel experience.
The past two decades witnessed the meteoric rise of some great technologies, which changed the way customers interact with retailers. Retailers are already leveraging on various platforms and are quickly progressing towards omni channel presence. However, there is a lot of strain on the back-end systems in an omni channel business model. Without a comprehensive plan, every additional sales channel increases the strain on the backend, which is not a scalable option. eStore owners need an ecosystem that can handle any number of channels without proportional increase in efforts, while ensuring consistent experience across channels..
Below are some points to look at to achieve that ideal experience without burning out resources.

  1. Choose the right ecommerce platform to manage your operations

    An ecommerce platform is at the center of all your estores like webstore, mobile store, social stores, etc. These stores depend heavily on ecommerce platform. A flexible platform gives you the ability to bring together different platforms and manage them effectively. Ecommerce platform must support the necessary UI/UX required for multiple systems. On the backend, your platform should be able to adapt to new devices.

  2. Experience design to suit multiple sales channels

    Design plays a key role in omni channel experience. In a scenario where each channel is individually managed, experience is perfected for each single channel. However, additional effort is needed to maintain a new sales channels and it grows proportional to the number of channels. It is not scalable. This limitation can be mitigated by designing the experience to accommodate the requirements of all the sales channels. You need an ecommerce platform that supports the flexibility in designing the experience across platforms.

  3. Integrations systems can bring down the recurring nature of work

    Integration setup facilitates the much needed data integrity, which is vital for omni channel experience. Integration setup bridges the gap in multiple systems. As the selling channels (like estore, mobile store, brick and mortar store, etc.) increase, the only effort required is to connect the new channel to the e-commerce store. This helps the estore owners create an omni channel experience to their customers without burning out their resources.

  4. Leverage on the ERP’s capabilities

    It is a widely accepted fact that ERP enjoys a rather important place in ecommerce operations. It holds many operational details, from shipping to inventory and past sales to future projections. Any exercise undertaken to improve customer experience will need information from the system. In an omni channel experience, there must be uniformity of information across platforms. To build seamless experience, information like customer details, past order details, order status, cancellation status, refund status, etc. This information, which is spread across multiple systems, can be brought together in ERP.

  5. Analytics to help you understand your cross-channel performance

    Most companies acknowledge the need for analytics. However, understanding omni channel performance requires a holistic approach. Your analytics should be able to give you an understanding of various metrics across platforms. Estore owners can use this metrics to understand the experience of each platform and improve them accordingly. When a new platform is added, the metrics will provide the performance of the channels along with and against other platforms. This gives the business owners the much needed clarity on the results of the omni channel experience design.

Conclusion

Many ecommerce players are increasingly adopting omnichannel experience. However, operational inefficiency can erode the profitability originating from omni channel. Most ecommerce players are unaware of ways to build a sustainable network that can handle the growth. The role of a growth partner is to help you build a robust and scalable omni channel ecommerce setup. The above article is based on our experience helping our customers. For more info, visit i95dev.com.

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