These days, whether consumers are connecting with you via tablet, phone, or even at a brick-and-mortar store, you can bet they’re seeking a personalized, relevant experience that meets their immediate needs. Sales won through multiple channels are quickly becoming the norm for brands and retailers. As a 2013 study from Vantiv reveals, 61% of consumers examine new products online before purchasing in-store. Moreover, according to MIT research, as much as 1.1 trillion store sales are influenced by the Web, providing businesses that offer an omnichannel experience an incredible advantage to connect with consumers and build a customer-centric brand.

Onboarding Omnichannel: The Challenges, Hesitations, and Hurdles

Keeping up with growing consumer expectations is a massive challenge. Now facing a new retail world in which operational efficiency and online shopping are assumed,
marketers must personalize customer interactions, while simultaneously nurturing a consistent experience across multiple channels.
However, too many companies in the retail industry are lagging behind, though their reasons for hesitating to embrace full omnichannel integration are not without motives. An enormous investment in both technology and talent is required, as well as finessing the balance between consumer personalization and privacy. Nevertheless, many companies are planning to jump into the omnichannel game, as the rewards are worth the investment. In fact, according to a 2014 KPMG and CGF Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind Survey:

  • 54% of companies state that omnichannel/digital strategy is a critical part of their business plans
  • 56% of businesses say that data analytics is a key part of their overall strategy

As a result, more and more companies are quickly evolving their omnichannel capabilities to achieve a seamless customer experience across all channels in order to stay competitive and relevant. And many of them are seeing real results. A study conducted by IDC found that omnichannel buyers spend 3.5 times more than single-channel shoppers.  

The Rewards of an Omnichannel Investment

Omnichannel offers huge opportunity. By investing in advanced solutions that can capture the vast amounts of internal data and consumer information generated from
mobile data, social analytics, and cloud technologies, businesses now can connect with customers in a way that was only imaginable a decade ago.
Armed with real-time management software, predictive analytics, and the ability to analyze shoppers’ buying habits in real time, marketers can win customer loyalty and stay ahead of the competition through relevancy, personalization, and –most important – convenience.

The question is: Are you evolving along with your customers?

Want to learn more about how to create an effective omnichannel experience? Download the Oxford Economics white paper,Welcome | SAP

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