Creating a Seamless Omnichannel Experience: Add It to Your New Year's Resolutions
"Smarter, better, faster, convenient. Everywhere I go" — this is what the famous Daft Punk song's title (Harder, better, faster, stronger) could sound like if it was about perfect customer experience. Well, it might not be so catchy anymore, but it says a lot about the expectations of modern customers. Creating an engaging and seamless customer experience (CX) is challenging, but the game is worth the candle; as the PwC survey shows, 73% of customers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decision.
The harsh truth is that customers will not find your company and products by themselves; you have to meet them, whatever they are, by creating omnichannel personalized campaigns and strengthening your brand's digital visibility.
A composable approach driven by open architectures such as MACH architecture enables the delivery of omnichannel strategies efficiently by using the best in class solutions. MACH offers businesses digital agility and the freedom to create a more consistent omnichannel experience than ever before.
A key ingredient of tasty omnichannel CX soup
The right content in the right channel
In your marketing and sales efforts, depending on your available space and media format, you may need to adjust your product content to get the best results. For example, if you are using your product content for advertising, your needs will be completely different when posting image-heavy content on social media than text-based ads.
Accurate, rich, and personalized information about your brand and products is crucial in nailing the omnichannel experience. This layer should be included in building engaging and seamless customer experiences throughout the customer journey.
Touch a digital product
In the digital world, the shopping experience does not exist without product experience first. When we shop online, we also expect to get as many details about the product as possible to make a final decision.
The research and comparison stages of the customer journey are primarily influenced by coherent product content (product descriptions, high-quality images, videos) that is exhaustive and evocative enough to give the customer a glimpse of touching a physical product. However, not in one version and in one place (product page) but everywhere the customer goes online.
360-degree product experience
That's why implementing a Product Experience Management (PxM) strategy in a global business is essential.
PxM aims to deliver customers an attractive, contextualized, and personalized experience around the product at every stage of their shopping journey and at every touchpoint. It is a strategy for creating a 360-degree product experience based on major e-commerce trends, such as omnichannel.
In omnichannel, synchronization is everything
According to Google research, omnichannel strategies drive an 80% higher rate of total store visits. Moreover, the Omnisend survey's findings show that marketers using three or more channels in their marketing campaigns earned a 90% higher customer retention rate and 2.5x higher engagement and purchase rates.
Omnichannel mostly starts with multichannel. Tuning of the transition requires closing gaps like:
Identifying all sales touchpoints
Establishing a company-wide point of reference for product information,
Sync marketing and sales channels
Eliminating product content inconsistencies.
Omnichannel marketing needs synchronization of all tech stack components, enabling a fast and smooth flow of information between all channels.
Badass omnichannel experience? It won't work with run-of-the-mill technology
Laptops, mobile devices, wearables, chatbots, virtual assistants, AI & VR, and the phygital experiences on top of that — a number of channels and touchpoints is constantly emerging. Omnichannel retailers need to adapt quickly to changes in demand.
Steve Jobs once said, "You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around". Today's reality of crafting excellent CX requires extreme agility. Sadly, traditional, legacy systems are not able to keep up with this fast pace. Implementation times are too long. Frequent changes are costly, and monolithic systems have limited scalability.
That's why growth-oriented enterprises have started turning towards composable commerce and headless commerce approaches and their technological tenets, such as MACH architecture.
According to the Enterprise MACHified' 2022 study's findings, the shift to MACH is driven primarily by pressure to deliver CX improvements quickly. 82% of IT leaders are keeping up with customer demand, but only 52% can implement improvements at speed. Tech leaders see MACH technologies as the future of software architecture: 79% of survey respondents plan to increase their investments in MACH architecture (both within and beyond the next 12 months).
Omnichannel loves headless (and APIs, too)
Headless architecture means great flexibility
Separating the front-end layer from the backend layer, which headless technology allows, means that an application can work without a native user interface. This dramatically enhances connectivity and interoperability between systems and channels.
Companies can modify user interface design to fit specific contexts, language, channels, and culture-specific requirements, without reconfiguring everything on the tech side.
API means great connectivity
Headless architecture combined with APIs (application programming interfaces) creates a powerful launchpad to omnichannel. API-first software is fully designed to maximize connectivity between other systems, platforms, and marketing channels.
For example, the MACH-based Product Information Management solution (an engine for PxM strategy) equipped with hundreds of APIs and headless capabilities can offer unlimited flexibility to connect product data to any system, platform, or channel users need. Those features can have a significant impact on retailers to create seamless omnichannel product experiences.
Microservices never stop running
Uber, Amazon, Netflix, Etsy – what do these platforms have in common? They are built on a microservices architecture. In recent years, both tech giants and smaller companies have discovered the benefits of microservices, and this trend continues to grow. Experts predict that microservices architecture will be worth $3.1 billion worldwide by 2026.
Microservices are resilient and can scale with demand because the entire architecture is based on modules, each of which can be managed and deployed independently. To make changes, you do not have to rewrite the entire codebase.
If you want to develop or update some features, your software will not stop running. Microservice architecture helps organizations build and develop business applications for faster time to market, higher scalability, and lower cost of ownership.
To find out more about omnichannel, headless revolution, and great customer experience, especially in creating holiday campaigns for e-commerce, download the whitepaper “Getting Ready For E-commerce Peak Seasons”.
Zuzanna Patocka is a content writer and tech journalist at Bluestone PIM, where she explains meanders of product information management, e-commerce tips, and CX in simple terms. In a previous life, she juggled the topics as an editor and multitasker PR specialist until the tech space won her heart.