Accurate Data Is Key to a Successful Omnichannel Strategy

Accurate-data-is-key-to-a-successful-omnichannel-strategy_docmation

Welcoming change can be difficult. It’s human nature to enjoy being in our “comfort zone” and resist stepping outside of it. But the most successful companies welcome change.

In an economy where online selling and buying happen round the clock, businesses need to be able to deliver quality services within the required timeframe.

At Docmation, we call this being future-ready. The future comes fast in the digital age. Digitally mature companies realize the substance that constant change demands. 

Today’s ecommerce environment is more competitive than ever. As online shoppers’ expectations continue to rise, many B2B businesses struggle to address their demands. To discuss these challenges and how businesses can leverage technology to meet or exceed customer expectations, think about the questions below:

What are some common ways businesses succeed in today’s challenging ecommerce market?

More businesses are expanding the traditional role of the physical store by modernizing technology and enabling omnichannel order fulfillment. They are introducing technology platforms like mobile device integration to deliver the modern experience that consumers expect. They’re also leveraging their stores by offering buy-online, store pickup, and/or shipping options.

What challenges do they face?

Business owners have historically treated their stores like islands that are disconnected from the rest of their business processes. Now they struggle to transform their stores from these islands into an “always on” ecommerce-like experience.

This is even more difficult when the systems running business processes are disparate, which can result in bad data that can further affect intermediate processes, like order fulfillment. These problems are amplified when consumers expect to see accurate information, like inventory availability while shopping.

What are the motivators of an omnichannel strategy?

There are three distinct areas that could be identified as the main motivators for moving in this direction: customer demand, competitive advantage, and a desire to optimize the channels.

However, the more customers are exposed to the possibility of combining the channels in a purchase, the more this becomes the norm and something they expect businesses to provide.

In terms of competition, omnichannel efforts will not only be a way to gain a competitive advantage over multi-channel retailers that do not offer an omnichannel shopping experience, but also online competitors that focus on low prices but lack the ability to provide this type of integrated service. Regarding channel optimization, omnichannel services allow the business provider to use the individual channels to their full potential. 

How does this affect customer experiences?

With constantly improving technology and an on-demand economy, consumers expect to buy what they want when they want it and to receive it quickly. It’s a huge challenge for B2B businesses to keep up with this expectation.

Whether it’s providing visibility into customer reviews or inventory availability across locations, consumers expect this information to be available across all channels. Delivering this visibility to consumers through any channel can be extremely difficult if the retailer’s backend systems don’t have good data.

How can businesses overcome these challenges?

Businesses should look at the problem holistically. The only thing worse than not being able to meet your customers’ expectations is to try and fail to do so.

This is why backend data is so important for businesses trying to solve these customer-facing challenges. When trying to deliver a modern omnichannel strategy, it is vital that the core ERP system is modern, and the data is accurate.

Accurate visibility into inventory across all locations, preferably in real time, is the need of the hour. Businesses also need to give customers flexible fulfillment options. The system needs to be able to satisfy customer demand no matter where inventory is located.

How does an omnichannel solution benefit your business?

Although the term ‘omnichannel’ is used frequently in today’s business environment, it is not just a buzzword. If implemented thoughtfully, an omnichannel solution can benefit your business in more ways than one. Integrated channels gather critical information and service data about customers.

This data, in turn, helps provide continuous insight into the customer journey, allowing businesses to enhance processes and identify inefficiencies at a faster rate. Apart from providing actionable data, it enables better service, allowing you to meet customer expectations and optimize engagement.

How can technology transform businesses?

A unified system gives customers the option to buy online and ship anywhere. The platform takes away all barriers to satisfying customer demand, no matter how the consumer is shopping. At Docmation, we provide seamless integration with Salesforce CPQ, marketing automation solutions, and other business-critical systems, shortening time-to-market by enabling business users to manage product configurations, pricing plans, customer notifications, payment pages, and account information.

Last Thoughts

At the heart of all omnichannel customer engagement solutions is the data that drives it.

Today, an omnichannel retailing strategy is essential. Retailers need open lines of communication across multiple channels—in-store, online, mobile device, or social media—that lead to a seamless, continuous experience across brands and devices, and that engage a customer one-on-one.

To seamlessly engage the customer, databases, and systems, such as ecommerce platforms, marketing automation, and customer relationship management tools, must be connected to make omnichannel sales and marketing initiatives a reality.

So, to be successful in the new omnichannel world, it is critical that retailers create a fully integrated ecosystem connecting every aspect of their data and its associated parts.

Mobile usage is growing by leaps and bounds. And more and more devices are being used to purchase goods and services. This growth in online shopping and mobile usage means there are countless ways to engage with customers. As a result, there has been a rapid rise in data.

Consequently, with new digital technologies driving change in consumer behavior, the role of data has become not just increasingly important, but also central to omnichannel success.