The spike in the popularity of ecommerce has impacted brick-and-mortar stores in more than one way. Not only are these retailers challenged to compete with others outside a set geographical boundary, but ecommerce has also revolutionized customer expectations.It is human nature to want a personalized experience that's completely tailored to your needs. Because they have access to customer records, including purchase and browsing history, online retailers are able to understand customers' likes, wants, and needs and then personalize each interaction based on these criteria. Amazon is a prime example, using browsing and shopping history to make tailored recommendations to its customers.
Savvy retailers understand that they should deliver the same personalized experience in their stores and are trying to bridge the gap between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar. According to Rick Chavie, vice president of omnicommerce at hybris, retailers need a single source of data to provide a seamless experience to their customers, whether they shop online or in a store. "Customers have driven retailers into needing to deliver one experience across different channels," he notes.
The next step is for retailers to leverage their already existent data to be able to deliver the personalized experience that customers are used to get online in their stores. The trick is being able to identify customers who walk into the store, for example through their loyalty card number. Organizations will also need to give sales associates the technology to be able to easily access customer data, allowing them to make in-store recommendations. For example, if a customer had looked at a particular product online which is available in store, the associate can make a reference to it. Or, the associate can recommend an item which complements a recent purchase, for example a pair of shoes that match a recently purchased handbag.
As Chavie notes, really embracing omnicommerce will require one very important step--removing departmental silos so that ecommerce and retail can work hand in hand and even share customer data. "We need to have everyone work as a team." Chavie notes.