Retail reporting

How an omnichannel approach will help retail stay ahead of the curve for both customers and employees

  • alex bravo
    Alex Bravo
  • Jun 22, 2021

Where does retail go after COVID-19? Adopting an omnichannel approach to customer communication can help lead the way for retailers to deliver a more seamless and consistent customer experience as the world opens back up.

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The retail industry is often applauded for being digitally ahead of the curve. From hyper-personalized shopping to automated fulfillment centers, the industry has historically been an early adopter in digitizing experiences for their customers. When it comes to delivering a seamless, consistent omnichannel approach for those customers however, there is still an opportunity for growth.

According to Gartner, an estimated 50 percent of large retail organizations will have failed to unify engagement channels by 2022. This likelihood is the result of many retailers relying on different platforms and channels that act independently of each other to reach their customers. Despite being a leader in many of these individual channels, not linking them together creates data silos, disjointed conversations, and inconsistent customer experiences. Here’s how an omnichannel approach can help.

A seamless shopping experience

Customers today expect a cohesive experience and aren’t concerned with how it’s delivered to them. They simply want convenience, efficiency, and to connect with the brands they care about whenever, wherever they’d like on the digital channel of their choosing. Further, online shoppers today want the context of their requests to be readily available regardless if they are starting a new inquiry or resuming an existing conversation with a customer service agent.

As we leave the pandemic and find that more and more customers are looking for a hybrid model for their shopping journey, the answer will be to push omnichannel customer engagement into your brand channels. This synchronized, frictionless experience will help create a consistent customer journey regardless of where your audience finds you. 

This also better serves the retail companies from the inside out, as by utilizing various sales channels for engagement, retailers can empower their teams to deliver a unified, seamless brand experience at any time, and on any channel regardless of whether the customer initiated a conversation. Whether in a store with an associate, or on the phone with an at-home agent, when done effectively, omnichannel engagement allows users to move freely from one channel to another, building a trusting relationship that improves their overall experience and encourages brand loyalty. 

A better approach for customers and employees

Many companies think they have an existing omnichannel approach when in reality they only are offering multi-channel options to their customers. Omnichannel engagement is different from multi-channel engagement in how each channel is managed separately with a different strategy. 

An omnichannel approach allows agents to access any information about a customer’s previous interactions on a different channel, expanding the level of service they can provide and improving a customer’s overall experience.

For example, when your customer begins a chat session on your website and then continues that chat into a video session or voice call with your agent, that customer is receiving a more quality, seamless service. With this kind of omnichannel engagement, retailers can improve the speed of service, while offering contextual, helpful, and personalized support.

From an employee engagement angle, an omnichannel approach also has massive benefits. By giving agents all the information available on a customer, they can feel empowered to give informed support and prioritize their tasks through the automation features that eliminate repetitive tasks and solve for simple tickets. 

Omnichannel engagement enables companies to also improve their bottom lines and increase customer retention. Marketing teams can ensure their content delivery strategy is successful, as sales teams can convert and nurture customer relationships more effectively, while the operations teams can be more efficient in fulfilling orders

Are you ready to offer an omnichannel experience?

Integrating omnichannel communications and seamless context throughout the customer journey requires the right infrastructure. Omnichannel is difficult to achieve with “out-of-the-box” solutions that don’t allow for scale, security, or customization. Any system requiring a lengthy installation process, limited features, and restricted integration with other platforms will not provide the agility needed to deliver an excellent customer experience in an omnichannel world.

When choosing an omnichannel customer engagement solution for your brand, consider a single interface for multiple channels that let you build, scale, and customize for what you need. With this type of platform, adding new and custom channels to your contact center can be easily implemented as the omnichannel approach grows in popularity.

Ready to dive into what an omnichannel approach can do to keep your brand connecting with your customers in 2021?

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alex bravo

Alex Bravo

Alex Bravo is a Sr. PMM for Retail at Twilio. With a background in business strategy consulting and supply chain, Alex helps define how Twilio enables brands to turn engagement challenges into opportunities to build delightful customer experiences. She is also an instructor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the NGO Science Clubs International and was a guest lecturer through the department of economics at her alma mater, Harvard University.