Not so long ago, consumers used to shop at mostly independent channels such as brick and mortar stores, e-commerce sites, print catalogs, and from door-to-door sales reps. In today’s Omni Channel retailing model, everything has changed and consumers draw from multiple channels simultaneously. In fact, consumers now average ten touch points for every purchase journey. And these touches can include Facebook, Google, Pinterest, a retail salesperson, store kiosks, online product review sites, Amazon or category-specific online stores, deal sites, eBay, Twitter, email – the list goes on and on.
As technology blurs the line between physical, mobile and online retailing, retailers and their supply-chain partners must figure out how to provide a seamless shopping experience for buyers across all channels. Their singular focus should be to offer the “right” product at the right price, the right time, and at the right place.
The companies that do this correctly are highly successful. A recent market research report by McKinsey & Company found that Omni Channel consumers spend four times more than single channel consumers on average. That data point alone should get any retailer’s attention.
The way your company’s business technology applications are connected to each other and share data can play a crucial role in helping you gain a competitive edge in this new retail landscape. With an integrated landscape that orchestrates data between applications according to business logic across multiple channels, you can support, and drive, the Omni hannel customer engagement goals. A fully integrated Omni Channel service orchestration means:
While this may sound easy, the companies that achieve this level of integration know that it is anything but. Most retailers end up creating different and isolated store, web, social and mobile systems to support Omni Channel retailing initiatives simply because their existing infrastructure and technical environment are not set up to support a cohesive platform. This siloed approach doesn’t work and doesn’t scale. It increases operational costs because ever more resources are needed to manage the growth of different components, and there is no way to correlate data among channels.
So, how do you get to the kind of IT infrastructure that will support a real Omni Channel world? You need a commerce oriented backbone services architecture that can support everything from customer-facing and back office applications to underlying systems that consolidate customer and partner interactions across all touch-point channels. This type of services architecture also scales to support channel growth and to accommodate new channels that will undoubtedly emerge in the future.
Want to learn more? Visit Omni Channel service orchestration for more information.