What does onmichannel mean for the future of retailing?

By Stuart Dickinson on

While digital disruption continues to revolutionise every industry, its effects are most widely felt in those that have a direct connection with consumers. It’s for this reason that the retail industry is currently undergoing an omnichannel transformation – an approach that places customer experience at the heart of the new competitive environment.

Technology continues to blur the line between traditional and online retailing. Retailers of every size and category are now rethinking their competitive strategies in order to guarantee their long-term survival. An omnichannel strategy enables retailers to combine their digital and physical customer environments, making their sales practices more effective while significantly lowering costs.

Moving from providing multichannel interactions to an omnichannel experience requires a reexamination and redesign of key back-end customer service processes to ensure they are integrated in a meaningful way. Once an omnichannel strategy has been implemented, in-store customer service staff will have the ability to immediately access customers’ purchase history and preferences just as easily as call centre or online staff.

The other major advantage of an omnichannel strategy is organisations can empower the customer to monitor and control inventory themselves while also allowing them to make delivery arrangements that suit their time frame or budget. Customers can check the inventory available online via computer or mobile phone. They can make their purchase instantly and then determine which store they’d like to collect their items from, saving a business time and money by reducing unnecessary store transfers.

This all sounds great in theory but transitioning to an omnichannel strategy requires a significant level of change management. Mobilising an organisation to develop innovative new business models while throwing an established model away is both an opportunity and a threat and a real business challenge. To effectively roll out an omnichannel strategy, a business needs to establish an autonomous and dedicated team that has the requisite knowledge and skills as well as a mandate from senior leadership to make the new regime work.

Also essential for implementing a successful omnichannel strategy is partnering with a technology provider that can help make a business case for omnichannel technology change. By identifying the pitfalls and the opportunities as well as the tangible and intangible benefits, Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company can help develop a strategy that looks to an omnichannel future while understanding the necessities of present trading conditions.

At Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company, we ask the right questions to uncover goals, visions, and objectives in order to bring them together in strategies which are genuinely valuable and more efficient. With roadmaps, operating models, and proven ecommerce principles, our omnichannel strategies help our clients understand what to do when altering their business model, and why.