All posts by Medha Pratap

Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing

Enabling Trusted Content Everytime in Every Channel

The majority of consumers (88%) say that detailed product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision (Google Shopping Guide, 2016).

Accurate and timely product content is critical in the path to purchase from discovery to delight. As digital pre-shopping, such as product research and comparative reviews, increasingly influence the shopping journey, so too increases consumer reliance on consumable content.

EnterWorks & 1WorldSync Q&A

This week, 1WorldSync’s Director of Professional Services, Data Source Solutions, Vanessa Lin, and EnterWorks CEO Rick Chavie joined for a Q&A. Together, they discussed the drivers of cross channel commerce and how EnterWorks and 1WorldSync are joining forces to pave the path for trusted content.

Vanessa Lin:

How is EnterWorks seeing new regulations and data requirements changing the way businesses must manage/distribute data?

Rick Chavie:

We have entered a new era of data standards. Whether it is the Google GTIN update last year which mandated that all brand-name products include the manufacturer-assigned GTIN number or the FDA regulations on nutritional content effective in May 2017, the growing insistence on data quality means online sellers including retailers, brands, and distributors must invest more in time, resources, and digital competencies to update product feeds continuously.

But the imposition of a single view of standard content across channels, while being pushed by the industry and government, pales in comparison to the role that the consumer is playing in driving the expectations for content to a new level.  Fickle or not, loyal or opportunistic, the consumer is now accustomed to having content that they need regarding their preferred products at their fingertips.  Correspondingly, the cost of poor and inconsistent content mounts as sellers increasingly realize that they now compete on content for share of mind and wallet.

Vanessa Lin:

Agreed! Competing with trusted product content consumers can rely on is critical. Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile. What areas has EnterWorks observed where consumers are driving change?

Rick Chavie:

This is the age of content enthusiasts. Forrester Analyst Carlton Doty recently described our post-digital world, saying “customers aren’t just empowered by digital technology – they’re actually entitled. They think they deserve something, they want it now, and if you can’t provide it, they will quickly find it somewhere else.”  

Retailers, manufacturers and distributors must consider not only the effectiveness of product data, but how their content tells a story and creates differentiated experiences. Compelling, trusted product information that is consistent across channels is key. That’s where Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions can help, by enabling companies to acquire, manage and transform product information into persuasive content. This content then drives higher sales and new competitive strengths through e-commerce Web, mobile, print and in-store digital channels.

Vanessa Lin:

Indeed, today’s shopping experience is driven by ‘I need to know’ moments for consumers. Given the consumer’s lofty expectations for an integrated cross-channel shopping experience, there is a steady race to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

A new data study commissioned by 1WorldSync highlighted some of the key challenges suppliers and retailers face when trying to achieve true cross-commerce capabilities.  For example, over half (53 percent) of merchants and suppliers experience a knowledge gap internally when it comes to understanding the value of cross-channel capabilities.

Let’s talk about how 1WorldSync and EnterWorks are working together to provide an end-to-end solution.

Rick Chavie:

The successful partnership between EnterWorks and 1WorldSync continues to hit exciting milestones, ushering in new clients, opportunities, and a powerful go-to-market strategy.

This builds on our news last year that EnterWorks received certification on Major Release 3 from 1WorldSync. The MjR3 certification expands the functionality for EnterWorks customers already connected to GDSN, and offers new users of EnterWorks’ PIM and MDM solutions the most advanced bi-directional data publishing and synchronization tools available.

Vanessa Lin:

Thanks, Rick! Overall, the EnterWorks/1WorldSync partnership brings enhanced access to richer, trusted product content to clients around the globe. We invite readers to learn more about the benefits of our partnership here.

1WorldSync and EnterWorks will both be exhibiting at GS1Connect on June 20-22 in Las Vegas. Visit EnterWorks booth #5 or 1WorldSync booth #17 to learn how the joint PIM solution can help your business.

Learn more about EnterWorks Enable GDSN Solution utilizing the 1WorldSync connector.

References

Have What It Takes To Win In A Post-Digital World? Forrester 2016 http://blogs.forrester.com/carlton_doty/16-05-04-have_what_it_takes_to_win_in_a_post_digital_world

 

Essential 2017 Omni-Channel Tips: How to Beat The Competition In The Digital Era

There is no denying it…2016 was a rough year for various brick and mortar retailers. The 2016 holiday season  wasn’t as merry as industry pundits anticipated, resulting in the following store closures:

  • Hancock Fabrics:  Filed chapter 11; all 255 stores    
  • The Limited: Filed chapter 11; all 250 stores
  • Office Depot/Office Max – Merged; closed 400 stores
  • Sears / Kmart:  Closed 142 stores (10% of its store base)
  • Sports Authority: Filed chapter 11; all 140 stores
  • Macys: Closed 100 stores
  • American Eagle: Closed 150 stores   

The ‘Amazon’ Effect Takes a Bite Out of Brick & Mortar

The root of their problems may lie with a company that isn’t even competing with them for customers at the mall: Amazon.com. Amazon has been poised for success in its pursuit of relentless innovation and a seamless blend of the warehouse processing efficiencies with the e-commerce shopping experience.  

It is estimated that Amazon makes up about 7% of the U.S. apparel market, and that figure is predicted to increase to 19% by 2020 (Barrons 2016). Moreover, the 2016 “State of Amazon” study revealed that Amazon is often involved in almost all online shopping activities (Consumer Goods Technology 2016). Approximately 9 in 10 consumers will check Amazon even if they find a product they want on another retailer’s website.

Blurred Lines & Blended Commerce – The Changing Face of Retail

Today’s consumers float freely from physical shopping to virtual experiences as traditional and modern shopping models unify  into blended commerce. Pure e-commerce retailers are evaluating retail store fronts, while traditional brick and mortar retailers are rapidly pursuing online and mobile commerce channels.

“The shift in retail to the Internet is a huge change… every retail company is trying to manage the transition. It’s not well defined or understood and there’s no road map” said Simeon Gutman, a retailing analyst for Morgan Stanley (New York Times 2015).

Given the consumer’s lofty expectations for an integrated cross-channel shopping experience, there is a steady race to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive retail environment.

While Amazon is expanding its physical presence, Walmart is strengthening its ecommerce strides (eMarketer 2017).

At the beginning of 2017, Amazon announced that it will open its newest brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City. At the same time, Jet.com – a Walmart subsidiary – announced that they purchased online footwear retailer ShoeBuy.

Achieving Operational Excellence Between Brick And Click

Clearly, today’s world of commerce requires a multi-pronged approach. Trying to match the convenience of Amazon with an integrated supply chain with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

A connected commerce approach supports a harmonious model in which transactional and product data work together to optimize the supply chain process.

1WorldSync and DiCentral have set out to explore how brick & mortar retailers can develop the operational backbone that supports e-commerce investments.

Download their joint whitepaper now  and discover how to:

  • Equip your organizations with strategies that set leading digital commerce business apart
  • Connect cloud-based B2B integration with product content aggregation and syndication;
  • Achieve streamlined end-to-end digital commerce in a cost-effective and scalable manner.

References

  1. “Amazon Could Be Largest U.S. Company by 2020.” Barrons. 2 June 2016, http://www.barrons.com/articles/amazon-could-be-largest-u-s-company-by-2020-1464866783
  2. “Amazon Set to Dominate 2016 Holiday Shopping”. Consumer Goods Technology. 27 September 2016. https://consumergoods.com/amazon-set-dominate-2016-holiday-shopping
  3. “Walmart Plays Catch-Up with Amazon.” New York Times, October 22, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/business/walmart-plays-catch-up-with-amazon.html?_r=0
  4. “Omnichannel 2017: Amazon and Walmart Make Moves”. EMarketer. 9 Jan 2017. https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Omnichannel-2017-Amazon-Walmart-Make-Moves/1015000

Why Trusted Product Data Matters for Omni-Channel Retail

Big Data’s Big Election Fail

If you followed this year’s United States presidential polls at all closely, chances are that you expected Hillary Clinton to win. So did all of the major prediction models that use polls to game out election outcome probabilities.

This year’s divisive election painted a picture of data divisions by race, gender,  and education. Pollsters will be digging for months (at least) to figure out how exactly their results may have been off. What can we learn from this year’s election?

The election may have divided us, but one thing that we are all unified on is the need for accurate data. This is especially true when it come to product data demands. The rules of competition have changed and your product information is now as important as the product itself, at least in the eyes of the consumer.  

With 81% of consumers scouring through product information online to find or verify the data about a product they are considering, and over 33% abandon shopping carts when the information they crave is absent, it’s apparent how critical product information is in the consumer’s path to purchase (ClickZ 2016).

The Challenge with Managing Product Information

One may think that managing product content and data is easy, but the challenges include:

  • 10’s enterprise systems in typical back end to manage product data.
  • 100’s people sourcing, aggregating, cleansing data needed for commerce.
  • 1000’s trading partners requiring exchange data with in a variety of formats.
  • 10,000’s of websites, apps and 3rd parties, representing your product/brand to the consumer.

Deliver Trusted Product Content Your Customers Can Rely On

With the proliferation of omni-channel commerce and the rising customer expectations, the stakes have been raised. Businesses that fail to provide consistent and contextual experiences across channels stand to lose customers and revenues.

Yes, product information matters – the quality, the completeness and the accuracy matters.  And as suppliers connect and partner with multiple retailers, the need for accurate, complete product information is even greater. Four in 10 shoppers say they’ve given up on an online purchase because they didn’t have enough information on the purchase (Internet Retailing 2014).

For example, consider Google’s 2016 mandate for GTINS (Global Trade Item Numbers which help classify and display products on Google Shopping) now needed for all products.   As of May 16, 2016, Google disapproved relevant products that didn’t meet the GTIN requirements, so it’s critical that suppliers double check that product data is correct and up to date. And according to Google, the financial implications can be significant:  “Merchants who’ve added correct GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%.”

The Google GTINS mandate demonstrates that they understand that product content (descriptions, feature bullets, images, videos, reviews) is a critical factor in driving conversion.  Consumers demand to know exactly what they are buying – and the right content makes for a great consumer experience.

Sourcing A Single Source of Truth

Accurate and timely product information helps instill trust and customer loyalty in the interchangeable and complex world of retail.

By working with 25,000+ brands and retailers to build scalable process to ensure the highest impact, consistency and levels of quality, 1WorldSync is the product information company. The 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud solutions deliver rich and trusted product content to engage customers and consumers regardless of the medium. 1WorldSync helps organizations align on the product information governance strategy to apply GTIN standardization, and implement for Google, GDSN, Walmart and beyond.

References

1 ClickZ, 2016

2 Internet Retailing 2014. ‘Four in 10 Abandon Purchase For Lack Of Information Study’. http://internetretailing.net/2014/02/four-in-10-abandon-purchase-for-lack-of-information-study/

 

Ringing In The Retail: Does Size Matter?

Currently, there are 28 million American small businesses, which account for 54% of all U.S. sales (Patriot Software 2016).

In the Internet Retailer 2016 Second 500 Guide, the most successful e-commerce companies in the middle tier have outperformed their larger rivals by identifying and leveraging their sweet spots (Internet Retailer 2016). Second 500 web merchants, whose 2015 web sales fell between $1.7 million-$28.3 million, are solid proof that small can indeed be mighty. As a group, they grew their online sales last year by 14.9% to $6.99 billion, ahead of their larger Top 500 competitors, who grew at 13.5%.

Many smaller retailers rely on Small Business Saturday, an initiative launched by American Express (CNBC 2016). In its seventh year since the recession, Small Business Saturday events and entertainment encourage consumers to shop at small businesses versus big-box stores and malls that draw in Black Friday shoppers.  

However, as a smaller retailer, competing for e-commerce dollars during the busiest shopping season of the year is no easy feat. With higher than ever stakes, how do you tackle the big retailer squeeze?

Avoid Getting ‘Amazoned’ This Holiday Season

Smaller retailers face the constant struggle of having to match the convenience that Amazon offers, while personalized and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights, to keep streams of loyal consumers returning.

The only way is to create a better end-to-end user experience that is driven by customer insights. Failure to deliver on this experience will mean leaving revenue at the door – revenue that Amazon will be happy to gobble gobble (pun intended!).

86% of companies want to excel at customer experience. But only 27% even qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers (Forrester Customer Experience Index 2015). One thing is for certain regardless of your size as an organization:

Consumers expect a seamless path to purchase from discovery to delight across all channels and devices.

Agile Is The New Black

One of the greatest benefits a small business has is that they can react much more quickly than most larger corporations or big box stores. In other words, if you see an opportunity to introduce a new vendor, you can make this happen more quickly than the many steps necessary it would take at a big box store.

For example, if you see inventory sales have gone cold turkey (pun intended!), you can help move it through displays, employee engagement and even marking it down to help it sell faster.

Big retailers have the advantage of large scale systems that optimize processes. However giant companies suffer when they lose touch with the granularity of their businesses. As a smaller retailer, you can better understand how swiftly consumer needs change prior to larger competitors because of direct contact. You are better equipped to deal with changes in the environment and test new ideas quicker among customers without obstacles.

Retail Is Big On Small Business

Gaining a national footprint no longer relies solely on big brand partnerships – with the right attitude, resources and strategy, small business have the power to go it alone.

And if a little support is needed to survive holiday pressures, there may even be opportunities to partner collaboratively with industry giants. Smaller retailers may offer flexibility and a more intimate customer experience but when coupled with their larger, wealthier counterparts, the global market offers an array of quality goods and services. If you can’t beat them, join them!

References

1 “The State of Small Businesses in the U.S” Patriot Software. 2 May 2016.  https://smallbusiness.patriotsoftware.com/small-businesses-in-the-us-infographic/?utm_source=FRB45&utm_medium=article&utm_term=smallbiz_sat&utm_content=GBL

2 “Keeping up with innovation keeps smaller retailers in the game” Internet Retailer. 13 June 2016. https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/06/13/keeping-innovation-keeps-smaller-retailers-game

3  “A secret weapon to help small retailers on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday”. CNBC. 23 November 2016. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/23/ai-software-aids-retailers-on-black-friday-small-business-saturday.html

 “The US Customer Experience Index, Q1 2015.” Forrester. 6 October 2016 https://www.forrester.com/report/The+US+Customer+Experience+Index+Q1+2015/-/E-RES117482

Back to the Future of The Evolution of E-Commerce – Part 2

Coping and competing in this new environment of always-connected, highly informed consumers can be rewarding when done right.

This post elaborates on some of the trends that took place this year  that we introduced a few days ago!

  • Regulatory Compliance Drives Product Transparency Initiatives: Global companies may face different challenges than their domestic-only counterparts when it comes to product data management. With the emergence of multi-channel commerce, and mobile/social engagement, international regulatory and industry initiatives exacerbate pressures on manufacturers to provide a more robust set of trusted, quality product information.

Organizations all over the world are driven by these local, federal, and global regulations to streamline their product information distribution systems for accuracy and transparency. The complexity of compliance in cross border commerce is prevalent and impacts multiple categories and industries including:

    • Product Health & Safety (e.g. RoHs, MSDS)
    • Food & Nutrition (SmartLabel, EU1169 & Food Safety)
    • Product Traceability (UDI Device Traceability)
    • Product Sustainability & Social Responsibility
    • Security and Counter Terrorism

Noel Geoffroy, senior vice president of morning foods marketing and innovation at Kellogg’s, says: “The expectation of transparency from brands is increasing, and we believe in maintaining an open and honest conversation with consumers” (American Marketing Association 2015).

As the leading product information network, 1WorldSync offers a comprehensive solution for addressing transparent and compliant product information across your supply chain. The 1WorldSync Transparency & Compliance solution helps global businesses to simplify and manage the process of exchanging and managing product  information, certificates and documentation, across trading partner communities around the world.

  • Predictive Commerce Uncovers Unprecedented Insight

Retailers have finally begun to embrace predictive models and analytics in the hope of determining the intent of their customers and tracking valuable user behavior.

After 36 months, predictive intelligence influenced 34.71% of brands’ total orders (Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report 2014). With the ability for more effective marketing, happier and more engaged customers, higher profits and more controlled outgoings it’s easy to see why predictive analytics have become a critical component to an ecommerce retailer.

At times, consumers may not be able to vocalize what they like. But predictive analytics can still recommend the right products. Intelligence gained through predictive analytics helps build a culture of better decision making, where any question that is raised can be modeled using the right data inputs. Without the deep understanding of customers and their shopping patterns, retailers will be flying blind when trying to create an experience  that drives conversions.

Done well, it enables online retailers to target consumers on the basis of their behaviors. Then retailers are in a great position to offer complementary and/or alternative products, search options, and brands, send targeted product promotions even when a shopper is offline.  The added bonus for retailers is that they’re able to keep visitors on their site longer to help drive traffic, boost sales and enhance experience.  

Investing in predictive analytics is a must for retailers also looking to analyze purchasing patterns to configure pricing algorithms as well as reduce fraud.  

Retailers that can harness predictive data can offer relevant, targeted promotions to individual consumers. Moreover, retailers will also be able to achieve other goals that will change the consumer experience, boost conversions, and even improve margins such as predicting the next best-selling product, preventing out-of-stock scenarios, and ensuring proper staffing at stores.

Be the Retailer That Consumers Want to See In the World

2017 unveils a unique opportunity for agile retailers looking to embrace and incorporate trends sweeping the industry in the form of higher conversions, enhanced engagement, and a loyal army of consumer advocates.

References

“Kellogg Lifts the Flap With New Transparency Effort”-American Marketing Association. 17 Feb 2015, https://www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/Marketing-News-Weekly/Pages/kellogg-open-for-breakfast.aspx

“75 Digital Marketing Stats from Salesforce Marketing Cloud Research.” Predictive Analytics Benchmark Report. 18 November 2014. https://www.marketingcloud.com/blog/uk/75-digital-marketing-stats-from-salesforce-marketing-cloud-research-2/

Back to the Future of The Evolution of E-Commerce – Part 1

Hide your stocking stuffers and savor sips of eggnog…2017 is here! Ecommerce continues to grow rapidly, but with the huge market acting as a magnet to brands large and small, competition will ramp up faster than the total growth of the market.  This means that customers will be harder to win, easier to lose and fussier on price and user experience.

The Future of Retail? Look Into The Past

Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been?” We will take a look back on the high-impact trends that shaped 2016 and will likely drive 2017 forward.

  • Demand for Complete and Accurate Product Content: Having a great product is truly only step one of the equation. More and more companies are presenting new content regularly, and in unique and compelling ways that not only garner consumer  attention, but  also engage to forge an emotional connection for the consumer to the brand.  

88% of consumers say that detailed product content is extremely important to their purchasing decision (Google Shopping Guide 2016).

Good product content (descriptions, feature bullets, images, videos, reviews) that helps consumers by being informative, educational, and/or inspirational will increase sales and loyalty dramatically over time. Product content is now more important than the product itself. Consumers demand to know exactly what they are buying – and the right content makes for a rich consumer experience, and ultimately makes the consumer hit ‘Buy Now’.  

  • Multi-Channel Makes or Breaks a Business: Shoppers who interact with more than one channel spend 18% to 36% more than those who interact with a single channel (Bazaarvoice 2012).  Customers expect to use all channels as though they are a single experience, requiring tight integration across those channels. Retailers have had  the logistics and physical stores in place, and continue to invest in the physical store experience they are supplementing this with online channels to expand their reach.

Recognizing this, many retailers have pushed to check off all the multichannel boxes: robust physical presence, e-commerce site, social channels, and mobile apps. All of these elements are important, but their mere existence doesn’t ensure success. Understanding the importance of integration of dynamic ecommerce capabilities across all channels and devices is crucial. It’s now clear that the big winners will be the retailers that can blend the online and offline— the digital and the physical—into one seamless, omnichannel shopping experience.

References

1 Google Shopping Guide, 2016

3 “Four social trends already changing your business.” Bazaarvoice. June 2012. http://www.bazaarvoice.com/research-and-insight/white-papers/Four-social-trends-already-changing-your-business-2012-trends-report.html

It’s The Holiday Season for Omni-Channel Retail

We know it’s only October, but believe it or not, a survey by CreditCard.com says that 1 percent of Americans, or 34 million Santas, say they are done with their shopping. Already. Before the first week of October.  Whether these folks are looking for bargains or are just hyper-organized, experts say those who had their Christmas shopping wrapped up before fall officially arrived likely made their purchases online.  

What about the remaining 99%?  They’ll be shopping, too. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the National Retail Federation announced that it anticipates holiday sales to increase 3.6% to $655.8 billion.  While in-store purchases will continue to dominate, with 91% of holiday shoppers planning to spend at physical stores, that leaves about 8% or so shopping online (though about 85% of holiday shoppers will likely research online before making in-store purchases). Clearly, holiday shoppers are expecting an omni-channel experience this season with physical and digital retail converging, trying to get consumers to spend.

According to The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), “shoppers intend to take advantage of the diverse options for shopping, spending across channels. Most prominently, consumers are reliant upon omni-channel retailers versus pure play online or solely physical retailers.”

Brands and retailers will have lots to do in order to drive higher conversion rates, so here’s a quick hit list of reminders:

  • Go Digital: Centralize and digitize product content for omni-channel.
  • Get Discovered: Connect with new buyers and category managers to create new opportunities.
  • Sell Everywhere: Showcase and promote products on any channel.
  • Deliver Content Efficiently: Engage and integrate product information with Omni-channel customers.

It’s a crowded omni-channel world especially during the holidays! Can all of this happen in time to take advantage of the anticipated big boost in holiday spending? Absolutely. 1WorldSync omni-channel solutions can help your products stand out and engage the elevated expectations of seasonal shoppers.

How The Consumer Experience is Driven by “I Need to Know Moments”

According to Forrester’s 2015 Customer Experience Index (Forrester, 2015), 86% of companies want to excel at customer experience. But only 27% of brands even qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers.

Today’s omni-channel consumers expect brands to address their needs in real-time and turn to their mobile devices when contemplating making a purchase.  A wealth of information is a mere tap away via our smartphone apps and a poor experience can be easily replaced with another viable option a click away.

These intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping have fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time “I want to buy” micro-moments of decision-making and preference-shaping, as termed by Google.  

Today’s Shoppers Demand Information Right Here & Right Now

Welcome to the new world order of 24/7 great expectations shaped by customers who expect to be able to make more intent driven decisions with a seamless experience.

Today’s shoppers demand product information in real-time. Whether it be trusted and authentic reviews, product photos or nutritional information, as consumers we’ve come to want exceptional experiences exactly when and where we want it.  And nowhere is it more apparent than in retail.  

  • Fully stocked shelves bursting with variety? Done.  
  • Loyalty program? Goes without saying.  
  • Free overnight delivery? Naturally.  

But these great expectations go beyond the “what” and are firmly rooted in the “how.”  And that’s all about “Omni-channel” being touted as shopping’s new norm.  The bar has been raised and the expectations are clear.  Consumers expect that retailers will/better deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels and devices.

Omni-Channel Shoppers: An Emerging Reality for Retailers

For the retailer, omni-channel requires overlapping to ensure that the customer remains delighted and perceives a seamless experience from end to end. Helping a customer through their entire buyer’s journey means knocking down internal barriers to hold their hand at each stage, making sure that each hand-off is perfect. (BigCommerce, 2016)

An Aberdeen survey (Internet Retailer, 2013) cites that companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to customer retention rate of 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.

Fortunately, many online retailers and suppliers have already enabled omni-channel functions and are clearly seeing the benefits. They’ve made the required investments in understanding their consumers’ needs and then tailored the rest of the organization to meeting those needs.

It’s An Omni-Channel World After All: Engaging Consumers and Connecting Trusted Product Data Everywhere

By enabling products to stand out in a crowded omni-channel world, 1WorldSync delivers rich and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights – to engage customers and consumers – regardless of location or medium. 1WorldSync’s Omni-Channel solutions helps leading retailers capitalize on product information to drive conversion.  

Walmart is one such retailer that views the omni-channel shopper as its sweet spot. At its annual shareholders meeting last year, Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon addressed the importance of an omni-channel strategy (Marketing Land, 2015). He said that Walmart will keep making technology top of mind when it comes to internal and external customer facing initiatives.

“I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way, and we can’t either. One customer can shop with us in so many different ways – in stores, on their phones, at homes, a pick-up point. But they just think they’re shopping at Walmart, at ASDA, at Sam’s Club.”

Exceeding Expectations and Creating Stellar Experiences For Omni-Channel Customers

Conversely, there are countless other retailers that are lagging behind – whether they’ve taken a few wrong turns or are just late to the game.  The consumer’s great expectation remains regardless.

A survey by Synthetix (Synthetix, 2016) indicates that 9 out of 10 customers expect to receive a consistent experience over multiple channels. They expect a valuable, memorable and story-worthy experience.  They expect detailed and consistent product content to aid in decision making.  They expect to see this same level of detail when shopping for another product in another department. They expect a single view with a wide array of efficient and convenient options. And they expect to shop at any time from any number of devices – such as their PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Clearly, given the consumer’s mighty requirements for an integrated omni-channel shopping experience, retailers and suppliers must move quickly to deliver on those soaring expectations or risk the curse of any industry irrelevance.

 

  1. “The US Customer Experience Index, Q1 2015 – Forrester.” 6 Oct. 2016<https://www.forrester.com/report/The+US+Customer+Experience+Index+Q1+2015/-/E-RES117482>
  2.  “Omni-Channel Retail and The Future of Commerce – BigCommerce.” 2016. 6 Oct. 2016 <https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/omni-channel-retail/>
  3. “Why an omnichannel strategy matters – Internet Retailer.” 2013. 6 Oct. 2016 <https://www.internetretailer.com/2013/12/31/why-omnichannel-strategy-matters>
  4. “Walmart positioned to drive omni-channel marketing in global retailing.” 2015. 5 Aug. 2015 <http://marketingland.com/walmart-positioned-drive-omni-channel-marketing-global-retailing-137007>
  5. “The rise of demand for multi-channel online customer service – Synthetix.” 2016. 6 Oct. 2016 <http://www.synthetix.com/website_documents/Synthetix_Online_Customer_Service_Survey_2012.pdf>