Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Omnichannel and smarter sales assistance

Blog
18th December 2018

Our recent YouGov research revealed that around 10% of customers admit to buying products online using their phone whilst still in-store. This is a customer who is in a store looking at a product and buying the same item online before even leaving. Just ten per cent may not sound significant, but it demonstrates that some customers are happily blending the in-store and online experience and are not ashamed to use the facilities of a retailer and then order elsewhere.

What we are really seeing here is what those in the customer service industry call omnichannel retail. This is when the customer experience should be consistent and exceptional, regardless of the channel used, which naturally means that a retailer offering great omnichannel service doesn’t discriminate between online or offline customers.

The reality is that some retailers have built fantastic online experiences and not reflected this in-store and some provide a fantastic in-store experience with less of a focus on online. It’s actually quite rare to find a true omnichannel experience where, regardless of how you interact with the brand, it’s always a fantastic experience.

So how can executives building a CX strategy really address this question? How can they ensure that the online experience drives more customers into their stores and a great experience in-store guides the customer to the online site for that retailer and not just the lowest online price for the same product? There is extensive research demonstrating that customers who shop both online and in-store are much more valuable to brands than those who only shop online or in-store, so how can brands nurture these customers?

I believe that retailers need to take omnichannel more seriously than ever before. Retail today requires a relationship with the customer, not just a transaction. The online experience should feature intelligent advice in just the same way as visiting a store. Customers want to be able ask questions about a product. Likewise, the in-store experience should feature greater personalisation, just like the online experience. Retailers need to build a connection with the customer that lasts for years and not just focus on making an individual sale.

If I were to describe how I believe the experience should be for customers both on the High Street and online then I would use words such as personal, expert, helpful, and enjoyable. This should describe all interactions no matter which channel is used. Retailers managing to achieve this experience both online and in-store should see increased conversion rates, up-sales, basket value, loyalty and advocacy. It goes almost without saying that this harmony of channels also increases the customer experience for all customers no matter which channel they prefer to use.

To make this work, the focus should be on interactions with the customer – real conversations. Consider the effect of a positive conversation in-store, it increases the chance of the customer making a purchase and remaining loyal to the brand. The same is true online, but usually customers are left to find their own information from FAQs or calling a contact centre. Why not create a system of digital sales assistance so online customers are helped by real people too?

It is possible to apply logic to the online system so customers are helped at the most appropriate time – and not in a way that badgers them when they are just browsing. By studying who they are, what they are looking for, and how they are behaving it is possible to intervene using a chatbot or a human agent where it seems that there is an attractive opportunity to help. It is possible to use analytics and decision management systems to help decide on the right time to intervene.

The ideal scenario is to blend virtual and human sales assistance so chatbots can provide immediacy and scale, and human assistants can offer one-to-one help and advice where needed. This dramatic improvement in the online experience will not only improve how online shoppers experience the brand, it is likely to drive more online shoppers into the stores and vice versa.

The research found that at least a third of customers still use a voice call when reaching out to a brand, so an improvement in online experience is no magic bullet. This needs to be part of a holistic strategy to improve the contact centre, the online experience, and the in-store experience with each channel supporting the other.

Omnichannel is no longer just a corporate strategy for the customer experience experts; it is now a customer expectation.

If you’d like to find out about how to create great omnichannel customer experiences or find out about Webhelp’s smart online sales assistance solutions get it touch… E: dave.pattman@webhelp.com


Dave Pattman
Article by: Dave Pattman

News & Insights

Service Provider
Solution Designer
Technology Enabler
Blog
Meet our Advisors – Cédric from Madagascar (ep.4)

​During the COVID-19 situation, a client was looking for a direct flight to Africa, desperate to leave before the borders closed. Unfortunately, her flight got cancelled three times in a row. So I had to search a lot of internal flights to help her. Finally, after an extensive search I found a flight that was not cancelled. When I was able to tell her the good news, she was over the moon...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Webhelp response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus

Webhelp Business Continuity in a responsible manner Our response to the Covid-19 crisis ensures the continuity of our business for our people, our clients and their customers. We face an unprecedented time of disruption and uncertainty. From individuals, to families, to companies, we have all...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
A message from the Founders

  ​​​Hello, We are facing an unprecedented situation today, which requires that we take an exemplary citizen's approach to protect the most vulnerable people and to do everything we can to limit the spread of this pandemic. Thank you for your mobilization in recent...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Whitepaper
The HUB #12 – Diversity In Business – January 2020

Cheers to the new year! And with the new beginnings, we are not only happy to present our 12th edition of The HUB magazine, we are also delighted to welcome our new readers into the community! In our latest issue, we take a look at one of our strengths as Webhelp: Diversity! And because we...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Case Studies
Phillip, Senior Key Account Manager, Nuremberg

...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook