Omnichannel: companies need to see the customer in a new way

The consumer’s constant, non-linear transition between communication channels is no longer a surprise to the most observant companies. O omnichannel became a necessity, naturally, because of this movement — it’s what the customer looks for in any brand after having already lived the experience once.

However, even with more and more companies adopting omnichannel strategies, there is still little knowledge about the public and how it is acting now.

Over the years, it was easier to follow the movements, but the pandemic has shattered any expectations and set a new, much faster pace of change. It is no wonder that consumer behavior seems unprecedented on several levels, as everything we are experiencing in recent years is unprecedented.

What happened was the acceleration of digitization and a new wave of people discovering the online channels. At the same time, the lack of the possibility of in-person purchases generated a high expectation for the return, showing that the physical does not fall behind in the needs and consumer desires. All this created new desires and limits.

So, how should companies act so that omnichannel is properly applied and fulfills its function?

How to apply omnichannel

One of the central points for having this conversation is to understand that omnichannel is not just about technology. We are not talking merely about a new tool or platform, but about a whole communication and sales scheme. Technology is essential, yes, but it is not the focus. The focus is the customer.

With that in mind, the next step is to understand the audience. It is important to use the available channels also to collect data (always according to the LGPD and other related ethical practices). Market research is essential and valid at different times, both as a basis for long-term decisions and for seasonal actions, such as Black Friday or Consumer Day.

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We can take Consumer Day as an example, as it is very fresh this month (the date is celebrated on March 15th). A survey carried out by UOL with the Mind platform showed that the purchase intention of this date has been growing considerably year after year, as more people know about it. 26% of respondents were interested in taking advantage of the period in 2019, and now it is 56% in 2022. A company that is aware of this data can plan specific activities that suit its audience, while others may miss the season.

From insights like this, the raw material with which it is possible to supply the brand’s various communication channels is born. Then more data helps guide practices.

Using data in practice

Following the same example, the survey also showed that, in addition to the price and discounts offered, 63% of people consider free shipping as the most important factor influencing purchases. Then comes the presence of cashback, with 29%, and delivery time, with 24%.

This information allows various analyzes and applications related to omnichannel. If free shipping is so important, why not offer your nearest store pickup as an alternative when you can’t leave free delivery? In the case of cashback, omnichannel is already expected, as it usually requires a partnership with its own cashback mechanism. In them, there are often pages listing all the partners, which places the company in yet another channel.

In short, the omnichannel experience involves integration between all digital and physical channels and, therefore, the consumer expects to have a high variety of options. After offering the alternatives and letting him define his preferences, the company also needs to offer the same shopping experience — same standard of service, post-purchase, quality in general and communication style, among other factors.

Finally, I reiterate that data is the solution to be able to structure all this. With knowledge about your audience and your market, there are numerous ways to make the omnichannel strategy dialogue in the best way with the customer and generate the long-awaited sales and loyalty.

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André Palis, a columnist for TecMundo, worked at Google before starting his own business. He founded Raccoon in 2013, in São Carlos, an important technology hub in the State of São Paulo, and in 8 years he acquired the portfolio of major players in the market, such as Vivara, Natura, Leroy Merlin and Nubank. In 2013, he noticed a gap in the digital market, resigned from Google and, alongside Marco Túlio Kehdi, founded Raccoon, a full service agency that acts as a strategic partner throughout the digital chain. In 2021, Raccoon underwent a merger process and is now part of the global holding company S4 Capital and in 2022 it changed its name to Raccoon.Monks

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