Today’s customer demands seamless and relevant experiences. They want to move effortlessly across your online and offline channels from initial contact, to purchase and beyond. Along the way, they expect you to know their interests and preferences and use this to provide consistent, timely, relevant and personalised engagements. They also expect your sales and customer service representatives to have real-time access to their purchase and interaction history to help advance their journey. In essence, they want a data-driven experience.
This is the course customers have set for companies. Yet, enabling an outstanding customer experience requires businesses to overcome the fallout of IT decisions made over years, resulting in incremental purchases of siloed, on-premise, channel-specific solutions. They now form the labyrinth of systems with islands of channel specific data that prevent unifying the customer experience across all touchpoints. But beware. Quick fixes of replacing front-end, customer-facing systems are not the answer. Achieving success in today’s digital competitive marketplace means businesses must replace their legacy systems to establish the right technology foundation. Remedying siloed systems and initiating a one-system approach will create a single source of truth for customer, order and inventory data for use in unique and differentiating ways, enabling the brand experiences that customers want and expect.
1. Establish your digital platform
With your foundation in place, you can seamlessly connect more modern and advanced channels within any part of your business. An eCommerce system will serve as the base of your digital platform. Unified with your back-end systems, you’ll provide instant access to inventory and customer data to your web store to display accurate inventory levels to shoppers, including store availability, and deliver relevant cross-sell and upsell merchandising offers.
2. Extend digital to the store and beyond
Unify your online and offline channels by extending your digital platform to support a modern POS. Your POS will now operate on the same digital platform as your eCommerce system, creating a seamless experience between online and offline. The shopping journey can start in one channel and easily transition to another. Sales associates can quickly leverage customer, inventory and product data for effective, in-store experiences. Other channels, including pop-up stores, catalogues, call centres and kiosks will also connect seamlessly to the back-end, allowing shoppers to truly buy anywhere, return anywhere.
3. Build your foundation
To achieve success in today’s digital competitive marketplace, businesses must simplify processes by consolidating their core systems. Remedying siloed systems and initiating a one-system approach is your first step. You’ll eliminate data fragmentation and duplication, while delivering real-time information, creating efficiencies and opportunities to improve the customer experience. With a one-system approach, your back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and order and inventory management systems will reside on one platform. You’ll get a single source of the truth for customer, order and inventory data in real-time, making that data available to all existing and future front-end, customer-facing systems.
4. Maximise engagement and innovation
Design innovative customer acquisition and retention experiences with your eCommerce and POS systems, utilizing your single source of customer, order and inventory data. With a central digital communications hub, provide personalised engagements and marketing campaigns designed to motivate customers and deliver exceptional experiences at every touchpoint, focusing on relevancy and value throughout the customer lifecycle.
5. Drive market disruption
No longer limited by technology, digitally disrupt your industry and transform your business. You’ll streamline your operations and end the never-ending cycle of maintaining legacy, back-office IT systems and siloed, channel-specific software. From there, you’ll gain the agility and scalability to grow your business. Company resources previously dedicated to maintaining multiple systems with heavy integrations can be refocused to innovating the customer experience over and over.
6. Your new customer experience
With a unified commerce platform in place, technology is no longer a limiting factor. Delivering the ultimate customer experience arrives when you no longer depend on technology providers to help you create and engage in new, disruptive ways. Businesses can take disruption into their own hands.
With the single source of truth, you’ll provide consistent and relevant experiences across all customer touchpoints and sales channels to differentiate your brand by seamlessly moving with your customers from their desktop, to their smartphone, to your stores and to your call centre. You’ll also provide shoppers with relevant, timely and personalised engagements. Altogether, you’ll give customers what they expect from a brand experience, gain their loyalty and be rewarded with their repeat purchases.
Explore more ways to boost the customer experience and download the full whitepaper.