Omni-Channel and Why It’s Important for Global Brand in Ecommerce Business

Usually, a global brand who wants to enter ecommerce market has already tens to hundreds physical stores in strategic spot around regions, cities, countries.  But in this discussion, let’s focus on a brand in a country, which is Indonesia. Let’s say the brand with name XOLA is a medium class fashion store for youth girl with a range of 20 to 30 years old. XOLA has around 20 stores throughout Indonesia, mostly in Java, Sumatra, Bali and sort of Kalimantan.  XOLA has settled their CRM and currently run loyal program with XOLA member card.  As goal to be great fashion brand player, XOLA extends their visibility by entering ecommerce market, in website platform, social media and mobile application.  XOLA aims every customer can have user friendly and seamless experience when their customer buy their products via ecommerce and physical store. XOLA aims to integrate shopping experience both in ecommerce and physical stores.

From the case of XOLA, they need multichannel management and omni-channel feature in their store operation.  Why?  Keep reading then.

XOLA has multiple stores and aimed to exist in ecommerce as well as social media and mobile application.  That means XOLA must make sure they run store management smooth with right inventory, stocks, and price. When these needs are what XOLA aimed, they need multichannel management.  But XOLA wants more. They wants their customer’s satisfaction also become most priority issue on this stage.  Customer can have integrated shopping experience across all channels.

For instance, customer may redeem their point on their membership when they buy online via ecommerce website.  And when the customer has really short time to do shopping in XOLA store which let say located in Taman Anggrek Mall, customer just purchase first the products of XOLA by online, and when they arrive at Taman Anggrek Mall, they just pick the orders up.  Customer also can have store assistance when they visit XOLA store online, which represented by online agents.  They can ask certain things till small detail thing like can I get this product on Taman Anggrek?

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What is Omni Channel

Omni channel is defined as a customer oriented approach in term of advance multichannel sales utilizing by providing integrated seamless shopping experience.  Through omni channel feature, customer can do shopping both online or offline which all inventory, stock, price, promotion, product information are integrated.

Even though, there are difference meaning among omni channel user experience and a multi channel user experience.   All omni channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi channel experience are omni channel.  XOLA can have amazing mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and well-designed website.  But if they don’t work together, it’s not omni channel.

Customers now and then only see XOLA as one brand. They don’t have enough mindset to deal with XOLA in website is different from XOLA in Taman Anggrek store. But unfortunately, that’s what most complicated to do for global brand like XOLA. Like other business, XOLA has a website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter. They use each of these platforms to engage and connect with customers. However, in most cases, customer still lacks a seamless experience and consistent messaging across each of these channels. That’s multi channel not omni channel.

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What Must Set First for Omni Channel Initiatives

Every company must develop its own unique omni-channel infrastructure, and work closely with several departments to develop this strong strategy. While building your own program, engage person in charge in IT, Marketing, Customer Service and sales agent or representative that involved in the experience. Set the goal and initiative together.

After that, make sure your ecommerce is scalable using omni channel platform.  It’s really important to collaborate with ecommerce enabler that understand this multi channel and omni channel needs. Once you get the wrong one, you will have to pay more expense, time, and complexities. And we know it’s not good for your business.

 

written by Afril Wibisono

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