How To Make Omnichannel Magic

How To Make Omnichannel Magic

by Tripti Lochan

Posted on 10-15-2017

Pre-internet, the role of advertising and marketing was to build awareness and create a desire for products, ultimately driving customers in-store. The view was that once they arrived at the “last mile,” the product would, in effect, sell itself.

This is no longer the case, however, as would-be customers form impressions through online reviews and chatter. A visit to a store might just be the customer physically examining a product as part of the purchasing journey. Therefore, it’s essential that brands provide a unified experience across all channels.

But how do they do that effectively?

Multichannel Vs. Omnichannel

Let’s first tackle the difference between multichannel and omnichannel. Multichannel essentially means giving customers multiple channels from which to transact, such as catalogs, brick-and-mortar stores, mail, and mobile. Banks in the APAC region are a really good example of this: They think about the types of transactions customers want based on where they are and what they need, then build relevant functionality through the appropriate channel.

Omnichannel means something completely different. Done right, it’s about providing the customer with a continuous, consistent, and compelling experience. The key to an effective omnichannel experience is the way it weaves together digital and physical touch points and lets customers choose how to get what they want. The experience could begin with one channel or device and end on another—without frustration or needing to get in touch with customer service.

All omnichannel experiences use multiple channels, but the reverse is not necessarily true. Even if your social, website, and mobile channels are individually flawless, if the interaction across them is not seamless, then it’s not an omnichannel experience.

Disney: The World’s Best Example Of The Omnichannel Experience

Walt Disney World’s visitor experience starts at Disney.com, where visitors are called guests. Guests can use My Disney Experience to make park reservations and get FastPass experiences to skip lines for three attractions a day. Guests also can use the My Disney Experience app in the park to manage their FastPass choices.

Disney’s introduction of the MagicBand, a wristband with embedded Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) embedded, takes the experience further. RFID technology uses radio waves to read and capture information to give guests a more customised experience. MagicBand is the key to checking in at resort hotels and can be used by guests to order food within the park.

But here is where Disney shows its omnichannel prowess: The MagicBand works seamlessly with other Disney services. Its integration with FastPass allows guests to tap their wrists for access to the attractions they had previously chosen when planning their day. Scanning their MagicBands also allows guests to access and purchase pictures that were taken in the theme park via the PhotoPass service. This is a clear example of how different channels (MagicBand, FastPass, PhotoPass) can work together for an enhanced guest experience.

This example also shows how brands need to link seamless personalised customer experiences to their overall business strategies. Customers expect more than a generic experience, so businesses need a completely integrated system for personalization across every channel.

It might seem easier said than done, and that’s probably true, because at the core of all integrated experiences lies an integrated team. That means no sales, customer service, marketing, IT, product, or executive management silos. All the stakeholders must be brought together to successfully create a seamless customer experience. Yet the larger the company, the harder this undertaking often becomes.

But once your team is integrated and your strategy is defined, you can finalise your technology investments so stakeholders can see the same customer and company data across the enterprise. By adopting a growth mentality where organisations build on their knowledge and define how to make improvements, businesses are surely poised for continuous, consistent, compelling, experiential success.

Topics: Experience Cloud, Insights Inspiration, Digital Transformation, Marketing, CMO by Adobe

Products: Experience Manager, Experience Cloud