What separates the cross-channel marketers from the omni-channel is the degree of integration for the customer. Do your channels each function independently or is there a consistency to message and capability that turns each part into one seamless experience.
Here are seven things it’s time to get right.
1. Acknowledge you know what we’ve talked about in the past — including the past 5 minutes! Little is more maddening than having to repeat information each and every time you are transferred from one agent to another.
2. If you must use bots, bring them to life. In the department of banishing boredom, R/GA partnered with career site The Muse, salary site PayScale, Ladies Get Paid and Reply.ai to create “Ask For a Raise” on Equal Pay Day using Facebook Messenger. They enlisted the outspoken champion of diversity, Cindy Gallop, as coach. Gallop’s signature salty language made the whole thing real while offering solid information on how to negotiate effectively for more money. The bot also drove traffic for the participating partners.
3. Make it easy to return. Increasing numbers of retailers are establishing drop-off points at physical locations beyond the retail store, offering convenience outside the postal hours of 9 to 5.
4. Fully integrate mobile. Starbucks and Sephora are just two who make it possible to update your rewards app from anywhere and have those changes communicate to all touchpoints.
5. Make it easy to take the next step. If I’m on your Web site, let me know how to find a store, make a phone call, launch a live chat, or send an email. Don’t force me to search because I’ll probably give up and leave.
6. Fully integrate online and offline. It is no coincidence Nordstrom is not on the growing list of retailers shutting stores left and right. Go to shop on Nordstrom.com and you’ll find a well-organized experience and much more. You can check the physical store nearest you if you want to go buy it in person or pick it up there. What’s more, the site gives you a real-time look at the available inventory on the item you want in the size you want it in.
7. Make it easy to share. A growing trend in fitting rooms is the installation of technology that encourages you to take a photo in what you’re wearing and share it on social for feedback from your friends. People have been doing this for years with their mobile phones, so why not institutionalize the practice and get some business intelligence while you’re at it.