Driving Omnichannel Experiences Through e-Commerce
Creating an omnichannel experience through e-Commerce can drive impactful revenue growth if done correctly. For the past decade, we’ve been dedicated to supporting our clients in their digital transformation journeys, and we’ve seen the challenges, the opportunities, the successes, and the learning experiences firsthand.
As we all know, events of recent years have pushed companies over the technology tipping point and transformed businesses forever. As a consequence, many companies were forced to become digital-first overnight, and e-Commerce has risen to the top priority list. But this is just the beginning of a transformational journey. e-Commerce in today’s world is driven by the customer and all the channels where these interact with the company and brand.
Currently, we are witnessing some key trends that set the scene for the need and rise of omnichannel approaches:
The number of Commerce channels and their complexity continues to explode as well as the need to orchestrate a personalised and consistent experience.
Engaging and activating customers in a personalised Commerce experience is a challenge, but based on internal analysis, those that do it well see a 20-50% increase in CSAT, NPS, & loyalty while doubling the order size.
Delivering desired Commerce experiences is more challenging than ever as the rate of technology innovation accelerates exponentially. However, this creates an opportunity for launching new business models that seek new revenue streams.
Improving CSAT has also proved to help businesses retain 74% of customers for another year, leading to a substantial increase in revenue. Moreover, customers with the best customer experiences spend 140% more compared to customers who had a poor experience. (data from Harvard Business Review research)
So, the question common to all is how do we approach these complex challenges?
The golden answer is: by focusing on customer experience.
The most successful companies let their strategic ambition and aspirational customer experience determine their omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel excellence requires a laser-like focus on value creation. Leaders take a hard look at their strategic and customer priorities and decide who they want to be from the omnichannel perspective. And they develop an equally clear-eyed understanding of what it will take to achieve that ambition. When the underlying ambition and capabilities are misaligned, companies tend to stumble.
Based on McKinsey’s framework, an omnichannel experience through Commerce has different variants. We can break it down into three key levels: Commerce, Personalisation and Ecosystem. Companies can excel at one or move down the levels and create an ecosystem experience and expand into other business models over time.
All three of these tactics are interconnected, with omnichannel ecosystems being the most powerful. Retailers have two options: they may stick with one strategy, dive deep, and then flourish as a leader in Commerce or Personalisation, or, with the proper foundation in place, they can move along the continuum into an Ecosystem and gradually extend into other business models. Most importantly, if implemented properly, each method has shown to be capable of generating long-term benefits.
Which Strategy to Take?
The decision of which omnichannel strategy to take depends on the alignment between strategic and customer goals. It requires understanding beyond the current horizon, reflecting on the company’s mission and values and identifying where the experience truly becomes a differentiation asset in comparison to its competitors.
Companies need to take a hard look at their existing resources, market position, and customer relationships, then align on a starting point and an ambition that is both realistic and a value driver for the business.
Let’s take a look at one of our client cases.
Client: Leading pharmaceutical company based in EMEA.
Their vision: To become the leading B2B e-Commerce platform within the pharmaceutical sector with a qualitative and highly performant experience for all its stakeholders.
Future Needs & Wants: No stand-alone platform: data interaction, foundation but tailored to local needs, B2B performance with B2C experience, building on loyalty.
Challenge: Deciding the right strategy - even though their future ambition is to reach an Omni-ecosystem, the decision was between investing in the Commerce route or the Personalisation route.
Decision: Commerce route by upgrading their current B2B Commerce platform to a superior cross-channel experience, with a product focus, bringing convenience and reliability to customers while creating loyalty programs to incentivise their return.
50% increase in users
250% increase in orders
350% increase in conversion
150% increase in revenue
What’s next: Elevating the platform through further personalisation of tailored and targeted offerings and creating engagement outside the transaction.
Key to their success: Realistic approach to present and future wants & needs and really understanding what was required and possible, including change management internally and externally, a strong loyalty program both internally and externally and approaching it as a stepping stone in their journey instead of a standalone project.
The list of actions, functions, and requirements of Digital Commerce and omnichannel experiences is ever-expanding, increasingly complex and includes so much more than e-Commerce.
Our experience shows that the imperative of Digital Commerce is to drive growth, and isn’t that what we all wish to achieve? But taking these steps is not a standalone action. A successful transformation requires marketing, sales, and service capabilities to come together for true omnichannel excellence.
If you want to find out more, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team!