Hybrid shopping worlds with brick-and-mortar stores, analog services, and digital channels are becoming the standard in wholesale and retail.
Sustainable changes in purchasing behavior and digital growth are driving this development decisively.
For customers, relevant, quality products and services at reasonable prices are just as important as a straightforward and personalized shopping experience. Make sure that the product or service experience delivers on the promise of the shopping experience!
In connected commerce, the customer journey runs along various analog and digital touchpoints.
In addition to user data, it is important to provide product information, functions, and services uniformly and across channels at all times in brick-and-mortar stores and online stores, in mobile apps and wearables, as well as voice assistants, social media touchpoints, and messenger services. This portfolio should include general information, payment options, prices and additional costs, shopping carts, checkout, order and returns status, and IT security aspects. The multitude of touchpoints increases the challenge of ensuring a consistent look and feel across all channels. These ever-changing expectations across all physical and digital touchpoints with the customer can be realized through a centralized, digital platform to provide seamless and personalized customer experiences, even in brick-and-mortar stores. For satisfying customer needs, the collection of holistic customer data, depending on the release, plays a crucial role. The resulting findings form the basis for the development of insight-driven, customer-centric solutions, services and products, as well as measurable business results that positively impact revenue and profit margins.
In Connected Commerce, inspiration usually comes from social networks such as TikTok, Facebook or Instagram.
With one touch, the customer goes directly to the online store, orders the desired items there, and has them delivered to a nearby store. There, the items can be checked, possibly changed, paid for and picked up. Alternatively, shipping to the customer’s address is also possible and, in the case of quick commerce providers, the goods are delivered to the customer’s doorstep within 24 hours. To create unique customer experiences, retailers need to seamlessly integrate online and offline channels and develop innovative hybrid 24/7 services. Customers should be able to select, receive and return products and services when, where and how it is most convenient for them. In recent years, various hybrid service approaches have become established. A Click & Collect offering involves ordering and paying online and picking up at the store. Click & Reserve stands for order online, try on in store and pay on site. Instore Return is an additional offer for merchandise that was ordered online but can be returned in a store. The availability display of items in different stores can also be decisive for prospective buyers, as customers can find out about the stock in individual stores in their vicinity before purchasing specific products. In order to implement hybrid service worlds, it is also advisable to offer WLAN in stationary retail. Mobile reception must be guaranteed to enable the interaction of stationary offerings with corresponding digital services and information sources. Digital services that enable online ordering and delivery of missing products or bulky goods during stationary shopping are a special asset. Pick-up outside opening hours can be realized via Locker.
Using diverse channels, developing unique selling points and delighting customers with unique shopping experiences
Currently, there is a broad unprecedented range of products in online shopping. Companies not only have to hold their own against direct competitors, but also compete with large distance sellers and online marketplaces. Only those who offer their target groups relevant products and service with unique customer experiences will be successful in the long run. Cross-channel basics and an interplay between marketing, sales, service and IT are the prerequisites for a successful customer journey. A high-performance IT infrastructure and innovative commerce platforms are just as crucial as modern sales channels with social selling in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) area. Customers can weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of digital channels and stationary units individually and decide where and how to shop. Negative shopping experiences, both analog and digital, should be avoided as far as possible. Abandoned purchases can happen on site as well as online. There are various reasons for this, e.g. lack of synchronization of information and services between the channels, excessively long queues in stores, lack of or poor advice, or lack of payment options. The USPs of online shopping are obvious here. Consumers can conveniently shop where and when they want. They don’t have to wait in lines or fight their way through crowded stores. They can stroll at their leisure or search specifically for products. There are limits, however. Products can’t be touched and tried remotely. There may be longer delivery times or bottlenecks, and the product is not available for use on an ad hoc basis as it would be with an in-store purchase. By efficiently connecting the online store with the brick-and-mortar store, consumers get to enjoy both worlds.
Our Connected Commerce experts develop new, hybrid business models with our customers and support the operationalization of go-to-market strategies. They manage realization projects, digitize processes and shape hybrid organizations in the next era of digitization. Furthermore, our consultants are the right contacts for assessing the status quo of your operations and evaluating critical success factors. We also provide support in the methodical selection of technologies and providers and monitor implementation.