A recent study of consumer products companies that have adapted omnichannel strategies to reach customers, found that 86% of respondents agree that omnichannel has meant that consumer expectations of the organization have increased.
The SAP survey also found that 86% agree that the benefits of investing in an omnichannel approach to consumer sales clearly outweigh the challenges.
However, only 16% of businesses say that they are currently meeting all business and analysis needs for consumer experience via multi-channel.
The survey data further suggests that simply operating a large number of channels is not a competitive strategy moving forward. Rather, the key focus for consumer products companies now is to apply data gleaned from directly consumer interactions — via information inquires, online purchases, social engagement and more — to improve the consumer experience.
The report issued the following recommendations for creating consumer intimacy when developing omnichannel strategies:
- Consumer intimacy is a data-driven change: In the age of big data, it is no longer enough to simply gather information and analyze it. The ability to synthesize insights and patterns, and apply insights to the business and deliver tangible results is what differentiates market leaders from the competition. Through consumer intimacy, consumer products organizations can build up a complex view of an individual consumer across all channels, understand their habits and drivers, and ultimately effectively persuade and pre-empt.
- The time to lead is now: While most consumer products companies are currently ill-prepared for the era of consumer intimacy, it is on the radar of most and a focus for many. First-mover advantage is critical. Not only will it lead to a competitive edge, but it will ensure that the resulting omnichannel approach is built for the modern marketplace rather than being out-of-date as soon as it’s launched. Consumer products businesses should focus on leading the consumer experience. The drive to create more direct consumer relationships must be grounded in consumer intimacy.
- Depth of experience, not channel mix: While it may be tempting to focus on maximizing the number of channels in operation, this complicates each consumer relationship and jeopardizes the quality of the consumer experience. In order to optimize consumer intimacy, depth of insight gathered from one channel is more valuable than a shallow view across all channels. And if all channels are interoperable, so much the better.