Omnichannel Rules of Engagement

#1 Do not extrapolate consumer behavior from the physical to the digital

Context creates behavior: Remember when you walked into an upscale restaurant? You dressed well. Spoke softly. Ordered your food politely. The next day, at a fast-food joint, you were impatient, dressed casually, and yelled at the slow service. Okay, you get the point. Understand the context and accept that the same customer of yours will behave differently online and in your brick-and-mortar store.

What should you do: Omnichannel extends your capabilities to serve the multiple behaviors of the same customer. Customer enjoys the in-store experience – give them that. Customer demands value for money online – get on with it. The challenge is to stay true to your brand promise on all channels while serving the customers' various needs. If you are an upscale brand, don’t scream deep discounts on your website. The online customer expects value since price shopping is much more accessible online. But that does not mean you must show red tag sales on your website every time to draw attention.

The thrills of discovery: When genuinely trying to understand consumer behavior on the different channels, one should always be open to discovering new things about the consumer, unmet needs and wants, and innovative ways to reach and deliver. Omnichannel should be viewed as a multiplicative endeavor – one channel plus one channel should equal more than two channels!

Published by: Samar Das, Ph.D.



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