Providing an omnichannel experience is crucial for brands
Omni-channel is the buzzword in consumer circles. Gone are the days when a brand could boast having a website, an app, social media and a store presence. Consumers today interact with a brand through multiple digital platforms (such as the laptop, tablet, smartphone), and expect one smooth approach that gives what they want in the most optimum fashion. They demand a seamless retail and shopping experience that integrates all the online, offline and app-based channels of a brand into one consistent unit that engages harmoniously.
Thus brands across sectors are out to provide the omnichannel way that allows a customer to start the engagement with one channel, continue researching with another, and finally close the transaction through a third channel, all the while getting a uniform experience through all touch-points.
Say Kabir Mehra and Samarth Hegde, co-founders of the luxury menswear brand Herringbone & Sui, “By being available through multiple channels, customers can reach us in the manner most convenient to them. Keeping abreast of the latest, cutting-edge technology is hugely important to our brand, as we use it all the way from order placements to production and delivery.”
In the world of hospitality, guests are getting more and more tech-savvy, demanding higher standards, says Tristan Beau De Lomenie, General Manager Delegate, Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity. ‘’Earlier, the internet was just a service like other services in a hotel. But nowadays, it is a need for guests and is as important as food,” says Beau De Lomenie.
Apart from mobile and desktop options, the Herringbone & Sui online store is designed to provide shoppers quick interactions through the chat functions and social media. ‘’We have a photo measurement technology called Beavertech which can compute 34 different measurements more accurately than a tailor in less than five minutes. Each order is customised to meet each client’s distinctive requirements, making each of the garments a unique piece of clothing. To achieve this we use proprietary technology to guide every step of production and the quality control process,” said Mehra and Hegde.
Using a unique method to provide a seamless guest experience, Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity has an innovative video menu that informs guests on the making of each dish. “Dash application, which is the world’s first in-restaurant luxury dining app, makes the menu dynamic. It helps guests navigate complex menus by showing pictures of a dish and also how chefs work behind the kitchen. Each menu dish also has a video play button against it. The Dash app will feature the menu in a video and image format, which allows the diner to view the meal visually. This helps guests see what they can expect from the restaurant,” Beau De Lomenie said.
On the other hand, Chai Point, the chain of tea cafés and kiosks, has introduced boxC.in, which is an IoT enabled tea dispenser designed for corporates. The fully automated dispensing machine is managed remotely by Chai Point’s command centre, which monitors over 2, 000 boxC.in installations. The machine interacts with the command centre and shares data on stock consumption, operational issues, etc. providing information on consumption patterns, transparency in billings and low downtime of the machine; ensuring a smooth experience at the customer end.
Amuleek Singh Bijral, founder and CEO, Chai Point, said they use a blend of traditional and innovative technology to achieve the goal of being an omnichannel business. “We have designed Shark, a cloud-based platform which forms the backbone of our entire operations, whether connecting stores to warehouses or supply chain to tea estates or dairy partners, Shark runs it all.”
An omnichannel focus for brands can assist in outdoing the competition, say experts. In fact, global research points out that companies with well-defined omnichannel strategies achieve over 90 percent higher increase in customer retention year on year, as compared to those without a distinguished omnichannel mandate.
Says Bijral, “An omnichannel business model is a clear differentiator for a B2C brand. It can give the fillip to scaling up at a much faster speed than the competition because if every critical component is connected on a single platform, the opening of stores and putting in place the entire mechanism to run becomes easier and less time-consuming.”