Debbie Johnson, regional sales director for retail at Dell EMC, shares her vision for omnichannel strategy.
Welcome to the hyper-age, where even major brands struggle to gain the loyalty of hyper-connected, hyper-targeted and hyper-aware customers.
For retailers the key differentiator is to make the modern customer feel valued in both the virtual and the physical world.
Ecommerce and online retail does not mean the end for high street shopping.
However, it is now critical for bricks-and-mortar retailers to offer a superior customer experience both in store and online to keep the customer coming back.
A connected world
In an an increasingly connected world and with the deluge of information, retail businesses must work harder to draw out the right customer, product and market insights.
Morevoever, robotics, AI and deep analytics continue to transform key priorities like productivity, client interaction and warehouse management.
However, the big challenge is to strike the right balance between physical and digital investments and set up shop with the right omnichannel strategies.
In other words, to orchestrate the multiple customer channels – in store, YouTube, mobile apps, etc. in order to deliver an experience that is both effective and appealing to the multi-sensory needs of the connected customer and that increases loyalty in the short and long term.
The IQ of things for a superior customer experience
At Dell we have a vision for how this comes together – something we call IQT, which stands for the IQ of Things.
IQT is the combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the practical application of technology to enable retailers to stand out from the crowd.
“The big challenge is to strike the right balance between physical and digital investments and set up shop with the right omnichannel strategies”
With this retailers can gather real-time information about products, processes and customer behaviors.
Passive things are converted into active things that share information to improve operational excellence and enhance customer experience by easing and streamlining the purchasing process.
Starting with the products, data and equipment they have today, retailers can implement proof-of-concept projects that enrich their store environments with IoT technologies, AR/VR, robotics, Li-Fi technology and advanced analytics.
By doing so, they gain experience, show success and demonstrate ROI.
Enhancing the physical experience
Interactive interfaces and self-service solutions such as kiosks can also be used to enhance the physical experience, while capturing valuable customer insights.
“Interactive interfaces and self-service solutions such as kiosks can also be used to enhance the physical experience while capturing valuable customer insights”
In addition, digital signage has emerged as an effective form of in-store advertising that can be integrated into wider marketing strategies.
Star Furniture is a good example of a brand that is a pioneer in using promotional videos that have a real impact on customers.
These are just a few examples of leading retailers who are reaping the first benefits of partnering with the Dell ecosystem to generate omnichannel experiences.
Making the customer feel valued
It’s no longer a choice between shopping online and shopping in store – in the mind of the customer, the two should be entwined and with the latest retail technology solutions, this is becoming a reality.
While it’s true that the high street is going nowhere, for retailers to appeal to this new type of always-on customer, it’s time for them to take a good look at the experience they’re offering on all channels and ensure it is one that makes them feel valued and will keep them coming back.
Debbie Johnson is regional sales director for retail at Dell EMC