Omnichannel? Keep it simple en maak tempo!

This is how your customer buys: seen a nice item in the shop after the promotion from the brochure? Fine, quickly read reviews on Amazon, ask a question on Facebook, go into the store to test it out and order on the spot via the app. The world around you is turning Omnichannel. Omnichannel is the integration of all physical (offline) and digital channels (online) to provide a unified shopping experience. How Omnichannel is your organization?

Every retailer talks about “Omnichannel,” lumping everything online under the heading of Omnichannel. In practice, we see many retailers struggling with this complex issue, leaving them without a clear direction. Or even worse: opposing it and proclaiming that they don’t “do” Omnichannel because it only leads to losses.

Thereby forgetting that there are no “channels” for the customer. For the customer, only the brand or formula exists but he/she (un)consciously expects an “Omnichannel” experience. The customer searches online and buys in-store and vice versa. And does not understand why an online order cannot be picked up, paid for and returned to the store. The customer doesn’t care that your organization is not set up to provide the optimal experience, after all, alternatives that are optimally responsive to this are presenting themselves on- and offline. Ordering with your App at Zalando or through Asos’ UK webshop no longer brings barriers; fast delivery times, no shipping costs and great service.

For us, Omnichannel means seamless integration of all physical channels (offline) and digital channels (online) to provide an optimal shopping experience. Integrating channels also has implications for your organization, it is important not to underestimate the impact and manage these changes well. Make it one organization for all channels, work with one inventory and with one customer profile; this will prevent miscommunication and, most importantly, duplicate costs.

We often encounter retailers with a perfectly functioning web shop, but with a totally different feel & touch than what is experienced in the store. Often the webshop is a standard “e-commerce” webshop with a rigid category layout, menu structure and filtering and sorting options. The image, feel, atmosphere and experience of the brick-and-mortar store concept are barely reflected.

If you want to be successful with Omnichannel as an organization, it is crucial to understand what “journey” the customer is taking. How does he or she experience your brand? What experience is experienced when browsing through the various channels or “touch points,” what barriers does the customer encounter? And how does the customer behave? This information is relevant to sharpen your organization’s focus and provide the customer with an optimal shopping experience.

So how can you get started yourself? What do you start with? Here are a few key steps;

  1. Determine your starting position regarding Omnichannel, how far along are you or how far behind?
  2. What is your goal and strategy, where do you want to go? Make “online” part of the total
  3. Build an Omnichannel organization and remove the duplication and double costs from your organization
  4. Create an Omnichannel roadmap together with all stakeholders
  5. Use data; get to know your customers, their (disengagement) behavior and deep desires
  6. Set clear and achievable targets (KPIs) where customer satisfaction is “#1”
  7. Make clear and concrete what feel & touch you want to offer the customer and translate this feeling to all channels or touchpoints and make sure they reinforce each other
  8. And keep learning from the enthusiasm and behavior of your customers to ensure that their experience is optimal, they remain loyal and you continuously improve yourself.

If you want to know your own starting position and potential for improvement, do the Go Omnichannel Scan at