The Future of Local Businesses – Cross-Channel Commerce
As you know the way people shop has changed and is still changing. In a digitized world in which customers have access to nearly every information they want to get, brands and companies have to adjust to this world as well.
As the Cross-Channel Commerce guide by Bitkom lately noted the internet and mobile devices are getting more and more important for the consumers when they need to buy something. Referring to the guide, only consumers keep pushing these changes forward. Devices and networks are creating a price comparing, well-informed and lazy customer. But even though the internet might have a lot of things to keep for sale there are also lots of products and services consumers want to receive in a local store. Retailers should take their chance to satisfy the customer’s demands by deploying innovative solutions and offerings in the local shops.
“Cross-Channel Commerce” or Omnichannel is the valuable and needed approach to do so. It enables the fusion of marketing, sales and after-sales channels and creates a complete customer experience by bridging the gap between online and offline shopping. Cross-Channel strategies are generating a seamless customer journey via different information and commerce channels. To make this possible retailers have to provide a technological infrastructure and create cross-channel technologies and processes. Especially mobile devices and proximity technologies will be important for a cross-channel based future.
Mobile Devices, Proximity Technologies & Customer Data
Eva Stüber, manager of the Research und Consulting department at the Institut für Handelsforschung (IFH) Köln stresses another important component: a lot of information about the customer is needed create a seamless customer journey between the online and the offline world. This way services like “Click & Collect” could be offered to the customers. By using this service the customer buys a product online and picks it up at a local store.
According to a survey by Ebay more than 25% of the German consumers already profited from this service. The survey also shows the advantages of this service: many of them who clicked and collected bought further products when picking up their orders at the shop. As in the Bitkom guide explained, especially via proximity technologies and mobile devices further services could be provided to the visitors and customers. Stüber underlines the fact that companies need to know each costumer by heart to generate personalized information concerning their individual interests
Merging Offline and Online Data
Offline and online data and cross-channel analytics are the keys to a seamless customer journey and individual customer approach. Square Metrics specializes in completing the customer journey with offline data and is bringing insights into customer’s behavior. Our Proximity DMP gathers, processes and analyzes data from all available proximity technologies and Physical Web installations.
Our integrated partner network enables you to enrich online data pools with information from your customer’s location based behavior. This enables you to enhance analytics of your customer’s journey by connecting ‘offline’ and ‘online’. This way you can manage the challenges mentioned above.