Recently I met the Head of an e- commerce at a big retail store with pan-India presence. In conversation, he mentioned that his retail chain has already implemented omnichannel commerce. This came as a pleasant surprise, \because I have never read or heard about the store doing it. On deeper inquiry, I found that what he meant as omnichannel commerce is the fulfilment of order from the nearest store. On further inquiry, he mentioned that the brand neither has mobile app nor social media interactions. That left me baffled on what people continue to consider an omnichannel experience to be.

Let me explain what an omnichannel commerce is:

There are multiple channels in which a customer interacts with a brand. Some of these include an online store, brick and mortar stores, pop-up stores, mobile app, social media, contact centers, sales calls. All of these should reflect and convey a consistent service impression. Something integral here is the history/data of the consumer across channels. One good example in current day is the Dominos omnichannel experience. They recognize who I am when I log into the site or call or order through mobile. Further, I can place an order on their website and track it on mobile. I can call the contact center to find out the status of my order placed online.

Traditional single or multi-channels are focusing on the product. The channel answered questions like: how can the product be reached? How can the product be bought? How can one pay for it and how can it be delivered? Which products sell more? Which products get more traction? The focus from should change to the customer. The right questions to be answered is: How can I reach the customer? How can he pay and buy? What are his convenient ways of logistics? Which ones is he likely to buy? Which ones will interest him?

So, what does it take to build an omnichannel store? It is not just tweaking an e-commerce store (or a single channel). A true omnichannel will have to be built tweaking the order fulfilment module, inventory module, CRM Module. Equally important here is tweaking the processes and training the people in right direction. Overall to build a true omnichannel, you need to provision a one year of building, training and transition period.

While you take the baby steps towards building a futuristic Omnichannel commerce, you need a partner who can understand user experience, customer-centric design, technology and e-commerce domain. The intersection of all these is where Kuliza caters to. To understand more, you can write to me at: subhash.kasturi@kuliza.com