Considering how many times a day each of us hits “Add to Cart,” it’s hard to believe that online shopping was once a novelty. In fact, CB Insights estimates that e-commerce transactions will account for 19 percent of all retail sales — or one in five transactions — by 2024.
Our shopping journeys have evolved from simple in-store interactions and online transactions to surfing the internet for products and using webchat and social media to get product information. Whether we like it or not, shopping is now an omnichannel experience, and we use a variety of platforms to get what we need. Here are a few examples of omnichannel shopping:
- Purchasing products and services on a website
- Asking a chatbot questions about products
- Using “Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store” (BOPIS) options
- Comparing in-store vs online prices using smartphones
- Looking for new styles of products on social media
The increase in omnichannel shopping means that retailers need to invest in new technologies to support customer interactions, purchases, and service/support inquiries on a variety of channels. Cloud contact center platforms help retailers facilitate omnichannel shopping experiences by:
- Providing seamless customer experiences. By integrating phone, email, chat, and social media channels, omnichannel cloud contact centers provide customers with a consistent experience, regardless of the channel used.
- Managing customer inquiries and complaints. Using omnichannel contact center technology, retailers can manage customer inquiries and complaints more effectively because all communications are centralized on a single platform for easy monitoring and timely response from agents and employees.
- Supporting transactions. Contact centers help simplify transactions and support operational functions like order management, product information management, and issue resolution.
- Tracking and analyzing data. Omnichannel contact centers help retailers track and analyze customer data across different channels, providing valuable insights into the behaviors and preferences of customers and helping to identify areas of improvement.
- Personalizing services. Omnichannel capabilities help retailers provide personalized services by enabling customers to contact retailers using their preferred channel. The ability to track conversations across channels also provides a holistic view of the customer’s prior conversations, allowing agents to provide personalized responses.
- Supporting in-store operations. Omnichannel contact centers support a variety of in-store operations, including in-store returns and issues with in-store purchases. By integrating in-store support with an omnichannel platform, customers can have a consistent and seamless shopping experience across all channels.
- Managing customer expectations. Retailers can use multiple channels to communicate shipping and delivery times, product availability, and the status of returns and exchanges. By providing customers with timely and accurate information, contact centers can help build trust and loyalty and help prevent issues before they arise.
- Improving employee productivity. Omnichannel contact centers provide a central hub for customer communications, ensuring all employees have access to the same information. This consolidation helps streamline internal and external communications and can help prevent errors, improve efficiency, and reduce stress among employees.
- Providing insights for decision-making. Using centralized analytics to track and analyze customer interactions across channels, retailers can identify trends and patterns in customer service inquiries and buying behaviors that can lead to more informed decisions.
With the help of omnichannel contact centers, retailers can reach current and potential customers on their preferred channels. This makes the buying journey easier for customers, increases customer loyalty, and improves the likelihood that customers will buy again. Retailers can tap into the powerful omnichannel capabilities of contact centers with a service like GoContact, which is easy to use, easy to manage, and easy to afford.
Ready to see what a feature-rich omnichannel contact center can do for your retail business? Schedule a demo.