Building your Omnichannel architecture

An omnichannel architecture or integrated commerce is made up of all necessary IT systems and functionalities to ensure an organization optimally supports omnichannel customer journeys.

Today, retailers are beginning to see the new realities of the customer journey (dynamic, accessible and continuous), with customers using a combination of different research, browsing, purchase and collection methods it is now more important than ever. Using the most relevant channels in conjunction with the right applications to provide a seamless experience, enabling customers to convert anywhere.

Yes, It is important to understand the specific traits of your shoppers – who they are and what propels them to shop online and in-store. To give them what they want – instant, relevant information no matter where they are or what device they’re using. But ultimately, it’s your team structure, technology, business management, and measurement that need to work seamlessly together to support the common goal of attracting more loyal, valuable omni-channel shoppers.

In order to know which steps can be taken towards this goal, it’s important to know at what stage your company is in terms of architecture and assess the company’s state of OC readiness.

In general, there are several main principles to delivering a complete OC solution:
  • Channels
    Online distribution (apps, website & shop, Ext marketplaces, search engines, comparison sites)
    In store (point of sale, in store kiosk, in store tablets, sales reps)
    Communication (email, voice, social media, messaging, video & gaming)
    Devices (desktop, mobile, print, tv)
  • Business partners
    product vendors
    payment solution providers
    logistic providers
    Marketing agency
  • Applications and sources
    A single truth/data house
    Back office functionality
    customer journey functionality
    Integration and process orchestration
    Connectivity and technology
  • Analysing and reporting
    data mining
    management reporting

Setting up a solid omnichannel solution can lead to long term profitability which continues to be a problem in the ecommerce marketplace. According to a 2015 study by IDC, omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than one channel shoppers. A clear indicator that it is time to change the way you think about OC shoppers and what their shopping behaviour means for the overall business.

We are seeing a dramatic shift in how we think about retail. Now not only are customers increasingly pushing to remove boundaries between physical and online channels, but organizations are recognising the tremendous opportunity that this provides.

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