A reality which is driving brands to re-engineer their sales strategy. Today, it is essential to get beyond silos towards a unified and overall customer view, whatever the channel. Jérôme Malzac, e-commerce business line manager at Micropole, and Hortense Rufenacht,associate director of Wide, the Micropole 360° communication agency, present the different cross-channel stakes.
The consumer trend today is towards ATAWAD : any time, any where, any device. « It’s therefore becoming crucial to create a complementary and interactive inter-channel strategy, taking into account their specifics and their constraints, to address the client in a unique and identical way », explains Hortense Rufenacht.
One consumer out of three buys a product from an on-line competitor at a better price …
… and one out of five tries out in-store and buys on the web at a better price (mobile or PC) . The web has become essential in the purchasing decision. «The overall stake is not to duplicate an offer over all channels in the same way, but rather to think carefully about the content on each channel, the interaction with the customer to adapt the offer specifically to the channel avec le client pour adapter l’offre de façon spécifique au canal », continues Jérôme Malzac, and to insist on five major stakes:
- * To structure and adapt the offer: to each channel, its own specifics. Thus a bricks-and-mortar store will rarely have all products in stock but will propose a direct customer relationship, which will suit some sophisticated products better than the web.
- ** To standardize the brand image while adapting to different usage: to each channel, its own type of communication. Even if the information differs, as adapted to each channel, the brand image and values projected remain identical and consistent.
- To acquire overall knowledge to enhance service quality: several channels, but the information is one and the same. The data collected through the web or in store must be crossed to have a uniform view of the customer’s purchasing preferences. This information must be available to the sales force to advise and assist the customers in the best possible way.
- To move around channels to ensure purchasing path linearity : preselection on the internet, in-store or web purchase, withdrawal for the store, loyalty cards, in-store confirmation and payment by phone…cross-channel connects all channels and offers optimum ordering ease, whatever the start channel. « With the rise of tablets and mobility, the purchaser expects to be able to continue on his/her purchasing path with the same ease of use wherever and whenever s/he connects », insists Hortense Rufenacht.
- To equip oneself with good: they must enable responses to customer issues (increase the marketing mix, reduce churn, ensure loyalty…) and guarantee the interface with the existing IS.
* According to a smart shopping survey, September 2012.
** According to a Harris Interactive study, united States, October 2012
Faced with this new consumer behavior, the risks for brands are many : lack of competitiveness, loss of customers, bad reputation, weal conversion rates… … « If there is not a 360 viesion of the customer, their expectations are not met and the result is an inevitable loss of market share », affirms Jérôme Malzac.
The key stages to a cross-channel strategy
- Preliminary audit: analysis on customer value, the existing information system, the purchasing levers on the market…and putting these in line with the corporate strategy.
- Strategic recommendations in terms of offers, images, road-map, business platform.
- Analysis and recommendation of solutions which meet these stakes
- Installation: technical deployment of platforms, user training, management and partnering.
- Marketing follow-up to re-set the strategy if needed, fine-tuning the positioning and helping to re-organize the digital services of the brand.
Hortense Rufenacht firstname.lastname@example.org
Jérôme Malzac email@example.com
The Micropole offer
Thanks to the complementary nature of its offers, Micropole can partner its customers end-to-end throughout cross-channel projects:
- Adopt a customer vision with its CRM teams.
- Create an overall brand experience (offline / online) and opt for the right service offer with Wide.
- Choose the right technical solution and the appropriate sales platform with its e-business experts.
- Follow-up on business through its BI expertise.
With its functional, business and technical expertise, Micropole is perfectly positioned to understand all of these levers.