The consumer industry is in a state of constant disruption. Along with advances in technology, more informed and sceptical consumers are holding business to higher standards.
According to Reynhardt Uys, chief experience officer of the Immersion Group, an organisation’s success in delivering a customer-centric experience across every business channel is no longer a differentiator, but a determinant of survival.
Uys says forward-looking organisations understand that profound change is inevitable, and that this presents enormous opportunity for growth for fully integrated omnichannel businesses that embrace UX, UI, CX, systems thinking, design thinking and experience design.
“While the omnichannel concept has its roots in marketing, the idea of operating with experience centricity from the inside-out and the outside-in has become vital to every aspect of modern business. When applied to an entire organisation, omnichannel offers seamless, cross-channel customer experiences with integrated front-and-back-end systems, together with dynamic, demand-driven supply chains that can quickly pivot to meet changing needs.
“An omnichannel business model is all about integration. It considers what is most important to today’s consumers, from product quality and safety to sustainability, as well as fully enabled technology that each contribute to a memorable in-store and online experience,” notes Uys.
While advances in digital technology have undoubtedly changed the business landscape, Uys says the omnichannel approach is largely driven by consumers who are demanding the ability to experience, browse, shop, and buy from their favourite brands on their own terms. “Adapting to evolving consumer demands requires organisations to become customer obsessed. To do this, businesses need to implement a holistic experience strategy with actionable insights informed by customer data.
“Across the globe and here at home, what many major organisations are grappling with is how to build, nurture and retain the trust of their customers. Of course, availability and the price and quality of a product or service will always matter. Increasingly though, what a brand represents and how it is communicated and how it lives by those things also matter,” says Uys.
Organisations that want to be relevant and trusted by their customers in five, 10 and even 20 years should focus their efforts on building an omnichannel model.
Uys adds that integration across the entire organisation must be a fundamental guiding principle. “When a business finally identifies its experience north star, real value is unlocked which opens up space for the kind of fresh thinking and new innovation that captures the attention of consumers and keeps them coming back for more.”