Omnichannel Systems of Engagement: The New Digital Disruptors

In today's connected world, consumer expectations change rapidly, and in order to capture customer loyalty, retailers must become digital disruptors and embrace omnichannel retailing strategies.
Key to this strategy is delivering seamless customer experiences anytime, anywhere, through mobile and big data solutions that speak to the specific needs of individual consumers -- quickly and cost effectively.
Below are five secret weapons leading retailers are implementing to transform the traditional shopping experience while increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  1. Leverage smartphone use to offer customers the ultimate shopping experience
    • It's no longer a question about how many smart phones are in use today by consumers – the question is, are there any consumers without one?
    • Smart retailers are realizing the powerful potential of smart phones in engaging shoppers in-store.
  1. Exploit location-based technologies to engage shoppers in-store           
    • Going hand in hand with the explosion in smartphone consumer engagement, smart retailers are leveraging location-based technologies to engage shoppers in-store. Innovative solutions, such as Near Field Communication (NFC), geo-fencing and other location-based and real-time merchandising, inventory and marketing solutions are enabling the retailer to walk alongside the consumer, influencing decisions and providing loyalty offerings like never before.
    • Picture this: A young woman walks into a clothing store, taps her phone at a station located at the entrance of the store and her NFC mobile interactive app links to her shopper loyalty card. She is able to tag items to her Pinterest page and look for relevant coupons. Not only is she receiving valuable promotions and suggestions, but the retailer is able to develop a pattern of behavior, which will enable it to customize interactions that speak directly to the individual.
  1. Harness power of predictive modeling to effectively respond to customer needs in real-time
    • Never before have retailers been able to capture such vast amounts of detailed data about their customers. However, in order to turn data into revenue, they must analyze that data to predict future outcomes – leverage that.
    • One major retail giant was able to optimize operations and fiercely reduce inventory wastage by aligning inventory and supply with the demand forecast. Advanced scenario management and what-if simulation capabilities enable financial impact evaluation before executing the operations plan.
  1. Utilize consumer behavior data to enable meaningful interactions between brands and customers
    • For retailers looking to engage the new generation connected consumer, an online presence is no longer enough; instead they need to extend beyond the traditional ecommerce interaction, to meet their customers in a personalized way.
    • Advanced analytics solution for customer segmentation, targeted promotions and campaign management helped a large retailer operationalize analytic algorithms and achieve 5%-10% increased customer retention rate and 3%-5% increase in customer visits.
  1. Ensure seamless usability
    • All consumer interactions must be easy and fast. A carefully designed customer experience strategy, omnichannel methodology and a partner with technology expertise can create a seamless user experience.
 With so many consumers shopping from their smartphones and tablets, it is imperative for retailers to augment the traditional in-store retail experience with real-time engagement channels, emerging technology capabilities and advanced marketing analytics tools. These secret weapons are providing insight into the power that big data and real time predictive analytics can have in engaging consumers at every retail touch point.
Sunil Oberoi is SVP of retail and omnichannel commerce for Symphony Teleca, a provider of services to independent software vendors, mobile device and solutions manufacturers and the connected, analytics-driven enterprise.