The technology trap

Most of omnichannel cases are related to technology innovation and investments that according to their creators are leading to exceptionally seamless experience. Is this really what customers want? And is it a real competitive advantage?

I recently run into an interesting omnichannel case of Helzberg Diamonds .

The jeweler has introduced the “Helzberg Virtual Ring Experience,” which is designed to bridge the online and in-store shopping environments. The display leverages AR images on an interactive touchscreen to enable couples to virtually try on more than 100 ring styles in multiple viewing angles. Customers can also share photos of their selections through social media and email with family and friends.

It sounds like the perfect omnichannel textbook case. On the contrary, I think this is a perfect textbook case of an easily replicable competitive advantage. As a matter of fact, Brands continue to invest in technology and believe it is going to provide great customer experience and excellent ROI.

Then, it happens that you just visit their store and realize that they invested in all the technological channels and forgot the most important one: the human channel. Store associates do not know how to use the tools, do not know how to use social media to entertain customers and do not have a clue on how to enhance their shopping experience.

A lot of retailers get hung up on the technology piece because that moves so quickly. Most of them underestimate the power of CRMs and fail to involve Store Associates in the Customer Journeys and coach them on creating a personalized shopping experience.

The Beauty industry was late to e-commerce because it is so highly experiential and relied so heavily on the consultation aspect and one-on-one advice.

But now they all embraced omnichannel and made their stylists (store associates for cosmetics) the pivotal element of their customers’ experience as well explained in this article by Priya Rao

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