According to the Digital Commerce Benchmark 2019 from retail research firm Incisiv , the top 200 U.S. retailer sites are lagging consumer expectations for omnichannel commerce.
Most of the efforts are focused on getting the customer to purchase. Customers on the other side expect the omnichannel approach will provide relevant services and advantages after-the-sale too. That is how they get loyal.
Here are the top 5 after-sales challenges of 2019
The delivery options are not as many as we think. Few retailers are taking advantage of the opportunities available, especially related to third parties. Currently, stores push their process optimized delivery system, therefore as we can expect, the technology “comfort zone” delivery is ship from store, the fashion one is pick-up in store and grocery is third parties delivery (mainly influenced by Amazon Prime now).
The future is about optimizing the internal process to be able to offer a real holistic experience in terms of delivery to personalize the after sales experience of our Customers.
The omnichannel approach requires to have a consistent situation across channels. Since too many ERPs are not in the cloud yet and not many investments have been made in improving the supply chain, nowadays customers are struggling to find if products they like are available or not.
The delivery method or the conversion channel will depend in the future by the capability of brands to deliver a real-time view of inventory across channels.
Based on point 1 and 2, now we know that business agility across the organization is gaining importance in a digital transformation scenario. Cloud-based solutions and Saas are now a pivotal step of the Digital plan of an organization. The key factor is no more reducing costs and generate efficiency, but push agility within all business process especially those affecting customer experience.
Data is an asset only if it gives value
Technology and Agility will introduce the capability of integrating data from multiple sources and filtering data by relevance. Most of the C-level executives interviewed struggle with identifying a positive value of information. There are two main challenges:
Obesity of data: too many data and most of the time not relevant. Data analytics requires a plan for data acquisition and information generation. Without that, we will have data that are Big, but useless and expensive.
Human talent: Information strategy requires experience, not just skills. It is not about a simple intuition. It is about creating a consistent strategy of acquisition and interpretation. There is no much space for mistakes and A/B Testing.
AI requires human talent
The run for A.I. is showing the need for talent to generate and maintain the basis for the use of Machine Learning technologies and Artificial Intelligence features. The focus will be on two areas:
Analytics and Insights: these are the cornerstones of the ML and AI algorithms on which most of the CX systems are based. As mentioned in point 4, brands need an analytics strategy that makes their data relevant and reliable.
Customer Relevant Actions: Best Practices are a too good source of ideas and we have been taught to use them. Customers today ask for agile solutions and relevant answers that are no more in textbooks or best practices memos. Associates and Customer Service need more than ever to feel empathy for their customers and be empowered to make them loyal to the brand.