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How Retailers Master Omni-Channel by Focusing on End User Experience

In previous posts, Yottaa has touched on the concept of the “omni-channel”. It is a hot topic, especially in retail, so it’s worth asking: is the omni-channel a flash-in-the-pan or a force set to redefine online business as we know it?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

What exactly does the term “omni-channel” mean?

We are all modern consumers. It’s likely you experience the omni-channel everyday. Think of the last purchase you made. Did you research the product online before visiting a store? Did you use multiple devices to complete a purchase? Maybe you added an item to the shopping cart only to come back and complete the purchase at a later time? These are everyday examples of how we shop, buy and interact across multiple channels. The omni-channel represents a unique challenge for businesses: how to deliver a seamless experience to the end user across every channel, no matter what context, device or location. (For an in depth examination, I recommend reading Daniel Newman’s excellent Forbes article).

Why the omni-channel is a really big deal

A study from Google, The New Multi-screen World, revealed 90% of people use multiple screen sequentially, for tasks like booking a flight online. Moreover, 67% of people start shopping on one device and then continue on another. Almost every transaction in a modern economy is multi-channel in nature. The business that fails to optimize for each and every user context and channel will soon be obsolete. Let’s use the example of booking a flight. A traveler researches flights via a mobile device and then later visits an airline’s desktop website to book. If the airline fails to provide a seamless experience as the traveler transitions from one context to another, the likelihood of a purchase decreases dramatically. What’s worse, is if the traveler perceives the experience to be sub-par. They will quickly bounce and find what they need from a competitor. The name of the game is engagement. A traveler can book a flight through any number of vendors. Mastering the omni-channel is an engagement strategy to make people want to interact with you.

How to master the omni-channel – Understand end user experience

The importance of the omni-channel cannot be understated. However, it is actually a new iteration of an old concept: optimizing for user experience. It is difficult to comprehend and cater experiences to the unique context of each and every user. Today’s mobile and multi-channel users amount to what is effectively a moving target. Additionally, user expectations are sky-high. Performance degradation on mobile is no longer acceptable, in fact, 85% of mobile users expect pages to load faster than on desktop. In order to give users what they want, it is necessary to improve control over content display and overall engagement. Such fine-grained control is nearly impossible to manage at all times – that’s why Yottaa has worked hard to perfect an automated-platform that maximizes online and mobile end-user experience on every device, anywhere in the world.

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