2018: When “omnichannel strategy” rhymes with “customer experience” and “phygital”

How to understand the customer experience trend?

The customer experience is at the heart of discussions and investments. Although this term has been around for a very long time, marketing has brought it back into fashion. The concept of customer experience reflects the idea that any company must think in terms of “customer orientation”. Forget about mass marketing and segmented marketing. We are in the era of individualized marketing where the product / service must meet specific and personalized expectations. Consumers are looking for a pleasant shopping experience. The end in itself of a shopping afternoon is no longer the pure and simple purchase of a product that meets basic needs. It is also to live a moment of discovery, of sharing, of pleasure. The hedonic aspect of the shopping experience has never been more important in order to satisfy and retain consumers.

In the end, the customer experience is the impression that remains in the mind of the consumer after having had all kinds of contact with a company (social networks, email, telephone customer service, website, etc.). The more this impression is positive, the more consumers will tend to be satisfied and loyal.

Customer experience is a constantly evolving concept. Why ? Simply because technology changes very quickly and because the notion of omni-channel is migrating towards an integrating vision of the experience. Each client-company touchpoint is a crucial issue. Indeed, the addition of all the experiences lived on each channel, via each point of contact will contribute to creating the overall impression vis-à-vis your company.

The question to ask in order to optimize the customer experience is to know what consumers really want. Why design customer journeys based on the company's desire for profitability when the customer may want something completely different?

The consumer does not want to waste time in his journey. He is looking for service and does not want to be constantly pushed into consumption. Dig in this direction. Provide service without highlighting your products on a daily basis. Focus your communication on your benefits and competitive advantages based on services, less on prices, features, etc.

The multiplication of points of contact…

Companies today face a multiplication of contact points. Consumers seek to reach them anytime and anywhere. Social networks have become preferred means of making a complaint (facebook, twitter). And the consumer feels more and more in a position of strength in the customer-seller relationship. Very volatile, they do not hesitate to compare offers.

How do you retain the customer? How do you get him to spend more time with you? The “phygital” partly answers this problem. Adding digital to stores makes it possible to meet practical needs expressed by users. The best solution for companies is therefore to meet hedonistic and utilitarian expectations at the same time. Not so easy !

Phygital as a miracle omnichannel solution?

Phygital, a combination of the words “physical” and “digital”, makes it possible to retain the consumer in the store by offering them ever more services. The phygital allows a real "dislocation" of digital and physical channels. These distribution channels support and complement each other.

An example of an enriched customer journey thanks to phygital? Providing sellers with customer information (purchase history, profile data, etc.) from an in-store tablet allowing them to personalize the advice given. Another example ? The provision of interactive terminals to the customer in store to allow him to view and order items that are not in stock or to compare products before purchase (features, prices, etc.).

The role of stores is changing. They now deliver experiences that are optimized and valued by the customer. The role of salespeople has also evolved. The human is particularly appreciated in an era where the digital has never been so present. The challenge ? Find the right balance between digitizing customer journeys in order to increase profitability and integrating "human" contact points when users need to be reassured.