Wednesday, October 23, 2019
CX Tech

How the Omnichannel Customer Experience and Cross-Selling Work Together to Boost Sales

Jennifer Bosavage
March 20, 2019

3 minute read

Any time a customer enters a store, buys a single item, and leaves without an accessory or add-on item, revenue is left on the counter — but retailers that cross-sell using an omnichannel customer experience approach can not only increase sales, but also improve the shopping experience. The omnichannel customer experience depends upon retailers’ weaving together their various sales channels to provide shoppers with an integrated experience.

For example, a cocktail dress can almost certainly benefit from accessories, a burger most definitely could use fries, and a couch probably needs pillows. The potential for cross-selling is enormous; trained, talented sales associates can bring in significant revenue by inviting customers to buy related or complementary items. For example, IDC reports that customers who shop across multiple channels bring in a 30% higher lifetime value. However, when that opportunity is missed, both the customer and the retailer lose.

Omnichannel cross-selling takes advantage of a retailer’s sales channels — online, from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store — and offers shoppers a more robust shopping experience. By offering additional items that enhance the initial purchase, shoppers feel more satisfied with their purchases. One omnichannel customer experience that fits naturally with cross-selling is BOPIS (“buy online, pick up in store”). Cross-selling happens when a customer enters the store to take delivery of the order, and an associate suggests specific related items to include with the purchase.

3 critical elements to a successful omnichannel customer experience and cross-selling opportunity include customer interaction management, personalization, and inventory management.

Customer interaction management

Few companies manage customer interactions with the attention to detail that Disney does. Travelers start their journeys at Disney’s website, exploring possibilities for their trips. The cross-selling is frictionless: The site is mobile-responsive and optimized to every device. After booking a Disney resort visit, a visitor can plan every moment through the Disney Experience tool. Once the guest arrives at the park, the mobile app can quickly locate attractions previously earmarked in the experience tool and provide estimated wait times for each attraction. Lastly, Disney’s Magic Bands provide smooth entry to the parks, access to hotel rooms, check-in to FastPass lanes, and connections to Disney PhotoPass accounts.

Personalization

Personalization is the foundation of successful cross-selling. With all the data that retailers gather today, it’s possible to quickly obtain the information needed to personalize transactions in a meaningful way. At Neiman Marcus, machine-learning-driven actions, including product recommendations and private personalized offers help determine which of millions of possible combinations of email content will be most appealing to each customer. For example, according to CMO.com, the retailer learned that many customers were opening their Neiman-Marcus email offers on their phones, which made it difficult for them to navigate and quickly get deep into the site. In response, USA Today reports, Neiman Marcus now sends 75% of their customers a personalized digest of emails, which quickly navigates shoppers to where they are most likely to visit.

Inventory management

Satisfying customer demand requires retailers to have enough product on hand, which means identifying sales patterns across channels, sources, and destinations. Omnichannel inventory requires careful and frequent reconciliation to provide customers an accurate inventory picture; accuracy is critical to forging long-lasting customer relationships. Integrating customer relationship management software with point-of-sale and inventory management systems enables the ability to upsell and cross-sell.

The interplay among all retail channels promises to improve the omnichannel customer experience and to amplify the cross-selling — and upselling — opportunities for retailers this year.

Jennifer Bosavage
Jennifer Bosavage
Jennifer Bosavage is a Connecticut native and has been writing about technology since the fax machine debuted. While Jen has covered IT, retail, and customer satisfaction for many years, she also has an undercover history as a Secret Shopper.
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