An Omnichannel experience is no longer just a web marketers dream – it’s an unavoidable and inevitable feature that their customers are expecting from them.
Let me briefly explain what an omnichannel experience is by taking an example here:
Tom is a regular online customer at Target retail chain and occasionally visits the nearest Target stores along with his wife during weekends. During the week, he logs in online through his Target account and was shopping for birthday gifts for his daughter. He picks a special toy that his daughter loves and adds it to his wishlist. When Tom was visiting the store with his wife, both of them were greeted in person at the entrance and were guided to the specific toy section for checking out the other toy options. Target mobile app sends a toaster notification to his mobile detailing out the deals running in the toys department with a personalized quote just for him. He picks the deal through his mobile app and continues to purchase it through the app. He gets notified through the app about picking up the product from the online Pickup location in-store. He goes to the pickup location, where he gets a complimentary gift wrap request along with a custom message for his daughter. Happy and elated Tom & his wife confirms the pickup, which gets updated instantly on the mobile app. When he returns back home, logs into the laptop and Target site, he gets to see a Thank you message on the homepage for the purchase with advance birthday wishes for his daughter.
Such an omnichannel experience is not something out of a fictional movie, but a reality some of the most prominent retailers like Ulta Beauty, Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom, Staples are executing today and continue to build exceptional customer connect.
Broadly speaking there are 2 major customers profiles in an omnichannel experience:
- Known User Profile
- Unknown (Anonymous) User Profile
Now getting into the technicalities of such implementation.
Known User Profile
Implementing personalization & omnichannel strategies for a known user profile is much easier because at the moment a user logs into the site, app or the retail store, you have all the necessary PII information about the user like the Name, Address, Family details, Date details.
Unknown user Profile
To identify and track an unknown user profile is not easy as it sounds. Here are some of the strategies that can be adopted:
- Cookie based (using cookies to store PII information; Stringent Europe laws (GDPR) could affect this)
- Browser fingerprinting (using HTML5 based Canvas fingerprinting)
- IP based (especially in B2B context where the user data center IP address is used for Geolocation, IP ranges have to be bought to identify a particular company user)
- Pattern based (Patterns in User journey across various pages within the site)
- Pixel based (Using a pixel image or pixel canvas element)
I shall detail out each of these techniques in the next blog post.