Any great consumption goods supplier or pharmaceutical company needs to start contemplating the option of an omnichannel approach, it is uncontestable: this will help them identify and increase business opportunities so they can gain new clients while maintaining their current ones.
However, this leap forward that the digital transformation is provoking is including new channels that, while coexisting with the traditional ones, accelerates our commercial strategies and its alignment with marketing and communication departments. Many of the processes that were fragmented until now should be simplified to offer a cohesion that is key to an omnichannel strategy, so the client can perceive it.
Why an omnichannel strategy?
Nowadays it’s not enough to have a presence in multiple channels; our relationship with the brand, supplier or lab must be effective, consistent and transparent no matter which channel we use. This is why defining and applying successfully an omnichannel strategy has become a need to any company that operates B2B. It’s necessary to identify the most appropriate channels to guarantee a unique and homogenous experience to the client, one that fosters his loyalty towards the brand.
Different channels for one same client
Clients and consumers are more and more informed as time goes by, and they are also more opened to purchase in the most convenient way, depending on the moment and place. Habits and personal preferences favor the use of concrete or mixed channels: because of the change that new technologies brought, it’s common that clients use both online and offline channels before making the decision of purchasing a product.
Therefore, profiles can be very different, as some are more used to technology than others, but the co-existence of channels is a fact. Because of this, brands must place the client in the center, identify his needs and offer him tools so he can stay connected anywhere, in any moment. This way, we’ll establish more contacting, selling and engaging opportunities.
Indeed, an omnichannel strategy will give us the opportunity of being closer to our clients; the challenge is being able to manage every particularity, as every channel requires specific capacities and a transversal vision of the processes. We must define our strategy so we are consistent and establish synergies between channels and departments. On one hand, we should harmonize our commercial policy and, on the other, contemplate the technological merge, which will facilitate the management and bring advantages like task automation, speeding up the execution, reducing the time-to-market, monitoring the processes and offering a 360-degree vision of our clients. Cohesion and transparency are two key concepts to achieve the omnichannel approach.
The offline channel
Offline sales, through a physical shop or through a sales team, still has a significant power for some companies. Activating an online channel like an app for clients offers them the possibility of making orders themselves or checking information on the product 24/7, as they simple have to enter the app. This app will also allow us to interact with them; we can offer them new services and increase their value as clients, their loyalty and, at the same time, improve our brand awareness and positioning, differentiating ourselves from our competitors. Some levers we can activate are:
- A promotional engine that enables us to activate offers designed ad hoc. We can define a suggested order, offer recommended products or perform an A/B test, among other options.
- Offering a more effective communication with updated and customized information that can be checked or downloaded.
- A private area that offers customer service with data on deliveries or possible incidences, so we can improve our timing and the quality of our post-sales service. This will all have an effect on our conversion rate and even on our recommendation rate.
In the same way, thanks to the online channel and through simple forms we can listen to our clients’ insights and collect valuable information on the market and our competitors. This facilitates the segmentation and the trend identification. This updated information will allow us to improve our go-to-market strategy, to take better decisions and to foster cohesion among departments in general.
In the end, using both online and offline channels should allow us to align our different channels, coordinate our sales team and simplify our selling processes: this should help us implement a consistent commercial strategy, which, with the appropriate technology, will increase our conversion rate and simplify tasks, as well as cost control systems and client engaging.