Multichannel retailing no longer just means operating several distribution channels. Instead, the retailer needs to make sure the customer receives the same service no matter where he or she shops – whether it’s online or at the store. In this interview, Aline Eckstein, Bluetrade E-Commerce Software & Marketing GmbH, talks about the road to “no line“ retail and an emotional selling proposition.
Ms Eckstein, one of the presentations by Bluetrade at EuroCIS 2015 focuses on the future trend in multichannel commerce. What is essential to implement true ”no-line retail“?
Basically, you need to equally consider both organizational structures and professional and technical requirements.
Reorganizing the corporate structure poses a big barrier for companies, especially once they reach a certain size or history. For the most part, almost all of the upcoming internal measures are being underestimated, starting with the sensitization of stakeholders for the required measures and investments at the start of the project all the way to training store personnel to launch various cross-channel features. The first key measures at the start of the project include the set-up of a cross-functional e-commerce team at the highest level. In the majority of cases however, this process takes several years in companies. At the Online Handel, Mr. Birken (Member of the Executive Board, Multichannel Distance Selling) named ”gaining trust while losing control“ as the main challenge for many decision makers.
What’s more, you need to attract professional expertise into your company. Establishing cross-channel services means far more than copying competitors and offering click-and-collect services. Along with customer and industry specifics, it is essential to identify relevant technological innovations and integrate them into the business model. Considering how to integrate wearables into the shopping process is only one example of this.
And of course, you need to make sure there is a technological foundationthat guarantees the functional level (for instance one shopping cart across all end devices), data levels (for instance data migration) and transaction processing (for instance load distribution during peak times).
Today it is especially crucial for online stores to not just wow with their products, but to address customers on an emotional level. How do you achieve this type of emotional selling proposition in a web store?
The power of the consumer and consumer demands respectively, have enormously grown since the social web was established. Consumers no longer want to be patronized by retailers and least of all get tricked. Numerous studies have confirmed that we are currently dealing with inflationary expectations by consumers in all areas of the shopping process.
This is why an emotional approach is geared toward a few basic rules that need to be constantly challenged when concepts or individual measures are being implemented: benefit, empathy, a great offer (price/performance ratio) and a chance for dialog. When these basic factors are being considered, numerous features can be used to support product presentation, content creation or customized offer creation for example.
What new solutions is Bluetrade going to introduce at EuroCIS 2015?
We are not going to present a concrete solution – there is no blueprint – but rather address typical traps and present best practices instead.