Welcome to the Digital Age: A world of connectedness, fast information access, and online communities. Driving your brand is more than just putting your image in front of the consumer, spending millions on adverts and getting that Primetime spot during peak TV hours. Today, consumers can discuss, rate, review, and disclose everything about a brand in any number of vast of online communities.
To take this a step further, the internet has gone mobile. With instant access to the never-ending information on any given product, anyone can instantly look for social proof before purchasing any product. Knowing how good a product is, its brand or how well the company treats its consumers is as easy as a quick 5-second Google search. Not only that, this unlimited access to information has changed consumer expectations. In a connected world, people expect instant gratification – so you had better not keep your customers waiting.
What Does This Mean for Merchants?
Merchants are now judged on their successes, failures, offered experiences and community engagement – not the massaged truths seen broadcasted through your TV set and into your living room. So what does this mean for businesses? In the modern world, a brand can’t hide from the ever-watching eyes of the consumer. If you want to be the best, you have to offer the best… and not just promise the best. You have to offer a strong quality product, have an engaging brand and offer a smooth customer experience. You need to engage in every sale with your customer with care and urgency. Mistakes can be costly and echo forever in the vast space of the internet shaking brand loyalty of current and prospective customers for years.
The Data Integration Benefits
In any ecommerce sale, there are multiple points at which the process can fall short of your customers’ expectations. It’s true that you can manage some of these expectations with keen wording, transparency and a strong customer service team. That being said, today’s consumer’s expectations are high. They’re notoriously difficult to cave to brand loyalty and are always empowering their decisions with instant and accurate information from fellow consumers and the internet at large.
But what are those points of potential failure, and how does an ecommerce merchant manage those areas of concern to achieve the best possible customer experience?
The answer: better automation via a data integration solution that meets your designs on customer experience, from the first touchpoint to the last mile.
With VL OMNI’s data integration platform, an ecommerce order placed online can automatically flow down your logistics chain for pick/pack and shipping. You can ensure that an order is never missed and more importantly set up for shipment as soon as possible, alleviating any customer worry that their order is progressing to the shipments stage. Once shipped, you can provide tracking information back up to your customers ecommerce account, giving your customers instant visibility on their order status and package location. And this is just one example of what can be done with data integration.
With VL OMNI’s fully automated integration strategies and platform, you can ensure your customer has the information they require to meet high customer expectations the second it’s available. Data integration is the difference between a customer that trusts your brand and one that’s left in the dark on whom they’ve just spent money. In a world where the customers expect instant information and results, you can ensure that all orders are processed quickly, and provide the customer with tracking information at a speed that’ll get them thinking ‘this company cares about me, my order, and my business.’
VL OMNI’s high-quality data integration platform also minimizes or negates human error.
Have you ever made a simple mistake? As much as we’d all like to be infallible, the reality is that mistakes happen. If you’re processing all orders into your back end systems manually, you can guarantee that at some point some key information will be missing. In the worst case scenario, you’ll only realize this mistake after the angry customer brings it to your attention and disparages your brand in the many online communities. Your company image will suffer, the mistake will be blasted out to social media, you’ll have shaken customers trust, and potentially ruined any chance at repeat business and brand loyalty. With VL OMNI’s data integration strategies, which have been perfect over +25 years of experience, you can guarantee that all the shipping and order information provided by your customer, will make it to the pick and pack stage with 100% accuracy. Rather than have multiple points of manual intervention with that data, you can keep it to an absolute minimum. With VL OMNI’s integration platform, you can guarantee that the right products are set up for pick and pack, giving your customers exactly what they paid to be arriving at their door. You can also ensure the right address is applied to the shipping, getting the package to exactly where it needs to be in a timely fashion, your customer. An online experience that acknowledges the customer’s trust in your business, by taking care in the fulfillment of orders, is important and helps set you apart from your competition.
With our data integration strategies and platform, you can ensure that your back end systems are set up and designed to empower your customer experience. Ecommerce may have opened your business up to a global market — but don’t forget that this also means you’re now competing globally. If you don’t offer the best, you’ll slowly but surely lose to the best. By connecting back end applications, information can move seamlessly, quickly and accurately. You can scale while offering the same level of care and dedication to your customer experience. Whether you have 10 orders or 10,000 orders, your customer experience will be the same and you’ll be able to scale that experience to enhance your brand image in the public eye. Your customer can trust you to send their order, on schedule and without error and over time offer you their loyalty. So set yourself up to offer the best, it’ll do wonders for your brand image, the growth of your online channels, and create a powerful customer experience.