Multichannel and digital platforms. The first real challenge for companies in the retail world is to understand that multichannel is no longer just the preserve of millennials. One needs to adapt one’s digital facilities accordingly to meet a much larger audience, which goes from the physical point to the online in a more frenetic but no less attentive way to prices, offers and product quality.
Today’s digital platforms (Microsoft, SAP, AWS) offer all the tools needed to make the required quantum leap into multichannel. However, investments are needed in the areas of consulting (business analysis) and training (staff upgrading). The proper analysis of data from multichannel requires platforms that can extract customer behaviors in real time. Only then is it possible to offer an appropriate customer journey. The paradigm shift from “consumer loyalty” to “consumer loyalty” forces companies to chase the customer in ever new, purposeful ways and with ever different subjects.
Multichanneling: the change in behavior according to purchasing sector
Consulting firms like F1 must therefore interpret not only the needs of businesses but, more importantly, advise which tools to use to make the most of the platforms. Indeed, companies must ask themselves how to deal with a structurally changed market from a strategic perspective. The analyses speak for themselves: consumers behave differently depending on the commodity or service sector they deal with. Therefore, it is no longer sufficient to “frame” consumers within rigid categories:
- Cherry Picker: the brand-loyal consumer. It orients its purchases according to promotions in different stores. He plans his purchases based on the availability of low-cost, flirtatious products differing from Brand Switchers, who are unfaithful to the brand but rather loyal to the store.
- Pragmatic: they buy online if it saves time, is more cost-effective, and to access the service at times not guaranteed by traditional channels.
- MoneySaver: they buy online driven by the possibility/need to compare prices and take advantage of discounts. Controlling the purchasing process at the best cost is their mantra.
- eShoppers: use the Web during all stages of the purchasing journey (in 2019 equal to 27.8 million Italians, corresponding to 53% of the Italian population 14+ and 63% of Internet Users *Nielsen data)
Rather, there is a need to analyze market sectors and adapt technologies and languages so as to intercept not so much the largest number of consumers, but rather the best possible consumers for that sector. FMCG, Pharma, eBeauty also endure offline (but with extensive research prior to purchase at the physical point) while Clothing, Insurance, ITC and Travels are increasingly shifting to online purchases (data also include purchases from mobile). Here are several customer journeys divided by category.
Therefore, to approach the consumer, companies and consultants must also change the intrinsic meaning of the terminology used. Particularly interesting to see how big data analysis should lead to smart data mining through the use of AI and machine learning. Here is some interesting food for thought.