A Chemical Supplier’s Guide to Understanding Omnichannel Strategy
In this blog, we explore the meaning of omnichannel for chemical suppliers and why it is crucial for their business success. Agilis delves into the challenges they face and provides insights on how they can overcome them by adopting an omnichannel approach.
A 2021 McKinsey study found that, "As chemical suppliers adopt a more comprehensive and seamless approach to customer interactions, their customer loyalty and retention will increase."
As more and more customers in the chemical industry move towards digital channels for procurement, chemical suppliers need to rethink their sales strategy. One concept that has gained traction is omnichannel sales, which aims to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels. But what does omnichannel actually mean for chemical suppliers, and how can they implement it in a way that benefits their business? In this guide, we'll explore the definition of omnichannel and its implications for chemical suppliers.
What is Chemical Supplier Omnichannel?
An omnichannel strategy is defined as an approach that's centered around the customer. It integrates all available channels to reach, engage, and support customers throughout their education and buying journey. The goal is to provide a consistent, integrated, and personalized approach that offers a seamless experience for buyers on all channels.
For the customer of chemical suppliers, this means that the experience from searching for the product, landing on a website, requesting a quote, purchasing, and making repeat purchases is seamless.
Omnichannel Starting Point for Chemical Suppliers
The key here is customer focus – your channels don’t need to be flashy, but they do need to be consistent, integrated, and personalized – designed to provide a seamless experience for the buyer. You want to provide customers multiple ways to find products, gather required information, research the terms of sale, place orders, and receive support – using both traditional and self-service methods, which all work in unison to deliver a better experience.
An example of where to begin is to start with where customers are finding your chemical products. The omnichannel approach is to make sure customers have the same positive experience of finding and browsing your products on a variety of channels.
A traditional example can be your product catalog and a self-service example can be an online searchable catalog. Both of these listings should be consistent - meaning they have the same product sets, explanations, product ID information, how to order, and so on.
The Key to Successful Omnichannel
We agree with Hubspot’s take on the key to chemical suppliers doing omnichannel successfully:
"As a chemical supplier, it’s important to have a unified view of your customer data across all channels. This will allow you to provide a seamless experience for your customers, regardless of how they interact with your brand."
Here are some questions to consider:
- Where is your customer data and feedback stored today?
- Is it centralized and easy to access?
- Have you used this data to inform how to optimize your selling channels?
- Do your selling channels reflect the ways that your customers search and buy?
- How well do you understand your customer’s buying journey?
The starting point for a successful omnichannel strategy is understanding the customer’s buying journey.
Depending on the type of products, chemical suppliers need to consider what information customers require to make a buying decision and what channel mix is suitable to deliver that information. The establishment of a clear industry-specific taxonomy to describe products and key search terms that customers might use to find the products is essential, but you won’t be able to get to this step without the data gathering of your current process.
The Benefits & Results of Good Chemical Supplier Omnichannel
The benefits for the customers are obvious – they get to choose how to engage with their suppliers and use the channels that are most convenient to conduct their transactions.
But suppliers are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of good omnichannel strategies. Here are the top ones we see:
- They achieve higher customer satisfaction
- They see an increase in traffic to their commerce sites and portals
- They gain greater customer loyalty which leads to more repeat business
- They have the ability to better forecast sales and demand levels
An omnichannel approach to selling and marketing is not only a way to remain relevant with your customer base, however it is a great way to stay ahead of the competition and drive sales growth.
Here at Agilis, we specialize in helping chemical suppliers start, scale, and enhance their omnichannel journey. Book a consultation with us to transform your omnichannel strategy and more.
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