The challenges of building an omnichannel architecture
Omnichannel is now a major cornerstone of delivering a great customer experience. Research shows that omnichannel customers are not only more likely to engage with a business’ channels, but they are also more valuable because they spend 15-30% more than single-channel customers.
Clearly, businesses that have an omnichannel strategy in place benefit from the approach. To build such a strategy, businesses must have a future-proof omnichannel architecture––an architecture that brings together all the applications and systems needed to deliver an omnichannel experience. After all, a consistent architecture translates to a consistent customer experience which, in turn, results in more customer spend and revenue for the business.
However, building the right omnichannel architecture is not easy, here are the top reasons why:
1. Slow development approach
Businesses often approach omnichannel architecture by following traditional approaches to development, using point-to-point integration. This means that every system is connected to another through a 1:1 relationship. As a result, with every new channel that is added, they have to write new point-to-point code again and again to connect these systems and expose any relevant data. This is time-consuming and, consequently, the majority of the team’s time is spent on maintenance and integration––hindering their ability to bring innovations to market faster and bring new capabilities to the market.
2. Difficult data integration process
Omnichannel architecture primarily involves bringing together numerous systems, which may be in different data formats Often, these systems and the underlying data are siloed. As a result, when organizations bring new channels of engagement – from mobile and tablets to kiosks and sensors – it becomes difficult to manage and govern all the information that’s flowing within and between these systems.
3. Insufficient visibility into various channels
Another challenge that arises in the process of building an omnichannel architecture is that there is no single place that team’s can go to in order to gain better visibility and control over their systems and data. This makes it difficult to not only perform data integration processes faster, but also creates data privacy issues because it makes it difficult for teams to better understand where each piece of information (e.g. personal data, transaction data, etc.) lies and how to protect, modify and remove it.
In order to overcome the above challenges and build a better omnichannel architecture, many businesses are moving away from traditional approaches like point-to-point integration and, instead, embracing APIs. Using APIs, businesses can now deliver personalized journeys across channels faster, expand and scale consistently with reuse and, in turn, drive increased revenue for the company.