The Omnichannel Oversell - Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians on PixabayOmnichannel experiences promise to provide cohesive, personalized consumer-brand interactions across channels and devices. They are the sum of every individual touchpoint, over a variety of channels that seamlessly connect. Critically, customers can pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience on another.

The goal is to create seamless experiences that turn customers from one-time interactions and sales into lifetime consumers. Supported by experiences and content that provides ongoing support that boosts retention and overall lifetime value.

The theory is unarguable. But unfortunately, execution has been lacking ever since the term “omnichannel experiences” became the buzzword of the century in marketing circles.

Partly it is an issue of perception. Omnichannel experiences should be what every modern consumer is enjoying from the brands with which they interact. Yet, most companies have failed to deliver on the full promise of the omnichannel experience. Why?

What makes omnichannel experiences impossible to deliver?

Six main reasons make omnichannel so hard to master

1) Consumer channels have exploded

In 2020, the average household had ten different internet-connected devices. The number of these internet-enabled devices is expected to hit 46 billion globally in 2021. By using these phones, watches, computers, tablets, and other devices. People are interacting with brand social media channels, blogs, chat services, podcasts, ads, webinars, affiliate marketers, PR efforts, and more.

With all these channels it takes a consumer an average of eight “touches” or interactions to complete their first conversion. The explosion of channels on which consumers can have omnichannel experiences has created plenty of ground for marketers to cover.

2) The time it takes to create omnichannel content is mind-boggling

Content lies at the heart of the omnichannel experience. It’s the first branded element with which consumers will interact. Furthermore, it’s often the same element that will guide their entire relationship with a business.

But this makes content both a blessing and a curse in modern marketing.

It’s a time-consuming task to create content for all the previously mentioned channels, devices, and platforms. And that task becomes more challenging when a business must generate fresh, high-quality, personalized content at such a scale. Creating the right quality and quantity of content to feed the omnichannel experience machine is nearly impossible. Particularly, when there is no strategic system in place.

3) Customer information is siloed

According to CMSWire’s 2021 State of Digital Customer Experience report, close to 40% of customer experience leaders say that fragmented or siloed customer data has hurt their efforts to develop true omnichannel experiences.

Silos in the workplace are often a result of technological tools that can’t effectively share data with each other. This fragmentation of information is worsened by poor communication tools and habits.

It’s a hard nut to crack, but the businesses that can update their tech. As well as modernize their communication practices should also be able to overcome customer information silos.

4) Managing huge amounts of customer data

Even if a business can gather all the necessary customer information in one place it then faces the issue of how to organise all that data. The business must make sense of it and apply what has been learned.

This demands a customised combination of tools, complete with artificial intelligence (AI), to develop and apply these consumer data learnings. The gold standard of this application is the delivery of real-time personalisation.

5) Real-time personalisation is a full-time job

Real-time decisioning (RTD) is the process of delivering the right experience to the right consumer at the right time. And via the right channel. It is the engine of successful omnichannel interactions. But enabling this kind of quick, universal personalisation either takes a lot of time or a lot of tools. This includes AI-powered customer data platforms (CDPs), predictive analytics systems, and more.

That’s why – according to recent research from Winterberry Group – only 14% of marketers would call their experience with decisioning successful. The modern marketing department in any business must be ready to put in the time or invest in the right tools to raise that percentage.

6) Most current tech simply can’t keep up

The marketing tech stack in many businesses is simply not fit for purpose. Many technologies currently used by organisations were adopted before they understood the need for personalisation for the always-connected consumer. in fact, 66% of developers say maintaining legacy technology hinders productivity. 64% of IT decision-makers have already prioritized upgrading said outdated tech. Old-school, legacy technology is holding many organisations back from creating successful omnichannel experiences.

Creating an architecture that enables omnichannel

In the face of these issues, it is all too easy for many businesses to take the line of least resistance and avoid an omnichannel strategy. Even though the customer demand for omnichannel capabilities is rampant, many businesses simply give up.

However, with the right foundation to integrate and implement modern marketing technology, these issues can be addressed strategically, logically, and effectively.

In a digital-first world, the right foundation is a MACH architecture. When it comes to marketing technology, MACH means tools that: this means marketing technology that:

  • Is built on lightweight apps called M
  • Can connect and communicate via Application programming interfaces (APIs).
  • Lives in and is delivered via the C
  • Employs Headless architecture, especially for the content management system (CMS).

It’s this last characteristic—the headless architecture—that makes agile CMS the cornerstone for successful omnichannel experiences.

With a modern, headless CMS, content creation and content presentation exist separately. This structure supports marketers to concentrate on generating content-led experiences. Designers and developers build out the perfect distribution channels that make those experiences omnichannel.

And because of the modular, flexible infrastructure of headless CMS, it’s easy to integrate with a variety of tools and services. Such as CDPs and predictive analytics systems as well as CRMs, eCommerce platforms, localization tools, and lots more. Taken together, this makes creating large amounts of personalized content possible.

The way forward

To correct the years of omnichannel being oversold, businesses now realise they must create real omnichannel experiences that consumers trust. This is built on a content creation process that employees believe in, which in turn demands that businesses pull their technology out of the past.

Like all good marketing technology and strategy, this will be all but invisible to customers. Consumers simply want the ability to interact with a business as, where, when and how they choose. Getting this right will be the hallmark of successful companies in the decades to come.

ContentstackContentstack™ is a leading Content Management System (CMS) and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) that allows organizations to manage content across all digital channels and create amazing digital experiences. A pioneer in the headless CMS category, Contentstack effortlessly handles large-scale, complex, and mission-critical deployments, while supporting real-world enterprise business processes and team collaboration. Contentstack’s customer satisfaction is the highest in the industry and it is the preferred API-first CMS for SAP Cloud. Marquee brands across the globe, including Best Buy, Chase, Holiday Inn, Icelandair, Morningstar, Express, Miami HEAT, Shell, and Walmart, choose Contentstack to power their omnichannel content, digital experiences, and personalized customer journeys. More information can be found at


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