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Omni-Tech for Omnichannel Selling

My last blog talked about the challenges of becoming an omnichannel retailer, and how stores are still learning how to make changes that cut across their entire business. We discussed how, appearances to the contrary, omnichannel selling is still about meeting a basic business requirement – finding the best outcome for you and your customer. However, finding these outcomes is a more complex proposition than it used to be.

Logically, to achieve consistent outcomes you need to achieve consistent consumer outreach, input, and sales approaches. But stores are also facing the demand to create a more personalized sales experience. How do you meet these seemingly contrary requirements? The key here is to find new ways to reach out to shoppers as part of the whole shopping experience, no matter what the channel.

For example, Cisco’s Remote Expert solution is a way to offer unique, personalized, yet centralized retail experiences for customers. It connects each shopper with a product expert wherever they are located, in real time, via mobile, immersive, or on-site channels. You save by leveraging your experts across single or multiple locations and devices using a pool of experts who may or may not be co-located, instead of providing expertise at every site or asking them to travel extensively. Retailers can also use the same solution to host training and corporate meetings, or to enable store feedback on products and merchandising. The result is a personalized shopping experience at a lower cost for the store.

Pretty sweet, don’t you think? To learn more, take the time to attend the webcast “Just Ask the Expert: Connect Your Shoppers to Virtual Experts, Anywhere, Any Time,” being held on Nov. 7. You can register here.

Truly omnichannel technologies are designed to support cost savings and efficiency, providing a more seamless interface for service that is customized for the shopper. As I said in my last blog, these approaches focus first and foremost on customer needs, making it easier to do business with your company.  A customer-centric strategy cuts across the business and all its channels, creating a different kind of relationship between you and your shoppers. See what Retail Systems Research has to say in their latest report about omnichannel strategies.

I love retail trivia! Comment below if you know the answer to this question: What is the second-most visited retail business in America? (Wal-Mart is first.)

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Use Social Media to Sell Smarter: Insights from our WebEx Event

On Feb. 3rd, Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne facilitated a WebEx featuring a panel of thought leaders who shared their knowledge and experiences in using social media to create powerful sales strategies. In part one, Brian shared some amazing research about the changes social media has made to the sales cycle. Today, in part two, we’ll hear from the panel. You can listen to the entire WebEx here.

Meet the panel:

Sam Decker: founder of Mass Relevance. He worked with Dell on their ecommerce engine and also was CMO of Bazaarvoice. Now he is curating content. All of the millions and billions of pieces of content around the world, he pulls it together and curates it so that marketers and salespeople can engage with buyers.

Barbara Weaver Smith: founder and president of The Whale Hunters -- a strategic sales coaching firm. They help small businesses grow explosively by finding bigger customers and signing up bigger deals.

Sergio Balegno: director of research with Marketing Sherpa and MECLABS. His company has a phenomenal repository of over 7,000 case histories for the marketing and sales community.

The discussion in Part One focused on how the sales/buying cycle has really changed because of social media. As a result, selling has changed too. In part two, the discussion turned to evidence of this change and tips for dealing with it.

Is this change in buyer behavior happening in small businesses as well?

Read More »

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