By Corinne Estève-Diemunsch, Marketing & Communication Director at Limonetik The objective of any cross-channel strategy is always to put the customer at the centre of the brand, whatever the network or device being used. It’s about multiplying the points of contact throughout the purchasing journey. This video explains very well how a cross channel strategy should include the customer right from their desire to purchase, before they have even started to look for a product or service and support them until they are loyal and you can give them a recommendation. The customer must be a player in their payment. “One of the issues for a consumer is finding an e-merchant who accepts their payment methods (gift card, payment vouchers, discounts, loyalty cards, etc.): the e-wallet responds to this objective. The new challenge is to transfer this flexibility to physical stores” explains Jérôme Connac, Business Development Director & co-founder of Limonetik. The customer must once again become a player in their purchasing and have the option of a choice of the payment methods they want to use when paying: loyalty card, payment vouchers, bank card, money off vouchers, paper gift vouchers, loyalty points, etc. They must even be able to use them together in a single transaction! It’s no longer up to the e-business site or the store to impose on them such and such a payment method. This should be the case without complicating the work of the back office or the cashiers. “All the big retailers [distributors] have included a certain amount of cross-channel in their strategies. Why? To make the purchasing experience more standardised, whether in store or in front of a screen.” continues Jérôme Connac. Payment methods must be identical in store and on the trading site. Putting the customer back at the heart of your concerns “The cross-channel approach allows you to go back to traditional sales” confirms Bérangère Lamboley, general marketing & communication manager at But. “Sales which embrace several channels allow you to discover something on the web, then to try or touch it in store and to buy it via one channel or another. We are going back to the fundamentals of sales at last, with stores that must care about the customer and identify their needs. The entire challenge is therefore to see these different supports as complementary.” Is the Internet at the service of sales in store and reinforcing the role of human advice? Bring a bonus to purchasing One last point in favour of these multi-faceted strategies; the more intelligent technology is – in the sense that it brings more value for the merchant and the customer – the more present it is in stores, the more the customer experience will be monitored and the more satisfied the customer will be! There Google Analytics, for example, uses a number of indicators of the paths followed by internet users. Stores are behind in terms of tracking the customer. They have hardly started to study and measure the methods used that result in an item being brought and compare the number of people entering a store and the number of purchases actually made… It is there where, since the web came into existence, we have quantified the “VIEWs” and average baskets, etc.