Unlocking the Potential of an Omnichannel Route to Market Strategy through Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Estrategia Omnicanal con IA

Unlocking the Potential of an Omnichannel Route to Market Strategy through Artificial Intelligence (AI)

CPG/FMCG manufacturers and distributors are experiencing an unprecedented transformation in how they interact with their customers, driven by the emergence of new communication channels and changes in contact preferences.

However, transitioning to an omnichannel strategy presents significant challenges, such as integrating data from different sources, coordinating between physical and digital channels, planning contacts, and discovering the next best action. These are constant challenges for business leaders in the sector.

In this context, Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a key role in successfully driving this transformation, particularly in the relationship between manufacturers, distributors, and outlets.

In this article, we explore both the challenges and opportunities of adopting an Omnichannel Route to Market strategy and how AI is positioned as a key element to ensure its success.

The importance of Omnichannel

Omnichannel has become a key pillar for CPG/FMCG companies, focusing their efforts on enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing a cohesive shopping experience across multiple channels. This approach enables companies to:

  • Offer multiple touchpoints that align with the customer’s operational preferences, thereby enhancing the shopping experience and fostering loyalty.
  • Increase commercial return on investment (ROI) by optimizing the costs associated with sales and distribution.
  • Establish new channels of communication and engagement to attract and retain customers.
  • Expand customer visibility to a broader product portfolio, increasing opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.

Omnichannel challenges in the CPG/FMCG sector and the transformative role of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As mentioned above, transitioning to an omnichannel strategy poses significant challenges in the Route to Market, including operational transformation towards a customer-centric approach, mastering the digital environment, and anticipating the next best action for each customer. Harmonizing the user experience across all channels and managing customers from end-to-end are essential for success.

To meet these challenges, Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes a strategic ally, facilitating several key aspects of implementing an Omnichannel Route to Market:

  • Data Intelligence in the Manufacturer-Distributor Relationship: AI enables fully efficient data management between manufacturers and distributors, from matching and enriching data to analyzing outlet potential. This is crucial for understanding market needs and adapting business strategies. Furthermore, AI-enhanced data enrichment adds value to existing information, providing deeper insights into customer behavior.
  • Execution at the Point of Sale: The use of AI at the point of sale is transforming business-customer interactions, making them more efficient and tailored to the unique needs of each location. This includes:
    • Suggested Order: AI analyzes historical sales data and customer buying patterns to generate automatic order suggestions, improving sales with highly personalized offers and promotions.
    • Contact Planner: AI also aids in planning contact times, ensuring that the sales force visits outlets at the most opportune times, based on data such as purchase history and previous visit effectiveness.
    • Business Alerts: AI continuously monitors outlet data to identify trends, anomalies, or opportunities, generating real-time business alerts that enable manufacturers and distributors to respond swiftly to changes in demand or inventory issues.

Discovery of the Next Best Action

Before delving into how Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps in identifying the next best action, it’s important to define what we mean by “Next Best Action.” This concept involves identifying the most effective action to take with a customer at a specific point in the sales process from among all possible actions, aiming to yield the best possible outcome.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps determine the next best action at any given moment, based on a holistic view of the point of sale and unified data. This results in more effective and personalized strategies, such as dynamic contact planning based on real-time performance and strategic product recommendations to maximize margin or volume.

The discovery of the Next Best Action through Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents a significant advance in strategic and operational decision-making in the commercial domain. AI analyses and synthesizes large volumes of data from diverse sources, providing a holistic and unified view of customer behavior and point-of-sale performance. This approach enables companies not only to better understand their customers’ needs and preferences, but also to anticipate them.

Using predictive modelling and machine learning algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) continuously evaluates available data to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities. This makes it easier to determine the most appropriate and timely action to take in each specific situation, resulting in more relevant and effective interactions with customers.

In summary, Next Best Action discovery through Artificial Intelligence (AI) transforms the way companies interact with their customers and manage their points of sale. By basing decisions on unified data and advanced analytics, business strategies become more effective, personalized, and adaptive to market conditions and customer needs.

Connecting the Dots: The Need for a Single Source of Truth

To fully capitalize on the advantages of an omnichannel strategy and the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is crucial to establish certain operational and technological prerequisites. The need for a holistic view of the customer and a ‘single source of truth’ becomes imperative in this scenario. Having these two aspects in place not only facilitates more efficient management and a better customer experience, but also lays the foundation for advanced AI applications, such as determining the next best action.

  • Data Integration: Integrating data from all touch points and operations is the first and most crucial step towards a holistic understanding of the customer. In an environment where customers interact across online and offline channels, the ability to consolidate this information into a single repository is critical. Without an integrated view, companies face a fragmented understanding that leads to poorly informed decisions and inconsistent customer experiences. Effective data integration ensures that every customer interaction – from initial enquiry to post-sale – is based on a complete and up-to-date understanding of their needs and behaviors. But beyond operational consistency, this integration is an essential prerequisite for unlocking the true potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), enabling the accurate identification of the next best action for each customer.
  • Single Source of Truth: A strategic imperative is the consolidation of data into a single source of truth, through SaaS solutions such as UVE Cloud, which not only ensures all teams have access to up-to-date and accurate data but also sets the stage for effective application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With all data in a single source of truth, the future of personalization and strategic decision-making becomes clearer and more achievable. This allows companies not only to react to current situations but also to anticipate and prioritize future actions, establishing clear criteria for the next best action. With all data consolidated in a single source of truth, companies can apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes to discover and prioritize the next best action. This involves analyzing customer behavior patterns, buying trends, and the effectiveness of previous interactions to determine the most appropriate and timely action to take for each customer. For example, this could mean prioritizing the criticality of the customer’s needs and establishing clear criteria for actions based on the likelihood of conversion, customer value, or the urgency of the customer’s needs.

Conclusion: Strengthening Omnichannel Strategy with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Data integration and the creation of a single source of truth are more than strategic steps; they are the foundation for success in omnichannel Route to Market and the basis for the effective implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

By centralizing and harmonizing our data, we not only improve internal consistency and efficiency but also unlock the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve decision-making and personalize the customer experience through the identification of the next best action.

This strategy ensures that our omnichannel approach is not only effective in the present but also future-proof and resilient, enabling continuous adaptation to changing customer needs and market dynamics.

How UVE can help you in this Transformation

UVE offers vertical technology for the CPG/FMCG sector and a team of experts in Route to Market, with more than 17 years of experience in the sector. With UVE, manufacturers and distributors can:

  • Consolidate data from multiple sources into a single source of truth, ensuring that all teams are working with the same up-to-date and accurate information.
  • Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to analyze data, discover valuable insights, and determine the next best action for each customer, thereby improving the personalization and effectiveness of interactions.
  • Automate processes such as Suggested Ordering, Contact Planning, and Business Alert generation, enabling more efficient and adaptive execution at the point of sale.
  • On the road to an effective Omnichannel Route to Market strategy, the integration of digital and physical tools becomes an essential component. UVE understands the importance of this synergy and offers solutions that encompass both the digital arm of omnichannel (eCommerce B2B) and the physical arm (Sales Force Automation), ensuring seamless execution at the point of sale.
  • Preparing companies for the future, with a scalable platform that adapts to changing needs and new market trends.

By choosing UVE as your technology partner, you are not only adopting a technology that is tailored to the needs of the industry; you are embracing a business philosophy that puts data intelligence at the forefront of your Route to Market strategy. This not only positions you at the forefront of innovation but also prepares you to lead the FMCG/CPG industry today and in the future.

Ultimately, adopting a Route to Market Omnichannel strategy supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a single source of truth, backed by vertical solutions like UVE, is the path to a successful future in FMCG/CPG. With UVE, you are not only equipped to face today’s challenges but also to anticipate tomorrow’s opportunities.

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