It seems like just yesterday when the key behind winning customers was in the quality of your products or services. How times have changed. Any marketer will tell you, today’s prime drive to success lies in the ‘customer experience’. And in 2016, at the heart of this is the omnichannel journey today’s savvy customer travels on.
To continue fulfilling the evolving needs and expectations of the modern consumer, retailers need to meet them across all channels. Omnichannel retailing is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ — it’s a must-have for any online retailer.
Multi v omni
Let’s be clear, it’d be an expensive faux pas to think your multichannel provisions have your omnichannel requirements covered. In fact, both may have the same touchpoints on their lists, but it’s in the interaction between, and reliance on each channel, where omni comes into its own.
Omnichannel has at its heart the knowledge that most customers navigate between many touchpoints to make a purchase. It recognises the consumer’s leaning to explore various channels, and places them – their lifestyle, problems, needs, and desires – at the heart of the strategy. The aim is for the matrix of channels to work seamlessly together, to provide a positive brand experience – and to drive purchasing.
Historically retailers have fallen behind their customers when it comes to the changing landscape of how they shop. The reality is, where once there were two or three touch-points they’d meet with, now there’s an average of 4 or 5. From the smartphone under the pillow, to the desktop in the office – recognising your customer’s experience is a journey involving a multitude of devices and platforms really is vital in today’s competitive market.
Omnichannel retailing creates a more positive sentiment for the brand, leading to better word of mouth marketing and sales, across multiple channels. It’s a lot to take on board for those just starting out on their omnichannel development – but in amongst the plethora of information out there, here are 5 stats that should help offer clarity.
Stat #1: If you’ve got an omnichannel customer engagement strategy, you’ll retain 89% of your customers
And without, it’s 33%. So, let’s start with this one, just for any doubters who are wondering if they can go head-in-the-sand over omnichannel. Sorry, no. That’s 56% of your custom you’re risking if you do.
What’s more, research shows that omnichannel consumers are likely to spend up to 25% more. This increase comes as a result of optimized cross-selling and upselling achieved only by capturing information that tracks the customers in real-time across all channels.
Stat # 2: People spend an average of 2 hours a day browsing the internet on their smartphones
It was last year that saw the balance tip, before then it was our desktops and laptops that held the accolade for most time spent online. And so it’s inevitable that more and more of the moments across the customer journey are happening right there. Whether it’s performing a search, opening an app, visiting a website or watching a video, people turn to their phone to get answers and, increasingly to take action.
As well as making sure sites are developed for mobile optimization, there’s also a psychological factor that wise retailers will consider: Smartphones are personal. In fact, around 66% of us have one within reach right now. They’re in our pockets, on our kitchen tables at dinner and, admit it, they’re even in our beds. Not delivering a seamless mobile experience is unforgivable – and your customer’s journey will come to an abrupt end if your mobile site isn’t up to scratch – they certainly won’t take to their desktop to find your comfort zone.
Stat #3: 56% of customers use a mobile device to price compare
If helping your competitor out is the objective in mind, then make this price-comparison factor cumbersome. In fact, 43% of consumers will visit a competitor’s site next, after a negative mobile browsing experience.
Interestingly, much of this price comparison occurs when the customer is in the bricks-and-mortar store, connecting online research with in store buying is an essential tactic for today’s buyer. Savvy customers will search online for offers, vouchers, discounts whilst in stores – all to make sure they’re getting the best deal out there.
Stat #4: 75% of customers online will give details that’ll increase a retailer’s understanding of them
Combining channels makes for a more complete view of the customer – who they are, what makes them tick – allowing for the holy grail – bespoke, tailored, personalised marketing. Customers are regularly asked for postcodes, emails, birthdays and other information, and this data can be compiled along with customer preferences for search words and more.
There’s a plethora of tools claiming to hold the keys to this “me-commerce” nirvana. And as successful big-brand online retailers have come to master the art of personalisation, the expectations of consumers have increased drastically.
Retailers need to use insights to drive specific objectives for each customer – across all touchpoints – engaging customers and giving them what they want, when they want it. For instance, there’s navigational personalisation, based on browser behaviour, and predictive personalisation – the “if you like this, you might also like…” route.
Stat # 5: 25% of shoppers who use their mobile devices in stores, make a purchase on their mobile devices whilst there
Retailers now know their biggest challenge is to merge the digital and physical selling worlds into one seamless customer experience, and this stat is the epitome of this. The purchases that occur this way include products that aren’t in stock, those in a size currently unavailable in a specific store, or, and most painfully perhaps, those on other retailer’s site – where the customer’s found the same or similar item at a better price.
So even for those customers for which the lure of the high-street still holds true, technology, especially mobile, is having an impact on the store experience – changing the shopper’s path to purchase, and calling retailers to up their game and clinch the sale in store, before their customer grabs their beloved phone.
This guest post was written by JH.