Omnichannel is retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (online, in a brick and mortar store, by phone, or by wearable)—and it’s what consumers don’t just want, but are demanding now.
A study by MasterCard in 2015 found that eight out of 10 consumers now use a computer, smartphone, tablet, or in-store technology when shopping.
Essentially, omnichannel is shopping in the way that is most convenient for consumers:
- Walmart and many other retailers allow you to order online and pick up in the store, or return to the store.
- Disney allows you to plan your vacation online, then use the My Disney Experience app to plan your activities, from rides to dining and more; then you can use your app while you’re in the park to locate attractions and see estimated wait times. Even better, Disney’s Magic Band program gives you a digital tool for park admission, hotel room access, and much more.
- Starbucks lets you order your coffee via an app, and pick it up in the store, saving information on your favorite drink and allowing you to gather rewards for each purchase in your app
A study released in January 2017 by Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that essentially, “Omnichannel Retailing Works.” The study of 46,000 customers who made a purchase between June 2015 and August 2016 revealed that the more channels customers use, the more valuable they are. These customers spent an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store and 10% more online than single-channel customers.
HBR’s study also revealed that when a customer conducted prior online research on a retailer’s own site or sites, it resulted in 13% greater in-store spending among omnichannel shoppers. The study noted that this goes against conventional wisdom that “spur-of-the-moment, impulsive shopping bulks up the topline of traditional retailers. Instead, our findings suggest that deliberate searching beforehand led customer to greater in-store purchases.”
Unsurprisingly based on these results, the study also found that omnichannel shoppers were also more loyal.
These types of results are not going unnoticed by retailers. A study by EKN Research found that 39% of retailers are differentiating product and assortment offerings based on individual omnichannel shoppers.
What can you do to compete with retailers who are implementing omnichannel? The only way is to develop your own omnichannel strategy and implement it as soon as possible. That may sound challenging, but fortunately there are proven tools to help you launch your omnichannel strategy.
Learn more about how to achieve your omnichannel goals in a free white paper, “Advanced Omnichannel: Constructing the Unified Enterprise.” This resource will tell you:
- What do retailers struggle with most as they try and transition to an omnichannel platform?
- What trends are forcing retailers to revamp their retail platforms?
- What kind of solutions can “future-proof” retail businesses?
- And much more