Very few shoppers today utilize a single method for their shopping, even if they are shopping for just one item. The Harvard Business Review reported that 73 percent of shoppers use multiple channels in their purchasing journey. Another study also revealed another surprising fact: omnichannel shoppers are more profitable. On average, they spend 4 — 10 percent more than single-channel shoppers.
Understanding the value that omnichannel customers bring to your business is great, but what about the value they perceive? If you look at the experience through the customer’s eyes, like a user experience designer, this may be the ticket to success in your own omnichannel marketing strategies.
Targeting Shoppers the Right Way
Omnichannel customers are voracious users of customer touchpoints. They seek them out, and utilize them to their full potential. Mobile applications, kiosks with tablets and interactive displays, and dedicated brand websites all are sought out by omnichannel shoppers.
But what happens when customers seek out something that doesn’t exist? Or they use something that doesn’t work like it should? Here are some common examples of when an omnichannel shopper is met with an unfortunate and preventable circumstance, along with how to mitigate these instances.
Site Stability and Security
While shopping online, a customer fills their shopping cart. They browse for hours and hours, and in the end wrack up a massive bill on a purchase that they are fully prepared to conclude. They click the checkout button, and are met with a crashed site. Their shopping cart is emptied, and their time spent shopping is wasted.
The expectation: That shopping online will be easy, streamlined, and secure.
How to meet the need: In an instance like this, the most viable option is changing tech providers. Perhaps this retailer had been using proprietary software for their eCommerce functions, or just used a poor service provider. Whatever the case, working with a provider that uses a major ecommerce platform like Magento will ensure proper support and functionality.
Omnichannel Loyalty Programs
A customer in a physical store speaks with a representative about a loyalty rewards program. They are very excited, and immediately opt-in to rack up a ton of points with in-store purchases. But when they attempt to redeem points online, they find a broken system that doesn’t allow them to.
The expectation: Loyalty programs that span multiple channels.
How to meet the need: This common issue happens when systems aren’t linked. In this situation, ERP integration across all channels is necessary. ClikBoutik, for example, is a provider of ERP integration that can save you from this type of issue.
Buy Anywhere, Get Anywhere
A customer that doesn’t have internet access, or that prefers to avoid ecommerce, enters a physical store to buy clothing. They find that the local retailer doesn’t carry widely advertised items.
The expectation: The customer wants their merchandise where and when they want it.
How to meet the need: This can be solved with the “buy anywhere, get anywhere” trend. Widening purchasing options to include in-store ordering to any physical address can meet the need.
While browsing at a bookstore, a customer produces their phone to find reviews of a book from the retailer’s website. What they find is a desktop version of the site that is difficult to browse.
The expectation: The ability to find and buy anything using a mobile device.
How to meet the need: This may seem like a no brainer, but customers need mobile-friendly sites. More customers browse online using mobile devices such as tablets and phones today than they ever have, and your company has got to meet the need. Design your site with mobile browsing in mind.
A customer forgets the name of your company, but remembers the name of the item they want. Like any modern first-world human, they search on Amazon, Ebay, or Alibaba for it, only to find that it’s nowhere to be found! A quick Google search reveals that you’re not listed on any of these sites.
The expectation: The ability to find deals on your merchandise through third-party sellers.
How to meet the need: Get that product out there! Huge markets exist on sites like Amazon, and the freedom and ease of use are too good to pass up.
Your company website is simply amazing, and a customer (who browses on mobile, of course) drives a hundred miles to check out your store. When they arrive, you’ve got two cashiers set up, parallel aisles of merchandise, and a paper sign taped to the door that says “have a nice day” with a smiley face drawn in permanent marker.
The expectation: A memorable in-store experience.
How to meet the need: If you want to be at the front of the curve, wowing customers with an in-store experience is a must. Retail giant Walmart is thinking omnichannel with their Walmart Pay feature, and others like Panera with ordering kiosks. This type of shopping experience is becoming the expectation.
Social Media Marketing
A loyal shopper wants to show their friends how amazing your products are. They are young and always online, and so they search their favorite social media sites for you, but come up empty handed.
The expectation: The ability to connect with brands through social media.
How to meet the need: Similar to how a customer will expect to find your products on third-party sites like Amazon, customers also expect that you will have a social media presence. Without one, your company might seem fledgeling, or apathetic to customer needs, or dated. Even if you only make minimal effort, set up online profiles and put up some content. It’s expected of you, after all.