Omnichannel. It’s a word being thrown around from tradeshow panels to industry publications to the latest feedback management systems. Omnichannel speaks directly to the nonline customer; it’s an approach that connects customers to businesses on the web, mobile, in-store, product and beyond. It’s about hitting your customers where they are, anytime and anywhere, when they are ready to leave feedback. And it’s what our patented opt-in feedback system is built around. Feedback pairs perfectly with the omnichannel world, which is why we are constantly pouring through omnichannel data that improves customer experiences, across a myriad of industry verticals and sectors. And there’s no shortage of data to dig through. Especially when it comes to retail.
The key to success when it comes to wrapping your head around omnichannel is understanding the new role of the store; that the experience isn’t just limited to the store walls. But the C-Suite should take note when investing their hard-earned budget dollars when amping up customer experience. Customer experience doesn’t just happen in a silo anymore. 39% of shoppers indicate their next purchasing journey would involve at least 2 of company’s channels which means there isn’t just one place to pump support dollars into. But despite this and other research, store associates are not well prepared to deal with omnichannel shoppers, even seeing an increase in showrooming.
To combat showrooming, retailers are arming store associates to keep the consumer’s dollars in-store. Store associates are getting involved in re-routing customers to the retailer’s website to save the sale and even checking online inventory, making the experience an immediate omnichannel experience. But our data suggests there is a long way to go still.
We’ve seen that only 37% of shoppers were encouraged to visit the retailer’s website, and only 20% of shoppers were shown items that were only available online, but not in-store. So store associates are in a way, sending consumers away from the store shelves. And if you aren’t an omnichannel organization, you may have lost more than just one sale. To all facets of an organization, that should be a big wake-up call when integration should be the name of the game.
But while today’s omnichannel shopper can be fickle in terms of where and how they purchase, they are also fundamentally less forgiving than that of their non-omni brethren. When we asked if shoppers have ever gone back to purchase from a retailer AFTER a negative experience, 61% of shoppers who preferred to shop offline said they would compared to only 55% of shoppers who split their time evenly between offline and online. So retailers now have a new shopper to impress across all channels.
Love or hate it, the omnichannel shopper is here to stay, and if you aren’t thinking about them yet, you’re already behind.