The Omnichannel Experience Consumers Are Craving
By Alice Chen
Aided by technology and accustomed to instant connections, consumers are craving an omnichannel experience when they’re shopping. Omnichannel means the holistic way that a brand’s channels and touch points interact with a customer. It boils down to a cohesive, continuous, and seamless experience across all channels — no matter the way a consumer connects with a brand.
Consumers have become familiar and have come to expect these top three things in an omnichannel experience.
Consumers expect personalization amid their increasingly digital lives. According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report, “66% of consumers say they are likely to switch brands if they are treated as numbers instead of individuals”. Reservations about sharing information with brands have decreased significantly and now, consumers are willing to share personal data with brands so long as they receive personalized experiences (i.e. product recommendations and customized offers).
In the age of rapid connections and instant gratification, customers expect fast, personal experiences throughout the customer journey regardless of channel. The demand for speed and convenience is high enough that consumers are often willing to pay more for an expedited shipping option.
Omnichannel is all about the cohesiveness of a brand. That means everything from inventory, speed, customer service, and even voice has to be consistent across all channels because consumers expect the same experience throughout their shopping journey. Every instance of friction is a speed bump on their road to checkout and possibly their reason for abandonment. According to Salesforce, “73% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company provides inconsistent levels of service across departments”.
Multiple touch points
More than 90% of consumer commerce still happens in physical, brick-and-mortar stores, but consumers also interact, research, and buy from brands in multiple ways. It was once that customers would have to visit a brick-and-mortar store to peruse, but now they have smart devices and technology at their fingertips.
- eCommerce: By 2020, worldwide retail eCommerce sales are predicted to top $4 trillion.
- Mobile: More than 50% of eCommerce traffic now comes from mobile devices.
- Social commerce: More than 60% said they would be open to making a purchase through a social platform.
Not just another buzzword
Omnichannel is often described as the blurring of online and offline channels. In a study by HBR, 73% customers move across multiple channels during their shopping journey. Three out of four shoppers who find local information in web searches are more inclined to visit physical locations (webrooming). More than 90% of consumers read reviews and peruse on smartphones while browsing in-store. Additionally, 75% of consumers want to be able to order products online and pick them up in-store.
Gone are the days where it was a brick-and-mortar store versus an online presence. These days, one touch point can help bolster the presence of the other. A physical store often helps advertise a brand and drive traffic to the online store. “In a market Go to the full article.