Physical locations, webpages, social media, live web chats, mobile applications, telephone communication, and much more are all a part of the modern day omnichannel business landscape. It wasn’t long ago when omnichannel strategies were reserved for Fortune 500’s. Those days are over and every business, from start-up to family business has to adjust to omnichannel. But why, you may ask?
It all boils down to your customer. Your customer is looking for information in multiple channels, in multiple ways, on multiple devices. If they can’t find information about you when they want, where they want, on the device that they want then they may just look for that same information someplace else – your competitors.
If you need another reason to value an omnichannel approach, you could turn your attention to customer value. Studies have shown that an omnichannel consumer, a consumer that uses multiple touchpoints (traditional and digital) to access your brand, spends more with the companies they engage with. Specifically, in the retail industry, the omnichannel customers spend an average of 4% more on every shopping experience. An omnichannel consumer will also spend an average of 10% more online than the single-channel customer. The trends point to one big conclusion, the more channels a customer uses, the more they spend in store. Omnichannel customers are your most valuable and most loyal customer.
Further studies are hinting that a lot of what we have assumed about omnichannel consumers isn’t necessarily true. We use to think that consumers were “showrooming” when they went to retail locations. Research firms have started to challenge this notion. One retailer found that when consumers had done prior online research, their spending was roughly 13% more in-store, not online. Want a new term to impress your marketing friends or boss, “webrooming.” Webrooming is basically a consumer who does primary research online and then goes to the store to finalize the purchase.
There’s no reason to think that retail or B2C trends don’t transcend into other segments or B2B. We’re seeing B2B buyers use social, websites, events, and traditional media when buying and researching vendors. The relationships and leads that are an omnichannel lead have resulted in faster and more profitable sales. We are all becoming more and more used to being multi-channel consumers, the businesses that adjust the fastest will win.
Retailers who own brick and mortar stores must embrace the omnichannel world we are living in. If they do, they can offer consumers an experience that their online-only competitors can’t, and they can reap the benefits. Online-only companies should realize that they deck may not be all tilted (or tilting) in their favor and position against it in certain markets or locations to win customers.