A seamless, omni-channel brand experience is the future of consumer engagement.
This is the age of the omni-channel consumer. Success depends on making the customer’s experience continuous and universal across all the different touchpoints. Each channel—brick-and-mortar retail, mobile, website—should be treated as a single interconnected way of engaging potential buyers.
According to Zendesk, 67% of online shoppers have made purchases that involved multiple channels in the past six months. Additionally, Grazia Daily reported that 64% of shoppers research purchases online before buying online. Those customers who researched online before end up spending 33% more on average.
What does this mean for a brand that wants to most effectively speak to these omni-channel customers?
The transition to an omni-channel brand is a paradigm shift. A brand must both understand the customer’s new shopping habits, and technologically support its back-end operations while anticipating and responding to the customer’s actions.
The Tao of Omni. Philosophical Underpinnings.
Low prices can be great bait to lure shoppers to a site and persuade them to make a purchase, but meeting the customer’s needs with personalized service and convenience are key factors to building enduring customer relationships and expanding market share.
Personalized customer relationships can be achieved virtually by using data. The behavior patterns, customer demographics and most engaging content information can offer important insights as to how a brand can make interactions more personalized.
An omni-channel brand doesn’t differentiate the online shopper’s buying habits and the offline shopper’s buyer habits as two separate entities—they are becoming one and the same. According to ”Beyond the Checkout Cart”, a report by MIT, 80% of store shoppers check prices online with 33% accessing the information on their mobile devices while inside the store. This is one of many examples of how consumers are interacting with products during the shopping experience—online and offline can be experienced simultaneously—which is why it’s crucial to have a holistic and interconnected approach at every entry point.
2 + 2 = Omni. Technological Foundations.
It’s useless for a brand to muse upon omni-channel without the right technology in place to actualize an immersive consumer experience. The right technology is able to anticipate the customer’s behaviors in the path to purchase and respond with the correct actions at a given time. The right technology understands how customers are interacting on different devices and mediums and offers solutions that close gaps that could disrupt the holistic experience. Using Branded Online’s experience in customer behavior and responsive technology, your brand has the opportunity to collect and analyze data and create seamless transactions.
One example of how omni-channel thinking has successfully helped brands upsell efforts is the in-store pick-up option for online shoppers. According to Internet Retailer, in-store pickup drives online shoppers into physical stores. Once the customer is in the brick-and-mortar location, some of these retailers found that customers might see more items they want to purchase and add them on top of their existing order.
Technology capabilities that offer inventory visibility across all warehouses and retail stores ensure that customers can be serviced at their highest convenience and personalization. Whether that means shipping an item from one store to another, or allowing a customer to return an item placed online to any brick-and-mortar location, superior customer service experiences, coupled with smart technology, is key in building loyalty and customer retention.
Further data from the “Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide” reiterates that convenience can be the tipping point for some customers. The study reveals that many of the retail chains growing the fastest online are the ones that tie together their brick-and-mortar stores and websites in hopes of maximizing convenience for shoppers—an important service advantage that online-only retailers can’t accommodate.
Whether your brand is looking for its next step to revitalize stagnant sales, or is growing at a face pace and needs technology to work more efficiently, Branded Online can find the best solution for your needs. Cut through the noisy online and offline marketplace to offer customers a seamless shopping experience that keeps them coming back.