Connecting with shoppers has never been as easy, or as difficult, as it is today. There are any number of channels businesses can use to market and sell their products, ranging from their own website or third-party marketplaces, to brick-and-mortar stores or even the traditional sales team.
While you could probably find a buyer through any of these channels, connecting and converting the right buyers will depend on you reaching your customers when and where they are. That could be on Instagram, in their email inbox, on Amazon, or over the phone.
While it can be daunting to try and strategize across a variety of different platforms, apps, mediums, and devices, recent buyer data has never been clearer – the single-channel shopper is dying.
Taking an omnichannel approach to your commerce strategy will become core for your business to meet modern consumer demands, improve your customer experience and ultimately, your bottom line. Businesses like Stance, Bank of America, and Starbucks, are all great examples of businesses with omnichannel experiences.
But, there is a catch. And it isn’t just budget.
The key to an omnichannel commerce strategy (and how it differs from a multichannel strategy) lies not only in the mix of channels your business is leveraging, but in how those channels integrate and connect the customer’s journey.
Buyers today expect their shopping experience to be as convenient and personalized as possible. If they’re researching online, they might want to know the nearest in-store location they can pick up their desired products up at. If they order online, they might want to return in store. While customer preferences will vary based on your business (the products you sell, your ecommerce business model, industry, and location), the same underlying behaviors impact everyone – and the answer is omnichannel.
Here’s a few compelling statistics to help convince you that you should pivot to an omnichannel strategy if you’re not thinking about it already:
Customer buying habits are already multichannel...
- 15 years ago the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. (Marketing Week)
- 59% of shoppers surveyed say they research online before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice. (Google)
- 98% of Americans switch between devices in the same day. (Google Research)
- 56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home with 38% having used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store and 34% who have used their mobile device to research products while in a store. (Forrester)
...And rapidly moving towards omnichannel
- 50% of shoppers expect that they will be able to make a purchase online and pick up in-store. (Forrester)
- The number of orders placed online and picked up at bricks-and-mortar stores by customers grew 208% during the pandemic. (Adobe Analytics, 2020)
- 71% of shoppers agree that it is important or very important to be able to view inventory information for in-store products. (Forrester)
- 45% of shoppers in-store expect sales associates to be knowledgeable about online-only products. (Forrester)
- Over 35% of customers expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative on any channel. (Zendesk)
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Omnichannel ecommerce will increase revenue...
- Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies. Similarly, strong omnichannel companies see a 7.5% year-over-year decrease in cost per contact, compared to a 0.2% year-over-year decrease for weak companies. (Aberdeen Group)
- Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. (Google)
- Omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customers spend more money. (Harvard Business Review)
- Customers that also used 4 or more channels, spent 9% more in-store when compared to just one channel (Harvard Business Review)
- Marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 250% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign. (Omnisend)
...And improve customer retention
- Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Invesp)
- 74% of consumers are willing to abandon a brand if the purchasing process isn't easy to navigate. (Source)
An omnichannel strategy will make it easier to deliver consistent, personalized, and seamless the shopping experiences:
- 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.(Accenture)
- 67% of consumers think it’s important for brands to automatically adjust content based on current context. When brands don't adjust accordingly, 42% of consumers will "get annoyed" that content isn’t personalized. (Adobe)
- 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. (Segment)
- About 73% of consumers will ghost a brand after three or fewer negative customer service experiences (Coveo)
- 74% of consumers would find “living profiles” valuable if they could be used to curate the experiences, offers, and products they receive. (Accenture)
Building a unified customer experience that can be delivered seamlessly across any touchpoint is the path to a future-proofed business. Buyers can either be fickle or have a deep affiliation for your brand and how you engage with them will make or break that bond. Positive experiences will mean less abandoned shopping carts, better reviews and in the end, expanded sales and less churn for your business.
If you’re looking to get started with omnichannel ecommerce, or have already implemented the approach, Elastic Path can help you bring your vision to life and simplify the process with a flexible omnichannel commerce solutions. Chat with an expert today to get started.