By nature, omnichannel retailers and brands are user-centric businesses that put the customer experience first. Armed with information on shopping history, social media habits, and even geo-location, retailers can personalize experiences better than ever before. Here are four ways top brands will continue to utilize omnichannel to meaningfully connect with shoppers online and in-real-life.
Most omnichannel retailers rely on rewards or members programs to incentivize brand loyalty. Often, members earn points for every transaction, both online and in store. Shopping on designated “bonus points days” or other occasions and times of year can lead to double or triple in points mileage. Once they reach a certain number of points, members earn rewards like discounts or free items. Did you tell them your birthday? Chances are, you can look forward to a delightful something or other near your special day.
By encouraging customers to sign up for programs and apps, retailers form a stronger bond with shoppers, which can lead to a more personalized customer experience.
Cater to preferences.
If you’re steadily accruing rewards points at the same café on your daily dose of green tea, the company can learn from your habit. Instead of serving you a promotion for a new iced coffee variation, they can cater to your preferences by promoting something you’re more likely to indulge in, like a green tea latte.
According to the seventh annual Personalization Consumer Survey conducted by e-tailing.com, 53 percent of consumers say it’s important that retailers recognize them as the same person across all channels. And 50 percent of consumers want retailers to use their personal information to coordinate a better overall shopping experience.
For example, say you order printer ink online from a nondescript office supplies store twice a year. One day, you’re out eating tacos and remember that your ink is dangerously low. You swing by the store but don’t know the specific ink cartridge number you need. Ideally, an associate immediately accesses your online shopping history to help you find the right product.
In a well-managed omnichannel approach, personalization means learning and catering to a customer’s shopping habits, even down to when, where, and how they’re most likely to shop. All of this information can be used to generate content that actually matters to the consumer.
Generate relevant, compelling, and timely communications.
Sorry, nondescript office supply store, people don’t need to know about discounts on ink cartridges two weeks after they purchased that ink. However, a well-timed ink-cartridge discount a few months later — that might do the trick.
The fact is, consumers regard most retail emails as near-spam. According to Magnetic.com, 37 percent of consumers won’t open any emails they receive from retailers/brands.
Consumers want to be contacted in ways that are relevant, timely, and compelling. An omnichannel approach allows retailers to track their customers to do so. Retailers can even use geo-targeting to send coupons at times when they’re most useful: when you’re in the vicinity of a physical store.
Omnichannel businesses utilize their physical operations as traditional stores, but also in less obvious ways — as showrooms for digital sales, or simply as shipping centers. Brands with brick-and-mortars are often better positioned to outperform online retail giants’ delivery time with fast ship-from-store operations. In today’s omnichannel world, if you’re shopping on the web last-minute for a new TV to buy a few hours before the big game, consider where that 52-inch flatscreen is coming from — the shipping distribution center a few states away, or the big box store down the street. Though digital sales are still on the rise, omnichannel retailers prove that physical stores are far from irrelevant.
Want more? Check out our interactive eBook, The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Omnichannel.