Two people sitting down on their computers.

Omnichannel Retailing: How to Boost Your Customer Experience

Posted on Feb 2, 2017 · 4 min read

In nearly every aspect of our lives now, we demand instant gratification. The same rings true when we are shopping. So much so that companies like Amazon are centering their entire model around convenience – two day Prime delivery, two hour PrimeNow delivery, Amazon stores, and now, there’s even talk of Amazon drones. Since it’s not feasible for all companies to have this direct of service (at least for now) many companies are turning their focus to creating successful omnichannel strategies as a way to boost their customer satisfaction. In fact, WorldPay recently highlighted that omnichannel shoppers spend between 50-300% more than single channel shoppers, making them an increasingly valuable demographic for retailers.

This survey also revealed that:

  • 80% of smartphone shoppers use their mobile in-store to help with shopping
  • More than 50% of purchase are now influenced by digital information
  • 39% of retailers use in-store signage to convert customers to digital
  • 67% of consumers start shopping on one device and finish on another
  • 63% of shoppers use multiple channels when making orders (ie: view in-store, buy online or view online, buy in-store)

So what does all of this mean for retail in 2017?

Consumers have blurred the lines of their shopping channels and think of it all as one experience – meaning they expect the same experience on every channel. Now more than ever, retailers need to focus on creating an omnichannel experience that will win over their customers on the first day. However, there is a thin line between offering your customers the best and most personalized experience without invading their privacy and security.

Here are two ways retailers can offer the most personalized omnichannel customer experience without crossing the line:

Nail down your mobile strategy

Shoppers want targeted, personalized retail experiences that match their buying habits, all at their fingertips. A recent iVend survey found that 94% of respondents were more likely to save offers and coupons delivered to their mobile wallet.

Retailer Tommy Hilfiger is proof that offering personalized discounts both in-store and online can be very effective. In the past, Tommy Hilfiger was only able to offer their exclusive military discount in-store since there wasn’t a way to validate that online customers actually qualified for the exclusive discount. In an attempt to provide a consistent user experience and increase customer loyalty, Tommy Hilfiger used eligibility verification to bring their exclusive offers online.

To kick off the promotion, Tommy emailed their newsletter subscribers and pushed the deal to their affiliates. Within three months, the three promotions accounted for 10% of total site sales. The success of Tommy Hilfiger’s exclusive military discount helped to establish two new evergreen offers for college students and teachers, as well.  

Build trust by respecting your customer’s privacy

Although customers are typically ready to give their name and email to receive personalized offers, they know that their data is valuable to retailers and expect transparency on what their information is being used for. In fact, according to GSMA, 66% of consumers are happy to give up their data in exchange for services or products, but they need to know that retailers won’t take advantage of this exchange.

Transparency is the key to building trust in an omnichannel world, so make sure you are articulating exactly what data is being collected, stored, and shared. If you require sensitive information, explain why, and provide protections to ensure customers feel more comfortable. Be aware that the more sensitive information you ask for, the lower your conversion rates will be. Therefore, be strategic and prioritize the information you need.

Retailers who invest in their customers by creating a mobile strategy and ensuring transparency are at a huge competitive advantage, not only for creating a successful omnichannel experience, but also for building a superior customer experience, as well.

Madeline Boehmer by Madeline Boehmer