Three omnichannel eye-openers

May 15, 2014 10:55 PM

Omnichannel. You might think you’ve got it because your offerings are online and in person. But if you’re missing any of these three truths about omnichannel, you’ll probably want to rethink your plan.


1. Pretty much every customer is a cross-channel shopper. That’s right. Nearly every single one. A recent report from CFI Group showed that a whopping 95% of consumers shop both a retailer’s website and store. This gives you an incredible opportunity to make the most of both channels.


Here’s a great example. While more customers are shopping online, some retailers in apparel, like Gap, haven’t seen much of an uptick in e-commerce. (We all know how important it is that those jeans fit just right!) So last year, Gap added a “find in store” service that directs online shoppers to the nearest store where the item is available, as well as a “reserve in store” tool that lets them hold up to five items to try in person.


2. Your customers have all the control. Think you’re in charge of how and when your customers use your channels? Not so fast. The customer’s running the show, says the founder of The CMO Club.


According to a study the group released earlier this year, omnichannel personalization is the key to happy customers. But you’ll need to do some work upfront by mapping out the paths your customers take and understanding what they want at each touch point.


The best way to start doing this? Go to the source . . . and ask your customers. Social media and post-shopping surveys are some easy ways to do just that.


3. Customers will notice inconsistencies before you do. The report from CFI Group found that customers are paying attention to whether the information they see across different channels is the same. That means it’s critical to make sure your online offers match your in-store ones—56% of customers will keep shopping with a retailer as long as they get the best price, regardless of the channel. And by the way—they also expect your associates to know about the promotions they’ve seen online or by email.


Driven to take your omnichannel experience up a notch? Check out how OceanFirst Bank is personalizing the customer experience with targeted promotions across its ATM, online and mobile channels using NCR technology.


Do your customers get the same offers whether they’re online or in-store? Tell us what you’re doing with omnichannel.