Satisfying the Omni-Channel Shopper

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Satisfying the Omni-Channel Shopper

By Leslie Hand and Bob Parker of IDC Retail Insights - 11/04/2009
The "omni-channel" shopper is an evolution of the multi-channel consumer. This shopper wants to use all channels -- store, catalog call center, Web and mobile -- simultaneously. As retailers tweak and finalize their holiday 2009 plans they must assess how they can continue to satisfy this increasingly savvy consumer. In addition to core product assortment decisions, retailers must focus on three key areas:
  • Differentiate customer experience with services that are built on an infrastructure underpinned by  modern CRM and loyalty management platforms
  • A consistent enterprise-wide strategy that  understands, anticipates and influences customer behaviors
  •  Utilize advanced consumer intelligence, mobile and self-serve capabilities

Multi-channel shoppers spend, on average, 15 percent to 30 percent more with a retailer than someone who uses only one channel. Omni-channel shoppers will spend 15 percent to 30 percent more than multi-channel consumers, will exhibit strong loyalty and will influence others to patronize the retailer.

Three critical archetypes are emerging that retailers must pay attention to:

The Omni/Integrated: Tends to be 30 to 50-year-old demographic, but affluent and very connected at home, the office and while on the move. Retailers will capture shopping (not just buying) patterns and proactively offer promotions. There will be selection, price, ordering and delivery consistency across the channels

The Young Mobile: If you asked people under 30 if they e-mail, many will tell you they do so only to communicate with their parents. Their world is wrapped up in texting. Being able to identify and make offers when this shopper is in proximity to the store is something retailing is trying to figure out
 
The Social Networker: This group trends young, but isn't exclusively so. Tying into affinities around events or group activities are being investigated.

Retailers that lay the groundwork this holiday season will be best positioned to take advantage of the opportunities of omni-channel shopping in the future. Merchants need to figure out how to treat customers as the savvy shoppers that they are, with unique preferences, needs, shopping patterns and budgets.

Retailers that deliver relevant personalized offers in real-time to consumers regardless of channel coupled with accurate availability, shipment and product data are heading in the right direction.

But the real winners this holiday season will add capabilities to satisfy the omni-channel shopper. These retailers will generate real excitement in the shopping experience by creating an untouchable fluid experience among all channels. This consumer will continue to drive the shopping evolution by adopting and using online and mobile tools as electronic find-and-buy-anything hubs, multi-tasking, instant-messaging and texting to manage time more efficiently, adding voice to their preferences, leveraging social shopping networks, and seeking and expecting openness and transparency across channels.

In-store convergence of digital shopping options, total shopping mobility and emergence of three-dimensional online platforms will grow, affording buyers and sellers an almost unlimited number of pathways to localize, target, instantly deliver, access, compare, act upon and consume information, products and services. 
 

Leslie Hand is Research Director of Global Retail Insights. Bob Parker is Group Vice President of Global Retail Insights. For more information, go to [email protected]

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