It’s a liberating time to be a consumer. Converging influences like technology, social media, Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity have made it possible to shop anywhere and everywhere. Theoretically, every retailer is available to them in at least one channel.
This international, multi-channel scope has created the ‘omnishopper’; someone who moves freely between touchpoints and geographies in search of their ideal retail experience.
Of course, for retailers, the omnishopper is a huge challenge. If everyone in the world could, in theory, interact with your brand, how do you optimize your approach to meet this diverse customer base?
Getting a grip on the omnishopper starts with understanding what they expect from a retailer. MasterCard recently published some interesting statistics on this subject, which surveyed consumers in 10 different countries globally.
In the report, 8 in 10 people described themselves as ‘better shoppers’ than they were two years ago. This means they are able to get better prices, find the most convenient route to purchase, discover brands that match their preferences and ethics, and create more valuable retailer relationships.
So how do you become that trusted retailer, who is attractive to the omnishopper? It starts with embracing the elements of the shopping experience that they value most:
Customer knowledge is everything
One clear trend among omnishoppers is the need to feel valued, however and wherever they shop. In MasterCard’s survey, value was the top ranked quality that consumers looked for in a retailer, with 44% of respondents claiming this is important to them.
Given the competitiveness of the global retail market, value no longer equals price – shoppers expect cost-effectiveness as standard. To the omnishopper, value means a transparent relationship, in which retailers use data analytics to understand how they as an individual behave, and tailor their dialogue accordingly.
Think loyalty, not loyalty scheme
Staying on the theme of value, one interesting feature of the omnishopper is their relative lack of concern for loyalty programs. Reward schemes only ranked fourth in their top priorities for choosing a retailer, lower than both track record and convenience.
In light of this, retailers need to look beyond points and coupons in order to reward loyalty in more engaging ways. For example, clienteling is going to become an increasingly important part of physical retail experiences; being able to personalize service based on customer profiles, and give tailored recommendations from their previous purchases, is much more meaningful than a generic voucher.
Invest in the store experience
On the subject of the store, bricks-and-mortar is still very important to the omnishopper. Although the web allows them to explore new brands, potentially from overseas, 54% like to visit stores to get advice, while 53% enjoy the social experience.
The absolute lynchpin for making physical retail experiences relevant to omnishoppers is the store associate. They need to be agile, dexterous and knowledgeable; able to turn their hand to numerous tasks, depending on the nature of each customer’s needs. And that’s very difficult to do without equipping them with omnichannel technology.
All in all, the concept of omnishopping is extremely exiting for the retail industry, as it creates potential for dynamic relationships that span every channel and geography. It also generates new opportunities to create long-lasting loyalty, as the omnishopper will stick with retailers that deliver what they want.
The responsibility for that delivery now rests on your shoulders.