3 Ways Omni-Channel Retailing Can Bring in Bigger Spenders

14/06/2012 13:27


source :Amanda Mc Arthur

Imagine that out of five customers that just entered your store, one of them is likely to spend 18%-36% more than the other four. How do you know which of these customers holds the golden wallet?

And why are we going to tell you that it’s OK they just walked out empty-handed?

According to Bazaarvoice, these “omni-channel shoppers” are considered connected consumers, and in order to get them to buy and spend more, you’ll need to be consistent, be accessible, and possibly most importantly—provide an amazing experience. Macy’s pioneered the latest omni-channel retailing trend (more on that below), but local businesses still have much to do on shoestring budgets.

1. Be everywhere, and be consistent.

If you’re up for the challenge, these more spendy customers will want you to deliver them a solid brand identity in your store, through email, on their mobile phones, through social media, and on your website. Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren calls this having “a 360-degree view of the customer,” but they should also have a 360-degree view of you. Because even if they walk out the door now empty-handed, they may follow up digitally later on if you provide them with the right channels to do so.

2. Accessibility is more than just location.

Brian Cantor says, “for omni-channel customers, the computer is now a fitting room,” and that’s why Macy’s big campaign to “mirror the online experience” in their retail locations got so much press when they launched digital screens for everything from searching for products to finding pants that fit.

Outside of the store, digital identities like your website should be a portals for consistent branding—this often includes a blog that educates customers about your business and goals.

3. Experience trumps variety.

If you’ve ever gotten less-than-delicious food at a place with such amazing hospitality that you had to like it, you know what we’re talking about. If you want to retain the loyalty of these omni-channel shoppers, you’ll need to focus more on delivering a better experience. This strategy will make loyal customers out of everyone who shops with you, so it’s not a wasted effort.

The Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2011, Forecasts for 2012 study reports that “nearly 67% of companies rank customer satisfaction as the top strategic initiative for 2012 and, similarly, 82% say their customer service strategies will be their top priority for the coming year, up from 75% last year.”

Omni-channel shoppers aren’t just your biggest spenders, they’re also your biggest advocates. These connected consumers are more likely to tweet about you, write a review about you online, and spread that good word-of-mouth that every local business is looking for. If your mind hasn’t been changed yet, it may be time to re-think your digital strategy.

Just a note: The key to customer loyalty in small business is to reward your best customers. Luckily, 93% of people already have your loyalty card in their wallet, find out how.