Omnicommerce is a relatively new term in the retail world that refers to a consistent and integrated customer experience that is seamless, across all sales channels. That means a customer’s experience when interacting with a retailer, whether in-store, online, on a mobile device or even on social media, is all connected and works together to help make the purchase happen.
Here’s an example: A person goes to an electronics store’s website and finds a printer they want. They are able to easily see if it’s in stock at their local store. If it is, they can then decide whether to have the store set it aside so it’s ready for pick up, or have it delivered. If it’s not in stock, the store’s site allows them to check inventory at other locations. If it’s not in stock anywhere, they can order it online and have it delivered to their home or desired store location.
This exact same experience is also available on the retailer’s mobile site and app, and can even be initiated through their social media posts. This entire process is saved in real time so the consumer can pick up the experience in any channel. Let’s take it a step further. After buying the printer, the retailer then sends an email with a special deal on paper and other related products. And then a few months later, another email with a deal on replacement ink.
Another good example is how Netflix, Amazon and other large retailers create lists of suggested items for customers based on their search and purchase history, and send emails offering those items. Brick and mortar retailers are using the same approach, but also including a customer’s in-store purchases. The result is the store is able to create a curated experience for their customers in all channels, and greatly increase the likelihood of a purchase.
As you can see, omnicommerce, also referred to as omnichannel, is all about helping make a purchase as simple as possible for a customer. What really drives omnicommece is technology, as retailers are now able to gather, analyze and use large amounts of insightful data about customers and their shopping patterns, and even predict future behavior to a degree.
Who are the consumers using omnicommerce?
Everyone who shops is starting to enjoy the omnicommerce experience, but it is Millennials that have driven the growth of this strategy. Millennials are heavy users of mobile devices and expect the same shopping experience on their device as on their desktop. They expect websites and retailers to pick up that experience in whatever channel they are shopping.
Growing up in a connected world, Millennials also expect answers on demand. They want to know if a product is in stock, if digital coupons are usable online and in-store, if multiple delivery/pick up options are available, and more. Other segments of the population have begun to enjoy the benefits of omnicommerce and it is becoming expected by all consumers, especially from the larger retailers. It’s only a matter of time until small retailers will see those same expectations.
What are the benefits of omnicommerce for consumers?
Simply put, omnicommerce makes the purchase experience more efficient and easier for the consumer. The ability to interact with a store through various channels fits today’s consumers’ multi-channel, connected lifestyles.
What are the benefits of omnicommerce for retailers?
By helping customers along their purchase journey, retailers enjoy increased sales, customer loyalty, and referrals. Omnicommerce helps retailers better understand their customers, which enhances relationships, and provides important analytics that help retailers help reach out to new customers.
Marketing efforts also benefit from omnicommerce, as it demands a consistent message across all customer touchpoints. This leads to better sales results. Omnicommerce is here to stay and retailers that don’t implement it will seem out of touch to consumers and miss out on valuable sales opportunities.
Omnicommerce isn’t a fad. It’s the sales strategy of the future and one that all retailers, big and small, should embrace. Customers might not know what omnicommerce is by definition, but judging by the results at retailers that use this approach, they definitely enjoy how it enhances their shopping experience. Retailers will find an omnicommerce strategy helps them sell more and develop an even more loyal customer base.