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Why Omnichannel Is No Longer a Marketing Choice

Written by: Olivia Carroll

Would you rather: buy a pair of pants at a store or buy a pair of pants at a store that knows your previous order history, has a DJ and a trampoline, and offers you cocktails?

If you answered the latter, you might want to listen up.

Today, shopping is more than going to your typical brick-and-mortar store. Consumers crave memorable experiences that expand beyond the product or service they’re receiving. That is why omnichannel is no longer a choice. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely the customer is to come back again. And this positive reinforcement leads to a higher rate of brand loyalty.

The omnichannel strategy focuses on the theory that providing a seamless shopping experience through a variety of digital channels not only differentiates brick-and-mortar retailers from their peers but also gives them a competitive edge over online-only retailers by utilizing the store’s assets, according to Harvard Business Review.

In response to a 23% increase in online sales, traditional retailers turned to omnichannel marketing for growth. A study done in the Harvard Business Review examined the shopping behavior of 46,000 customers who made purchases. The study concluded that only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers. The remaining majority, or 73%, used multiple channels during their shopping journey. We call these shoppers omnichannel customers.

Think about Gucci serving champagne while you shop. Pick-up basketball games at the Nike store. Yoga classes at Lululemon. Ordering your latte on the Starbucks app before you pick it up, and then earning rewards points. These are all experiences that allow the customer to interact with the service or product in a memorable way. As a marketer, it’s your job to ensure that that memory is a positive one.

According to Pedowitz Group, “companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omni-channel companies. Similarly, strong omnichannel companies see a 7.5% year-over-year decrease in cost per contact, compared to a 0.2% year-over-year decrease for weak companies. (Aberdeen Group)”

As the world of marketing becomes increasingly experience-oriented, you have the ability to implement programs that give customers the same feeling as a Nike pick-up game in their daily interactions with your brand. Prioritizing an omnichannel experience will boost your brand’s sustainable growth and brand loyalty.