Customers want omnichannel retail experiences. The more important question is whether or not retailers want to give it to them. In particular, some retailers remain hesitant that omnichannel is worth the investment, and that it makes any difference in their bottom-line.
To prove its success, retailers would need to find evidence that the omnichannel consumer is more valuable than the single-channel consumer, meaning that they spend more, and more often.
And according to a massive survey by the Harvard Business Review, there’s mounting evidence showing exactly that. A study of 46,000 U.S. shoppers, covering a 14-month period ending in August 2016, found strong examples of the influence omnichannel has on shoppers, and what it can do for driving retail business.
First and foremost, the study concluded that nearly three-fourths of consumers are already omnichannel shoppers in the first place. And the number of channels used appeared to correspond with increased spending activity.
Defining High-Value Customers
According to the study, omnichannel shoppers spend four percent more in brick-and-mortar stores than their single-channel counterparts. Online, that gap widens to 10 percent. And increased activity across multiple channels showed even more significant spending increases, with customers utilizing four or more channels spending nine percent more, on average, in physical stores.
Meanwhile, consumers who do their homework beforehand tend to be more willing to open up the wallet. Shoppers who conduct research on a retailer’s website wound up spending 13 percent more in brick-and-mortar stores, per the study.
Omnichannel shoppers also logged 23 percent more store visits over time than single-channel consumers. Naturally, these shoppers were more inclined to use retail touchpoints like smartphone apps and in-store tools including tablets, price-checkers, and interactive catalogs.
By failing to build experiences for these omnichannel shoppers, retailers are giving up on the majority of their consumer base -- and the shopper segment that represents the most purchasing potential.