A joint report by NielsenIQ and FMI, the Food Industry Association, projects that in the U.S. alone, a whopping 74.7 million households will be omnichannel shoppers by 2025. Analysts further estimate that every additional 1 million omnichannel households increase sales by $8.4 billion. With such sizable market opportunities at stake, brands need a solid understanding of the omnichannel customer experience to better manage such profitable openings in the future. Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Omnichannel Customer Experience?
An omnichannel customer experience (OCX) is comprised of individual customer touchpoints that are all connected across a variety of channels. OCX allows customers to pick up on one channel where they left off on another-–creating a seamless, wall-less, channel-agnostic buying experience.
One important distinction to note is the difference between omnichannel and multi-channel. A multi-channel experience suggests several channels are available to customers, but they are not necessarily interconnected. This may cause disjointed user experiences that force customers to repeat steps each time they switch channels. Brands that aim for the opposite—a customer experience connected across all channels—understand the value of OCX goals.
Why Is Omnichannel Customer Experience Important?
There are several reasons behind the increasing necessity of OCX for brand success and business outcomes. Let’s take a look at three major growth factors: digital transformation, changing consumer behaviour, and data.
A phenomenon unique to our time, digital transformation is affecting everything from business operations to buyers’ journeys. Customers today might interact with hundreds of touchpoints before reaching the point of purchase. Even physical channels like on-site stores are incorporating digital elements to tap into shoppers’ inclination to use technology for daily tasks.
Not many people are likely to turn back from this digital transformation. More on-site, online, and digital channels are converging into a broader landscape where consumers can purchase products anytime and anywhere. Brands must be prepared to meet customers within this landscape as a ‘single brand’ through genuine omnichannel customer experience.
Changing Consumer Behaviour
While the pandemic did not start the consumer migration to digital channels, it certainly accelerated it. Multiple lockdowns and restrictions caused many consumers to adopt online shopping: for some, permanently. Even if people now consider the dangers of COVID-19 to be considerably less serious than at the outbreak, the shift in consumer behaviour toward online shopping is expected to continue. A few reasons behind this shift include:
Convenience. Many consumers discovered a new-found appreciation for the conveniences of online shopping and home deliveries. These were especially important for shoppers frustrated by lockdowns and stores with heightened on-site precautionary measures.
Online shopping presented the additional benefit of procuring out-of-stock and hard-to-get items from physical stores overrun by high demand.
Safety. Digital shopping reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19, which seriously affected physical health and limited personal freedom and activities for anyone exposed to the virus. Brands worked diligently to build trust among consumers previously wary of online shopping.
Value for money. Consumers hard-hit by the pandemic and rising costs are seeking more value for their money. Online shopping opens up a broader range of choices for the average shopper compared to two or three in-person stores. Competitive prices incentivise consumers to shop with digital retailers to get the most bang for their buck.
While consumers are unlikely to abandon in-person shopping altogether, preparing an OCX strategy allows brands to meet customers where they are. Without OCX, brands risk losing wallet share among shoppers seeking convenience, safety, and value for their money.
Lastly, OCX itself both drives, and is driven by customer data. Brands with an omnichannel customer experience can interact with consumers and also learn about their habits, motivations, and expectations. Because omnichannel brands can track customers’ movements across channels and devices, they have a more complete view of the customer journey compared to their multi-channel competitors.
An OCX strategy also denotes a capacity for building customer profiles based on activity across channels. As more data about customers come in, CX teams gain more insights through analysis and outcome comparisons. This, in turn, improves the performance of top-line and bottom-line results as well as CX initiatives.
In summary, an omnichannel customer experience means customers interact with a brand as a single entity across multiple, connected channels. OCX is primarily driven by the digital transformation affecting buyers’ journeys as well as business operations. OCX denotes a channel-agnostic buying experience for digital consumers who want convenience, safety, and value for their money. Brands also benefit from OCX by using customers’ data to improve top-line and bottom-line results as well as their own CX initiatives.
Establish Omnichannel Customer Experience With Treasure Data
Treasure Data Customer Data Cloud is an enterprise-grade customer data platform trusted by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies worldwide to improve customer experience and orchestrate journeys toward conversion. See what you can do with Treasure Data:
- Create consistent and connected customer experiences across channels
- Collect and centralise customer data from all sources
- Unify customer profiles using online + offline data
- Analyse customer journeys
- Derive actionable customer insights using machine-learning techniques
- Personalise customer experience at all customer journey stages
- Track and improve the performance of CX initiatives
- And more
Treasure Data Customer Data Cloud is an integrated suite of cloud-based customer data platform solutions. Treasure Data provides insight by collecting and centralising customer data, unifying profiles, and analysing journeys to surface hidden trends in customer behaviour.