Why Omni-Channel Shoppers Are Worth It
Today’s consumers are tech savvy and highly connected, demanding convenience, speed and choice across channels, payment methods and fulfilment options. And, with a growing proportion of shoppers readily switching between online, mobile and physical touchpoints at various points in the purchasing journey, merchants are now dealing with a constantly evolving and unpredictable retail landscape. This requires fresh strategies and technologies that allow them to adapt to the expectations of omni-channel customers.
Do more channels mean more money?
There is no doubt that providing consumers with more than one channel offers an increased opportunity for sales, which can boost revenue, customer loyalty and market share. But is it really as simple as ‘more channels = more money…?’ Perhaps that was the case years ago, but these days, customers want far more than just a collection of different channels from which to choose.
Today’s omni-channel customers wants to shop on their own terms. They want to browse, research and compare information across channels to find the best products and deals before making their purchases. ‘Showrooming’ and ‘webrooming’ are now everyday practices for many of these connected consumers, and the lines between channels are blurring as customers engage with retailers in-store, online and on the go; whenever, however and in whatever combination suits them.
There is a growing recognition that shoppers buying across multiple channels in this way are becoming the most valuable type of customers. For example, in the recent study ‘Payments trends in the European retail sector,’ consultants Edgar, Dunn & Company state that leading UK retailer John Lewis found that omni-channel shoppers are spending, on average, three times more than single channel shoppers. Additionally, they also found that over 60 percent of their customers browsed online before making a purchase in store.
Customer experience is the driver for connecting channels
It is no longer about offering goods and services across multiple channels – nor is it enough to focus on driving sales within those individual channels. Retailers must acknowledge that, for their customers, channels are not separate entities, but integral and interconnected parts of the customer experience. This, of course, presents retailers with both opportunities and challenges – tearing up the textbook on the traditional multi-channel approach and instead placing the customer center stage, as retailers find the best ways to engage and convert them.
An omni-channel strategy creates the opportunity for a seamless and consistent customer experience – giving shoppers a connection to a brand, not merely a sales channel. Moving to this approach can deliver a range of benefits to retailers, including increased sales, improved customer loyalty and satisfaction, as well as an increased competitive advantage.
With customer experience fast becoming a key focus and the brand differentiator for most retailers, the need for a seamless, personalized, multi-touch experience is now an imperative – leaving no room for separate experiences in different channels.
Retailers are moving to implement their omni-channel strategy
The aforementioned Edgar, Dunn & Company study indicated that retailers are starting to respond to the need for an omni-channel approach. 31 percent of respondents stated that they had already put their strategy live, and a further 46 percent claim that their strategy is in development.
The key to realizing this omni-channel and customer experience ideal lies in deploying a centralized, integrated strategy. By managing each channel separately, retailers will struggle to maintain a single brand identity and build a comprehensive picture of customer behaviour and preferences across channels – something that plays a critical role in the ability to deliver a personalized and compelling customer experience.
Above all, the right technology must underpin an effective omni-channel retail strategy – and this technology must address channel silos and inconsistencies to facilitate better customer visibility and service, bringing channels together to deliver that all-important seamless customer experience.
Download the survey report: ‘Payments trends in the European retail sector’, by Edgar, Dunn & Company and ACI Worldwide. For further information on omni-channel payments and customer experience, download ‘The role of payments in the customer experience’, by RetailWeek and ACI Worldwide.
Related Blog Posts
How to be a Payments Trailblazer – The Seven Habits of Highly Innovative Organizations
The new Culture of Innovation Index from Ovum and ACI identified segments—from banks to intermediaries to merchants to corporates—at the cutting edge (of innovation) across the payments ecosystem. But what is most notable about those segments that have reached ‘trailblazing’ status is the apparent lack of commonality between them. No one segment, nor one region fosters better innovation. In fact, what’s driving these segments/organizations to be best of breed is their own culture of excellence. The only thing they have in common is their attitude.
Customer Innovation: Erste Bank [Q&A]
The global banking sector is becoming both more strategically focused and technologically advanced, responding to rising consumer expectations while trying to defend market share against an increasing array of competitors. A great deal of emphasis is being placed on digitizing core business processes, and reassessing organizational structures and internal talent to be better prepared for the future of banking.
Regulating for Real-Time: The Role of Government in Payments Modernization
Dr. Leo Lipis and Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments for ACI Worldwide, continue their discussion on real-time payments and the findings of the new white paper, Get More from Real-Time.
Issuing and Acquiring in a Real-Time and Open Payments Ecosystem – The Global Picture
Dr Leo Lipis and Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments for ACI Worldwide, continue their discussion on real-time payments, stemming from the findings of the new white paper, Get More from Real-Time. See part one.
Four Questions to Drive Your Retail Banking Payments Strategy in 2019
I keep hearing that it’s “an exciting time to be in payments,” and I certainly agree that there is a lot of noise. However, when I look below the surface, I’d argue that the interesting activity is not with the payment itself, but with all the related events and steps in the value chain.
What Can the Re-Regulation of Other Industries Tell Us About Open Banking One Year On?
UK Open Banking just reached its first birthday milestone (on January 13 to be precise) and given my own commentary – including in the ACI blog – on this topic, the first anniversary of Open Banking in the UK certainly won’t pass without a debrief on the progress that’s been made and what challenges lie ahead.
Instant Payments in Italy – And Beyond: Lessons from Il Salone dei Pagamenti
ACI was invited back to Il Salone dei Pagamenti – Italy’s premier payments event organized by the Italian Banking Association (ABI) – to participate in a panel, “SEPA Inst – the Future.” As expected, the session was packed with stats and advice for a more efficient roll out of instant payments – in Italy and beyond.
To Regulate Or Not To Regulate – Is That Thy Question?
Debates are healthy, and as someone who spent a little time during my college years dabbling around the edges of the speech and debate team, I can tell you it’s something that I personally relish. A chance to really talk through the pros and cons of an argument and lay out the bare facts… and then be judged based not only on those facts, but on the presentation and power of persuasion—sign me up!
Request for Pay – What Does It Mean For Financial Institutions?
What do banks – one with $60B+ in assets, one a mid-size regional bank, and one, a small innovative credit union – have in common with payment networks and the ‘Big 4’ consulting firms? They were all part of the first ACI #PaymentsForBreakfast event in North America! The theme was real-time payments, but the focus was more specifically on Request for Pay.
Why Open Banking Might Need to Rely on a Magic Illusion of 24x7 Availability
The adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” appears to ring true when applied to the early phases of the evolution of open banking (or open payments). Especially when you contrast it with the early days of ATM withdrawals; particularly those made in the dead of night so you could pay cash for your after-party greasy feast.