Since most people are now used to 24/7 Internet access from their mobile devices many industries have been forced to change how they interact with their customers. The increased flow of information and ability to order products at anytime from anywhere has entirely disrupted the customer behavior.
The creation of this omnichannel environment, where a customer can receive the same great service online or in-store is particularly changing customer behaviour in retail. The recent launch of Amazon in Singapore is a great example. By entering the market with a promise to deliver any product to any address inside two-hours has thrown down a challenge to every other company – online and physical retail.
This challenge is facing markets across the world, but especially in highly developed retail markets such as South Korea. Recent research indicates that managing omnichannel shoppers is the number one priority for retailers in South Korea.
The Boston Consulting Group has suggested that most customers now want omnichannel experiences when shopping. Their research found that 85% of millennials and 75% of Baby Boomers are ready for omnichannel interactions. This is a new consumer reality.
But what does omnichannel shopping really look like? The concept is to blend both the online an in-store experience, so imagine you visited a store during your lunchtime and saw a nice shirt, but didn’t have time to try it on and then buy it. You go home and search for the shirt online, locating it in the online store, purchase it and go back to the store the next day to collect it – rather than waiting for a courier to deliver it.
This complete integration of the online and in-store experience also extends to returns – if customers buy a product they decide that they do not need, such as clothing in the wrong size, then it should be easy and free to return it back to the store.
Some interesting facts about omnichannel shoppers according to research from the Morris Group are:
- Omnichannel shoppers spend 50% more than shoppers focused only on online or in-store purchases
- When shopping in-store, omnichannel shoppers spend around $30 more then other in-store customers
- Omnichannel shoppers are 4.5 times more likely to stay loyal to a brand
It’s clear from the research data than customers want omnichannel shopping. It’s also clear that it’s great for retailers – although it can be complex to deliver the right supply chain and customer service structure to manage this environment. However, in countries such as South Korea this is now the number one priority for companies and we will see many new examples of omnichannel shopping soon.