The Changing Omnichannel Shopper

Jan 12, 2016 — Aaron Shauf
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The entire retail industry is more than informed on the fact that their consumers and their respective consumer habits are changing. New shopping patterns have been evolving for the past 20 years as e-commerce has consistently accounted for more and more retail sales. In more recent years, m-commerce and ‘online in-store’ channels have become more and more prevalent as retailers strive to complete the sale at every possible touchpoint. 

But is this truly painting the picture of the omnichannel shopper? In the apparel sector, McKinsey and Company took a close look at this and were able to point out the two worlds of shopping -- online and offline, may still be distinct and separate.

68% of consumers say they used both online and offline channels. - McKinsey and Company

In their study, McKinsey and Company found 68% of consumers say they used both online and offline channels. Numbers like that make it easy to understand the rise of the belief in the omnichannel sector. However, in their case study, only 7% purchased through both online and offline channels when making their purchase. 

Purchasing online and purchasing offline are still very different experiences with different attributes and different payoffs for today’s shopper. There are well studied demographic groups, each with their own preferences on where and how to acquire their new purchases, but the new group on the rise is the educated, enabled shopper who uses the channel that allows them to acquire exactly what they want, as soon as possible, with having the most pleasant experience along the way. 

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This is the unchartered area on the retail map that is just evolving into being a defined shopper – whether the customer is ‘web-rooming’ and ‘showrooming’ and if those practices merge into a complete browse and purchase experience. This is the customer who walks out the door with a product, but has additional products being delivered in order to complete the purchase and the entire experience. That is the true omnichannel shopper and they are the ones that are waiting for that complete and consistent experience from retailers across all channels.   

Even with just 7% of consumers exhibiting this behavior, they cannot be ignored.

Even with just 7% of consumers exhibiting this behavior, they cannot be ignored. Rest assured, this segment of customers is growing and will create yet another omnichannel opportunity for retailers to either hit or miss the mark.

 

Topics: Wireless Trends, Customer Experience

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