How to Master Omnichannel Shopping Experiences for Your Offline Shoppers

Human psychology is a fascinating subject that has long been studied and debated. One interesting aspect of our psychology is our tendency to do the opposite of what we are told. This is especially evident in the recent boom of brick-and-mortar shopping since pandemic restrictions have eased worldwide. Despite the many warnings about the dangers of in-person shopping during a pandemic, people seem to have flocked to stores in droves. This is reflected in the significant growth of offline sales, which have increased by over 14% in 2021, contributing to 80.7% of the overall gains in retail spending. It's clear that in-store shopping is still a popular means of retail therapy, and people are eager to get back to their pre-pandemic shopping habits.

However, this doesn't mean that retail brands can ignore the importance of online channels, social media marketing, and media platforms. In fact, they need to embrace them more than ever before to create seamless omnichannel shopping experiences for their customers. The pandemic has shown us how quickly things can change, and it's essential for businesses to be adaptable and responsive to their customers' changing needs.

But Retail Brands made a misstep in their offline to Online Transition

During the peak of the pandemic, moving customers to online channels was relatively easy, as everyone wanted or needed ecommerce. However, many retail brands failed to capitalize on the long-term opportunity to build their online brand presence, ecommerce supply chain, and logistics. As a result, they were ill-prepared for the surge in demand when restrictions were lifted, and customers returned to in-person shopping. This highlights the need for retail brands to take a holistic approach to their business strategy and to be mindful of the long-term implications of their decisions. The rise of social media, media marketing, and popular social media platforms has made it crucial for brands to create a comprehensive social media content strategy that complements their offline presence. For example, businesses can use Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to showcase their products and engage with their customers. They can also use customer data to personalize their marketing messages and provide tailored recommendations to their customers. This not only enhances the customer experience but also helps businesses to build long-term customer loyalty.

It's not too late for businesses to adapt and make use of media platforms and online channels to provide an omnichannel shopping experience. According to McKinsey's Consumer and Retail Practice, omnichannel customers shop 1.7x more than single-channel shoppers and spend more. To achieve this, retail brands need to combine their offline shopping experiences with their online offerings, using tools like customer data, social networking, and digital marketing strategies. By doing so, they can create a seamless and personalized shopping experience that meets their customers' needs and expectations, regardless of where they choose to shop.

How to convert offline shoppers to omnichannel shoppers

Here are four decisive steps retail brands can take to convert offline shoppers to omnichannel shoppers:

  1. Identify the most likely omnichannel converts: Using customer data is the first step in creating an effective omnichannel strategy. Brands can track customer behavior across different channels to identify those who are more likely to use online channels. By segmenting customers according to their buying preferences, brands can engage with them through their online brand experience. For example, if a customer frequently buys running shoes, a brand can offer a personalized experience by suggesting other running accessories or workout gear through email or social media.
  1. Save on extensive consumer research with lookalike modeling: Once brands have identified their likely omnichannel converts, they can use their behavioral insights to scale their reach. Lookalike modeling involves using data analysis to identify similar customers who are likely to convert to online channels. This technique helps brands to penetrate new segments of customers who are most likely to become their omnichannel shoppers, leading to high ROI customer acquisition. Lookalike modeling can be a cost-effective way to extend a brand's reach and target new customers with relevant messaging.
  1. Incentivize online shopping with targeted messaging: Brands can use promotions and discounts to encourage customers to shop online. Gamified deals, buy-one-get-one offers exclusive to online purchases, giveaway competitions requiring engagement on social media, and rewards that can only be collected through a brand's shopping app are all effective ways to incentivize online shopping. Targeted messaging can also be used to remind customers about ongoing promotions or to suggest items that they might be interested in based on their previous purchases.
  1. Bring the store to your customers: Embracing technology is crucial in recreating the in-store experience for online shoppers. Using AR/VR tools, brands can conduct virtual shop tours, organize virtual shopping parties, and provide personalized assistance via chat or email. AR/VR tools are particularly effective in the beauty and fashion industries, where customers can try on clothes or makeup virtually before making a purchase. Providing personalized assistance can help customers feel valued and create a sense of community, even when shopping online.

As the world continues to evolve and become increasingly digital, retail brands must keep up with the pace of change to stay relevant and competitive. In addition to the four steps outlined above, there are several other tactics that brands can employ to optimize their omnichannel approach.

One important strategy is to provide customers with a consistent experience across all channels. This means ensuring that the brand's messaging, design, and user experience are cohesive and aligned across all touchpoints, from the website to social media to in-store displays. Customers expect a seamless transition between online and offline experiences, and brands that fail to deliver risk losing out on potential sales and customer loyalty. Another key factor is to prioritize mobile optimization. With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all internet traffic, it's crucial that retail brands optimize their online channels for mobile devices. This includes ensuring that the website and ecommerce platform are responsive and easy to navigate on smaller screens, as well as developing a dedicated shopping app for customers who prefer to shop on the go.

Finally, it's essential for brands to continuously monitor and analyze their data to optimize their omnichannel strategy over time. By tracking key metrics such as conversion rates, customer engagement, and social media sentiment, businesses can identify areas for improvement and refine their approach to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their customers. In short, the path to success in today's retail landscape lies in embracing the power of omnichannel experiences. By leveraging customer data, social networking, digital marketing strategies, and other tactics to provide a seamless, consistent, and optimized shopping experience across all channels, retail brands can thrive in a rapidly changing digital world and drive long-term growth and success.

Factori is here for your offline to omnichannel transition

As we move into 2023, the world continues to grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic, and retail brands are faced with an ever-evolving landscape for their business. One thing that has become clear is that the pandemic has accelerated the shift to omnichannel shopping experiences, with online and offline channels becoming increasingly intertwined. In this scenario, it's essential for retail brands to master omnichannel shopping experiences for their offline shoppers. Customer data is the key to understanding and catering to their customers' preferences and behavior, whether it's collected in-store or through online channels. Retailers need to leverage this data to create personalized and seamless shopping experiences across all channels.

Factori, a leading customer intelligence platform, can help retail brands navigate this complex transition. With Factori's data-driven insights and analytics, brands can gain a deep understanding of their customers' behavior and preferences across all channels. This enables them to deliver a personalized and seamless shopping experience that meets their customers' needs and expectations.

Even during the pre-pandemic "normal", Factori has helped retail brands around the world build and execute their omnichannel shopping strategy with customer data at its core. As a result, many traditional retail brands have pivoted to omnichannel at a significant scale and speed during the pandemic. With Factori, retail brands can maximize their sales, synergize their online and offline shopping experiences, and take the first step towards mastering omnichannel shopping experiences for their offline shoppers.