Notice: This is a follow-up article on ‘Implementing an omnichannel mindset in 7 Steps’. We recommend reading this first. The article explains why it’s important to be truly omnichannel and how to implement it in your organization.
This article covers why you should start caring about an omnichannel mindset and how it benefits three types of stakeholders.
Like Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie. 88% of shoppers search online for product information before making a purchase. Alternatively, we see that 14% of respondents (Consumer Barometer, Google) indicate that they use their smartphones to search for product information when they are in a physical store. Interesting statistics but 92% of all purchases (in the US) are still made in the traditional brick-and-mortar store network. If we wrap these three statistics together, we determine that people are using their smartphones before, during and after their purchase. Omnichannel marketing is therefore no longer about online versus offline, but about how the customer can easily maneuver between the two in order to arrive at the final purchase. Google’s recent research backs this up, as they say ‘the boundary between online and offline is becoming increasingly thinner (Google)’.
Adopting an omnichannel mindset is no longer a nice-to-have as we discussed in part I. We’ll start by looking at how your C-level management benefits from adopting an omnichannel mindset.
C Level (Management)
Bottomline results will only flourish by aligning on- and offline sales. Management will no longer undervalue the impact of online marketing on offline sales and in turn, they will be able to better allocate marketing budgets to gain the highest ROI possible. It is also easier to understand/communicate to store owners/franchisees that your corporate online webshop is not a direct competitor to your offline store network. You can convince store owners with data that online is not ‘just another store’ and that online stores are also driving a lot of traffic towards their offline stores.
“Sales increased immediately when we introduced the omnichannel mindset . All our channels support each other to ensure that customers buy, regardless of whether this is in our webshop or a physical store.” – Dietrich Thieren (Marketing Manager – Sleepworld)
Imagine this. You did a great job but got 40 % less credit for it than deserved… Just because you could not provide proof that you were responsible for it.
For many, this is a hard pill to swallow. However, this is exactly what happens if you can’t prove the effect of ROPO. This is why the benefits for the online marketing team are numerous.
First off, as mentioned, marketing can finally justify online budgets by calculating the true return on investment by incorporating offline sales.
Secondly, they can use the ROPO effect to properly optimize their campaigns. It might be that certain campaigns/keywords that promote high-value products that incite a lot of traffic to brick and mortar stores might be undervalued because you never truly understood the total impact made. The entire ad accounts will need to be re-examined because what did not work in the past might work in the future.
Another upside might be that marketers might be able to cross- or up-sell certain products if visitors are known to have bought certain products in the offline store. Imagine targeting someone with an online display ad that showcases a wall bracket after they have bought a flatscreen in one of your brick-and-mortar stores. Kinda cool isn’t it?
These are just 3 of the enormous amount of possibilities.
In the end, your customer will also be a big beneficiary because an omnichannel strategy implies that you perfectly cater to their needs and shopping behaviors (which in turn will benefit you). You reduce friction for your customers and that will, in turn, result in a happier customer.
More concretely, you’re helping customers that might not have confidence in online purchasing. KMPG identified several factors for this:
Instant Gratification: people want to experience the product immediately and do not want to wait (even with next day delivery);
Expensive Products: there are also a lot of products that people deem too expensive to buy online (online jewelries like Baunat counter this with secured packages for example);
Expensive Shipping Costs: people want to avoid shipping costs by picking it up in-store;
Experience: people want to experience the product/service first before purchasing (especially with clothing).
Until recently it wasn’t evident to map the impact of online advertising on offline sales. The only way this could be measured was by conducting an exit interview, asking customers when leaving the store: ‘Have you been on the website? And did you see our ad?’. Then Google and Facebook introduced Store Visits, a state of the art solution linking clicks/visits to offline store visits. This new technology has thoroughly impacted the way offline and online sales can be mapped, allowing companies to have a more integrated approach to marketing in an omnichannel world.
But once again to truly make the integration work, you need the right mindset.
Do you work at a company that struggles with the integration of online and offline marketing strategies? Do you want to understand what online behavior can impact offline sales and vice versa? Do you want to really make your company omnichannel?