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    February 24, 2022
    6 minute read

    The Evolving Omnichannel Customer Experience — and How To Adapt Accordingly

    by: Lavender Nguyen

    Shopping experiences no longer stop and end in a brick-and-mortar store; today’s buying journey involves a multitude of touch points where consumers interact with a brand or retailer.

    In order to meet and exceed shoppers’ evolving expectations, you must provide cohesive, engaging omnichannel customer experiences.

    But this can be a challenging feat, as it requires an understanding of the latest shopping preferences and access to the right technology.

    The “Consumer Research 2022” report is part of Salsify’s ongoing effort to help retailers and brands better understand evolving consumer behaviors.

    This post highlights key insights from Salsify’s survey of more than 4,000 consumers across the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Germany — and useful tips on how to create omnichannel experiences that cut through the clutter.

    Consumers Shop in New and Evolving Ways

    1. About 33% Of Consumers Bought Directly From Social Media in 2021

    Social commerce is one of the top omnichannel commerce trends brands and retailers should be eager to tap into. Social media opens doors for you to connect with consumers where they are — ultimately enabling you to drive sales through delivering frictionless customer experiences.

    Across the four markets surveyed, about a third of shoppers bought directly from social media channels in 2021. This trend was most prevalent in Great Britain, where 37% of respondents indicated that they engaged in this type of social commerce. The U.S. is close behind at 36%, with France and Germany at 32% and 31%, respectively.

    2. Shoppers Rely on Digital Information, Even While In-Store

    When asked about actions they’ve taken while shopping online or in-store over the last three months, the majority of respondents indicated that they compare prices online across retailers.

    Great Britain and France have the largest percentage of consumers who engage in this behavior — 63% and 64%, respectively.

    About a third of consumers also use their mobile phones to look up products while shopping in a physical store. This was particularly common in France (41%), Great Britain (36%), and the U.S. (36%).

    3. Shopping Takes Place Across a Nonlinear Digital Shelf

    Today’s consumers still experience the stages of awareness, consideration, and decision while making a purchase, but the shopping journey itself has changed.

    When respondents were asked where they’re most likely to research and compare products before buying, retail websites and search engines topped the list across all four markets.

    While these research activities often take place online, a significant number of consumers shared that they still buy products in-store. This is particularly true when it comes to shoppers in the U.S. (40%) and France (38%).

    4. Shoppers Shop Based on Convenience, Not Channel

    When respondents were asked which factors were most important to them when choosing where to shop online, 21% of German shoppers, 27% of U.S. shoppers, 29% of British shoppers, and 30% of French shoppers indicated that low prices were most important.

    That being said, having a competitive price won’t guarantee increased sales because many consumers also look for better delivery options and increased delivery speed. In Germany, these factors ranked even higher than low prices.

    5. Shopping Will Continue To Be Omnichannel in 2022

    While online shopping offers a variety of benefits, many consumers are itching to return to stores in 2022.

    Of all shoppers surveyed across the four markets, about 56% on average said they plan to primarily shop on retail websites this year. However, about an average of 66% plan to do most of their shopping in-person.

    This indicates a massive opportunity for brands and retailers to go omnichannel.

    How Brands Can Enhance Their Omnichannel Customer Experiences

    The following three tips will help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of omnichannel customer experiences:

    1. Develop Your Omnichannel Commerce Strategy Wisely

    Having the right omnichannel commerce strategy in place is critical to your success in today’s marketplace.

    When defining your approach, consider what your customer’s digital journey looks like and the types of data you should track to continuously improve your offerings over time.

    Going through this process empowers you to provide a unified experience across channels while optimizing all areas of your business — from fulfillment and order and inventory management to delivery and customer service.

    2. Choose the Right Channels

    In an omnichannel commerce strategy, channels can include physical stores, online websites, mobile channels, online marketplaces, social media platforms, and more.

    Choosing the right channels can help you expand customer reach, improve brand awareness, and drive more sales. Assess the right mix for your target audience and product offerings — and continue to test and reevaluate over time.

    3. Deliver High-Quality Product Content

    In today’s omnichannel marketplace, brands and retailers must strive to provide high-quality, consistent product content across all touch points — from direct-to-consumer (DTC) sites to brick-and-mortar stores to social channels.

    Remain competitive by providing complete product information and enhanced content (e.g., high-quality images, videos, and comparison charts) to support consumers’ product research and comparison processes.

    Adapt and Thrive

    Adaptation is key to achieving digital shelf success. From testing the potential of different social channels to working with channel partners to understand the full range of delivery options available to you, there are a variety of steps you can start taking to provide the omnichannel experiences today’s shoppers seek.

    Explore Salsify’s “Consumer Research 2022” report to discover more insights into how to adapt your omnichannel strategy in accordance with the latest consumer trends and preferences.Consumer Research Report 2022

     

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