The Omnichannel Experience: Coming to Screens Near You in 2015

The Omnichannel Experience: Coming to Screens Near You in 2015

The Omnichannel Experience may sound like an action movie you would see in an IMAX theatre, but this concept is a new marketing trend that is expected to explode in 2015.

The omnichannel marketing experience is a term that describes the seamless, cross-channel shopping habits that consumers have latched on to this holiday season and are expected to stay latched throughout the next year, according to eMarketer.

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The majority of retail purchases are made in-person, in a retail store and that is a tradition and habit that may never change.  However, the research that consumers execute before the actual in-store purchase is what has grabbed the attention of marketers.

For example, if I’m interested in buying a new TV, I might go to websites like BestBuy.com or Amazon.com to search large numbers of TV products all at once while sorting them in categories that are relevant to what I am looking for.  Once I have decided on a product, I want it now.  I want to be able to find a local retailer, go get my new TV and watch it that day.  Shoppers like instant gratification – they are more likely to make a trip to the retail store so they can leave with the product in their hand instead of place an order and wait 5 days for shipping.

The purchase decision process takes place on smartphones more so than any other digital screen product.  Even though the number of mobile purchasers increased drastically in 2014, up 23 million from 2013, only half of the smartphone shoppers shop exclusively on their phone.  The rest of the mobile shoppers are simply “screen shopping,” a digital version of window shopping.  They explore mobile retail sites to weigh their product options before they decide.

According to eMarketer, only 14% of US smartphone users plan on making holiday purchases on their phones this season.  More shoppers intend on using their phones to find a local retailer, find a product, get social feedback on a gift item, or even find an in-store coupon.

Ultimately, these behaviors indirectly lead to an in-store purchase.  Up to 80% of the smartphone researchers say they had completed or they plan to complete a purchase related to their smartphone search, according to a survey conducted by Nielson.

According to Forbes, new marketing channels and trends lead to new risks and margins for error as marketers are unaware of common consumers’ trends and do not know which channel to put their investment towards.  Since we have adjusted to an omnichannel world, or a three-screened world, consumers seek omnichannel experiences and marketers are adapting to new methods that will reach their connected consumers.

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With a never-ending and always expanding omnichannel and multi-screened world, how will your business stand out in the crowd?  While customers rush from screen to screen and store to store, what will make your product stand out?

Omnichannel marketing across all digital outlets can be prominent, personalized and effective.  The highest potential for omnichannel marketing comes from moving it from an extra research step a shopper takes, to a completed customer journey.

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