The rise of the “omni” has been quietly happening in the retail background over the last few years, however, it’s now taken centre stage. Smart shoppers have morphed into omnishoppers but what exactly does the term mean?
“Omnishoppers” are defined as the consumers who use technology for the full range of shopping experiences – online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store. These shoppers are more demanding, social, connected and convenience-oriented than ever before.
But wait, there’s more. Omnishoppers today are omni-yes –channel, meaning they benefit from retailers’ multi approach to sales via back end technology. In plain language that means, for example, when a store has implemented an omnichannel approach, the customer service representative in the store will be able to immediately reference the customer’s previous purchases and preferences just as easily as the customer service representative on the phone can or the customer service webchat representative can. Or the customer can use a desktop computer to check inventory by store on the retailer’s website, purchase the item later on with a smartphone or tablet and pick up the product at the customer’s chosen location.
According to a report by MasterCard, eight out of ten global purchase decisions are now informed by a digital device, with consumers reporting they are smarter shoppers who believe they are getting more value than before. This often equates to our own personal experiences where we use the web for all sorts of pricing and specification research before making our decision on where to buy. Interestingly, MasterCard tells us that in-store sales still account for more than nine-tenths of all retail spending. The result is a more focused in-store shopper buying from a narrower list of unique stores than in years past.
The MasterCard survey participants list the benefits of in-store shopping as: it’s fast (59%), the customer can get advice (54%), and there is a social experience (53%). This might be a contributor to e-commerce’s relatively flat growth as a share of total retail sales (7.5% globally).
And our biggest beef? The top frustration, cited by 73% of respondents, is items not being in stock, underscoring the importance of inventory management for retailers.
The MasterCard Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper combines survey data from thousands of shoppers around the globe with transaction-based insights from MasterCard.