We wrote last fall about how smartphones are erasing the line between online and offline purchases. I’m back to reinforce how vital recognizing omni-channel marketing is going to be in 2015. Below are six stats that break down why omni-channel is a necessity for retailers, and how they are responding.
Think about the last time you were in a brick and mortar store. If you did no prior research your experience may not have been optimal for a number of reasons–store layout, level of customer service, clarity of signage, etc. So after two thirds of customers try to find information within a store and can’t find what they need, it’s not surprising they would leave (to then go do their own research).
With 91% of adults keeping their smartphone within arm’s reach (Morgan Stanley), it makes sense that our smartphone is the first thing we turn to when researching products and services. This blurs the line between offline and online sales and marketing, and businesses that embrace it and market themselves across all channels (to create an omni-channel experience for customers) are the ones thriving.
This further emphasizes the value and potential that multi-channel customers hold for your business. Be present in front of consumers, creating a seamless experience for them regardless of the channel or device they use to engage your business. This reinforces your brand throughout the customer journey and brings them one step closer to conversion, whether on their smartphone or in your store.
While mobile may still be a smaller piece of the marketing pie right now, that doesn’t mean we should discount how much budget marketers are putting toward growing this channel. Mobile (especially the smartphone) is key to omni-channel strategy and cannot be ignored. Marketers recognize this and are making the necessary investments.
In fact, 77% of retailers are focusing on a special mobile site optimized for smartphones. This underscores their commitment to driving more mobile sales and shows they understand the role smartphones play in the customer journey (whether that’s just research with an offline conversion or a mobile sale).
This is a good start but not nearly enough retailers, what with the rapid proliferation of smartphones and the number of consumers using them for product research. As more retailers invest in mobile, the natural next step will be to focus their efforts on establishing an omni-channel marketing strategy.
Smartphones bridge the online-offline gap, and retailers that do their due diligence in blending mobile into their omni-channel strategy will be the ones driving more incremental business in 2015. To learn more about how retailers and e-commerce companies are optimizing sales from smartphone users, watch this on-demand webinar, Smartphones & Omni-Channel Retail: 7 Tips to Optimize Sales.
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