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How omnichannel CX drives in-store sales

| June 24, 2016
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Recently, I was preparing for a big camping trip. As I looked over my inventory, I realized there were a few items that needed to be replaced. But as usual, I’d waited until the last minute to prepare, so I didn’t have much time before my trip. I didn’t have time to drive from store to store to find what I needed, and I couldn’t take the chance on having something shipped.

So I did both. First, I went to REI on my desktop and scoped out all the things I needed. Some items were available in their store, and others they promised would be shipped there for pickup in time for my trip. I did all my shopping and waited for an email letting me know everything was ready.

When I got to the store, however, I didn’t just pick up the items I’d purchased. The great experience I had online reinforced my trust in the company and left me wondering what else I “needed” after I placed my order. Once I was in the store, I had the mentality of, “I’m here, so I might as well look around.” About an hour later, I walked out with a lot more than I’d ordered online.

This scenario plays out more and more often, especially as mobile usage continues to rise among shoppers—both in-store and out. So what does that mean for retailers when it comes to CX?

The line between mobile and in-store experiences is blurring.

That means it’s even more important than ever to focus on an omnichannel CX strategy. And there are some compelling statistics to support this.

82% of consumers use their smartphones for research in-store before a purchase

The last time I was shopping in a big box store, I was reading reviews as I meandered through the store. And I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, I was so engrossed in my mobile research, I bumped right into another shopper. I looked up to apologize and in unison, my fellow shopper and I both apologized for the collision. We were both glued to our phones while shopping.

It may not be something we like to admit, but the reality is that most of us are rarely too far from our phones, especially when it comes to shopping, in-store or online.

Omnichannel customers are 8x more valuable than single-channel shoppers

Retail giant Macy’s discovered that its omnichannel customers were bringing in more business than those that shopped in just one channel. Retailers that engage with customers wherever they are, have even more opportunity to develop trust, advocacy, and loyalty. All that adds up to larger and more frequent purchases. A great online experience will help encourage a trip to the store and vice versa.

31% of shoppers using smartphones in-store are accessing promotions

Shoppers using smartphones aren’t just researching products and checking prices; they’re engaging with stores directly and looking for deals. According to Forrester research, 82% of shoppers make their purchasing decisions in the aisle. That means retailers that can engage with them in-the-moment can provide them with the information and incentives they need to make a purchase.

So what’s the big takeaway?

Give your customers a consistent experience online and off, and they’ll give you their business

Mobile isn’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean the in-store experience can be ignored. Retailers that understand that their customers expect a consistent CX across all channels know that the line between mobile, online, and brick-and-mortar is quickly fading.