We all know that repeat customers are more profitable than new ones. But retaining customers and building loyalty in an omnichannel world is tough. Sixty-seven percent of consumers browse through more than one channel before making a purchase, according to a 2013 Econsultancy study. With a majority of consumers engaging through multiple channels, retailers can no longer rely on a strategy that doesn’t encompass all channels.
The shift to omnichannel presents challenges for marketers. Here are three of the biggest:
- Coordination across channels: According to a 2013 Cross Channel Benchmark report from RSR, less than 20% of retailers feel omnichannel-ready.
- Showrooming: Consumers use mobile devices to find lower prices while shopping at brick-and-mortar stores—and then buy online. McKinsey reports that 69% of shoppers will delay buying or buy elsewhere after using their mobile device in-store to check on a product.
- Siloed customer view: According to RTP, 44% of retailers report that they’re saddled with siloed data sets from e-commerce vendors, point-of-sale systems, email service providers, etc.
How a loyalty program can address omnichannel challenges
Loyalty programs are uniquely suited to addressing these omnichannel challenges. Here’s a framework for getting the most out of your loyalty initiatives in omnichannel environments:
1. Offer a seamless loyalty experience across all of your channels: Use your loyalty program to reward customers for purchases and other valuable behaviors no matter where they interact with you. Loyalty programs allow for a deep understanding of behaviors such purchase frequency, average order value, and channel preference that can power relevant and targeted promotions.
2. Deter showrooming with relevant incentives. Use your loyalty program to remind customers that their loyalty is worth more than discounts or coupons. A loyalty program is a great vehicle to offer targeted digital offers that can convert browsers into buyers and extend your brand’s presence.
3. Aggregate your customer view. Loyalty programs are a great way to get a single, unified view into all the ways your customer is interacting with you.
Wrapping it up
Omnichannel selling presents many challenges, but also huge opportunities for loyalty marketers who embrace the trend. Omnichannel customers spend 93% more per transaction than customers who only shop online—and according to Deloitte they spend 208% more per transaction than those who only purchase in-store.
Dave Louie is director of product at 500friends.