Omnichannel retail is a holistic approach to retail. Gone are the days of being online only and dominating your market. Gone is the time when having a Facebook page made you the hip new company at the forefront of your industry.
Now, everyone is omnichannel. To truly dominate your market, you need to focus on what omnichannel consumers are demanding: exceptional customer experience and that means you need to invest in Conversation rate optimization (CRO).
First off, let’s get clear on what we mean by CRO. We’re not talking about increasing your email click-through rates from 20% to 25% by changing the button from red to green. We are talking about a holistic view, a view that the Father of CRO, Jeffrey Eisenberg, shares – CRO means giving customers what they want.
Nowadays, there are more opportunities than ever to listen and interact with your customers. There is no excuse for not knowing exactly what they want. Therefore, the first step is to listen and listen well. But the next step, the step that separates the good from the great, is overdelivering on what they’ve asked for.
It is a fact that 9/10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between all communication methods. In our opinion, this fact alone is enough to start ramping up CRO investment. Almost every single omnichannel customer wants a seamless experience, and so the businesses who can best deliver on it will win. But there’s more.
Fortunately for you, the vast majority of businesses are failing to deliver on this. Only 29% of consumers say they actually get seamless service between omnichannel communication methods. Therefore there is an enormous opportunity for you and your business. Everyone has been optimizing their Facebook and Instagram ads for the last 5 years but hardly anyone has optimized their entire business process.
To make matters worse, 60% of companies actually think they are providing a good experience when this is clearly not the case. Are you part of that delusional 60%?
Customers crying out for improved customer experience. There is a severe lack of businesses delivering this. Thus, the marginal gains of investing in Customer rate optimization are gigantic.
The more channels a customer uses, the more they spend. Not only are customers in omnichannel retail practically begging for a better omnichannel retail experience, but they are also telling you they will pay more for superior service. Instead of raising dollars spent on advertising, why not develop frictionless customer journeys and revolutionary customer experiences that get your current customers spending more and increases customer retention.
Innovation is built upon creativity and extensive testing – fundamental concepts in CRO – and omnichannel retail customers are actively seeking this out.
In the world of social media and instant gratification, the attention spans of omnichannel retail customers are dwindling. A positive side effect is that they are actively seeking out innovative customer experiences and are expressing a hunger for new technologies.
Examples abound of omnichannel retailers running wildly successful campaigns created through effective CRO. These can be both online – such as Burberry’s B Series campaign, a range of products that can only be purchased on the 17th of each month for 24 hours – and offline such as Tommy Hilfiger’s immersive in-store VR experiences that let customers shop the season’s runway styles through virtual catwalks.
If you don’t provide innovative experiences, the low attention spans results into fall in customer retention that mean they will leave you to find someone else who does. Almost ⅓ of customers who ended their relationship with a company last year did so because the experience wasn’t personalized enough. Couple that with the fact that 33% of Americans say they will think about switching companies after only one poor service experience and it is clear that the best customer experience – CRO – will be the difference between the winners and losers in the years to come.
The most successful companies in omnichannel retail are constantly looking for the next frontier. Right now, one of those is removing friction points.
As Erik Christiansen, CEO & Co-Founder of Justuno says “Millenials have grown accustomed to speed, convenience and a personalized shopping experience. However, Gen Z has never known shopping without these”. You can have the best product, you can have the best ads, you can have the biggest budget in the industry. But if you have a complex, draining, and difficult customer experience, you will not be able to retain your customers.
As each day passes, the appetite of omnichannel consumers is changing. They want their products and they want them now. Young customers are averse to any behavior that puts a burden on their time and this is not going to change. All the most successful companies in existence – Apple, Facebook, Google, Uber, AirBnB – are sleek, clean and provide a seamless customer experience. In fact, Millenials and Gen Z are 2x more likely to return an item because it took too long to arrive. Speed is king and even a hint of slowness is going to kill your top line.
This is one area where the traditional ideas of CRO are still important. To start with, make sure your websites are loading quickly and your navigation bars are clean and simple. Even better, why not run some tests to design immersive, exciting and innovative customer experiences?
We’ve seen that not only is every single omnichannel retail customer demanding exceptional customer experience, but hardly any companies are also delivering it to them. This has created a huge opportunity for those who can act fast and overdeliver in the areas where others are woefully under delivering.
Those who act will be handsomely rewarded. The data shows that the more channels customers use, the more they spend. Not only that but they will happily pay a premium for doing so. This could be because there are so few services offering good experiences that any improvement to your offering will make it look unquestioningly better than your competitors.
To dominate you will need to be creative and you will need to innovate. Thankfully, customers are eager to try out new technologies and it is easier than ever to get feedback on them. You will need to test, but that is what CRO is all about – every dollar spent testing is a dollar well spent.
Finally, to futureproof your business and to succeed not just this year but in the years to come, you must remove friction points from your customer journey. The omnichannel customer’s tolerance for friction has dropped rapidly over the last few years and it will only continue to do so.
Investing in CRO is the easiest way to improve every area of your business in 2020 and beyond. Those who act now will triumph. Those who do not, will be left behind.