Omnicommerce: The Multichannel Customer Experience

Originally posted on Vantiv’s Blog.

Guest post written by Lorena Harris, VP of Corporate Marketing, Vantiv.  In the first of this three-part series, Lorena discusses how providing a consistent customer experience across channels is a critical component of omnicommerce.

Vantiv is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for ATM, Debit Card & Gateway Processing; Credit Card Processing & Servicing; Merchant Services.

Today, consumers use a growing array of digital devices as they shop—and that trend is creating some fundamental changes for merchants.

As I reported back in December, Vantiv/Mercator research recently found that about a fifth of consumers shop using “showrooming” techniques—that is, finding a product in a store, using their mobile device to comparison shop online, and then buying the item online or at another store. And more broadly, the percentage of consumers who usually research and purchase products online (55 percent) has surpassed the percentage of those who usually do both researching and purchasing in a physical store (46 percent).

However, the story here is not that newer channels are replacing older ones—but that they are being added to them. For example, while 15 percent of consumers have received and used coupons in a store using their phones, those consumers may still clip coupons out of the newspaper and bring them in to a retailer. The reality is that a given consumer may use a number of different channels at different times, or even in conjunction with each other, as with showrooming. For merchants trying to reach these consumers, success will require an “omnicommerce” approach that takes advantage of each channel’s strengths, while providing the same kind of tools and functions across all channels.

The key to omnicommerce is providing a consistent customer experience. Customers can become frustrated when prices or product availability is different offline and online—and that can be bad for business. Research shows that more than 60 percent of consumers who had a bad experience with a company cut back on or stopped doing business with that company. For many retailers, then, consistently-strong omnicommerce experiences will be key to customer relationship management in a multichannel world.

Survey Methodology

The survey results contained in this report are from the 2013 Vantiv Insight Series research. Each January, a representative sampling of 1,200 U.S. adults are surveyed about their payment practices and preferences, and Vantiv makes key findings available to Vantiv merchants and financial institutions seeking to understand payment trends. For more information about the Vantiv Insights research, visit vantiv.com/research.

Also available: Mobile Payments and the Omni-Consumer of the Future (Webinar) »