• Darcy Williamson

Omni-Channel, Meet Ultra-Personal

Consumers today recognize and even expect that marketing will be present in many aspects of their daily lives. Such expectations arise when, according to Adobe, consumers spend an average of 7.8 hours engaging with digital content each day. Millennials spend even more, clocking in at 9.6 hours per day, on average (wow!).

So it’s no wonder that omni-channel marketing, specifically the use of numerous channels - stores, websites, mobile, social media - is an important way that retailers now seek to interact with their customers. But extensive channels and marketing approaches, however, do not always fulfill what consumers really want.

Consumers can become distracted while shopping which results in abandoned purchases and, ultimately, dissatisfaction from both the retailer and the shopper. So what can omni-channel retailers do to enhance the shopping experience even more?

Today’s consumers get distracted

Consumers are often multi-tasking while shopping online. This makes it more difficult for them to carry out and complete purchases. A Namogoo report found that over 57% of consumers shopped online while they were at work. Furthermore, many consumers do household chores, prepare and eat food, run errands, and compare product prices while online shopping. Some consumers also shop while commuting to work, and others have even shopped while exercising.

Since so many consumers are constantly distracted or multi-tasking while they are shopping, it’s critical for retailers to provide consumers with the ideal experience when they get their attention. The Namogoo study showed that 87% of consumers believed that a primary factor to experience great online shopping is a clear product image. Another important factor is product reviews, closely followed by product descriptions. And the checkout process is also another main factor that consumers consider when evaluating an online shopping experience.

But once a retailer enhances related cart and payment technology, they still must engage the consumer to get them to this part of the shopping experience. So what can retailers do to enhance the earlier stages of the shopping experience?

Make it personal

Leveraging features from the concept of ubiquitous and ultra-personal shopping, as a recent report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Accenture found, shows how this concept can deliver more a immersive, streamlined, and distraction-free shopping experience. And, when coupled with current omni-channel marketing strategies, retailers can recognize significant benefits. But how does that work?

It works by addressing consumer desires for personalization and streamlined shopping experiences. While consumers want clear images and product reviews, they really are seeking meaningful and personal retail experiences. Powered with enhanced technologies and access to consumer preferences, ubiquitous and ultra-personal shopping allows retailers to strengthen their marketing efforts. Consumers want to engage with brands that they trust and whose purpose they identify with, and personalization is an important part of building trust.

But is this important? Absolutely. Adobe also reported that 67% of consumers say it’s important for brands and retailers to personalize or enhance content based on their current context. And if they don’t, 42% of those respondents said they get annoyed when their content isn’t personalized.

Technology is now essential for retailers

A majority of consumers are excited to utilize immersive technologies for household and technology purchases. Ubiquitous and ultra-personal shopping technologies will allow retailers to meaningfully connect with consumers and personalize product recommendations anytime and anywhere.

Certain technologies allow brands and retailers to more fully understand the consumer and, as a result, curate recommendations and ideas for the consumer during and ahead of the retail shopping interaction. For example, certain technologies can conveniently recognize a user’s inputted image and provide detailed descriptions, purchasing options, and even provide additional, relevant suggestions.

Examples of immersive strategies include virtual reality and augmented reality to enhance the customer experience. These tools provide consumers with greater certainty when shopping online, and they can evaluate purchases in a more familiar setting. Brands and retailers are also embracing strategies, like those offered by NaskMe, which engage users with personalized content that supports the retail customer in-context and with ability to collaborate.

Are you ready?

As consumers desire for personalization and streamlined retail shopping experiences continues to grow, it’s imperative for retailers to focus on personalized and targeted marketing strategies. Retailers that make these efforts trustworthy and focused on providing consumers with what they really want will see improvements in overall results, including brand loyalty and revenue.

This article was co-authored with Emily Wilson.