Last summer, I wrote an initial post in a series addressing a common question, “Who does omnichannel best?” I came up short with examples of excellence. One reason is because retailers can’t do “omnichannel” well without data that profile customers and their paths to purchase across channels.
With so many retailers focused on “omnichannel” and today’s dominant channels being web/mobile and physical stores, our industry needs to talk more about data linking the two.
I know of two examples of retailers using product data from one channel to inform merchandising decisions in another:
- Nordstrom used Pinterest data to add signage in stores indicating which merchandise was heavily pinned online
- Guess.com features store-influenced online shopping via a “trending” bar that dynamically displays the top sellers from the nearest store, powered by Radius8
But who’s using data to link a customer’s online patterns to that same customer’s store visits? Google and Facebook continue to try to show ad ROI by linking ad views to subsequent store visits. But these slow iterations pale in comparison to what a retailer should be able to do on its own.
I recently wrote about the why more retail stores should offer Wi-Fi. Reason #6 was to collect shopper e-mail addresses. E-mail addresses are valuable by themselves but, when collected through in-store Wi-Fi and tied to behavioral data by Euclid, retailers gain illuminating visibility into how the store visit fits into a customer’s purchase journey. And, post-visit, by continuing to see how that customer behaves when visiting the store’s web site/app, retailers can learn more about exactly how digital influences 64% of in-store sales.
More importantly, the retailer can affect the customer’s purchase journey in new and exciting ways by understanding:
- How frequently is a customer coming to the store?
- Who’s visiting a store after an online visit and vice versa, and where does a purchase occur?
- Which digital ads are most effective for driving store visits?
- After being viewed online, which merchandise categories have the highest conversion once they’ve been “physically seen” in store?
- Which merchandise is most likely to be purchased online after a store visit?
- How is mobile being used in-store?
With this new information, retailers should be able to:
- Attribute online purchases to a store visit, providing better insight into the true value of stores
- Apply ad attribution metrics to make proactive decisions about which ads should aim to convert buyers online vs. which should work toward drive store traffic
- Use what they know about a customer’s past omnichannel behavior to send her an offer of some kind when she re-enters the store (rather than just re-targeting her online)
- Re-think the predictable “abandoned cart” e-mail by following up with customers who don’t convert during a store visit
- Use in-store signage and web copy to drive customers from one channel to the other for the merchandise categories where multiple touchpoints matter most
I don’t know of companies doing all of this, but if they exist they’d certainly be contenders for my next “Who Does Omnichannel Best?” post.