With the proliferation of online devices and ubiquity of connectivity, the holy grail of eCommerce transitioned from developing the best user interface to understanding the elusive, evasive, sought after multi-channel shopper. Often shopping—but rarely on the same device, from the same location or with the same credentials—these high-value shoppers are not just coveted by you…your competitors want them too.
A multi-channel shopper interacts with your company using more than one method (i.e. in-store, online, mobile) to browse or purchase products. For many consumers, especially those who have grown up using digital devices, this is now the norm. Multichannel shoppers have been found to be more valuable than their single-channel counterparts, making them a highly-targeted group for marketers. But these lucrative customers expect a lot, and are hard to win over.
Retailers that identify and track the true shopping habits of the multichannel shopper and use this understanding to gain their favor will win the day.
If you’re a eCommerce marketer, you’re probably already rolling-out programs to stimulate multichannel behavior. Most retail marketers are actively developing campaigns to make the shopping experience uniform and simple across all channels in hopes to increase basket size, order frequency, and loyalty. But while many marketers have adopted this practice, few are prepared to measure the success of their efforts.
Some clever marketers try to create multi-channel shoppers out of their existing customers. A recent study showed that 70% use marketing campaigns to create engagement in channels other than the one through which the campaign is delivered. For example, sending an offer via email that is redeemable only in-store. Are these campaigns working? Are they creating lift? Marketers need to be able to prove the ROI of these campaigns. But these types of campaigns are by definition difficult to measure because the payoff happens across channels. True cross-channel attribution is required to measure campaign ROI.
With all the emphasis on cross-channel campaigns marketers are unable to pinpoint accurate cross-channel attribution: in fact, our recent retail industry study suggest only half of marketers believe they have this ability. And even those that do admit they have little faith in the accuracy of their metrics. That means there are a significant number of marketers unable to see if they are hitting or missing their targets.
For example, one big box chain produced an email campaign with the goal to drive shoppers to their stores. However, they couldn’t determine whether in-store customers received the email unless an email address was provided at checkout, and even then only if the email address provided matched the one in the retailer’s database. They were able to see that the campaign drove some in-store purchases, but they couldn’t tell exactly how much. Without insight into the campaign’s true ROI, the marketing team was at a loss as to whether to re-run or abandon this tactic.
The ability to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across channels comes from the ability to get a single view of a customer across all channels. With a 360-degree customer view, you can see when an email campaign influences a purchase in the physical store, on a mobile device, or on a different computer, even if the impression and the purchase are weeks or months apart and separated by multiple visits.
So the question retailers should ask is: How can I correlate activity from multiple channels back to a single view of a customer?
This is the kind of insight that will separate the winners from the losers in the battle for valuable customers. As more customer journeys span more than one channel, and as multi-channel shoppers become more valuable to businesses, the need for accurate cross-channel marketing attribution is outpacing its adoption. A single view of a customer across all channels is necessary for measuring omnichannel marketing success. Are you making the investment? Are you ready to win the hunt for the most valuable shoppers?