The concept of omnichannel is not new and is common in retail after the rise of digital devices such as mobile phones and laptops. Omnichannel is a customer-centric approach in which all channels are integrated so the customer has a unified and consistent experience whether they are at a physical store, using an app, or on a website (McKinsey, 2022).
Omnichannel analytics is about integrating and analysing data across all the channels that your customers use. With the exponential growth of data, integrating data and conducting omnichannel analytics helps companies build a solid foundation for understanding their customers and improving their retail experience.
Benefits of Omnichannel Analytics
1) Provides a seamless customer experience and enables personalisation
If we look at omnichannel, it is simply multichannel done right. Omnichannel analytics gives a comprehensive understanding of customers because it tracks the entire customer journey across offline and online channels to give insights into unique challenges, behaviours, and preferences. It is the foundation that enables a seamless customer experience.
CB Insights (2021) found that only one in ten consumers think that companies deliver a seamless omnichannel experience. Retailers have room to grow when it comes to effective omnichannel experience. The omnichannel experience becomes important as it anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress along the path to purchase.
Imagine walking around a Sephora store and you receive in-app offers that are triggered based on your personal preferences. You also receive product recommendations based on your skin type and brand preference, which are derived from historical browsing and past purchases. It will likely trigger an immense feeling of the retailer knowing you personally. These personalisation efforts are driving value for Sephora. Additionally, McKinsey (2022) data found that customers visiting Sephora's retail website within 24 hours of visiting a store were three times more likely to make a purchase, and orders were 13 percent higher than that for other customers.
2) Improved inventory management
Omnichannel analytics also allows you to collect data on what your customers are looking for, and what you did not have. It allows companies to make better-informed inventory decisions. Companies can better conduct predictions and forecasting to optimise inventory management. It also allows companies to not overstock in their physical store saving space.
For example, Allbirds, a footwear brand, introduced a 'buy in store, ship to customer' feature. For out-of-stock products, Allbirds associates would use the POS system to process the transaction and have the warehouse ship items directly to customers. Previously, customers would experience a disconnected experience where they need to go onto the website store separately to checkout the out-of-stock item in store and have it shipped to them. Another scenario is where customers are able to buy something online and return it to the store.
To enable omnichannel analytics for inventory management, companies must first have a more unified inventory system. This means supply chain processes need to be more connected. The unified inventory system enables your company to see inventory levels in real-time across all channels. With so many moving parts, it is important to have a system in place that can keep track of everything and ensure accuracy.
3) Enables long-term customer relationships
Omnichannel analytics extends the brand experience over time because it enables keeping customers engaged even when they are not making a purchase. Over the long term, omnichannel analytics can enable a loyalty programme and access to a community by having a good understanding of customers. These loyalty programmes can include customisable rewards programme such as surprise and delight campaigns or charitable donations on behalf of customers.
An example is Starbucks' reward programme, known as My Starbucks Rewards which collects buying habits and shopping preferences and provide them with more relevant perks. If a customer has not visited a store for a long time, it can send them relevant news and information on what is relevant for them.
Retaining a customer over the long term is important because it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer and repeat customers are 50% more likely to try a new product, with 31% spending more money on each transaction (Runit, 2023).
To be successful, companies can start to understand and analyse customer behaviour across all channels to deliver a seamless and personalised experience. It also allows companies to understand what customers are looking for. This is data that would be previously uncollected if omnichannel did not exist, i.e., retail store only.
Do you use omnichannel analytics? How does omnichannel analytics help you? Share by leaving us a comment. If you require more information or help with analytics activities, contact us. We want to be an extension of our clients. Subscribe to our newsletter for regular feeds.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Share the post! Have feedback or other ideas? We'd love to hear from you. If you are interested to read more about data architecture for data integration, you can refer to our article here. Thank you for reading!
CB Insights, The Technology Driving the Omnichannel Retail Revolution, https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/omnichannel-retail-technology/, published 4 May 2021
Runit, How Omnichannel Strategies Drive Customer Loyalty, https://www.runit.com/blog/how-omnichannel-strategies-drive-customer-loyalty/, accessed 9 July 2023
Tech Republic, How Sephora is Leveraging AR and AI to transform retail and hel customers buy cosmetics, https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-sephora-is-leveraging-ar-and-ai-to-transform-retail-and-help-customers-buy-cosmetics/, published 15 February 2018
Mayple, The Ultimate Guide of Omnichannel Analytics, https://www.mayple.com/blog/omnichannel-analytics, published 9 May 2023
McKinsey, What is Omnichannel Marketing? https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-omnichannel-marketing, published 17 August 2022