In the years since the Great Recession, media coverage has focused on the “slow recovery.” Underwhelming job growth, income disparity, poor consumer confidence — we’ve used a systemic rationale to explain weaker-than-expected results. “The economy” must be why shoppers aren’t shopping.
It’s not the economy. We are witnessing a fundamental change in how people shop.
Many of us in shopper marketing have held that belief for a while: Shoppers were changing how they shop before the recession.
This is the dawning — even the heyday — of the omnichannel shopper. But what does that mean?
“Omnichannel” has been a buzzword for years (though we still can’t agree on spelling it — is the “C” capitalized? Is it hyphenated?). Most definitions revolve around creating a consistent, customer-centric experience.
That’s great. But it’s only half an insight. Yes, we can talk, and even sell, to our targets through multiple channels.
But “omnichannel” is not itself a marketing strategy. It’s a consumer behavior. Understanding how your targets behave in their omnichannel world is the insight that transforms brand positioning into brand relevance. And relevance into conversion.
Look at how trips are consolidating and how shoppers look for shopping inspiration and planning aids fluidly across categories and channels. We’ve changed as shoppers. We group our experiences as either “personal expression” or “essential commodities.”
Trips are down because we shop for the best value on commodities.
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But for the shoppers who still walk through the doors, the anecdotal indications from retailers are that their baskets are holding, if not up. And the most valuable shopper is engaging with the banner through multiple platforms.
If shoppers deem you worthy of their omnichannel time and attention, they will be your best customers.
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