Are You Multiscreen Ready? 5 Tips to Manage Digital Omnivores
According to Deloitte's 2013 State of the Media Democracy survey, 26 percent of consumers are digital omnivores, meaning they have an insatiable appetite for content and will use any device to find it. These consumers own laptops, smartphones and tablets, and use them daily to watch movies, shop online and participate in social networks. They expect to interact with businesses directly, receive customer support on-demand and engage in authentic conversations with peers. What does this mean for online retailers?
Always-connected, digital omnivores present brands with the opportunity to build richer and stronger relationships with customers, but competition for their attention is fierce. In order to connect with digital omnivores and meet their expectations, retailers must provide consistent, tailored and content-rich experiences as consumers jump between tablets, phones and desktops. Here are five simple tips to help retailers engage digital omnivores across any online touchpoint:
1. Develop a strategy and set goals. Whether you're an established retailer or a mom-and-pop shop, diving into a digital, multichannel strategy is a commitment. Set goals that align with your business strategy and outline key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks that will help you quantify campaign performance down the line. Tracking this information will be tremendously helpful in getting hard facts and figures on your most successful programs, helping you to make more informed decisions on how to recreate your best strategies.
KPIs such as conversion rates, unique visitors vs. returning visitors and time spent on site are good starting points. Advanced analytics track user behavior and can anticipate users’ needs. Third-party data can be used to gain further insight into consumer behavior. These analytics can then in return be used for advanced segmentation and targeting, ultimately driving up your conversion rates.
2. Put digital omnivores at the center of your strategy. Make always-connected customers the focal point of your campaigns. Take time to learn about behavior from device to device and look at which device is used the most and for what purposes, such as product research and purchases. This insight will help you provide a better experience for digital omnivores, arming them with compelling resources across devices to guide the customer journey. Google and Nielsen found that consumers used multiple devices throughout 2012's holiday shopping season. According to the findings, smartphones were the preferred device for contacting or finding a business with 71 percent of shoppers using a store locator on their phone, while 82 percent of shoppers used a larger device like a PC or tablet for making online purchases.
3. Bridge the online and offline worlds. Remember that even though digital omnivores always have a device in hand, they still live and breathe in the physical world. Create a strategy for bridging the customer experience across devices and between online and offline worlds for a truly omnichannel experience. Most consumers today shop via multiple channels, and Cisco's 2013 Internet Business Solutions Group (ISBG) study found that a whopping 65 percent of shoppers that do research on a PC make a purchase in-store.
What's more, Point Inside found found that when shoppers use devices in an in-store setting in which retailers are armed with apps prepared with "store mode," i.e., features engineered to help shoppers navigate a physical storefront, retailers earn five times better customer engagement. Target's Cartwheel is a great example of an omnichannel strategy, as shoppers can select coupons of their liking on their mobile devices and then redeem them in-store. By creating compelling and actionable content via online channels, you can close the purchase in-store.
4. Analyze your data. Use an analytics system that's capable of decoding structured and unstructured data to help you manage and make sense of the influx of information. Think outside of just web analytics; the insights you're gleaning from each touchpoint and web property should help you have a more holistic and richer understanding of your customer. These insights can then be used by a content management system to help you deliver the most relevant content to each user based on their unique profile.
5. Stay in touch. The consumer life cycle doesn't end at checkout. With digital omnivores in particular, there's an enormous opportunity to keep them engaged since they're always online. Provide post-sale support and turn a customer into a brand advocate by giving them a social voice and focusing the dialog around your brand.
A great example was Oreo's 100-year anniversary Twitter campaign. #OreoPinata empowered customers to engage with the brand and was wildly successful. Another example is eBay's launch of a feed-style interface that lets users track products, create profiles and share them with friends. This improved engagement enabled eBay to provide more personalized, relevant experiences based on richer customer data.
eMarketer predicted that mobile devices will account for a quarter of online sales and most of that shopping will occur on tablets by 2017. Will your online retail game be up to snuff in five years?
Jochen Toppe is vice president, product management, for CoreMedia, a global provider of enterprise web content management solutions.