3 ways to win with today’s omnichannel shopper

How to build shopper-centric retail strategies that drive impact.
18 March 2024
Omnichannel shopper
Joris Zwegers

Partner, Brand Consulting, North America

Nan Petrella

Director, Brand Consulting, North America

Matt Seitz

Google’s Director of Search Performance, Retail

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For over a decade, “omnichannel” has been a buzzword used to define customer journeys between touchpoints that transcend both physical and digital worlds and final points of conversion. While this remains a key unlock for marketers to tap into, omnichannel shopping has become second nature for today’s shoppers, who seamlessly shift between physical and digital with little realization in their search to find the best product.

Despite recognizing its importance, many retailers still view online efforts as separate from their brick-and-mortar efforts. Both legacy brick-and-mortar and modern DTC retailers tend to favor the channel that made them who they are, rather than adapting to current shopper behavior. However, 52% of in-store shoppers have at least one claimed online touchpoint. Similarly, 42% of purchases made online had at least one offline touchpoint. Retailers need to meet shoppers where they are, both online and offline, with the information they desire to realize better business outcomes in-store and online.

To better understand the current state of omnichannel shopping and the impact of online and offline touchpoints on shoppers' experiences and choices, Google and Kantar collected survey and behavioral data from over 11,000 shoppers across 11 categories and spoke in-depth with shoppers and top retail executives to gain their perspectives. This article provides insights and guidance on how retailers must adapt their strategies to win with today’s shopper.

The role of tech in the shopper journey

Shoppers are intentional – 80% surveyed had spent time thinking about their purchase before making their final decision. With more information and options at their fingertips than ever before, shoppers are looking to feel secure and confident in their choices with as little effort as possible.

Omnichannel shoppers take this to the next level. Understanding that online and offline touchpoints are complementary, they use both channels to best fit their needs throughout the shopping journey. They’re savvy, informed, and know how to shop.

Physical stores, retailer websites, and apps are among the most helpful touchpoints for omnichannel shoppers, and smartphones have become an integral part of unifying online and offline channels. More than half of omnichannel shoppers went online while in stores, half of those through a retailer’s app. Omnichannel shoppers are going online to research stock ahead of time, and are using their phones while in-store to price check and compare products. This behavior is likely a contributing factor to reducing time in-store; since 2019, time spent in-store decreased 7% across retail, according to Placer.ai.

Focusing on omnichannel shoppers benefits the retailer, building both top and bottom line impact:

  • Omnichannel shoppers reported spending 73% more on average than non-omnichannel shoppers.
  • 28% of omnichannel shoppers reported buying more than anticipated.
  • Omnichannel shoppers are more than 2x as likely to recommend a retailer to others.

By recognizing the role and influence of technology in the shopper journey, retailers can prioritize investments to expand the value of their owned touchpoints. It is critical that retailers act fast to ensure every part of the business is omni-enabled, or else they risk losing relevance and market share to more prepared players who are already meeting the needs of the growing omnichannel shopper.

There are three actions that retailers can take today in order to fast-track impact:

  1. Unify online and offline channels
  2. Invest in mutually beneficial membership programs
  3. Prepare for tomorrow’s AI disruption today

Download this custom research from Kantar & Google to learn how to win with omnichannel shoppers: 

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