That’s the question that the Harvard Business Review set out to answer in a recent study conducted between June 2015 and August 2016. They collaborated with a major U.S. Company which operates hundreds of retail stores across the country and studied the behavior of 46,000 shoppers. The customers were asked about “every aspect of their shopping journey with a retailer”, focusing on which channel’s they used and why. The majority of the shoppers who participated – 73% – used multiple channels during their shopping experience and were deemed “omnichannel customers” by the study. Only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers.
In tabulating results, the study considered each app, digital tool and shopping venue provided by the retailer as a separate channel, and discovered that the more channels customers use, the more valuable they are. In fact, the study revealed that omnichannel customers are “more valuable on multiple counts.” They spent an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store, and 10% more online than single-channel customers. Additionally, with every channel that an omnichannel shopper used, they spent more money in the store. For example, compared to shoppers who used just one channel, customers who used four or more channels spent an average of 9% more in the store.
In additional to spending more, omnichannel shoppers were more loyal. According to the study findings, within six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, these customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.”