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Survey: Omnichannel Offers More Benefits than Challenges

As consumers adopt new technologies and channels to guide their purchases, consumer product companies have pursued new omnichannel strategies to reach customers directly.

SAP commissioned a multi-country survey of marketing decision makers within omnichannel consumer product organizations to understand the extent to which omnichannel data is valuable to companies. The results echoed a period of transition that will simultaneously bring challenges and opportunities to the companies.

The survey found 86 percent of respondents agree that omnichannel has meant that expectations from the consumer and customer of the organization have increased. The same percentage confirmed that the benefits of investing in an omnichannel approach to customer sales outweigh the challenges.

Organizations that adopted multi-channel strategies reported to having experienced a 74 percent increase in sales, a 64 percent increase in customer loyalty, a 62 percent increase in complete advantage, and a 57 percent increase in a better customer experience.

E.J. Kenner, senior vice president and global head of Consumer Industries at SAP, said, “Consumer expectation has been, and will continue to be, the catalyst for omni channel strategy development.” He added, “However, organizations have the opportunity, by collecting and harnessing omni channel data, to not only meet consumer expectations but pre-empt and lead them. This leads to a clear competitive advantage against organizations that are less adept at cultivating a high degree of consumer intimacy while simultaneously developing the operational capacity to respond quickly and profitably to consumer needs.”

The survey pulled evidence suggesting that omnichannel is the future. Among those operating indirect channels, only 10 percent intend to continue to operate without direct-to-consumer channels in the next 3-5 years. Additionally, 66 percent predict that a main competitive differentiator in the consumer products industry will be the quality of customer experience.

SAP concluded, “Consumer products businesses seek a closer and more direct relationship with consumers. Consumer expectation has been, and will continue to be, the catalyst for omni channel strategy development.”