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Omnichannel Strategies to Drive Retail Revenue This Holiday Season

Constant connectivity has reshaped shopping and driven digital to the fore, and this holiday season retailers will need to tap into omnichannel strategies to get consumers to buy.

According to a recently released study titled, “Holiday Shopping in An Omnichannel Retail World,” by marketing solutions firm G/O Digital, personalized content, webrooming and local activation will be key to generating omnichannel sales this season, and staying afloat in the battle against Amazon.

“Physical retail is that necessary point of differentiation for businesses to win against pure play threats like Amazon,” Jeff Fagel, CMO of G/O Digital said. “So for businesses – big and small – the challenge centers on activating local marketing across multiple touch points and stages of the buying journey. After all, consumers don’t have a channel strategy; they have a shopping strategy.”

Further proving the importance of merging digital and physical retail worlds, the study found that comparing price and product was the reason 55 percent of respondents cited for webrooming, or researching an item online before buying it in store. Thirty percent of shoppers said they “always” use their computers to look for on-sale items. This signals a major shift in the retail landscape, the report noted, as webrooming now sits at a “critical intersection” of the digital and physical worlds, and it’s what will bring shoppers to stores for the holidays.

“The consumer is different, but in many ways the same – as digitally savvy as she may be, she still prefers to shop in-store 90 percent of the time within three to five miles of her home,” Fagel said.

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Personalized content and mobile deals will be large drivers of offline sales as 65 percent of shoppers said the e-deals and promotions are powerful enough to influence their purchases on Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

Study findings revealed that local activation raises the standards of online mobile and video ads—43 percent of shoppers said those ads are useful for learning more about products and prices available in-store, and 24 percent said the ads make buying in-store easier and more efficient—factors consistently sought by today’s on-the-go shopper.

In a separate but similar G/O Digital study looking at how paid search and mobile marketing will drive consideration, leads and sales for small businesses, 84 percent of shoppers were found to use an online platform before considering buying holiday gifts from small business brick-and-mortars. And in today’s highly promotional landscape, 42 percent of shoppers place a premium on using mobile coupons to shop in-store.

For the omnichannel study, G/O Digital surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults age 25-55 who expressed interest in holiday shopping from national brands and retailers and who own at least one computer or laptop and one smartphone or tablet. The study was fielded from Aug. 21 through Aug. 28, 2014. The small business study was conducted over the same time period and garnered 1,023 responses from U.S. adults age 35-54.