The five biggest omnichannel opportunities for Scandinavian brands and retailers

28. June 2021

Your customers’ expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience throughout the entire customer journey are increasing. Knowing where to set in can be tricky, but don’t despair. Based on our extensive omnichannel analysis, here are the top five options for creating a commercial experience that meets customer needs and differentiates you in the marketplace.

Since 2018, IMPACT has been taking the pulse of omnichannel. Most recently, we analyzed no fewer than 253 Scandinavian brands and retailers. A mix of mystery shopping, qualitative interviews and website crawling gave us precise insight into who is doing well and where there is room for improvement.

All data and conclusions on winners and losers can be found at www.omnichannelindex.com. In other words, you’re not going to read about the benchmark analysis, but rather to learn about where the greatest gap exists between customer expectations and companies’ capabilities. The truth is that even for the best brands and retailers, there is a ways to go to live up to customers’ wishes.

The big self-deception

Customers are a thankless lot. Just when you think you’ve understood their needs and fulfilled their wishes, here they come with new and greater expectations. The reality is that few companies can adapt as quickly as their customers move.

It’s tough realizing that you can’t keep up with your customers. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that among companies there is a form of collective self-deception about how well things are going. According to Forbes, 80% of businesses believe they deliver a good customer experience, while only 8% of their customers agree. Ouch!

Fortunately, we are seeing more and more companies taking customer experience seriously. And rightly so because it pays to make the customers happy. But of course, we’re preaching to the choir since you’re reading this already.

The good omni-experience pays off 

While you yourself have already bought into the value of crafting unified commerce experiences, chances are that there are people in your organization who are a less customer-ecstatic. The best way to win them over tends to be with some solid, value-based arguments.

Whether your customers start their journey in the physical store and purchase online or vice-versa, it’s worth making sure they have a good experience. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that compared to customers who purchase directly from either the store or online, omnichannel customers spend 4% and 10% more, respectively. Moreover, they are 23% more loyal than the single-channel customers.

But what is a good omnichannel experience? This is of course a dynamic phenomenon, but in working on our Omnichannel Index, we’ve attempted to define it. To do so, we used 51 touch points distributed across the five stages of the customer journey. From getting customers’ attention and intriguing them closer to a purchase to the actual transaction, the accompanying service, and lastly the ability to create a loyal customer relationship.

The five biggest holes in the bucket – and how to plug them

Without further fanfare, here are our five specific areas where you can both fulfill the customers’ wishes and differentiate yourself from your competitors. We provide you with one touchpoint for each stage of the customer journey where customers’ desires and the companies’ performance are way too far apart.

Awareness: Inspire customers where they are

For most of us, social media is an obvious place to be inspired. In fact, 7 out of 10 of us say that we actively and regularly use Facebook and Instagram to check out brands and products.

Considering this, it is surprising that only 52% of Scandinavian brands and retailers proactively use SoMe. This means that only half regularly share content, launch new products, and engage their followers.

Evaluation: Recognize the power of recommendations

When making a purchase decision, it is essential that the customer trust both the product and the store. Here, social proof – i.e., reviews and statements from other buyers – is crucial. In fact, a study from eConsultancy shows that it can increase sales by as much as 18%.

 

Our analysis found that only 28% of Nordic brands and retailers use social proof on the product pages. It’s not just unfortunate, it can be quite a hindrance to your revenue stream. Our advice: Start collecting reviews now.

Purchasing: Give the customer control – also in the store

The e-commerce boom during the corona crisis has made us more digitally independent. This also applies now that we have returned to the physical stores. A new study shows that 60% of shoppers prefer to be able to handle the payment themselves in-store rather than waiting for a sales assistant.

 

While grocery shopping has been a self-service frontrunner for a few years, it is time for brands and retailers to wake up. Only 6% offer digital self-service today. And really, it should be more obvious that I can pay for my new frying pan or t-shirt myself, compared to the 30+ items in my grocery cart.

Service: Fast is not fast enough

Delivery speed is one of the areas where things are flying ahead. A survey estimates that 80% of us want a same-day delivery option. But more interestingly, PWC estimates that 41% of us are ready to pay extra for same-day delivery.

 

With that in mind, it is troubling that only 4% of the 253 brands and retailers we have investigated offer same-day delivery. Yes, we know same-day delivery places enormous demands on your logistics set-up. But it is a solid way of winning market share – and a way of protecting you from the international marketplaces with warehouses outside Denmark.

Loyalty: Personalizing starts with permission

Omnichannel is relentlessly linked to personalizing. Here too, expectations for the relevance of the communication we as customers receive from brands and retailers increases. McKinsey concluded last year that 80% of us expect personalizing from the retailers we do business with.

 

The prerequisite for personalizing is (of course) being allowed to use the customer’s data. In this regard, there is a golden opportunity when the customer is standing at the counter to pay in the physical store. But only 24% of the brands and retailers we’ve researched use that touchpoint to ask customers if they want to sign up for a newsletter or customer club.

Curious for more?

Hopefully, these five touchpoints have provided food for thought and input for where you as a brand or retailer should focus your efforts.

If you would like to know more about our omnichannel analysis, you can download the report, explore the data, and watch inspiring videos at www.omnichannelindex.com.

If you have a specific question or challenge that you would like to discuss, you are always welcome to contact Steen St. Blicher at …

Do you have any questions or challenges?

You´re always welcome to contact Steen St. Blicher