Rethinking Omni: Breaking Down Sales Channel Silos

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As marketers, we know to put the needs of our customers first. Yet, we frequently still structure goals to drive purchases through distinct sales channels: in-store vs. online vs. mobile. Even with the best of intentions for an integrated approach, our marketing efforts can remain siloed with different strategies and performance metrics that don’t necessarily correspond to how customers actually shop.

At Cardlytics, we urge marketers to build their omni strategies with shopping behavior in mind first. Consumers today make their purchases largely based on convenience—flowing easily between in-store and online channels based on what makes the most sense within their daily lives. For example, they might search for deals on a retailer’s website, but ultimately make the purchase in-store while they’re out and about. This makes it more important than ever to provide a consistently strong experience for consumers in whichever channels they happen to be shopping.

To identify the real omni opportunity available to marketers, our analytics team looks at consumer-level purchase behavior across online and in-store channels. Through our partnerships with banks, we see over $2.8 trillion in annual consumer spend. We analyze that data to better understand how, where, and when customers are shopping, then work with marketers to drive incremental sales based on the findings.

There is massive upside to driving omni shopping behavior – and lots of room to grow

It’s not news that consumers are relying on the convenience of shopping both online and in-store. Our data shows that 94% of retail consumers shop both in-store and online regularly. What’s interesting is that there is a significant gap between a customer’s overall shopping behavior and their likelihood to be an omni customer at a particular retailer. It turns out that customers are rarely omni shopping with the same retailer. In fact, only 9% of customers at top retailers are omni customers with that brand, so you can see the incredible headroom that exists for marketers. It’s not that omni shopping behavior isn’t happening, it just isn’t happening enough within each retailer’s properties.

While retailer-specific omni behavior is stronger in some categories than others, there is still room for growth. In the apparel category, 22% of shoppers were retailer-specific omni customers, home and garden shoppers 17%, office supply shoppers 16%, and pet shoppers 13%. Customers are making omni purchases, and the marketers who are thinking about their sales channels as an “and” for their customers, and not an “or”, are reaping the rewards.

It turns out that the industry buzz around omni isn’t just hype. By evaluating where sales are happening based on actual purchase data, we see that omni customers – those who shop with a brand both online and in-store – spend significantly more. In the retail vertical alone, omni customers spend 82% more than customers who shop only in-store or only online. Converting customers from shopping in a single channel to omni can be a leading driver of loyalty and make a material difference to the bottom line.

Be there for your customer throughout their path to purchase

It’s critical that marketers build their campaigns with customer shopping behavior in mind in order to unlock the value of a true omni shopper. To encourage omni adoption, a consistent experience for customers throughout their purchase journey is a must, regardless of channel. As a native ad platform in banks’ digital channels, Cardlytics provides valuable cash-back offers to customers regardless of the channel through which they ultimately choose to buy. We help marketers capture the full opportunity within their own customer base by pinpointing their best omni customers (i.e., which customers are heavy omni shoppers, just not yet with that brand). We also help identify new opportunities to drive more sales from customers who are omni at their competitors. With the winter holiday shopping season just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to evaluate omni consumer strategies now in order to win the next sale, and the next, and the next.

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