Omnichannel: 3 behaviors analyzed to better understand consumer expectations

89% of Internet users are ready to spend more if they have an excellent customer experience (Akio Barometer)

In addition to being an additional distribution channel for your products and services, the web is a great way to optimize the customer experience. Reach new consumers and build loyalty by creating a journey omnichannel fluid that places the user at the center of concerns. Without knowing it, you will then be doing “customer centric” marketing, that is to say marketing focused on the customer, on listening to them and on meeting their expectations through all channels. Learn to decipher new consumer behaviors to meet their demands along the way. Find out what are the underlying psychological mechanisms when buying.

In this article, we propose to take an interest in the changes in behavior of consumers who remain mixed about the complete digitalization of their experience. How to prevent the consumer from disengaging from the relationship established so far?

Take an interest in the digital transformation of the consumer

Consumers have evolved. Their skills are greater in digital. They are also smarter and on the lookout for bargains. However, they are very wary of the digital world not knowing the ins and outs of the data that is collected about them throughout the purchase journey. These behaviors of mistrust must be understood by the company so as not to have to face problems of disengagement on the part of your community.

3 essential points must be taken into account in order to better understand the customer in an omnichannel environment:

 1. Greater digital fluency (digital literacy)

It is a question of “digital literacy” when looking at consumer digital fluency. The OECD gives the following definition: "the ability to understand and use digital technology in daily life, at home, at work and in the community in order to achieve personal goals and to extend one's skills and abilities".

In other words, the current consumer evolves more easily in the digital environment. In a few years, he has acquired a great deal of knowledge and has increasingly high demands on the company. For example, he expects the search for information to be made easier, for the company to be more transparent or even for it to fully respond to his requests and expectations. He does not hesitate to challenge brands online via social networks and other public platforms.

This digital fluency must be taken into account in the optimization of your purchase journey omnichannel. Offer new services (e-reservation, possibility of connecting to the store's wifi to compare products, interactive terminals in the physical point of sale, etc.). Be careful, however, not to ask too much effort from consumers. Filling in too many fields when registering is, for example, prohibitive for the majority of Internet users when they are confronted with it in their journey.

 2. Stronger insight (smart-shopping)

Consumers are also increasingly likely to “look for the bargain”. They are then called “smart shoppers” in the sense that individuals are aware of the marketing techniques used by companies and try to take advantage of them.

Marketing research has shown that smart shoppers can be defined as price-sensitive shoppers constantly looking for price reductions, promotions or bargains (Labbé-Pinlon, Lombart and Louis, 2011)[1].

For example, some will wait to place an order because they know that by leaving their products in their basket for a long time, they will surely receive a follow-up email offering a reduction offer or reduced delivery costs. A smart-shopper seeks to compare, seeks to understand and enjoys shopping when he thinks he has paid less for a product than others.

It's up to you to offer discount offers and communicate! Use social media and email campaigns. Also consider retargeting. Seek to re-contact people who have come to take information from your site. Finally, remember to offer precise information on your products that is easily comparable. Never forget to answer questions asked on social networks. Smart-shoppers very often try to contact you in order to have their questions answered. Respond quickly to prevent them from going to the potentially more reactive competition.

3. A growing need for control

In the connected world in which we operate, consumers are torn between the culture of “laisser-faire” in the sense that they do not ask questions and that of a strong need for control over various aspects of the customer journey.

The need for control can be a personal characteristic (I am a person who likes to control things around me) or it can be much more situational. It is this second point that particularly interests us. Indeed, it turns out that consumers increasingly want to control their environment. The origin of this behavior? Perhaps the fact that companies have so far used and abused marketing techniques and that this has played on the need to regain control of certain essential points of the relationship (frequency of contact, subject of contacts, etc.). Internet users want to regain power over the customer journey but also over the relationship they have with the company. We then speak of “customer empowerment”.  Individuals feel that their voices matter on the web and that they have the power to harm brands and take back control if they so choose through social networks, collaborative platforms, etc.

Leaving control to the consumer consists of rather simple actions. First prerequisite: that the company leaves a margin of freedom to the consumer so that he can be at the origin of certain decisions. Concretely, in a context omnichannel, here are some examples:

  • Let the consumer choose what type of offer he wishes to receive by email
  • Offer the consumer to give their opinion on your products and services (customer reviews, etc.)
  • Let the consumer contact you by the means he prefers at any time (social networks, phone call, email, etc.)
  • Let the consumer choose whether or not to receive your offers by SMS, application notification, email, mail, etc.

In other words, let the consumer take control of his journey. Do not saturate it with marketing messages. Let them come back to you by facilitating the stages of their buying journey, whether on any channel. This way you put all the chances on your side to retain them. It's up to you to accept the consumer as the true co-creator of the shopping experience!

[1] Source: Management and Future n°49: