Omnichannel shopping. This may be a new phrase for you, but the concept should be familiar. When shopping, consumers move in a fluid way through multiple customer touch points that retailers offer. For example, Benjamin Moore & Co, a producer of paints and finishes, has a website that allows customers to research paint and interior design ideas online by looking through color swatches and photos of decorating styles. Their 200,000 Facebook fans can see samples of the latest designs and discuss color ideas with other Benjamin Moore fans. And, knowing that their customers are looking for design ideas while walking around their home, Benjamin Moore has also created several tablet apps that allow customers to read and visualize how paints can be used in their home through this highly portable experience. These tablet applications offer a great way to “get to know” the Benjamin Moore brand. You can download the app and read about architects and designers that use Benjamin Moore’s vibrant colors or see examples of the color advisor’s creative work in action.
Ultimately, the digital publications that Benjamin Moore has created play a very important role in the shopping experience as they bridge the gap between standard in-store shopping, social media and online shopping. Benjamin Moore’s tablet applications strategically merchandise their products while influencing other shopping channels. As an example, customers can research paint chips and initiate the purchase process in the app. After making a decision, they can reference embedded maps with retail locations to go into the store to pick up the paint and discuss any questions with a Benjamin Moore rep. This in turn can lead to additional buying opportunities as the customer who started the shopping experience in the app may now make additional purchases of brushes and tape while in the store picking up their paint. Retailers know that consumers are seamlessly moving through different channels when researching, selecting and buying products and services, and they know they need to be active in each of those locations. This is a huge challenge for retailers to provide a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels.
It is easy and natural to go shopping on a tablet. Tablets have the appropriate screen size for researching products and services and allow consumers to engage with entertaining content. Because of its portability, consumers can take their tablet with them, shopping on the couch, in a coffee shop, or during a commute.
Tablet shoppers have a higher propensity to make a purchase than online or smartphone shoppers. Check out these stats[i]:
- Tablet shoppers are 3x more likely to make purchase than smartphone visitors
- Tablet shoppers spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone shoppers
- Tablet shoppers spend 20% more per purchase than visitors on laptops and desktops
Blending Lifestyle Marketing with T-Commerce
We have shared several retail apps in our App of the Week series: Benjamin Moore, ASOS fashion catalog, Wetsuit Bible, and P&O Cruises. Knowing that tablet users are likely leaning back on their couches when shopping, these retailers marry entertainment with shopping. In other words, some retailers are integrating lifestyle marketing into the t-commerce experience. For example, ASOS, the UK’s largest online-only fashion and beauty store, includes video interviews with famous people who wear their clothing, aligning their brand with popular, trendsetting individuals. Customers can click on the article of clothing, immediately add the item to their shopping cart and continue to shop through the tablet. This format carries the consumer through the process of browsing and product discovery. Benjamin Moore walks its readers through beautifully designed homes, sparking creativity in homeowners and interior designers. When the content tells a rich story, the consumer is encouraged to stay awhile in the app and more closely connect the product with a meaningful experience. If they would prefer in-person consultation, they can open up a map in the app and find the closest store.
Deepening Product Engagement
Digital Publishing Suite allows consumers to dive into a more detailed understanding of both products and services. In the product category, Wetsuit Bible uses 360° views of wetsuits to show detailed product features and includes videos of people surfing the waves in the suits. This serves customers during the consideration phase, but also opens up a web overlay, allowing them to locate a local store – in order to try on the equipment – or make a purchase through an e-commerce site. In the service sector, P&O Cruises uses nav-to buttons and slideshows allowing shoppers to see photos of cruise ships and destinations. Similar to the Wetsuit Bible, shoppers can begin the purchase inside the app by opening up an e-commerce site and booking their cruise.
Opportunities to Connect with the Customer
- Apps such as Faber Castell use geolocation to connect the consumer with brick & mortar locations. Knowing a customer’s location also provides opportunities for tailored advertising and coupons for local stores.
- Through direct entitlement, businesses can segment the app audience and offer customized promotions that please the shopper and ultimately drive in-store traffic.
- ASOS embeds a Twitter feed in the app to show feedback from other customers, providing suggestions for those in the midst of shopping.
Optimizing Content with Metrics
The analytics service in Digital Publishing Suite helps retailers capture consumer metrics about products and services and use real time data to make informed and efficient marketing and merchandising decisions. This way, businesses can determine which pages are most popular and tailor the content to consumers’ needs.
- For examples of retail apps, watch our App of the Week videos on Benjamin Moore, ASOS, the Wetsuit Bible and P&O Cruises
- Read the customer success story on ASOS.