Rethinking the Omnichannel Customer Experience

Evolving consumer habits, in the face of lockdowns and e-commerce acceleration the past 15 months, have unbundled the customer experience.  Fueled by the need to shop from home, how and where shoppers discover, browse, and research products rarely happens in the channel or store where they ultimately choose to buy.  As a result, shoppers demand that brands engage with them on their terms, where they are and when they choose, setting an expectation for omnichannel convenience.  

Unfortunately, shoppers are often left wanting for more, as disjointed touchpoints and inconsistent communication across different channels and media result in varying levels of (dis)satisfaction.  That dissatisfaction leads to shoppers’ increased willingness to change their normal routines, as close to 1 in 2 shoppers have switched brands and retailers, with budget-conscious consumers 37% more likely to have switched from their primary brand.  

How do you build consumer trust in the age of omnichannel convenience?

Consumers expect brands to be transparent not just about their products and how those products are manufactured and distributed through their supply chain, but how their overall company runs. This expansion beyond the core product and sole emphasis on profitability has changed the value exchange brands must offer – consumers want to build a relationship with brands they buy from.  

71% of consumers agree that if they perceive that a brand is putting profit over people, they will lose trust in that brand forever (source:  Edelman Trust Barometer, 2020).

Consumers, led by Gen Z and millennials, demand impact-oriented brands that represent who they are and what they believe in, seeking alignment with their own values.  Brands must ensure a strong connection between those consumer values and their own purpose – what they stand for and how they address the human problems faced by consumers and the community around them – to influence purchase decisions.

Lead with purpose

At Grounded, we believe the way people shop and the brands that they buy have the power to change the world, and that every purchase should be a step towards a more sustainable future.  According to research from Deloitte, 60% of shoppers believe brands should make it easier to know their purpose when making a purchase. To do that, brand owners must first ask themselves, can I articulate what I stand for?   

We spend time with clients thinking through this challenge, helping them answer 3 critical questions through our BPP (Belief-Purpose-Pursuits) framework:

  1. BELIEF: What do you believe about the world?  This is the single-minded, profoundly human belief that the brand has about the world.  It anchors the brand’s ambition and provides the inspiration for its purpose.
  2. PURPOSE: What do you exist to do?  Consider how their brand affects culture, serves people, or changes the world for the better in some way.
  3. PURSUITSHow are you going to make that a reality?  Specify what you sell (products), how you sell (platform), and set goals for the difference you hope to achieve (impact).

Transform purpose into profit

Companies that lead with purpose, such as Unilever, Danone, and Allbirds, have already discovered its amazing ability to accelerate value creation for consumers and companies alike, as their brands enjoy faster growth, higher market share gains, and improved employee and customer satisfaction.  

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This article was originally published in partnership with Sezzle, the highest consumer-rated Buy Now, Pay Later solution, as a contribution to their piece on How Brands are Building Trust in eCommerce