Where are the omnichannel metrics?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the IMS Results Count blog.
Traditionally, retailers have based their core metrics on a legacy of “stores selling things.” Yet over a very short period of time, the definition of “sale” has become very muddy and confused.
If a customer buys online and collects in store, is that an e-commerce or store sale? If a customer searches online but finds a product in-store, or visits the store but buys on their mobile phone and has it shipped home, how is that measured? In most cases the retailers’ systems and the third-party sources only report online vs. store sales — not the purchase dynamics or points of receipt.
In today’s omnichannel marketplace, the customer is now the new POS. They determine where they purchase, how they pay and where they collect. Retailer systems and metrics were not designed to track “flow” to the consumer. Traditional POS systems are no longer enough when trends shift to “click and collect.”
Consumers are choosing and driving their own experience and purchase. Increasingly, retailers should be able to answer the following business questions:
- How many consumers search your business on their mobile device?
- How many mobile searches ultimately result in sales for your stores/online?
- How many customers search your online website from within your stores?
- What percent purchase online and collect in-store or at a locker?
- What percent of customers purchase at a store but choose to have it delivered?
- How many more customers purchase with free or one-day delivery?
- Are omnichannel customers more or less profitable? By how much?
The “store” has evolved to become a shopping point, a point of customer experience, and a distribution point. To be able to strategically leverage the omnichannel consumer experience to profitably grow sales, retailers need to know much more than the percent of final tickets sold online versus in stores.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Where are traditional retail metrics falling short in the age of omnichannel retailing? How many of the omnichannel metrics recommended by the author are accessible? What other questions and metrics need to be probed?