Omnichannel marketing is the way forward for businesses of all sizes and industries. Let's take a look at some omnichannel trends to watch in 2020, including the impact of micro-influencer marketing and the cross-device customer experience.
Omnichannel trends in 2020
Less than 10% of Gen Z consumers shop at brick-and-mortar stores
According to Big Commerce, Gen Z is much less likely to shop at a brick-and-mortar store compared to Millennials and Gen X. Unsurprisingly, the majority of Gen Z consumers prefer to shop online.
Why does that matter for businesses? Gen has some serious buying power. In 2020, they'll spend over $140 billion — and that's not including their influence on their parents' purchasing decisions.
E-commerce will include all social media sites as well as traditional platforms
Snapchat and Instagram are the most popular places for millennials and Gen Z to find products. In 2019, Instagram became a true e-commerce platform when it launched its shopping checkout.
And this shiny new feature is working wonders for the brands that choose to use it. Some of the biggest brands' organic Instagram traffic increased by roughly 1,500 to 2,700%!
The omnichannel shopping experience will be cross-device and cross-platform
A Think With Google report found that 57% of customers considered a company's inability to remember them across devices a pain point.
Shoppers get distracted easily. As a result, they're less likely to buy from brands that don't allow them to pick up where they left off.
Young buyers in particular use more platforms for inspiration and information. Gen Z shoppers consult at least 3 sources, like social media accounts, online stores, and mobile apps, before making a decision.
Mobile wallets like Paypal and Google Pay are becoming increasingly popular.
Most consumers who use Paypal regularly say they feel safer when shopping online. Storing credit card information in a browser or app can raise security concerns.
Two-factor authentication, buyer protection, and the ability to store multiple cards make shopping online easier and more secure.
If given the option, the majority of consumers would opt out of data collection
However, for American shoppers, convenience is more important than data collection. Millennials and Gen Z think loyalty program incentives are worth sharing more data. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers say "absolutely nothing" could make them more willing to share more personal data.
Marketing and sales teams will join forces to optimize the customer experience
Most businesses probably already integrate their marketing and sales initiatives to some degree. But according to Forbes, marketers and sales reps will work more closely to optimize the customer experience across all touchpoints.
Emerging technology like augmented reality will soon become part of the omnichannel experience
Interactive signage is already changing the way customers order everything from fast food to clothes. But as this technology continues to evolve, it will shape consumer behaviors.
It's particularly useful for online shopping. Although younger consumers tend to prefer it, online retailers lack an essential advantage: interactivity. Seeing and touching a product can help a buyer determine its quality. (And decrease the likelihood of its return.)
Augmented reality will change this. Soon, buyers will be able to use AR-enabled cameras to "place" an item within their home. Some clothing and cosmetic brands are already using AR to let users "try on" clothes and makeup.
Live chat will be the focus of omnichannel trends in 2020 and beyond
Boasting a 92% customer satisfaction rate, live chat for business is the leader in customer service communication.
But does live chat always have to equal "live"? Not necessarily. Semi-automated solutions are gaining ground with small businesses seeking an effective way to engage with their customers 24/7. Automated chatbots can qualify leads, answer frequently asked questions, greet your customers, promote your blog — the list goes on and on.
Omnichannel solutions like ZyraTalk provide a powerful cross-platform feature set. Automated text messaging campaigns and text-enabled VOIP/landline capabilities open up more lines of communication with your customers.
Companies with strong omnichannel strategies will enjoy 10% more revenue year on year
And businesses that don't catch on will fall behind, with a measly 3% annual increase in revenue.
Not only will omnichannel-savvy businesses enjoy more revenue, but they'll also retain nearly 90% of their customers.
When it comes to buyer habits, social media influencers earn their title — but businesses must be wary of "influencer fraud"
Peer influence affects the purchasing decisions of 70% of millennials. And social media influencers impact the buying habits of nearly 45% of Gen Z consumers.
Nearly 90% of businesses that used influencer marketing to build brand awareness found it comparable to or much better than traditional ad campaigns.
And over 90% of people consider user-generated content more trustworthy than ad campaigns.
Influencers are considered more trustworthy than brands. After all, they're real people. They don't use "salesy" language.
On the other hand, another report found that only 36% of brands said their influencer marketing strategies were effective. less than 5% of consumers trust what influencers say about products.
It's no wonder why. More than 10% of engagement on influencer posts came from fake accounts.
And it turns out engagement on sponsored influencer Instagram posts was less than 3% in 2019.
Given these two vastly different takes, how do influencers really affect marketing? It depends on a variety of factors, including the audience, product, platform, and influencer.
Brands should follow influencer marketing best practices and encourage influencers to try their product before promoting it. Or, they could rethink their approach and consult a "micro-influencer" instead.
The "micro-influencer" is on the rise
As we mentioned, influencer fraud is a pretty big problem, and engagement is tanking. Those are just two reasons why businesses might prefer working with "micro-influencers".
As their name suggests, micro-influencers have fewer followers but high engagement — up to 85% more than traditional influencers.
Social media users with 1,000 to 10,000 followers are more likely to be authentic, which means their message will resonate with their followers.
Omnichannel trends in 2020 and beyond: wrapping up
To maximize revenue, reach, and brand awareness, businesses will need to adopt omnichannel marketing strategies, and fast. Not only will it give brands an edge over their competitors, but it will also provide a personalized, user-friendly customer experience across all touchpoints.