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Omnichannel Opportunities

Savvy marketers understand that the holiday season offers a two-part opportunity: the sales themselves, and vital information about shoppers captured during their busiest time of year. Executed correctly, the season can be a preference collection bonanza that boosts opt-in email marketing lists and populates databases with birthdays, shoe sizes, cell phone numbers and topics of interest.

But remember: in 2014, 53 percent of online shoppers were specifically searching and purchasing on smartphones or tablets, up from 41 percent the previous year. More than $1 trillion of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile searches. That’s  nearly a full third of sales.

Those are big numbers—figures that represent vast opportunities for deeper connections with consumers, or, if your omnichannel preference collection isn’t up to par, a great big stocking full of coal.

Simple, single-channel preference collection, such as your run-of-the-mill email preference center, will miss out on the customer knowledge and engagement opportunities that come with the seasonal sales.

Effective preference management – the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of communication – should be implemented at every meaningful point where company and customer intersect. For many companies, that means mobile, desktop, live customer service, social media and more.

It is also imperative that once preferences are collected at a given touchpoint, they are passed seamlessly across the company and reflected in future interactions. A customer completing a purchase on a tablet will expect to have the ability to change their preference information for all communication channels as part of that transaction.

Listening to the needs and choices of customers some of the time, or only through selected channels, derails the engagement process. And this is the worst time of year to screw this up.

This holiday season, don’t just settle for the sale. Get the customer’s permission and preferences as well. After all, that’s the gift that keeps on giving. 





About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.



Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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