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Why It’s Time to Stop Saying Omnichannel

Posted by
Erin Kang
LivePerson Contributor
Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 13:08

In case you haven’t noticed, omnichannel is so last year. The buzzword is void of emotion and doesn’t mean much to consumers. All they really want is a seamless, human connection, and an omnichannel experience simply doesn’t deliver.

From apps to in-store visits — and every channel in between — the omnichannel experience is meant to track and connect consumer data across the web, in-person, social, and even the dreaded 1-800 number. Great in theory, but things get blurry fast. In reality, it just doesn’t work because consumers don’t care how many places they can reach out if they can’t truly get connected.

"Great strides were taken in 2015 toward rehabbing relationships between brands and consumers. One industry buzzword we’re glad to leave behind? Omnichannel."

The solution? Mobile. We’ve gone over this time and time again, but it’s so vital for brands that it merits mentioning. Consumers already prefer to engage via their smartphones. Mobile breaks down the walls between brands and consumers with faster and more frequent opportunities to connect. When it comes to communication, it rules all other channels.

It’s time to stop saying “omnichannel” and start going full force with mobile.

All roads lead to mobile.

Everywhere consumers go, a mobile device is in their pocket. In the U.S., consumers spend an average of 151 minutes looking at their smartphone screen. That’s more than any other device! The opportunity for brands is obvious; they just need to get out of the omnichannel mindset and into consumer pockets to take advantage of it.

Consumers are already using mobile messaging to connect with family and friends, so it’s a natural next step for brands. More than ever, brands need to engage with consumers on mobile — from messaging apps and social media to e-commerce and service — it’s a must-have piece of strategy. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • By 2017, 62.3% of mobile users are expected to access different websites through their phone browsers.
  • 62% of mobile shoppers perceive the information they get via their mobile device to be more beneficial than information on in-store displays or sales literature.
  • Of the most used apps worldwide, six are messaging apps.
  • The top four messaging apps have 2.125 billion monthly active users.

 

Some brands are already giving consumers what they want. Everlane and Zuliliy use Facebook Messenger to process orders and returns. Hyatt takes complaints. For the consumers who want to shop, book travel, and chat with customer service wherever they are, mobile is the answer.

Messaging apps solve the puzzle.

The rise of mobile messaging apps has been swift and unmistakable.

According to Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends report, more than 60% of the top-used apps globally are messaging apps. The most successful brands in the messaging game will deliver connections that delight and add value without jumping between channels.

Consumers love messaging so much, they’re using it as their lifeline into the rest of the world. And as Facebook works on creating a more mobile future, brands need to be ready for messaging as a key customer service channel.  

There’s more than meets the eye for brands when it comes to messaging. According to Aberdeen Research, brands that use messaging enjoy a 23% lower cost to serve.

>> Related read: LivePerson and Aberdeen Group report “Customer Messaging: Exceed Consumer Expectations and Reduce Costs”

Mobile messaging lets brands meet their customers where they already are and fit into their busy, on-the-go lifestyles. It means customers don’t need to waste hours on hold waiting for a representative to pick up the phone. By adding messaging to the mobile experience, brands are removing a lot of the friction responsible for the break in mobile commerce: i.e., high traffic and low spending.

Making a mobile moment memorable.

Interruptions are annoying. Moments are engaging.

Consumers pick up their phones dozens of times a day, and brands need to be ready to engage at the right moment. The average mobile advertisement lasts too long: 30 seconds. Mobile moments last about 10 seconds and can leave a consumer wanting — and searching for — more.

Moments are all about motivation and need. Think about when your alarm goes off in the morning: In a moment you’re up, turning off the alarm, and getting ready for the day. (Well, some of you are.) That’s what a mobile moment should do for consumers. To get them moving in the right direction, brands need to think about how to spur consumers to action in just a few seconds.

To truly make a meaningful connection, don’t forget to add the human touch. Brands have one shot, a few seconds to be exact, to reach consumers in a way that leaves a positive impression. Connecting with consumers in one channel — mobile — makes the experience that much more memorable.

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