Articles for Retailers - by Kizer & Bender

Connecting with Omni Consumers

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

No longer mere customers, the new shopper has morphed into an Omni Consumer: people with the ability to shop anywhere and everywhere. Omnis use technology because it’s easy, and well, because they can. They shop on their desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, via telephone, catalogs, television, and of course, on your sales floor. These are smart, socially connected consumers who want variety done their way.

You may not sell online or via social media and that’s okay. The take away is this: Omni consumers are exposed to so much retail their choices are endless. They compare your in-store experience with what they see online, and what happens to them in other brick and mortar stores. This exposure means that you need to up your game in every area of store operations, marketing and customer service. Here are a few things to think about:

Younger Gens Set Trends,
Older Gens Adapt

Every customer, regardless of age and gender, can be an Omni consumer. Much of where generations differ lies in the use of technology. Millennials and Gen Z are leading the charge for change, but Generation X and Baby Boomers are quick to adapt to whatever the younger generations do.

Online, Omnis want the ability to find what they are looking for quickly, plus a fast turnaround if they request something from you. They hate long blocks of copy; they don’t even bother to read it. They prefer interactive websites that offer project sheets, photos, demos, and more. Omnis like web sites with FAQ (frequently asked questions) pages because they would rather read the answer to a question than give you a call.  They are multi-taskers who do not always give you their full attention – it’s up to you to capture it. Your website and social medias should reflect how they think, not what’s convenient for you.

Embrace Video

Omnis LOVE video. Younger Omnis spend more time on YouTube than they do watching television, this means you need a YouTube channel. Get one, it’s free. Use your YouTube channel to showcase your store and your product. Talk about yourself, associates, customers, and instructors. Have fun and be creative. Oh! And when you add a short video to your email blasts the open rate can increase 200 to 300 percent.

Social Networking Strengthens the Bond

Omni consumers live life out loud on social media. Millennials and Gen Z have no privacy barriers: they put their entire lives online. Baby Boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content on Facebook when compared to any other generation. Shoppers of all ages love social media and that’s good news for you – it means customers are willing to participate.

Think about what you post. An occasional photo or comment that’s just for fun is fine, but the true goal of social networking is to bring customers to your website or into your store. You need a planning calendar and a place to save the ideas and photos you wish to share at a later date. We do this in a folder on our computer because it’s easy to find what we need then just cut and paste when it’s time to post.

Share people having fun creating in classes. Post demos that happen on the sales floor and showcase customers and their creations. You want customers to think they’re missing out if they don’t visit your social medias and your store on a regular basis.

Omni consumers want a seamless interaction with your store. They want the things they see and read online to match the actual in-store experience. They want the friendly faces they see on social media to be just as welcoming when they visit your store, and they want the brilliant ideas they see on your sales floor to be available online when they can’t make in in. You want that, too. It’s a big assignment but we know that you’re up to it. Call us of you need help!

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place. KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in national newspapers, national and international industry and consumer publications, and on radio and television programs across the U.S. You can learn more at