Studies have shown that 73 percent of customers in the US follow an omnichannel purchase path, while just seven percent are digital only – demonstrating modern consumers are no longer single-channel shoppers. Channels have become increasingly fluid, enabling brands to mould consumer experiences and create a competitive upper-hand based on omnichannel customer intelligence.

The challenge for marketers now is to develop an omnichannel strategy that will enable them to better connect and engage with customers as they flitter between various retail channels and touchpoints. For this to work retailers need to build support and commitment to outperform in key areas such as audience development, measurement and activation plans in order to succeed in a road to excellence in marketing.

With nearly US$600 billion in spending power, millennials are the best target for these channels. While increasingly sales are made online, 50 percent of this demographic still prefer in-person shopping, and 56 percent visit physical stores once a week, at least. Checking out products in-store is the first part of the multichannel shopping experience for millennials, with around 67 percent researching a product and its reviews online before making a purchase in store.

Brands also face the challenge of consistently identifying the actual customer when in an omnichannel environment as it can be difficult to gather information about customers who aren’t involved in loyalty programmes and those who don’t log on to sites. The anonymity digital shopping provides can lead to the collection of inaccurate data, especially on shared internet connections and devices. 21 percent of consumers between the ages 18 and 24 share passwords to online accounts with friends or people who don’t live with them.

Connecting customers identifiers such as email addresses and phone numbers across various channels and compiling them into a single profile for the customer provides a solution to this, known as identity resolution. However, this data needs to be frequently updated, with 60 percent of identity data becoming outdated within the space of two years. It is therefore essential for retailers to keep tabs on their customers.

Often, the more personalised an experience is, the more engaged millennial shoppers become as the desire for unique experiences drives this population towards various marketplaces. Personalised digital offers based on previous purchase history was found to be appealing to 28 percent of millennials.

There are many ways retailers could implement changes to improve the shopping experience millennials have when using multiple channels. It takes efforts from companies and brands to update their systems and better the way they engage and interact with customers to make a lasting difference and achieve success in reaching this demographic when using an omnichannel.