Rethink Your Strategy to Reach Today's Omnibuyers

4 tactics to engage people who shop where they want, when they want and how they want

Shopping habits have changed in the last three years. Today’s shopper values the ability to shop effortlessly across channels, whenever it’s convenient, whether they’re online or offline, in store or curbside. This is what marketers call a full omnibuyer: someone who shops where they want, when they want, how they want.

For example, there were early signs of omnibuying last holiday season. According to the Google/Ipsos Holiday Shopping Study, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels, like video and social media, to shop over a two-day period.

Marketers need to rethink their playbook in order to meet the omnibuyer this season and beyond. Here are four tactics to employ.

Highlight quality in key moments

Google is a key tool in the shopping journey per the Holiday Shopping Study, as 87% of holiday shoppers across surveyed countries reported using it as a shopping resource and 64% using it for discovery and inspiration. One thing is clear: Shoppers do not want to sacrifice value for cost, and will research brands and products before making a purchase.

In fact, according to the Google/Ipsos Shopping Tracker, 76% of U.S. shoppers reported wanting to buy higher-quality products that last longer. The most helpful messaging that shoppers want brands to communicate is on the quality of an item (46%) and deals/promotions (45%) to validate the purchase as shoppers explore gifting options, per the Google-commissioned Ipsos Consumer Continuous study.

Personalize experience with compelling formats

Video can help brands deliver relevant, personalized experiences to communicate a retailer’s brand and product value, whether the omnibuyer is watching a shopping haul or their favorite creator’s gift guide for this season.

A recent Social Commerce and Video study completed with TalkShoppe showed that having trusted information and confidence in purchases is more important to shoppers than ever before. And shoppers have more confidence in the products they find on YouTube, with respondents in this study ranking YouTube No. 1 against other video services and social media platforms in finding honest and detailed information.

For example, Michael Kors collaborated with YouTube BrandConnect to bring its #AccessItAll campaign messaging to the forefront in an authentic way through the lens of relevant creators. This resulted in 63% lift in awareness and 45% lift in purchase intent for the brand’s MKGO smartwatch.

Make it easy to find fulfillment options

As the holiday shipping cut-off deadlines approach, it becomes even more important to surface all available shopping fulfillment options. Searches containing “near me in stock” have grown in the U.S. by more than 90% year over year and searches containing “store open” have grown globally by over 400% year over year, according to Google data. Omnibuyers are browsing and finding inspiration both online and offline, across multiple retail categories.

In the U.S. alone, people are shopping across seven categories in a two-day period, per the Google/Ipsos Shopping tracker. This means shopping inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere for this shopper, so retailers must be ready to connect with shoppers to close on a purchase at any moment.

Use machine learning to meet consumer demand

Machine learning will create efficiencies throughout the customer journey, across all channels to deliver meaningful business results this season and beyond. According to Google internal data, retailers bidding with advanced measurement yield a 15% revenue lift on average, which makes this a critical component to any plan.

Take leading retailer Ulta Beauty. Part of its digital strategy to meet shoppers where they are is using automation. Since launching Performance Max, Ulta has driven a 20% lift on return on ad spend (ROAS), compared to existing campaigns that help find the right mix of inventory and formats across Google’s advertising channels to help increase sales online and in-store.

Jochen Heck is VP of sales overseeing Google’s media sales efforts in retail. Previously, he led service industries for Google, including b-to-b, education and apps.