How to Win the War for the Everywhere Customer

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The battle for the omni-channel customer experience has become a war for an “everywhere customer,” who uses multiple devices and channels for shopping and expects brands to be everywhere. On average, Americans own four digital devices and users who interact across multiple devices or channels are substantially more likely to purchase than those who do not. Some brands, such as Disney, Macy’s, and Wells Fargo, are moving from awareness to action by rolling out technologies that allow them to service everywhere customers online as well as in-store. And the early adopters will be rewarded: everywhere customers spend an average of 15-to-30 percent more than their counterparts.

Disney is an excellent example of a brand that knows how to design an experience that anticipates and responds to the behaviors of everywhere customers. Disney guides visitors through an online/offline journey at Disney World, from research to purchase to visit. The journey begins at the My Disney Experience website. Registered users rely on My Disney Experience for the most complicated part of their Disneyworld visit: planning. With Disney offering a wide variety of lodging, dining, and ticketing options, planning can be a complex task, and far too complicated for a mobile app. The website makes all those tasks easier. Users create their own profiles, which they may update as they build their itineraries. Users may also collaborate with one another on their vacation planning and reservations. The desktop experience is augmented with live chat, email, and click-to-call tabs for users, who need help planning their vacations or navigating the website.

As users update their itineraries, the Disney master ticket (a laminated card sent to users separately) updates in sync. When guests arrive at a park, their tickets contain up-to-date details such as lodging choices and Fast Pass ride times. Moreover, users may choose to link all their information to a Disney MagicBand, a smart wristband, instead of the laminated card. With the wristband, Disney creates its own customer service channel through the wearable device that is used throughout the entire Disney World experience. My Disney Experience also guides users to the My Disney Experience app, which can be used for managing onsite details such checking park hours and times for character appearances.

My recently published CMO.com column, “‘Everywhere Customers’ Are Your Future,” offers six steps brands can take in order to win the war for this important audience, which I believe define the future of American consumerism. Read the column here and let me know what you think.

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