Multi-Channel Customers, Part 1

Multi-channel customers are far superior to those who have only ordered from a single channel. Nevertheless, it is a waste of time and money to encourage single-channel customers to order from additional channels, in order to turn them into multi-channel customers. Instead, the focus should be on inducing repeat purchases regardless of channel, while ensuring that all available channels are well publicized and operating smoothly and efficiently.

The conventional wisdom that single-channel customers should be encouraged to order from additional channels is flawed. This is because the superiority of multi-channel customers is driven by their inherent differences compared with their single-channel brethren. There are several reasons for this, the most important of which is that multi-channel customers "by definition "are multi-buyers. After all, it is impossible to have ordered from multiple channels without having ordered at least twice! The same cannot be said for single-channel customers.

As every marketer knows, multi-buyers generally are much better customers than single-buyers. Multi-buyers tend to be more loyal, with higher average order sizes, and "by extension "larger long-term values.

Because only a portion of single-channel customers are multi-buyers, they will not in general match the subsequent overall purchase volumes of multi-channel customers. And, there are no CRM strategies or tactics that will change this reality. Therefore, by extension, it is naive to think that prodding single-channel customers to order from additional channels will increase their intrinsic interest in your company's products or services. In sum, multi-channel customers are far superior, but you need to focus elsewhere on ways to grow your business!