Consumers will buy from small retailers—if they can shop whenever and however they want.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Americans are rapidly embracing the world of omnichannel shopping—which simply means shopping at your store or website whenever they want, however they want. According to Google, if you want consumers to do business with you, you need to have an omnichannel presence.

In fact, 76% of consumers use three or more channels when doing their holiday shopping, such as searching on smartphones, visiting a retailer’s website, or shopping in a store, according to a Think With Google report. That said, having so many choices is overwhelming many shoppers—and they want help from you.

One factor favoring small retailers: Shoppers are in discovery mode. Google research shows that 61% are open to buying from new retailers this holiday season. To prove the point, Google points to an increase in mobile searches (over 60% in the last two years) asking for “brands like” and “stores like.”

Speaking of mobile, consumers are increasingly dependent on their smartphones for help with shopping. Searches for “shopping apps” increased 90% in the past two years, while searches for “online shopping” grew 180%, Google reports. Last year, shoppers made half their online holiday purchases on their smartphones.

Other important factors:

  • Nearly two-thirds of shoppers get “ideas and inspiration for purchases” from online video. Over 90% have discovered new products and brands on YouTube.
  • People are always shopping—before, during, and after the holidays. Fewer than 20% of shoppers do all their shopping during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. You need an “always-on strategy” so consumers can shop with you on their
  • Over half of consumers want to see personalized content when shopping.
  • 40% of consumers want your website to remember personal details (like sizes and previously purchased products).
  • Searches for “shopping near me” grew over 200% in the past two years.
  • If you want shoppers to come into your stores, 41% want you to do a better job of sharing your inventory.

Omnichannel stock photo by HstrongART/Shutterstock