Online shoppers have grown to expect brands to deliver seamless, multi-channel shopping experiences. Whether it’s browsing social channels, exploring websites, or shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, customers expect consistency at every touchpoint. To satisfy customers across the entire experience, brands should seek to create flexible and scalable systems to avoid losing sales to competitors. Given the high expectations set by customers and the competitive environment for online retailers, especially since the pandemic, merchants should seek to implement an omnichannel marketing and retail experience.
The omnichannel experience can be described as an approach that offers integrated and streamlined content, branding, and customer experience across various channels. The role of omnichannel marketing is to build a positive and seamless presence across multiple online touchpoints like websites, apps, social channels, email, and text messages, alongside offline channels like retail stores, events, and customer call centers. Research shows that 67% of customers cite a poor customer experience as a reason for not purchasing a product or service, therefore, customers looking to win or retain customers must now look at omnichannel marketing strategies as a necessity.
The Importance of Omnichannel Marketing
For most companies, an omnichannel marketing strategy will involve developing and maintaining a presence across multiple digital and offline channels in the hopes of creating a unified customer experience. Understanding the value of each channel and its unique strengths for communicating with customers will ultimately help businesses connect with their shoppers to increase conversions and build brand loyalty. Establishing an omnichannel marketing approach means seamlessly integrating all channels. This should not be confused with multichannel marketing, which describes the process of using various channels to promote the same message. With omnichannel marketing, each customer is offered an integrated and streamlined shopping experience regardless of whether they are purchasing from mobile or desktop, visiting brick-and-mortar stores, or browsing marketplaces and third-party platforms. This gives consumers the power to buy at convenience and rest assured that all products can be found on their preferred channel.
Omnichannel marketing has become essential for brands because of its value in creating a positive customer experience across various touchpoints at every stage of their lifecycle. Churn rates reduce, driving traffic and building a positive reputation for the brand. Omnichannel marketing has also shown to generate 18.9% more engagement for brands. Customer retention rates also tend to be 90% higher for omnichannel strategies when compared to a single channel.
Considerations For Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
It can be challenging to create an optimized omnichannel marketing strategy that effectively boosts sales. However, our team has assembled some considerations that should be factored in when setting a strategy to maximize the chances of improving order values and customer retention.
Segment your target demographic
Who are your ideal customers? For a brand to create tailored marketing messages, campaigns and promotions for each shopper, customers should be segmented based on notable characteristics that can be targeted to increase the chances of conversions. As a starting point, consider segmenting by gender, geo-location, interests and hobbies, existing customer loyalty, and past purchasing history. Don’t forget that data analytics tools are an invaluable asset to better understanding customer purchase behaviors and segmenting based on real-time data.
Equip yourself with the right tools
Managing omnichannel marketing campaigns and their data can be tricky. That’s why selecting the suitable tools can help with establishing a more streamlined method to keep track of all channels and campaigns.
When selecting your software, consider whether the platform integrates with your existing marketplaces, how it connects to other marketing channels, and whether there are inventory or fulfillment capabilities for synchronizing inventory. Although it may not always seem pertinent to comprehensively analyze the capabilities of existing platforms, sellers should take the time to understand whether the software will be compatible with business requirements as the brand scales.
As the growth of adoption rates of e-commerce continues to grow, more people are using smartphone devices and tablets for their shopping needs. With 90% of shoppers sharing that they have left a website because it is too slow to load, considering the speed and efficiency of the mobile experience is critical. Customers will be much less likely to convert if the pages aren’t loading quickly, or if the design doesn’t fit their screen size properly. Conversion rates will also suffer if the checkout process isn’t easy to use, and page elements like buttons, forms, call-to-actions and photos should be appropriately sized to the user’s device.
Although the selected strategy, tools, and approach will vary for each business, following the right practices can help enhance campaign performance.
Use social media to engage and sell
When used correctly, social media networks are a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness and online visibility. Businesses have the opportunity to engage with current and potential customers about the brand and its products and receive feedback about their campaigns. Whether it’s responding to a comment or chatting to a customer, every interaction can create a new perspective about the business. Building a more personal connection with customers will help develop brand loyalty and extend their lifetime value (LTV).
In recent years, social media platforms have also grown their e-commerce capabilities by adding shopping features. Facebook has a marketplace, Instagram features shoppable posts, and TikTok now also supports live shopping directly in their platform. Even online merchants selling on Shopify can now take advantage of new features that allow users to optimize shoppable social media posts. Consumers can complete the entire sales process, from beginning their product discovery to checkout and payment, all without leaving the app. Remember to think about the customer, as a positive experience will be more likely to lead to a purchase.
Personalize and cross-sell with recommendations
As shoppers engage with a brand through one or several channels, purchasing and browsing behaviors can be tracked to create a unique digital fingerprint representing the customer. Understanding how to track, analyze, and optimize the shopping experience once a purchase is complete is key to creating an enhanced experience the next time a customer visits one of your channels.
Once the initial data is collected, businesses have a better understanding of what the customer likes. This data can be adapted to cross-sell products to increase shopping basket sizes by suggesting related or complementary items. This is a good point to include images, links and reviews for products that other customers have purchased together at checkout. Cross-selling campaigns can be enhanced further by including free delivery or discounts for reaching a certain price at checkout.
Track, monitor and improve
Always ensure to use metrics and KPIs to evaluate the impact of omnichannel marketing campaigns. Gathering and analyzing the existing data will help better align strategies with business goals and tweak campaigns based on actionable data.
Continuously optimize the purchasing experience
An omnichannel strategy will be constrained in its effectiveness if businesses don’t ensure that the purchase experience is smooth. Always verify that all content and listings include high-quality images, accurate and detailed descriptions, refunds and returns are highlighted and that the same purchase experience is present across devices.
Remember, although websites are the most customizable element of the omnichannel selection of platforms, third-party marketplaces and social channels can also be optimized by following the tips.
Utilizing omnichannel marketing can be an exciting method for reaching more customers, nurturing leads, and increasing sales. Handling multiple channels can often be challenging, however, the right combination of tools and support can help sellers manage campaigns, inventory, and content more efficiently. Always remember that the best omnichannel campaigns enable brands to establish a seamless experience for customers that translates online and offline.