Omnichannel Marketing: The Winning Guide for Business Growth
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⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
As technology blurs the distinctions between physical and online retailing, marketing is moving away from “push” based marketing towards more personalized communication with consumers through many different channels and on many devices they use. This new model of marketing, so-called omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel Marketing Definition
You can’t just open a website and expect people to flood in. If you really want to succeed you have to create traffic.
Omnichannel marketing is a strategic approach to various channels as one broad delivery mechanism from companies website to social, email, website live chat, to in-store promotions. The goal of omni-channel marketing is to create a truly seamless customer experience across devices and platforms.
Let’s bring this buzzword out of the corner office and look at some examples.
Omnichannel Marketing Example 1.
You hop off the bus and are speed walking to work. You pass by your favorite coffee shop when their app buzzes and sends you a push notification “short on time – skip the line” so you press a button to reorder your favorite drink vanilla latte. Now your day starts much happier. They knew what you needed right when you needed it. That’s omni-channel marketing.
Omnichannel Marketing Example 2.
Linda loves perfumes and is always looking to buy more for her collection. One day she sees an Instagram post from Lena for a new perfume. Linda falls in love with the description of the perfume and wants to find out more about it on their website.
She decides to signs up as a new customer on the website, but she runs out of time to finish her purchase before she leaves for her next appointment. When Linda returns to shop through the app on her phone, the perfume is still saved in her cart for easy checkout. She also received a follow-up email to remind her she can place her order any time.
Picture 1. Omnichannel shopping experience
This approach uses three different channels that are interconnected to offer the same experience and continue the same interaction. Doing so makes it easy for your shoppers to finish the process without having to start over again.
According to the Simplicity Index, 64 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a more simple experience and this truly represents the execution of an omnichannel approach in its most basic form.
Omnichannel marketing acknowledges and addresses the fact that the modern customer is no longer confined to a single platform, and therefore, strives to deliver a smoother online and offline buying experience to customers regardless of the channel, platform or the stage of the customer journey. Every touchpoint a customer has with your company is unified.
The Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing
So there’s a myth out there that omnichannel and multichannel are the same exact thing. Companies are always coming out with new ideas and strategies. Along with them, a lot of new buzzwords rises without proper explanations of the terms.
Like omnichannel and multichannel marketing, which marketers often use simultaneously. But the fact is there are actually some really important distinctions between.
Multichannel refers to the practice by which companies interact with customers via multiple channels, both direct and indirect. Multichannel marketing focusses on putting the brand at the center of the marketing strategy and then reaching out to several channels to be present for customers.
Every channel acts as its own silo. Interacting and creating a customer experience is vastly different in each silo where companies usually give an advertising budget to each silo instead of considering everything as a whole.
In omnichannel marketing, the focus is entirely different. Omnichannel marketing strategies put the customer at the center of marketing operations and focuses on creating the same experience across multiple channels.
In fact, companies with well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies in place achieve a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to organizations without omnichannel programs in place.
Picture 2. The difference between multi-channel and omnichannel marketing experience
How Retailers Can Grow Using Omnichannel Marketing
The big part of an omnichannel retail strategy includes sales and marketing that provides customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience by uniting user experiences from brick-and-mortar to mobile-browsing and everything in between.
The good news is that investing in omnichannel marketing in retail pays off big time. Through data and insights about consumer behavior across channels, companies can paint a comprehensive picture of their customers’ buying patterns. Businesses can gain a better, real-time understanding of their customers, which allows them to target promotional content and engagement campaigns toward the immediate, specific needs of each channel.
Read more on omnichannel retail and how to improve your online sales!
In this way, retailers can have a 360-degree view of their customers as well as the possibility to guide customers through multiple channels simultaneously. As a result, the return on investment (ROI) in sales is significant.
Create Winning Omnichannel Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps
When adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy, you’re ultimately changing the focus of your company to the customer.
Accept a Customer-Centric Marketing Culture
To adopt omnichannel marketing, organizations need to make a fundamental shift in thinking processes – from traditional profit-focused marketing to customer-led sales.
Since any omnichannel marketing strategy is all about engaging the customer, the first step to go omnichannel is to change your perception of the buyer’s journey. Start by drawing a map of the buyer’s journey and evaluate all the touchpoints a buyer goes through before becoming your customer and ensure that they all provide a consistent customer experience. You need to bring all concerned teams on the same page to implement this change because each team will be responsible for various touchpoints.
Target and Learn Everything You Can About Your Customers
Understanding the buyer’s journey is just a part of getting started. In order to implement a great omnichannel marketing strategy, it’s important to learn everything you possibly can about your customers.
You need to pull together all consumer interactions into one place so you can get a single view of your customer. This will allow you to understand how buyers engage with your brand, what drives them to purchase, what’s stopping them from shopping from you, and what you can do better.
For instance, use Google Analytics to find out the channels that drive traffic to your website, understand how users navigate through your website and identify the commonly used search queries that lead to your site. This way, you can start to notice patterns and commonalities that they have as they move through the customer journey.
This kind of rich data can be translated into customer use cases, and also used to build buyer personas.
Personalization is the most critical aspect of omnichannel marketing, as this is what makes customers feel valued.
Once you know what’s happening in your customer journeys, you can begin to offer assistance that’s personalized. The crux of personalization is to go beyond the typical boilerplate messages and establish a one-on-one connection with your audience.
An essential tip to keep in mind while personalizing is to consider the intent and stage of the segment/users’ buyer journey. You don’t want to force users who have signed up to download an entry-level ebook to register for a demo, just yet.
When you make sure that the messages you’re sending are always relevant, your customers will better respond to them.
Read our guide How to Make Every Customer Interaction Count! 🚀
Be Proactive Across All Platforms
This is where the “Omni” in omnichannel comes in. To provide consistent customer experience, you need to be present on the channels your customers spend most of their time and create touchpoints that will better serve your buyers.
Don’t make users work to reach you. Instead, create a seamless omnichannel experience as buyers move from a Facebook ad to your website to Google and back. Engage with them on the channel of their choice.
Also, maintain consistency across all channels so that you don’t leave your customers confused. If a user finds out about you via a social media platform and lands on your website, there should be a common thread such as the brand voice or design that establishes consistency in your appearance.
Engage with your customers better to win customer loyalty!
Test, Measure, Test, Repeat
As with anything, your omnichannel marketing strategy will improve overtime as you collect and analyze more customer data. However, this means you actively need to test different messages, headers/subject lines, images, times, etc. to building s smoother user experience in the future.
Omnichannel Marketing 5 Key Benefits
High Customer Retention and Loyalty
Customers buy from the brands they trust. Winning a consumer’s attention and loyalty in a competitive market full of other merchants is not an easy undertaking. And keeping them is even harder. Omnichannel marketing provides a consistent experience across different platforms, customizing the message for a different audience. This empathetic approach boost trust in the minds of your audience, which enhances the overall customer experience and leads to increased customer retention and loyalty.
Better Customer Insights
With an omnichannel marketing strategy, you can collect and unify customer data from disparate channels and systems like cookies, device IDs, shopping carts, social media, mailing lists, point-of-sale (PoS) systems, loyalty and referral programs, etc. The insights will help your brand identify the behavior an interest of the customer and answer any questions about their purchase behaviors. It can determine how a consumer responds to email promotions, direct mail, when they are buying and how they are buying. Overall, this will increase and enhance the lead generation process.
Instant Revenue Growth
The result of any sales and marketing activity is to impact the bottom line significantly. The success of omnichannel marketing lies in accurate segmentation and personalization. Better customer engagement leads to more conversions and higher ROI.
Smoother Customer Journeys
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Understanding how customers behave across the funnel will certainly improve company performance and reduce drop-out points in customer journeys. Seamless flow on customers’ journey empowers them to interact with the company in a natural way across all channels, and the familiar environment of the brand and ability to respond to a consumer’s demand in a desired way increases overall customer satisfaction.
Better Brand Visibility
When your brand is present across all channels, whether it is online or offline, it increases the reputation and credibility of the brand. Omnichannel customers prefer to have options and want to be able to connect with your brand in the way they want. The more places your brand appears, the more it will become easily recognizable to the public.
Picture 3. Omnichannel marketing example by IKEA: a Planning tool
Is Omnichannel Marketing Really Worth the Hassle?
Omnichannel marketing and the omnichannel customer journey are now acknowledged as important aspects of marketing in almost all industries, not just retail.
If you are contemplating omnichannel marketing, we’d urge you to start laying the foundation right now. Evaluate where you are, where you want to go and understand that the future of retail is an integration of both online and in-store shopping, enhanced and customized for complete user experience across multiple channels through whichever method the customer prefers.
It’s necessary to understand the customer journey thoroughly. Leave no stone unturned. Identify all the possibilities that lead a prospect to become your customer. Break down inter-departmental silos and start evaluating various tools required in your day-to-day workflow.
Omnichannel marketing is a significant undertaking but knows that the efforts are bound to yield tenfold results.
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