The marketing landscape is dynamic, and consumer behavior is rapidly changing. A recent survey revealed that 76% of shoppers use multiple channels during their shopping journey, which is a true reflection of modern shoppers. They tend to bounce between various platforms before making a purchasing decision.
Currently, consumers are unpredictable and impulsive; they have multiple ways of making purchases, but their time and attention are also limited. This means that even though they can complete purchases in minutes, some of them can even take months. This is where omnichannel marketing comes into play.
Omnichannel marketing is the process of streamlining user experience across all marketing channels. It involves solidifying your brand's presence on online (social media, WhatsApp, email, app website) and offline (call center, events, brick and mortar store) platforms to provide your customers with a seamless and positive customer journey.
For instance, if you own an electronic business, a customer may have their first interaction with you through your social media posts while on their phone. They will then visit your website using their laptop to browse through your products and eventually complete their purchase using a tablet.
This customer expects you to anticipate their needs during their shopping journey and will settle for nothing less than a delightful experience. Omnichannel marketing makes sure that even when the customer shifts between two channels or devices, their experience is the same.
Multichannel marketing views different channels and touchpoints as independent and separate. Brands that implement this strategy use various channels to interact with their consumers and increase their reach, but they don't necessarily tie these platforms together.
For instance, if they have a website, app, and social media channel, each platform will have its own KPIs, goals, and strategies. These channels are not connected in any way, and customers that switch between them will notice a change in their experience.
On the other hand, omnichannel marketing is all about weaving together various marketing channels to ensure customers have a frictionless experience during their shopping journey. For instance, a brand that implements this strategy can run a campaign through their mobile app but ensure that shoppers can also take advantage of these offers through the website, social media channels, and in-store locations. This way, even if the customer bounces between channels halfway through their shopping journey, they will still have a seamless experience.
Omnichannel marketing strategies unifies all brand assets by ensuring they run on the same strategies and goals. It breaks down all the barriers of multichannel marketing and puts the customer at the heart of the strategy.
More than 65% of customers use different channels and devices to start and complete transactions. This means that if your business hasn't implemented an omnichannel marketing strategy, you're missing out on a lot of conversions.
We've compiled a quick guide on how you can integrate all your marketing assets to create a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
Customer satisfaction is the foundation of all effective omnichannel marketing strategies. Who are your ideal customers? Which platforms do they mainly use to engage with your brand? What are their needs, values, and goals? You need to have an intimate knowledge of your customers!
This goes beyond knowing who they are and their demographics. You also need to understand their behavior across all channels and the challenges they are facing. This is the only way you'll be able to understand them and build lasting relationships.
If you're unsure where to get this data, you should invite customer feedback and use social listening tools.
Conduct extensive audience research and identify the channels that they use to interact with your business. The most common interaction points include mobile apps, websites, physical stores, emails, SMS, social media channels, and chatbots. Simply put down all the channels you've been using to communicate with them and identify the ones they engage you on.
Unlike multichannel strategies, omnichannel marketing doesn't involve creating a presence on every platform available to your business. It involves meeting your customers where they are by investing in the channels that they are most active on.
This goes back to your buyer personas. For instance, if your customers are most active on Facebook and Instagram based on your audience research, you should make these platforms the highlight of your strategy. This doesn't mean you should completely neglect the others; it only means those are the channels you should pay more attention to.
High levels of engagement don't always translate to revenue generation. For instance, you could be getting many likes on your Instagram account but making very low sales. On the other hand, you could be getting minimal engagement on your Facebook account but getting multiple sales. Likewise, your emails could have a high open-rate but a low engagement rate.
Create a list prioritizing the channels that drive in the most revenue and have high engagement, and then develop a strategy that focuses on them. Make sure the strategy unifies all channels by creating similar goals and performance metrics and using a mix of both offline and online tools.
Don't shy away from trying out new channels and strategies. For instance, if you open up an online store, you may have to include a mobile app as part of your communication channels.
If you try out a new platform, monitor its engagement and revenue generation potential to determine whether it's worth investing in further.
Here are the main reasons why most businesses are adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy;
Omnichannel marketing strategies reduce your overhead costs. Since all the touchpoints are unified, you only need to collect customer data once. This holistic approach also eliminates the costs of creating a strategy for each channel.
The modern customer priorities brands put them in the driver's seat, and studies show that over 70% of consumers will promote business to 6 or more people if they have positive experiences. Omnichannel marketing strategies put customer experiences first, which ultimately enhances their satisfaction. This results in increased brand loyalty and a high referral rate.
A study by the Harvard Business Review revealed that omnichannel customers spend up to 10% more than those who only use a single channel. This means that if you're not using an omnichannel marketing strategy, you're driving in the slow lane.
This type of marketing also enhances customer satisfaction which results in increased repeat purchases.
Omnichannel marketing eliminates the risk of missing out on sales due to products being out of stock. It provides you with a holistic view of your inventory based on sales across all channels, allowing you to fulfill your orders from various platforms. It also allows you to develop effective replenishment strategies and optimize your stock levels.
Most brands are adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy, but here are 3 brands that are doing it exceptionally well.
Disney has done a great job of providing a frictionless customer experience across all channels. Their main website and trip planning site are mobile responsive, and once you book a trip, you can use their My Disney Experience tool to plan out your trip, down to the finer details. For example, you can use their app to find various attractions as well as their estimated wait time.
Disney also has a Magic Band tool that acts as a food ordering tool, photo storage device, and room key.
The Starbucks rewards app is unlike traditional loyalty programs. This brand has unified all its channels by allowing customers to reload their cards and check their points on the website, via phone, on the app, or in the store. Any changes that the customers make on their card reflect across all channels instantly.
For example, a customer could be standing in line, reload their card, and by the time they get to the cashier, the balance will have already been updated.
Timberland is leveraging near-field communication technology to streamline customer experience in their brick and mortar stores. They provide customers with tablets that they can use to scan various products in the store. The tablet then displays information or offers on the item, ensuring customers don't have to seek store clerks for product information.
The tablet also has personalization software that recommends related products based on the products the customer has scanned.
Omnichannel marketing is undoubtedly the future of brand marketing strategies. It redefines the customer journey by providing them with a frictionless shopping experience. This results in enhanced customer satisfaction and increased sales. Omnichannel marketing also improves your inventory turnover and increases operational efficiency.
Would you like to launch your marketing strategies using omnichannel marketing automation software? Contact us today for an interactive consultation!