It’s a lazy weekend, you’re shopping for groceries when you suddenly realize that you’re running late for a movie. You have everything in your shopping basket, but the queue is so long that you almost want to break it and pay first. You message your friends informing them of the delay. You are disappointed. You have no option but to stand in the queue patiently.
Most of us have experienced this. Imagine if the store allowed you to scan the codes on the products and pay the amount using their app from anywhere. You could have checked out and watched the movie from the beginning.
That’s exactly what Sam’s club did. It allowed Sam’s club members to bypass the checkout queue by using their app to scan the UPCs of the items added to their basket, and pay from anywhere in the club. Sam’s club also enabled location-based check-in to allow members to place orders even before they check-in to save their time, and a reorder tool to allow members to reorder the items they purchased earlier with just a few clicks. These initiatives led to an increase in spending by 10%. Mobile purchases tripled and grew by 25% each month. 74% of the members who used Scan & Go used it again within 90 days.
Sam’s Club is a classic example of how companies can offer convenience and improve customer experience with omnichannel marketing strategies. It bridges the gap between in-store and online shopping platforms, offering a consistent experience to buyers.
According to OmniSend, marketers who used three or more channels witnessed an 18.96% engagement rate, as compared to 5.4% on a single channel. They also found the purchase frequency to be 250% higher and the average order value to be 13% more.
That’s why companies like Sam’s club do not rely on a single marketing channel to acquire, engage, and retain customers to their platform. They realize that omnichannel marketing is critical to the growth of their business. A survey of Target Marketing readers confirms this- 74% of the marketers identify omnichannel marketing to be crucial to their business.
Despite recognizing the importance of an omnichannel experience and having marketing automation tools at their disposal, marketers face several challenges in creating seamless customer experiences. Some of them include:
Inability to connect the dots
Marketers face a tough time integrating data from different channels to create a seamless customer journey. Take Indonesia, for instance; a survey by eConsultancy shows that managing data across different channels is one of the major challenges that marketers face while planning an omnichannel marketing strategy. The inability to connect the dots prevents them from creating a personalized experience for the customer.
Inability to reduce churn
Competitive sectors such as e-commerce find it difficult to retain customers on their platforms, especially when the competitors offer the same products at lower prices. Therefor, creating a differentiation becomes a challenge. A supplier in the US had this to say: “Some of the biggest challenges are being able to offer differentiation, either by channel or by retail. In an Omni-world, it is difficult to give a retailer a way to stand out. The major online retailers eliminate the need for a consumer to go to a place to get something. They can get it from anywhere.”
Inability to meet customer expectations
Thanks to e-commerce giants like Amazon and OTT platforms like Netflix, customers expect hyper-personalized recommendations now. The one-size-fits-all experiences have disappeared. A customer wouldn’t think twice before switching to a competitor website if the experiences are not personalized for them. Marketers have to think like a customer, an art that most of them are yet to master.
These challenges can be fixed easily once the marketers identify the mistakes they commit while planning and implementing omnichannel marketing strategies. We have compiled seven common, yet major mistakes that marketers commit in omnichannel marketing:
7 Omnichannel Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them
1. Ineffective content strategy
Content is pivotal to the success of an omnichannel marketing strategy. An ineffective content strategy is bound to make your campaign a failure. Your customers use multiple mediums such as social media, mobile apps, websites, etc. to interact with your brand. They also belong to different stages of a buyer’s journey. A spray and pray approach will make your content irrelevant to certain segments of users, and that would mean potentially losing out to your competitors.
How to fix it: According to a survey conducted by OneSpot, 78% of US shoppers confirmed that relevant content increases their purchasing intent for a brand’s products and services. So understand your buyer’s persona, identify the touchpoints that they use to interact with your brand and make your content relevant for every buyer and channel.
2. Improper utilization of user data
Users leave behind a trail of data such as contact numbers, email ids, addresses, etc. when they interact with a brand. However, according to Neustar, 60% of this data is outdated within two years. 37% of the people in the US alone change their contact details within a year, making your data obsolete. There is also a disconnect among the teams managing different channels and systems. Disparate systems and obsolete data can cause roadblocks in utilizing user data to its fullest extent.
How to fix it: A 360-degree view of your customers and prospects is imperative for a successful omnichannel marketing campaign. Identify obsolete, duplicate, and incomplete data and fix them, so your marketing efforts aren’t in vain. Ensure that all the information you receive about the user is available in a unified system, so both your sales and marketing teams can access it and work in collaboration to deliver relevant offers to users.
3. Isolated analytics measurement
In a research paper on the challenges and opportunities of the omnichannel customer experience, author Glenn Cook wrote about the challenges in measuring the performance of stores supporting digital sales. Cook says that in the omnichannel context, stores can appear to be non-profitable if measured on traditional metrics such as sales, profit, and turnover. It has to be measured based on the value it offers to the entire sales process.
As the lines between offline and online channels blur, measuring the success of different touchpoints in isolation will not give you a holistic picture of how your strategy has performed and these inaccurate insights could lead to wrong decision-making.
How to fix it: Consider all the touchpoints as a part of a complete ecosystem and measure it. Take a top-down approach wherein you can analyze the success of your marketing campaign as a whole and then get down to the specific channel to know which ones performed well and those that require attention. This will help cover the loopholes and improve the performance of your campaign.
4. No action on new findings
A survey conducted by CMO Council and RedPoint Global reveals that marketers do not know how to utilize existing data to create better customer experiences. It also reveals that despite 42% of marketers installing more than ten solutions across marketing, data, and analytics; only 3% of them feel that they are fully connected and aligned with the systems and data. This is a cause for concern, considering the valuable insights this data can offer about the customer and their purchasing behavior. The failure to take actionable steps on the available data can lead to an ineffective marketing campaign.
How to fix it: According to Sam Melnick, the best way to fix this problem is by hiring technical hires who can optimize the technology and data available about the users. These insights will help you to plan a better omnichannel marketing strategy.
5. Ineffective strategy
Marketers realize the potential of omnichannel marketing, yet most of them fail in putting together an effective strategy. Most customers suffer because of the disjointed experience offered by the brand due to poor strategy.
How to fix it: Place the customer at the center of your strategy, identify the various touchpoints in your customer’s journey, leverage technology, and take a data-driven approach to create an effective strategy. Test your campaigns continuously so you can create better campaigns to acquire and retain customers.
6. Failure in implementation
A study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing reveals that two-thirds of marketing executives at large companies found it challenging to coordinate campaigns across various channels. The study blames silos and organizational structure as one of the primary reasons for failure in implementation. To add to these woes, the proliferation of new channels such as social media and mobile apps make implementation even more challenging.
How to fix it: By shifting your focus from channels to customer experiences, understanding your buyer’s persona, and by segmenting your buyers you will able to deliver the right message, to the right user, through the right channels.
7. Not measuring the right KPIs at every stage
A buyer passes through four stages of the buyer’s journey – Awareness, engagement, conversion, and delight. For a customer journey to be successful, marketers have to ensure that the entire journey offers a consistent experience to the buyer. While marketers measure the overall effectiveness of the campaign, they fail to measure the KPIs at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This prevents the marketer from deriving meaningful insights about each stage of the journey and poses a challenge in improving the experience for the customer.
How to fix it: Instead of measuring the results for the entire campaign, measure the campaign at every stage of the customer journey. For example, calculate the number of unique visitors on your website during the awareness stage or the duration of visit in the engagement stage, to determine if the user is interested in your product. Insights like this will help you to create relevant messages for your prospects and customers to make their experiences more personalized.
We hope these tips will help you to identify the mistakes in your existing omnichannel marketing strategies and fix them.