Shopping is therapeutic, and when it comes to instant gratification of your needs and wants, online shopping lets you buy whatever you desire from anywhere almost immediately. You don’t have to step out of your home or travel a long distance to buy something. From clothes to gadgets to grocery, you can purchase anything you want with just a swipe of your finger. What’s more, you also get massive discounts and personalized offers, flexible payment methods, and a lot of conveniences that make shopping more fun.
No wonder online shopping is getting so popular.
39% of the millennials in the US alone have confirmed that they browse and buy only from online shops. The trend is likely to be the same across the globe.
From an ‘everything store’ like Amazon to dedicated portals for grocery, fashion, etc., the e-commerce industry is becoming stronger with new players joining the game by every passing year.
eMarketer predicts the overall e-commerce sales to increase to $4.058 trillion in 2020 and will form 14.6% of the total retail spending for that year.
Source: Seeking Alpha
While a report by Google and Temasek predicts the e-commerce industry of South East Asia to grow up to $102 billion by 2025.
However, before you start focusing on strengthening your online channels, remember that a lot of your target buyers still browse, shop or do both offline in a nearby brick and mortar shop. For example, the study by CouponFollow reveals that while the US millennials shop online, a lot of them still browse in-store before purchasing online. Andrew Lipsman, the principal analyst of eMarketer, explains, “As brands become more popular, digital-only purchases are likely to increase. And as brands increasingly open brick-and-mortar locations—many of which function as shoppable billboards—they will drive more offline-to-online shopping engagements.”
If we interpret Andrew Lipsman’s statement, it means it’s essential to focus on your online and offline channels equally to drive sales for your business.
Your customer could interact with your brand in more ways than one, and each customer has a different journey.
An omnichannel approach is the right way to ensure that all customers enjoy a consistent experience throughout their interaction with you.
So, irrespective of whether your customer orders online and picks a product from your store or chooses a product from the store and asks it to be delivered to their address, their experience with your brand should be seamless and positive at every stage of their journey.
This can be done when you plan a robust omnichannel marketing strategy that ties all the channels - both offline and online together to create a personalized and meaningful journey for your customers.
It is not as complicated as it might sound. With the right data, right tools, right team, and the right strategy, you can develop a successful omnichannel strategy easily.
Before you assemble your team and start developing a new omnichannel strategy, it’s vital to audit your existing strategy to know what worked and what failed. While data will give you an insight on things that worked well and the ones that have not, observing how everyone in your organization interact with the customer at different stages will help you to build a better strategy. Sometimes the most valuable insights can be found in the reviews that your customer leaves on social media or your website. So, monitor all your channels and think of ways to improve your existing strategy. Think like a customer when you work on the omnichannel strategy. For example, complete a transaction right from installing your app to completing the checkout process to know where the experience falls short. Does it take too long for the customer to checkout, or are you unable to find your products added to the cart when you refresh the page? A small fix in the process can also improve your strategy. So, spend time analyzing your existing strategy.
The foundation of an omnichannel marketing strategy is knowing your customer well. It is not limited to identifying the age, gender, and geography of the customer. You need to pay close attention to how your customer behaves online and how they make a purchasing decision. Analyze how they interact with your brand and what channels do they use to connect with you. By knowing your customer well, you will be able to personalize their journey in a better way.
Once you know your customer well, segmenting them becomes a cake walk. Segmentation is vital because it helps you to personalize the journey and the communication for your buyer. You can use an array of criteria to segment your audience, ranging from something as basic as demography to advanced segmentation such as their likes, preferences, online consumer behavior, etc. The more well-defined your customer segmentation, the more effective will be your omnichannel marketing strategy. With right segmentation, you will be able to plan different campaigns for different customers and personalize the content for each of them.
90% of the users switch between different devices to accomplish a goal, and App Annies reveal that an average smartphone user uses at least nine apps per day. If you want to drive traffic to your app, you have to target all your channels. There are various ways to target them - from sending SMSes and emails, to sending push notifications. However, before you target all the channels, spend time to craft a personalized message for every channel. For example, a push notification message cannot be as long as an email copy. It has to be succinct and drive the message in as fewer words as possible. The image below is a snapshot of how you can craft personalized messages for every channel using MoEngage’s marketing automation tools.
A customer might not buy from you at the first instance. By showing them relevant banner ads on different platforms such as social media website, you will be able to create a top-of-the-mind recall, which could increase the chances of conversion. Watchfinder, a luxury pre-owned watch retailer, for example, used remarketing to reconnect with site visitors. With a highly focused list of visitors showing buying intent, Watchfinder was able to encourage the website visitors to complete a purchase and improve the footfall in their store. Retargeting helped them to improve their ROI by 1,300%.
While you plan your strategy and communication, remember to leverage upon the benefits your automation tool offers to optimize your strategy. A marketing automation tool lets you segment your audience smartly, personalize the messages, schedule your campaign and measure its effectiveness easily.
MoEngage offers specialized automation tools for different channels and capabilities, which can strengthen your omnichannel marketing strategy.
While planning an omnichannel marketing campaign, always do an A/B test and measure the outcome to know what’s working and what’s not. Based on the results, you can alter the message, images, the schedule, and even the segmentation. Remember to make it a best practice to remain at the top of your marketing game.
You may have the best tools and the best strategy working well for you. However, to implement a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, you need a robust cross-functional team that works together to make your campaign successful. As Gaurav Chhaparwal, Analytics Leader and Advisor, MoEngage said in one of our Growth Marketing sessions, “An ideal structure would be to create cross-functional teams of IT and marketing with a marketing technologist leading both of them. That’s how you will, most likely, be able to get great results.” So, identify the right people and get them to work together to implement a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
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