Do you know 86% of shoppers regularly channel-hop across two channels? Yes, they don’t just hop from one shop to another; they also hop across multiple channels while shopping. Sometimes they end up making online purchases even as they stand in the queue at the physical store or use smartphones as shopping assistants at the stores. That’s why 87% of the retailers recognize the omnichannel marketing strategy as crucial for their business. They realize that if they want to be at the top of their game, they need to offer a consistent experience to customers across different touchpoints. As a retailer, it’s time that you understand the significance of omnichannel marketing on your business and leverage it to create a unique experience for your customers and maximize your ROI.
We have put together a comprehensive guide with tips, and omnichannel marketing strategies to help you build a successful omnichannel marketing campaign. Let's get started.
Harvard Business Review, along with a major US retail company, conducted a 14-month study to understand the shopping behavior of customers. They interviewed 46,000 shoppers and found the following:
The study further revealed that the more channels the customers used, the more valuable they proved to be to the retailers. For example, the study found that the customers who used more than 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store than the ones who used a single channel.
The writing was clear on the wall - omnichannel customer experience was no longer an option. The retailers had to rethink their customer journeys and find new ways to acquire, engage, and retain customers through positive experiences across multiple touchpoints.
With new marketing channels emerging, it’s time retailers shift their focus from traditional marketing to omnichannel marketing strategies.
Omnichannel marketing refers to creating your brand’s presence across multiple online (website, app, social media, email, SMS, WhatsApp) and offline (retail store, events, call-center) channels while ensuring a positive and seamless experience throughout the customer journey.
The word ‘positive’ and ‘seamless’ is crucial to note because 67% of the customers cite bad customer experience as the reason for churn. So, if you are looking at winning and retaining customers, it’s important that you must take your omnichannel marketing strategy seriously and strengthen it to offer a positive experience to your customers throughout their journey.
Omnichannel marketing is essential because it helps you create a positive experience for the customer at every stage of their lifecycle, reduce churn, and drive and build a positive reputation of your brand. Let’s take an example. Imagine, you are tired after a long day at work and want to grab a quick cup of coffee before heading home. You know your favorite coffee shop will be crowded in the evening, and you have no energy to stand in the queue. Wouldn’t it be nice if the coffee shop had an option to pre-order coffee via an app, so you could enter the shop, collect your order and leave? That’s exactly what Starbucks did. It has made ordering and payment easier for the customer. Their mobile payment makes up 29% of their transactions. Starbucks was not just able to enhance the customer experience, but could also boost its revenue through omnichannel technology.
To create a perfect omnichannel experience, begin with understanding your customer deeply (probably more than their best friend). Starbucks, for example, understood the pain point of the customer, i.e., their unwillingness to stand in a queue even if they are tempted to grab a cup of coffee, and used it to create an effective omnichannel experience. Understanding your customer deeply would mean closely observing the kind of platforms your customers frequently use to shop, their purchasing behavior, the challenges they face while shopping, how they interact with the brand across each touchpoint, and the devices they use to shop. This data will help you to identify the right touch-points and focus on strengthening them and connecting them to make it a seamless and tailor-made experience for your customers. It will also help you to identify the common issues that customers face and create a viable solution for them.
Let’s look at how Disney created a perfect omnichannel marketing strategy to improve people’s experience at their theme parks. Through their website, mobile apps, and Magicbands and cards, Disney has made it easier for the visitors to book their stay, check ride timings, book tickets, etc. without having to stand in a long queue. To create an omnichannel experience like that, you need to have a perfect omnichannel marketing strategy.
Here’s what you can do:
Now that you know what omnichannel marketing is and how you can create a perfect strategy. Let’s dig deeper to know how you can implement it in your organization.
Marketers often use terms such as omnichannel, multichannel, and cross-channel interchangeably. After all, they seem to mean the same thing - using multiple channels to acquire, engage and retain your customers. Well, while the essence of all the three is the same, there is a thin line that differentiates them. In multichannel marketing, all the communication channels work in isolation with no connection between any of them, whereas, in cross-channel marketing, there are very selected communication channels that are connected.
Omnichannel marketing is much more mature as all the channels work cohesively and in harmony with each other. But how do you determine which one of them is perfect for you? Let’s look at the pros and cons to get a clear picture.
The advantage of multi-channel marketing is that it helps you to grow your reach by using multiple channels. However, due to the lack of cohesiveness, there is no transparency between the channels and they compete with each other instead of working together. This leads to inconsistent customer experience.
Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, ensures that the customer experience remains consistent across all channels by tying all the touch-points together and ensuring transparency across all of them. To help you choose between omnichannel vs. multi-channel or cross-channel marketing, we have put together an infographic about difference between multi-channel, cross-channel and omnichannel marketing that will help you determine the right strategy.
To create a best-in-class experience for your customers, you have to show your management how you can boost the company’s ROI using omnichannel marketing. To help you do that, we have curated four ways in which you can boost ROI and build a positive experience for your customers:
Whether it is ordering for food, hailing a cab, or making quick payments, smartphones have simplified the lives of people. That’s why it does not come as a surprise when Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of Marketing, said that 96% of the users reach out to their smartphone to find answers and 70% of the smartphone users turn to their device before making an in-store purchase. If you have not paid attention to mobile apps, you are probably losing out on a lot of potential customers. A mobile app plays a pivotal role in your omnichannel marketing strategy. However, with an average of 30 mobile apps downloaded on your customer’s smartphone, grabbing their attention can be quite challenging.
There are four ways in which you can center your omnichannel marketing around mobile apps for different customer phases:
Here's an example of Pete using a banking app.
By now, you may have already got some clarity on what omnichannel marketing means and how you can use it to enhance your customer’s experience. You may have also planned your omnichannel strategy. Now, the next step is to deploy the strategy effectively. To do that, you need a marketing automation tool that will help you to offer a seamless experience to your customers across different channels and at various stages of the customer journey.
Marketing automation tool also allows you to segment your target audience smartly to personalize the communication and save time on manual tasks. If you are wondering how to use marketing automation tools to personalize the customer journey, look no further. We have put together a beginner’s guide to omnichannel marketing that explains how you can leverage marketing automation for different customer phases - onboarding, engagement, conversions, and retention and win over your customers. What’s more? We have included real-life examples to help you execute a successful omnichannel marketing campaign.
What differentiates a good omnichannel marketing campaign from the bad one is the consistency in branding and customer experience. You may have the best automation tools and the channels at your disposal to help you implement omnichannel marketing, but it can fail if your strategy is not right. Your customers will not think twice before switching to your competitor if they are offered an inconsistent experience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to omnichannel marketing strategy. However, if you are looking for some inspiration, head to our blog where we have curated the stories of seven brands that have planned and deployed successful omnichannel marketing strategies.
From the omnichannel experience offered by Singapore Airlines to enable customers to shop, pre-book, or earn loyalty in real-time, to the seamless banking experience provided by Bank of America to customers in their branch; you will find some interesting takeaways that can help you build a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
You can use omnichannel marketing across several industries, such as:
While we have looked at a few use cases where omnichannel marketing can be used, e-commerce is one business where omnichannel marketing plays a crucial role. In its report ‘Global Retail Trends 2019’, KPMG predicted 2019 to be a transformational year for the retail industry. From hyper-personalization to the rise of voice technology, the retail industry is buzzing with new developments.
In a hyper-competitive business like e-commerce, your customers are spoiled for choices. You have to cut through the noise to acquire, engage, and retain them on your website. This can be done only through a positive customer experience. You can create a strong relationship with your customers with these seven omnichannel retail strategies:
While we talk about omnichannel marketing in the e-commerce industry, let’s look at how Amazon has changed the omnichannel marketing game in the e-commerce space. If you have read Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg, and Roy. H. Williams’ book, ‘Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It,’ you are probably already aware of how Amazon’s customer obsession and culture of innovation has helped them become one of the most influential companies in the world. If you have admired Amazon for its marketing strategies, you must know about the four omnichannel strategies, which has made them the brand they are today:
Despite having the finest marketing automation tools or planning a brilliant marketing strategy, many marketers face challenges in creating a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers. Either they are unable to manage the data across various channels or use that intelligently to meet customer expectations. This results in customer churn. Generally, marketers make these seven common mistakes most of the time:
Now that you know the mistakes that you need to avoid, let’s look at some of the best practices that you can implement during and after the execution of the omnichannel campaign:
Imagine going to a store and not getting any help from the salespeople. Wouldn't you just leave the store with a sour experience? Omnichannel marketing without any support from you is similar to that store that does not offer timely assistance. Omnichannel is all about driving customer growth. Omnichannel marketing is not restricted to using the right channels or the right tools alone; you have to be there for your customer at every point of their journey:
As competition grows, brands have to constantly think of new ways to acquire, engage, and retain customers. You need to follow a bunch of marketing activities to keep your customers on your platform. But how are you going to do that? How do you ensure that your communication is personalized for every customer? How do you make it a well-oiled self-sustaining activity instead of a one-off activity? The answer to all this lies in using marketing automation workflows.
Marketing automation workflows help you to create logical workflows based on pre-defined logic. It helps you to save time and cost on manual activities, minimize user attrition, and delight customers by offering them consistent experience across all the channels. To help you grow your business, we have created a guide that will give you ideas on how you can leverage ready-to-use marketing workflows at every stage of the customer journey. And here’s the bonus - you can also check out some of our ready-to-use omnichannel marketing workflows to get you started.
For all the efforts put into understanding the data and creating a seamless experience for the customer across all the channels; it is understandable that the marketers might question whether omnichannel marketing is worth it. Here are some statistics that we would like to share to drive home the importance of omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel marketing may require your team to combine their marketing and technical expertise and go through a humungous volume of data to create a successful campaign. However, in the end, all of it is only going to help you create a positive customer experience. What more do you need than a happy customer who is willing to come back to you repeatedly?
We are committed to helping you create effective omnichannel marketing strategies that can enhance your customer’s experience and grow your business. You can head to our blog to get the latest updates and for some inspiration from leading brands and marketing experts on how to win the omnichannel marketing game.
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