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Omnichannel Retail Marketing: The What, Why and How

  • Updated: 29 June 2022
  • 8 min read

The Retail Marketing Landscape

As humans, we enjoy having alternatives and choices. This is particularly true when it comes to shopping. According to a report by enVista Retail Market Research, consumers prefer to shop across a variety of channels rather than sticking to one.

They are continuously switching between channels in order to acquire the best deals and services. This is why prominent companies and retailers are focusing their efforts on omnichannel marketing across their customer journeyin order to dramatically develop their businesses.

Retain Customers and Attract New Ones by Opting for an Omnichannel Approach

Retail brands need to recognize that in order to retain their current customers and attract new ones, they must provide an unrivaled shopping experience across all channels, and this includes digital channels and their brick and mortar store (i.e. if they have one).

Being present at the different touchpoints of a customer's buying journey is critical to a brand's success. In order to do that, brands should be aware of the customer's needs, wants, and preferences.

This is where a unified, 360-degree customer view across digital and offline channels is essential, especially for implementing a successful omnichannel strategy.

Is using multiple channels the same as having an Omnichannel Marketing strategy though?

Absolutely not! But, we often do see most brands confuse omnichannel with multichannel marketing. Below are some of the key differences between omnichannel retail and multichannel marketing.

Multichannel Retail Marketing Definition

Multichannel strategy (i.e. multichannel retailing) is when a brand is campaign focussed and uses multiple channels independently across wide segments. While personalized experience can be offered via the multichannel approach, the communication is siloed into separate channels rather than being integrated and synchronized.

Omnichannel Retail Marketing Definition

Whereas, omnichannel strategy (i.e. omnichannel retailing) is when the customers are kept at the heart of the equation and are engaged differently on all the channels based on where they are in the customer lifecycle.

The omnichannel retailing strategy lets marketers create a more personalized and tailored user experience that is unified across multiple devices and touchpoints for their customers.

Omnichannel retail focuses on delivering unified communication across all the relevant various channels for a successful customer journey.

A successful omnichannel strategy keeps the customers' data and product data synced across all channels. The end goal is to optimize customer convenience so that every aspect of engagement with a brand (be it across physical stores or desktop or a mobile device)- all seems like one seamless experience.

This is also the reason why Omnichannel retail marketing is also sometimes referred to as “unified omnichannel commerce.”

Omnichannel vs Multichannel: Which One Helps Deliver a Better Customer Experience?

Omnichannel vs Multichannel: How Omnichannel Marketing helps deliver a better customer experience than Multichannel Marketing

The Transition to Omnichannel

According to a recent study by Omnisend, that analyzed more than 135,000 campaigns sent in 2021, marketers using three or more channels in a campaign earned a higher order rate than those using a single-channel campaign.

Single-channel vs Omnichannel campaigns order rates: Why using multiple different channels for your campaigns with synchronized communications is better than using a single channel only?

Today, more than one channels are prevalent and being adopted by businesses to reach out to their customer every day, like email, SMS, push notifications, ad networks, in-app messages, social media channels, web, app inbox and chatbox, and WhatsApp.

Is Exploring Multiple Channels the Correct Path?

The idea isn’t simply to explore as many channels as possible or even to focus on one particular channel over the other; it’s to have all these separate channels work in tandem to provide a seamless experience for the shoppers.

In the case of a purely multichannel retailing, campaign first strategy, the campaigns and the segments created would be completely at the whims of the marketer(s) running the show. A true spray and pray kind of approach, to say the least.

In the case of retail brands, these kinds of multichannel retailing campaigns would result in customers getting notified about categories that might be favored generally but don’t exactly fit into their arena of interests. Consequently, the more generic the communication, the less like it will drive the customer to actually make a purchase decision.

Opt for a Customer-centric Approach Instead Of a Campaign Centric One

Different types of marketing strategies prevalent and why Omnichannel Marketing strategy works the best

Whereas, with omnichannel retail marketing, the key difference is that brands are able to provide unified communication to their customers– no matter what device they’re on or channel they’re using.

This unified view enables brands to hyper-personalize the user experience for their customers. Hence, the customers are more inclined to make purchases that suit their needs.

Take a look at 7 challenges that marketers face in Omnichannel Marketing and how to address them.

Good Omnichannel Customer Experience

But how do you know whether your marketing efforts are on the right track? These are five crucial indicators of a winning omnichannel customer experience:

Aspects of a positive Omnichannel customer experience

The Insights-Led Approach

Since today's customers are constantly bombarded with numerous options, their preferences keep changing and evolving. So how do you make sure they actually stick around? This is where the path of insights-led engagement in omnichannel retailing steps in and saves the day!

Tailored communication derived by drawing conclusions from consumer insights is how one can create a successful omnichannel marketing strategy. A brand’s ability to eliminate information overload while personalizing customer experiences can optimize conversions by several folds.

The retail industry as a whole is undergoing a customer revolution. To provide your customers with hyper-personalized experiences, it's critical to have access to customer insights that will help you create successful customer engagement strategies via omnichannel operations.

To dive deeper into the world of customer, journey, and campaign insights, and the role these play in your engagement strategy, download our latest ebook called The State of Insights-led Engagement 2022 | India Edition.

A Personalized Customer Experience is Crucial

Customers expect retailers to match or exceed the quality of experience they would receive in person while shopping on digital platforms. The competition for customer attention on online channels is fierce. Brands need to be able to engage their customers in a more customized manner across channels.

Needless to say, with CAQs going through the roof, marketing teams are under pressure to showcase a direct impact on the bottom line. Customers today want more control over what data they share with brands and how brands reach out to them online and offline.

What are CEPs?

This is where Customer Engagement Platforms (CEP) step in and save the day. CEPs help marketers make sense of the customer insights gathered and use this to create personalized journeys for their customers.

Providing intelligent analytics and powerful segmentation capabilities, CEPs make sure that your omnichannel strategy actually sticks and helps you retain your customers better.

Using CEPs to introduce a layer of personalization based on customers’ product preferences, and campaign responses is a game-changer especially when it comes to omnichannel retailing. 

With a powerful CEP backing omnichannel strategy, brands are proven to:

Benefits of Omnichannel retail marketing: Seamless experience for customers by using multiple marketing channels the right way

How do CEPs Help Create a Successful Omnichannel Strategy?

These platforms give you one place to communicate with your customers, irrespective of the channel.

Customer engagement platforms (CEPs) give you one place to communicate with your users, irrespective of the channel

CEPs, CDPs and the role they play in Omnichannel Retailing and Marketing

CEPs utilize the insightful data gathered from Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to help marketers craft efficient marketing campaigns.

After your customized campaigns are distributed via different channels, CEPs analyze how consumers interact with each campaign across channels. This data synchronization between the platforms helps enrich customer profiles for all products in your marketing tech stack.

We at MoEngage work with several CDPs (for your omnichannel retailing strategies) that are leaders in the ecosystem like Tealium, Segment, mParticle, and Eucloid to drive this constant cycle of data oscillation that helps create an efficient engagement dynamic between brands and their customers.

Today's consumers demand consistent and personalized interactions across all channels. Marketers, therefore, need to rummage deeper into the available data and opt for an agile approach by incorporating tools like CEPs to create and deliver more impactful campaigns.

Thrive in the Retail World with Omnichannel Marketing: The AZADEA Group Success Story

What is an example of Omnichannel retail?

The Challenges Of AZADEA group

The AZADEA Group is a great example of a retail brand that has seen tremendous growth by adopting an omnichannel approach with a CEP like MoEngage Inc.

The Group is one of the popular premium retail brands offering premium lifestyle products to millions of customers. With more than 600 stores across 13 countries, AZADEA has catered to more than a million customers since 1978. With its E-commerce arm Azadea.com (website and app), Azadea caters to consumers across offline and online touchpoints.

Being an established brand that operates across different countries, it wasn’t easy to understand every customer’s preferences, especially across two or more channels. The group realized the need for unified customer data that provides efficacious customer insights.

The end goal, for the digital marketing team, was to improve conversions and purchases both online and offline using personalized, relevant omnichannel communication.

MoEngage’s strategy was to integrate all the relevant data under a single platform and get a 360° view of their customers. Online and offline data integration was performed to create a data warehouse.

The Result

Using MoEngage, the group was able to use smart triggers and trigger dynamic personalization campaigns for cart abandonment, cross-sell, low stock campaigns, etc.

The group also incorporated transaction-based automated communication into their strategy using SMS and WhatsApp integration.

Transaction based automated communication is a fine example of Omnichannel marketing automation

And the results were truly remarkable! Using omnichannel engagement with a CEP, the group was able to grow the weekly new customer by 300%!

The group also saw a 45% increase in sales contribution along with a 50% increase in conversion rate from abandoned cart flow.

AZADEA Group's success: 300% increase in the number of new customers (weekly), 45% increase in sales contribution and 50% increase in conversion rate from abandoned cart flow

By incorporating an omnichannel approach using MoEngage, several other retailers were able to drive incredible success:

The success 6thStreet and the Landmark Group saw by going the Omnichannel way

This kind of success is due to both the brands opting for an omnichannel approach.

The Future is Omnichannel Retail Strategy

While a lot of brands still opt for a multichannel approach, there are certain drawbacks that aren't being taken into consideration:

1) The inconsistencies found in the style of communication across multiple channels

2) Inter-channel miscommunication

3) The frustration of customers that comes with having to use several channels or they could miss out on things

A sure-shot way of addressing these issues is using the omnichannel approach.

Omnichannel is, essentially, no longer a nice-to-have element in your customer engagement strategy, it’s become a need-to-have for retail and E-commerce brands.

How Does MoEngage Help With Omnichannel Marketing?

A recent study shows that Indian marketers identify personalization (75%), a unified 360° customer view (64%), and seamless customer journeys (37%) as the three most critical initiatives for an omnichannel engagement strategy. MoEngage’s insights-led approach lets you explore all these and more!

How MoEngage helps optimize retail brands' existing channels and drives success through Omnichannel Retailing

Here are 4 powerful ways through which Omnichannel Marketing helps boost your ROI.

Get Started on Your Omnichannel Marketing Journey with MoEngage

India's businesses across industries are being forced to evolve how they communicate with their customers as new platforms emerge and consumers become more digitally savvy.

The MoEngage platform is built for the mobile-first world and helps companies orchestrate campaigns across push notifications, emails, in-app messaging, web push notifications, and SMS. Our platform helps companies create, visualize, and deploy a successful omnichannel shopping experience that reaches customers at the right time through the right channels, and with the right message.

We are committed to enabling marketers to do the same by helping them create effective omnichannel marketing strategies that can enhance their customers’ experiences and boost business.

For more tips on omnichannel marketing, omnichannel retailing, and opinions from industry experts, follow our blog.

Click the link below and get started with your insights-led, omnichannel engagement journey with MoEngage! 

 

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About The Author
Shipra is a content marketer with over 3+ years of experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations, and Customer Marketing (B2B and B2C). Using data to create insightful content is a passion of hers.
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