A number of years ago, omnichannel was touted as the trend of the future; and it made sense. Picture disparate data streams coming together to create a seamless and channel-agnostic experience for customers, and it was easy to see the dormant potential that omnichannel possessed then.
Forward-thinking companies that were clever enough to foresee the value that digitalized customer experiences would hold in the eyes of the customer were quick to jump on the omnichannel bandwagon. Why? Because these organizations realized that omnichannel was the next frontier in the marketing strategy of personalization.
Indeed, companies that have been able to personalize the customer experience across multiple channels have been known to achieve a 5-15% revenue increase across their customer base. This development of omnichannel personalization being used to optimize customer experiences is extremely significant, especially considering that customers are willing to spend 48% more money when their experience is personalized.
As recently as 2019, omnichannel was still taking baby steps, trying to explore a world full of possibilities. The succeeding year, however, omnichannel took a stratospherical jump as the pandemic forced the hand of industries worldwide to move online. An interesting tale of this development is provided by a bespoke tailor on London’s Savile Row. During the pandemic last year, the tailor—unable to go to where his customers were—found himself taking their measurements from a continent away with the assistance of a chatbot.
Either through necessity or through choice, people have embraced digital interactions in the minutiae of their everyday lives. So much so that 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day, while 86% of them regularly hop between channels.
This is omnichannel in the flesh, and the proclivity of people towards it is driving marketers to leverage the data streams being generated from cross-channel interactions to design personalized customer journeys. These are known as omnichannel customer journeys.
From the customer’s perspective, this involves tracking their digital footsteps (history, purchase behavior, etc.) to understand their preferences and present content that appeals to them the most.
In a micro-moment, omnichannel personalization comprehends the customer’s needs by studying their interests based on their web-browsing activities to ensure a consistent and personalized experience across channels.
It also involves employing predictive targeting to understand customer behavior across channels to promise better engagement and higher conversion rates.
As is the case with any test idea, you can filter touchpoints and channels by asking yourself questions to inform your decision-making process. For starters, these can be:
After you scrutinize the insights gained from these questions, you will be better positioned to understand which channels to scale your personalization efforts on. Here, we will take a look at a few such techniques and how to implement them to deliver tailored experiences across channels and touchpoints:
Did you know that chatbots, the ubiquitous virtual agents, have grown so integral to retail interactions that they are expected to generate $112 billion in retail sales by 2023?
An excellent tool for servicing repeat customer queries and streamlining the customer support process, chatbots can also be used to tailor the shopping experience of customers. These bots can be used to field a survey to the customer that asks them for their preferences, suggestions, and areas where the shopping experience can be improved upon.
You can then use the data gathered by the chatbot and showcase items of interest to the customers while they are being serviced by the chatbot or are in queue to be connected to a live chat agent.
Bonus Tip: Take a look at Pros and Cons of AI Chatbots
As per a survey by Comscore, the hours spent consuming retail content on mobile stands at 62%, far surpassing desktop by more than 2X. With this astronomical shift to mobile usage showing no signs of slowing down, marketers would do good to offer channel-specific content that is optimized for mobile.
Myntra guides shoppers through a user-affinity strategy to offer the most personalized filters for them
One way of doing this is to personalize the mobile app navigation experience for users by surfacing filters based on their distinct preferences. Take the fashion retail brand Myntra, for example. Instead of letting users continue with the time-consuming process of browsing through category pages and registering filters, it remembers those filters for them so that the user can avoid starting their work from scratch.
It is no secret that email is the king of channels when it comes to ROI. That’s because, when done right, email marketing’s RoI can be as high as 4400%, way ahead of other channels such as display ads, social media, video marketing, among others. However, despite the obvious benefits of email, there is often a stark dichotomy between on-site offerings and inbox messages.
In order to erase this gap and ensure better engagement, you can compose emails punctuated with personalized recommendations and content and recommendations. You can also trigger these personalized emails on the basis of real-time user activity and important customer journey events.
For instance, if a user adds items to their cart and abandons it, you can use the opportunity to remind them of the items they left behind with a personalized email and offer a promotional deal to convince them to checkout.
While the retail experience may be moving online, customers still pine for the benefits that physical stores provide, which is why companies like Nordstrom are focusing on prioritizing immersive in-store experiences through digital kiosks.
Digital kiosks provide a unique, two-way communicating medium for interacting with customers and gathering relevant information about their preferences which can be used to optimize their omnichannel experience.
Nordstrom’s Fragrance Finder: A digital kiosk with an interactive quiz designed to help customers find a particular scent
Nordstrom is the perfect example of utilizing digital kiosks for omnichannel marketing. Its use of interactive kiosks has been beneficial to enhancing its loyalty program, which contributes to 50% of its sales. These kiosks house a tool that allows customers to interact with the store, facilitating immersive brand and seamless shopping experiences.
Omnichannel personalization can certainly be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When done right, it can deliver exceptional results by offering a consistent customer experience channel (omnichannel customer experience) to ensure a unique brand opinion. Adopting it through a fitful combination of relevant messaging and touchpoints of the most visited channels will ensure higher customer engagement and conversion rates all around.
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