Originally published on Business World
Do you know where your ideal customer is? They might be scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or using search engines, looking for a product that you are selling. So, if you are not where your customer is, you are missing out on a lot of sales and marketing opportunities! This is the time of omnichannel marketing and this guide will give you all the details about it.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is the integration of marketing efforts across various channels or platforms. It works on the principle that a customer journey might span through different channels. So, it looks into how marketers can create a seamless shopping experience by synchronizing all those channels. It is unlike multichannel marketing which just focuses on distributing content and advertising across various marketing channels. The content and engagement across the multiple channels might not be interconnected in multichannel marketing.
Let’s take an example. Suppose you were shopping from an e-commerce website at night on your laptop but you could not make payment at that time. The next day when you are commuting to the office, you simply open the online shopping app on your mobile phone and complete the purchase. This is because the online shopping brand is available on different channels at the same time. Your account details get synced at all the platforms, making it easier for you to connect with the brand.
This is the beauty of omnichannel marketing. It provides a seamless shopping experience to the customers. One major point to take note of here is that in omnichannel marketing, all channels are interconnected to each other.
Importance of Omnichannel Marketing in Retail
The onset of technology has made the retailing business more competitive over the years. Changing customer behavior and demands are one of the reasons why retailers need to be on their toes all the time. But, with omnichannel marketing, they can create a revolution! Here is why omnichannel marketing is important in retail:
1. It provides more channels for purchase
When your store is available via a website, a mobile app, and an online store, it automatically increases the possibility of more customers and better sales. This is because customers can find you everywhere. They can shop at their convenience. When all your channels are interconnected and synced, the customer is free to start and make a purchase at any channel.
2. It boosts customer loyalty and retention
Since omnichannel marketing provides a consistent experience across all channels, it is easier for customers to trust a brand. As a result, they tend to buy more from the same brand. You can provide them omnichannel rewards which they can use at whichever platform they like which will further enhance their shopping experience.
3. It is more customer-centric
With omnichannel marketing, you are not just promoting your brand on every channel. But, at the same time, you are keeping the customer first. For instance, suppose a customer abandons the cart. You can send them a follow-up email reminding them that they have left something in the cart which they might want to buy. But, for that, you need to pursue website marketing and email marketing both.
4. It offers various ways of communication with the customers
Not every customer is comfortable in sharing their personal contact number while some customers would not want to provide an email id to a retailer. Omni-channel marketing makes it easier for retailers to connect with different customers via the medium of their choice. For instance, you can easily send an SMS to the customers who have shared their contact number with you and an email to those who have shared their emails with you respectively.
5. It provides a better understanding of the customer journey
Omnichannel marketing can do wonders with your data analytics. When you collect data on how a customer interacts with your brand through different channels, you get a better understanding of what a customer journey looks like, when customers prefer to engage with your brand, and which campaigns bring in the most results. All of this data can help strengthen your marketing tactics.
Steps for Leveraging Omnichannel Marketing
If you have decided to provide an omnichannel marketing experience to your customers, you need to first build up a strategy. For instance, you need to decide how you are going to ensure consistency across all channels, how you are going to provide a personalized shopping experience to every customer, etc. Here are 4 steps in which you can ensure a great omnichannel marketing strategy.
#1 Data collection
If you want to implement a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, start with collecting all the data related to a customer. This will help you in understanding your customers in a better way such as their preferred communication channels, times when they interact the most with your brand, their demographics, interests, location, and much more.
#2 Bringing all customer data to one place
To utilize this collected data, you need to create a centralized repository for it or a CDP. A CDP or a Customer Data Platform is a unified persistent database that stores behavioral, transactional, structured, and unstructured data from multiple sources into a single repository. This data can further be used to build a unified profile around an individual customer.
#3 Customer understanding
Once you have all the data for a customer in one place, the next step of your omnichannel marketing strategy should be to understand that data. You can generate reports, build charts and graphs to understand the shopping patterns of a customer. Based on this understanding, you can divide your customers into different segments and target them accordingly.
#4 Customer journey mapping
You must know that every customer has their own journey of how they discovered the brand, interacted with it, and made a purchase. A customer journey map highlights such a pathway for every customer and makes it easier for retailers to understand how to interact with the customer. You can send communications to customers based on their interests and enhance their shopping experience.
Tips to Make Omnichannel Marketing More Effective
1. Maintain a consistent identity across all channels
Every channel might involve a different type of content marketing strategy. But, your message should be the same across all channels. For instance, if you are organizing a huge sale next week, make sure you are communicating the same message across all channels. Similarly, you must maintain one brand voice across all channels. This will help customers become familiar with your business and identify it with one identity despite being present across all channels.
2. Integrate in-store and online shopping
Align the in-store shopping experience with the online shopping experience for your customers and find a big change in your sales. For instance, you can provide inventory details on your website so that customers know which products are out-of-stock and which are available. You can also offer live chat on your e-commerce website where customers can connect with one of your sales representatives in real-time. It is a fast and convenient way to get all of their questions answered.
3. Align all the promotions
Provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience by aligning your online and offline promotions. For instance, if you are offering a 10% discount on your online store, make sure to provide the same discount in your offline store as well. You can also provide coupons for shopping online and offline, making it easier for customers to shop from your brand.
4. Do not overdo your omnichannel marketing efforts
It should not seem that you are bugging your customers using every channel. Make sure you communicate the right message to the right customer at the right time using the right channel. Send messages that are relevant to a user, that is, adopt a personalized marketing strategy. For this, you need a deep understanding of your customers and clear segmentation of different types of customers.
An omnichannel marketing strategy allows retailers to reach customers wherever they are, with the right message at the right time. Omni-channel marketing not only ensures brand awareness but also increased sales and a better customer experience. Xeno makes it easier for you to streamline your omnichannel marketing efforts with pre-built AI campaigns, 360-degree customer profiles, customer journey builders, loyalty program builders, and much more. Create more effective omnichannel marketing campaigns with Xeno.