Omnichannel strategy refers to a brand’s holistic approach to every customer touchpoint across channels. With omnichannel strategies, brands tend to give customers a consistent, cohesive experience across both digital and brick-and-mortar feel. By approaching every channel as part of a single brand experience, all the pieces work together to reach audiences across the customer journey.
The pace of technological change is moving along a high potential line. For marketers, this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s becoming easier with each passing year for us to deliver on the original promise of marketing: the right message to the right person at the right time.
On the other, we’re lost in an ocean of complexity and competition. The growing number of competitors is good but anything excessive is too bad for the industry.
“Omnichannel marketing” is a great example of a term whose definition is becoming lost in the noise. Most would assume it simply refers to using more than one channel to market to a given audience.
Creating an Omnichannel Strategy
1. Collect Data
The first step in any digital or omnichannel transformation is to collect or gather data on existing and prospective customers. Data in this context might include anything from the devices customers use to the kinds of content they’re most likely to engage with or what they like and share the most, the social media platforms they prefer, and what products and services they want to purchase. It’s important to understand all their usual touch points with a brand and what activities convert them into loyal customers for the long term.
2. Analyze the Data
The valuable learnings (data) you collected are only useful if you take the time to analyze and understand them. So, the next step is to turn this research into actionable insights with your strategies. And remember that this experience is all about customers and their experience, not your brand oriented. Putting a customer-centric lens on everything you do will help make the experience an authentic one for your audience.
Similarly, it’s important to avoid making assumptions by analyzing too quickly. It may be easy to conclude your own experiences as a shopper but we think you will be biased somehow. Try to look at the research with a fresh perspective to take in the implications of each insight.
3. Track Customer Journey
One of the important omnichannel marketing strategies is to understand that each customer journey is unique and different. Based on the outcome of your data analysis, you should start to segment your customers and prospects. There could be differences in behavior in nature, personas, purchasing behavior, and intention of purchase behind the new product.
The exact characteristics determining how you segment your customer base will be unique to your brand and specific goals. But defining the customer journey is a fundamental aspect of developing your strategy further.
Also Read: Why is Digital Marketing Important for Startups?
4. Keep it Personal
Whatever your brand’s specific objective, whatever procedure you follow or execute remember one thing without troubling your customers to make sure you deliver a unified experience for the customers.
Things like visual branding may be pretty consistent across your customer base but never fall into the trap of treating all customers as a homogenous group. To the best of your ability, with whatever resources you have at your disposal, do your best to create individual connections and personalized experiences for each customer or prospect. Automation tools can help here, as can data analytics, not to mention personalized content, promotions, and deals.
A great brand experience will convert more prospects into loyal customers. More conversions mean more return on investment.
5. Test, and Track your Success with the Right Metrics
For marketers to do their jobs effectively, they need easy access to accurate sales data.
Better yet, access to reporting dashboards that clearly show which customer segments, product categories, and channels are driving the most revenue makes the job of any marketer infinitely easier.
Besides the standard marketing metrics, you’d expect to see in a reporting tool, when next considering a customer engagement platform ask whether or not it allows you to see metrics such as:
- Overall revenue
- Number of active customers
- Average order value
- Repeat purchase
- Customer churn
- Premium customer revenue
- Units per transaction
Why Does it Matter?
In a recent study that looked at consumer expectations, 87% of shoppers say they want a “personalized and consistent shopping experience across all shopping channels.” In other words, they want an omnichannel experience.
The importance of an omnichannel experience is that customers remember how they feel after encountering a brand at various connected touch points. Regardless of time, place, channel, or number of engagements, the whole of their experience with a brand leaves them with a positive, memorable impression. This feeling is important because it is exactly what compels customers to take action, purchase a product, or even tell their friends about it.
There is a lot of research to support this relationship between experience and action. For example, this same study revealed that the majority of consumers (56%) say they are “likely to shop at a retailer that offers a shared cart across channels.” Furthermore, 60% say they are “likely to choose a store if it offers inventory visibility across channels.”
Given this information, how are brands leveraging their marketing and channel strategies to deliver these winning customer experiences?
Ready to take the omnichannel experience to the next level?
Whether you realize it or not, you may already be creating omnichannel experiences for your customers. Taking this to the next level is often where marketers struggle. At scale, connecting all customer experiences in a seamless, consistent, and effortless way is no easy undertaking.
Luckily advancements in technology have made this easier. Customers expect more from their brand experiences, but brands also have the tools and know-how to meet these expectations.