Are you aware that 86% of shoppers regularly switch between two different shopping channels? They don’t just move between physical stores; they also switch between various online and offline channels while shopping. Sometimes, they even make online purchases while waiting in line at a brick-and-mortar store or use their smartphones as shopping assistants.
This is why 87% of retailers acknowledge the importance of the omnichannel marketing strategy for their businesses. They recognize that to excel in their industry, they must provide a consistent experience to customers across various touchpoints. As a retailer, you need to grasp the significance of omnichannel marketing in your business and utilize it to create a unique customer experience while maximizing your return on investment.
We’ve compiled an extensive guide featuring tips and strategies for successful omnichannel marketing. Let’s begin your journey toward building an effective omnichannel marketing campaign.
Harvard Business Review, in collaboration with a major US retail company, conducted a 14-month investigation into customer shopping behavior. They interviewed 46,000 shoppers and uncovered the following insights:
- 7% of customers exclusively shopped online.
- 20% of customers solely shopped in physical stores.
- A significant 73% of customers utilized multiple shopping channels during their purchasing journey.
The study further unveiled that customers who employed a greater number of channels were more valuable to retailers. For instance, those who engaged with more than four channels spent 9% more in physical stores compared to those who used only one channel.
The message was clear: omnichannel customer experience had become a necessity. Retailers had to reassess their customer journeys and discover fresh approaches to acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers through positive interactions across various points of contact.
As novel marketing channels continue to emerge, it is now imperative for retailers to redirect their attention from traditional marketing to adopting omnichannel marketing strategies.
Omnichannel marketing involves establishing your brand’s presence across numerous online (such as your website, app, social media, email, SMS, and WhatsApp) and offline (including retail stores, events, and call centers) channels. The primary objective is to ensure a positive and smooth experience for customers as they navigate their journey.
The terms “positive” and “seamless” are of utmost importance because 67% of customers attribute their churn to a negative customer experience. Therefore, if you aim to both attract and retain customers, it is essential to take your omnichannel marketing strategy seriously and fortify it to consistently provide a positive experience to your customers throughout their journey.
Omnichannel marketing holds significant importance because it enables you to create a positive customer experience throughout every phase of your journey, ultimately reducing customer attrition and fostering a favorable brand reputation. To illustrate, consider this scenario: Picture yourself feeling weary after a long workday, desiring a quick cup of coffee before heading home. You’re aware that your favorite coffee shop tends to be crowded during the evening, and you lack the energy to wait in line. Wouldn’t it be convenient if the coffee shop offered an option to pre-order coffee through a mobile app? This way, you could simply enter the shop, pick up your order, and be on your way. Starbucks successfully implemented this concept, simplifying the ordering and payment process for customers. Their mobile payment method accounts for 29% of all transactions. Starbucks not only improved the customer experience but also increased its revenue through the use of omnichannel technology.
To establish an impeccable omnichannel experience, begin by gaining a profound understanding of your customers, perhaps even more than they do with their closest friends. Take Starbucks, for instance; they comprehended a specific customer pain point—avoiding long queues despite a tempting coffee urge—and effectively transformed it into a seamless omnichannel experience.
Deep customer understanding entails closely observing the platforms your customers frequently utilize for shopping, studying their buying habits, recognizing shopping challenges they encounter, assessing their interactions with your brand across all touchpoints, and identifying the devices they employ for shopping.
This wealth of data will empower you to pinpoint the most suitable touchpoints, fortify them, and create interconnected, customized experiences that flow seamlessly for your customers. Moreover, it will enable you to identify common customer issues and devise practical solutions to address them.
Here’s what you can do to create a successful omnichannel marketing strategy:
- Plan the Customer Experience: Begin by comprehensively understanding your customers, their preferred channels, and their behavior across these channels. Develop a detailed plan outlining how you intend the customer experience to seamlessly unfold across all touchpoints.
- Base Your Strategy on Data: Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) data, insights from social listening, and analysis of customers’ online search behavior to gain a deep understanding of customer behavior. This data will enable you to devise solutions that effectively address their challenges, potentially reducing customer churn when used appropriately.
- Segment and Personalize: After analyzing the data, segment users into distinct categories based on common behavioral patterns. This segmentation allows you to create personalized journeys tailored to each type of customer.
- Focus on Context: Context is a vital aspect of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Ensure that the content of your message is relevant to the recipient and is delivered when they are most active on the channel they prefer.
- Choose the Right Tools: Select suitable omnichannel marketing tools to execute your strategy effectively, from the planning phase through implementation. Conduct a thorough analysis before making your tool selection.
- Cultivate Customer-Centricity: Make your organization customer-centric by training your employees to consistently provide an exceptional customer experience. This step is crucial because, without a customer-focused approach, no strategy or marketing tool will yield optimal results.
To establish an exceptional customer experience and demonstrate the potential for boosting your company’s return on investment (ROI) through omnichannel marketing, you need to present a compelling case to your management. To assist you in achieving this goal, we’ve curated four strategies to enhance ROI and cultivate a positive customer experience:
- Maintain Consistent Messaging: Start by training your marketing, sales, and customer support teams to ensure messaging consistency. Personalize content throughout the customer lifecycle, guaranteeing uniformity in your communication.
- Provide a Uniform Experience: To enhance customer lifetime value (LTV), prioritize delivering a consistent experience across various touchpoints. Well-trained staff members play a crucial role in ensuring this consistency since customers interact with your brand in diverse ways, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
- Sustain Communication Continuity: Foster ongoing communication across all channels to guide individuals through the entire buyer’s journey effectively.
- Harness Data-Driven Marketing: Personalization is the cornerstone of successful marketing. Employ data-driven marketing techniques to gain insights into your customers, allowing you to engage with them effectively using the most suitable channels.
Smartphones have greatly simplified people’s lives, whether it’s ordering food, booking a ride, or making swift payments. Consequently, it’s unsurprising that Google’s VP of Marketing revealed that 96% of users turn to their smartphones for answers, and 70% consult their devices before making in-store purchases.
If you haven’t been focusing on mobile apps, you may be missing out on numerous potential customers. A mobile app is a vital component of your omnichannel marketing strategy. However, considering that the average smartphone user has around 30 mobile apps, capturing their attention can be quite challenging.
To center your omnichannel marketing efforts around mobile apps for various customer phases, consider these four strategies:
- Welcoming New Users: Develop a well-structured onboarding strategy to guide users through the app’s features effectively.
- Keeping Users Engaged: Implement strategies to maintain user engagement within your app, preventing them from uninstalling it.
- Re-engaging Inactive Users: Utilize personalized and compelling push notifications to re-engage users who have become inactive.
- Converting into Brand Advocates: Leverage omnichannel marketing to transform your users into enthusiastic brand advocates, recognizing that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most trusted forms of promotion.
Despite the substantial efforts invested in comprehending data and crafting a seamless customer experience across all channels, it’s natural for marketers to question the value of omnichannel marketing. To underscore the significance of omnichannel marketing, we’d like to share some compelling statistics:
- Marketers observe a remarkable 250% higher engagement rate when employing an omnichannel strategy, compared to those relying on single-channel marketing.
- The average order value increases by 13% when marketers embrace the omnichannel approach.
- Customer retention rates soar by an impressive 90% with the implementation of an omnichannel strategy.
Executing omnichannel marketing may indeed necessitate your team to merge marketing and technical expertise while navigating substantial volumes of data to create a successful campaign. However, the outcome is the cultivation of a positive customer experience. What more could one desire than a satisfied customer who consistently returns?