By Rajiv Kumar Aggarwal
Whether it’s your colleague looking for new outfits for a weekend party or booking a restaurant to host a great birthday dinner, the journey to purchase, in today’s world of scanning, can start or end anytime, anywhere and on any device.
As modern shoppers, we have this constant urge to switch from online stores to mobile apps and our favorite social media platforms before making a purchase. And it’s our growing reliance on technology that has led to increased demand for the “buy” option across every channel we use in our buying journey. This is exactly why brands need to establish an omnichannel presence.
The challenge for new-era business owners is to facilitate seamless, seamless, and more personalized buying journeys across multiple customer touchpoints. And, by building an omnichannel platform, brands can not only improve customer experience, but also facilitate consumer retention, which can further boost digital sales.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Retail e-commerce has long been the harbinger of change. Thus, it was not surprising to see the omnichannel e-commerce strategy being adopted first by retail brands. Gaining popularity with the mobile revolution in 2013, less than a decade later, omnichannel retail has become the go-to business model for brands looking to disrupt the market.
With the emergence of new marketing channels, retailers are now forced to focus on omnichannel marketing strategies and focus on traditional marketing. Well, that all makes perfect sense, but what exactly does omnichannel marketing mean? Let’s dive deeper.
Omni-Channel Marketing is about building your brand’s presence across multiple online (website, app, social media, email, SMS, WhatsApp) and offline (retail store, events, call center) channels to ensure a positive and seamless experience throughout the customer journey. In simpler terms, omnichannel marketing takes a consumer-centric view of marketing tactics.
Compared to its counterparts like multi-channel and cross-channel marketing, where all communication channels work in isolation with no connection or limited connection between them, omni-channel marketing is a more advanced version where all channels work cohesively and in harmony with each other.
Make the omnichannel marketing plan a success
While opting for omnichannel solutions sounds like a smart move for brands, crafting a seamless, unified, multi-channel strategy to create an impactful connection with customers across multiple touchpoints is a whole different ballgame. To create an impactful omnichannel experience, you need to have a perfect omnichannel marketing strategy whose success is governed by certain key elements.
Identification of customer channels: Not knowing customers can spell disaster for any brand, but creating an omnichannel experience requires knowing them intimately. Knowing the buying interests of customers, the channels they use, and the motivating factors behind their purchase can have a significant impact for any brand. From there, brands can create a detailed plan for how they want the experience to play out across all touchpoints. By inviting customer feedback and using social media tools, businesses can identify the channels consumers use to access their content, which in turn helps them maximize their return on investment. (KING).
Consistent brand tone and experience: By using omnichannel marketing, one can seamlessly integrate online and offline branding, messaging, and touchpoints. This allows your buyers to interact with your brand across different channels. So, it’s really important for businesses to keep their brand tone and customer experience consistent across every channel. You can also use personalized messages based on buyer interest. Additionally, producing branded content based on past interactions and stages of the buyer’s journey will add to the enjoyable shopping experience and can potentially build customer loyalty to your brand.
Make it personal: Nothing like personalization to make customers feel valued. Allowing customers to use the local languages of their choice can not only attract them, but also potentially lead to conversions. You can also target customers with relevant product recommendations. For example, a customer, who showed interest in a product on an online store but did not purchase it, can be retargeted via social media with a discount offer. A brand can also create a loyalty program based on customer data collected from in-store and online purchases with the goal of driving more sales.
Strategize with data: There’s nothing like valuable consumer data to make a brand stand out. You can make full use of customer browsing data by enabling cookies on your site. It can provide insight into a customer’s tastes and preferences that can be used to better target them. By gathering information about items on consumers’ wish list, you can persuade customers to buy by offering discounts on those products. Insights into consumers’ preferred shopping days, preferred social media platforms, and shopping channels can help your brand plan the right engagement strategy at every stage of the customer’s buying journey. This, moreover, can lead to a significant increase in conversions.
Take advantage of user-generated content: By leveraging user-generated content, you can further strengthen a brand’s ability to market its products. By inviting customers to add reviews and ratings to your website, you can build trust in the products or services offered. Users can also be encouraged to add images or videos to their reviews, which adds to the authenticity of the product and creates a real understanding of what a product will look like when used. By effectively leveraging user-generated content, you can easily create social proof of products, proof of product value, and most importantly, build credibility for your brand.
Optimize customer touchpoints: When running a business, you have to make sure that every customer interaction with the brand is positive. This is why optimizing various digital touchpoints is so essential for brands. For example, you can use your social media page to promote products, build relationships, and improve overall brand reputation. Similarly, a brand can optimize other touchpoints like a mobile website, online store, and apps, among others, to create an effective omnichannel experience which, in turn, can act as a catalyst to improve customer experience. customer engagement and conversions.
Going hyperlocal: In ever-changing market situations, there is a constant need to find innovative ways to reach customers. While your quality products or services certainly remain imperative to strike a chord with consumers, earning customer satisfaction can be a challenge. One way to overcome these obstacles is to use the power of hyperlocal. For example, by collaborating with local vendors and offline stores, a brand can really speed up the process of delivering products to customers, something foodservice aggregators and fast food brands have been doing recently.
Brands can also create localized content on the site to engage with people in a specific location. It can make a brand more appealing to those looking for similar products in a particular area. Additionally, by using relevant keywords on localized landing pages, a brand can show up on local searches and also drive more site traffic. Plus, when it comes to attracting new customers, there’s nothing like location-specific offers to entice them.
Is it worth it?
For all the pains one must put into understanding the data and, therefore, creating a seamless experience for customers across multiple channels, it’s pretty obvious to ask whether omnichannel marketing is really worth it. But, in an era where customer behavior continues to dictate market shifts, omnichannel marketing is the way forward for businesses that want to win the battleground of customer experience.
A successful omnichannel marketing strategy is known to drive brand awareness with customers, improve engagement, and increase ROI and sales. But, arguably the most important thing for omnichannel marketing is customer retention and retention. After all, who doesn’t love a satisfied customer who is willing to come back to your brand again and again?
Regardless of the size or scale of your business, you can no longer ignore omnichannel marketing as a fad or an exception. In fact, it’s the new normal.
The author is founder and CEO of StoreHippo. The opinions expressed are personal.
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