Omnichannel eCommerce is a concept that's been gaining traction for some time now. This strategy embraces the trends of how social media and eCommerce have come together to take businesses to new heights.
Omnichannel marketing not only means being present everywhere, but also enhancing the user experience in each of these channels for a more loyal clientele.
Why choose omnichannel marketing?
Since customers use multiple gadgets and platforms daily, having a marketing strategy around this makes sense. According to Google, "90% of the people who own more than one device, switch between them daily to perform a single task."
For example, they might check their email on their phones but reply on a desktop or laptop. They could use a tablet for social media but choose to place an order on their mobile phone for a product they saw while on the go.
Now that consumers are using all these gadgets to perform tasks easily, it goes to show you need to build a strategy to make the buying process as effortless for them as you can. And omnichannel eCommerce lets you do just that.
What is the difference between multi-channel marketing and omnichannel marketing?
Multi-channel and omnichannel marketing are two different marketing strategies. It's easy to confuse them to be the same because they both use multiple channels for marketing. But the similarity ends there. They differ in the way they are used.
Multi-channel marketing is using different platforms to reach out to customers, such as social media, email, print ads, retail outlets, your website, promotional events, and word of mouth. Whatever makes it possible to get the message to your buyers is included in this strategy.
A multi-channel strategy is built around getting the customer to know who you are. To raise awareness for their product or service, it's common for companies to use a mix of mediums, like email, social media, and print ads.
However, this strategy doesn’t cover the user experience while making a purchase or interacting with the company.
Omnichannel marketing uses all of the above mentioned channels to reach the customer, but the difference is that these channels are integrated in such a way that the user experience is seamless and smooth.
The buyer could buy from a mobile phone or a desktop, but the experience will be the same. This approach is more customer-centric as it is an experience-based strategy. The channels work together to make the customer experience comfortable and effortless, from the reaching out to them through order fulfillment.
Developing your own omnichannel marketing strategy
To develop a good omnichannel marketing strategy, consider the following aspects before establishing your plan:
- Know your target market thoroughly. Look at sales records and conduct marketing surveys to know which channels work best for your target market. This is crucial to developing a good strategy.
- Know the demographics of your customers. This helps in learning what platforms they use to get to you. Enhance their user experience through those mediums.
- Make sure that all of your company's departments (sales, marketing, PR, customer service, logistics and product development) work together as a single unit. Ideally they will work together to make the omnichannel experience a perfect one.
- Use marketing technology that integrates to other functional systems of your business. For example, all the tech tools should work in cohesion. The internal CRM and other financial and inventory monitoring software should be integrated so you have a well-oiled machine.
- Your website should be responsive and dynamic. A good cloud system should be used to manage in-house stock so your buyer doesn’t face any issues while purchasing.
Tips for enhancing your omnichannel strategy
For positive results and a seamless omnichannel experience, you need to optimize all the aspects of omnichannel experience.
- Test the experience that your customers go through. Practical walk throughs through each channel will allow you to discover potential obstacles in the process.
- You can do data evaluation to use consumer insights to make them offers through appropriate channels.
- Marketing automation will not only save you a lot of time, but it will also help you understand your customer's behavior in these channels.
- Personalized interactions with customers help build brand loyalty.
- Make sure the integration between channels work. For example, if your customer adds an item in the cart on his smartphone and later logs in on his desktop, the product should still be there.
Lastly, don't forget about how shipping plays into all of this! Learn more about how to optimize your shipping for omnichannel retail.