Published on August 22nd, 2020
If you’re strategizing to take your business to the next level, you’re probably thinking about leveraging the power of omnichannel marketing (OM).
OM is a concept that’s grown organically over the past five years and is today considered to be one of the swiftest growing ideas for both consumers and sellers.
The term was first introduced in the marketing sector around 2010 to define a retail experience that is beyond the earlier concept of multichannel marketing.
A Brief Overview
This isn’t just a new buzzword that’s taking the retail industry by storm – it’s a process of integrating all your marketing channels and using them to provide your customers with a more unified experience.
That means you use in-store and online, POS, digital channels, and traditional ones to adjust to your customer’s behavior as they move through your sales funnel.
This gives them an intensely personal and focused experience. It refers to a customer’s complete shopping experience across all the platforms that she/he accesses, whether it’s a conventional brick-n-mortar store or online retail, text messages, email, etc.
This strategy holds immense benefits for both you and your customer.
In 2013, an article in the Huffington Post attributed the popularity of omnichannel marketing to the corresponding traction in the use of smartphones and the phenomenon of “showrooming.”
Here, a customer in a physical store tends to use their phones to compare prices, products, and brands, go through reviews, and check with social media before they purchase either later at home or in-store elsewhere.
Today, shopper behavior includes browsing in-store for a product, scanning the store’s app, adding products to the online shopping cart to purchase at a later time, probably in a different size or color.
They may check with Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest for newer styles that are trending on social media, and avail of coupons if they’re available.
Customers may also wish to be notified about new arrivals, similar styles, etc. Other features allow them to virtually try on glasses, clothes, or make-up and click a photo to help them make purchasing decisions online.
Many of these features connect via different platforms, and if you’re able to provide your customer with a seamless experience through this process, the rewards are huge.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study in 2017 of 46,000 customers to test the efficacy of omnichannel marketing.
Nearly 73% of them used multichannel shopping, where they used different touch points provided by the retailer to enhance their shopping experience and get the maximum benefits from their purchasing process.
According to Research Brief, mobile devices account for 60% of digital media interactions, while 41% of smartphone users said they used their phones for shopping.
These numbers are set to grow, and the present pandemic crisis has increased the appetite for exclusively online shopping experiences.
Retailers are increasingly beginning to integrate technologies in-store and online so that they remain relevant and competitive, for their survival, health, and growth.
Top 11 Benefits
1. More Cost-Effective: OM provides you with large amounts of usable data that allows you to allocate your resources more effectively in a better-focused marketing campaign.
Data feeds enable you to analyze which channels are showing better results – and you could reduce the expenditure on paid platforms and concentrate on the free ones.
2. Higher Purchase Rate and Customer Engagement: Reports show that omnichannel campaigns that use three or more channels offer better customer engagement and a 250% more purchase rate compared to single-channel campaigns.
3. Reach the Big Spenders: Research shows that omnichannel-enabled shoppers tend to be bigger spenders. The figures reported are between 50 – 300% more than conventional shoppers. This is because they feel more empowered and better informed before they make a purchase.
4. Increase New Prospects: OM integrates and choreographs activities across several channels and creates multiple new leads.
5. More Customer Connect: The data available across many channels allows you to create more precise customer profiles based on their behavior, preferences, and choices. This makes all your campaigns more relevant and targeted.
6. Customer Retention: When you have more customer information across different channels, you can put in the right strategies to attract lost or inactive customers and get them back into the fold. This strategy also helps you to keep your current clientele close.
7. Higher visibility: OM provides great opportunities for brand visibility across multiple platforms. When the customer encounters your brand on the smartphone, email, in-store, online, etc., It offers a seamless shopping experience that makes your brand more memorable.
8. Self-Service: More than 60% of customers surveyed in a study by Nuance Enterprise said that they preferred self-service rather than connecting with a company rep.
Nearly 91% reported that they were ready to choose a self-service knowledge base customized to their unique requirements.
9. Net the Switchers: More than 60% of customers reported that they started their shopping experience on one device, switched to another, and sometimes finished in a third device or even a brick-n-mortar store.
They check more than 10 points of information and conduct thorough research before making the final decision.
They also demand the facility to compare and contrast brands and products, check availability, read reviews, cross-check with social media, and then finally pay for the purchase online.
This means OM has to be geared for vertical, horizontal, and diagonal messaging to be most effective as customers expect the experience to be consistent across all the platforms.
10. Repeat Customers: The average order value (AOV) on single-channel marketing campaigns is about 13% lower as compared to omnichannel ones. These customers have been observed to return more often for repeat orders, and you can provide them with better customer service.
11. Real-Time Engagement: Co-browsing with your customer, engaging with them in real-time video or chat, screen sharing, etc., makes customers feel more engaged and involved with your brand.
This is similar to what they would experience in a traditional physical store where the sales staff are on hand to provide guidance and assistance in real-time.
Chatbots are an excellent tool for customers who would prefer not to deal with a human assistant.