What is an Omnichannel Approach?
Omnichannel is a strategy used to improve the customer experience and drive better relationships across all possible channels. This includes traditional, digital, point-of-sale, physical, or online experiences with various touchpoints.
Omnichannel marketing is a way for brands to provide the best possible customer experience. Through omnichannel, customers can seamlessly move between channels without experiencing interruptions in branding or messaging at any point during their journey from awareness through purchase and beyond into loyalty status with that brand.
Marketers need to understand how each channel fits together in order to know which specific messages are needed on which platforms based on where the customer currently lives within your organization’s overall strategy.
Why do you need to be using Omnichannel in 2021?
In an age when the world has moved from computers, TV, and retail stores to laptops, cellphones, and online shopping, it’s no surprise that marketing norms have also evolved. Omnipresent customers are now looking for omnichannel marketing. A single item could be purchased using different media now instead of one medium in the past.
When consumers shop in stores they look at a brand’s mobile app more than 50% of the time. Clearly, technology has changed the way we buy and the way marketers communicate with their consumers was directly affected by this. Marketing is no longer a one-point task, and even with multiple-channel marketing, there are no boundaries between the channels. As consumers grow smarter and touch upon every channel before making a purchase decision, marketers need to match that innovation.
Here’s one main reason why you should think about using omnichannel marketing.
Creating customer experience that counts.
Successful marketing is now driven by customer experience. 60% of Millennials expect that brands interact with them in a consistent manner, whether it’s online, in-store, or on the phone. So customer experience will be the deciding factor for competitive differentiation.
A positive customer experience at any stage of their lifecycle can be achieved through omnichannel marketing, as well as reducing churn and driving positive brand perception.
Here’s an example. After a long day at work, you want to relax with a quick cup of coffee before getting into the car. Your favorite coffee shop will be packed in the evening, and you lack the energy to stand in line. Wouldn’t it be nice if the cafe had an app so that you could pre-order coffee, enter the shop, collect the order, and leave?
And that’s exactly what Starbucks did. The process of ordering and paying has been made easier. The company makes 29% of its transactions through mobile payments. Through omnichannel technology, Starbucks not only enhanced the customer experience but also increased revenue.
According to Forbes.com, 89% of companies say they compete based on customer experience, and 80% think they are doing it well, but only 8% of customers are convinced they are doing it well. Although many brands have not been able to impress customers thus far, the effort is worth it as the average omnichannel customer engagement strategy keeps 89% of its customers, compared to 33% for brands with a weak strategy.
What are the benefits of Omnichannel Marketing?
An omnichannel marketing strategy provides brands with an uninterrupted customer experience that begins at awareness and ends at purchase. This means customers won’t need to go from one platform to another to access what they need; everything will be at their fingertips in one click, regardless of where it’s located or what device they’re using.
Having a comprehensive omnichannel marketing strategy can provide your organization with the following benefits:
Enhance Customer Loyalty
When customers trust and value a brand, they purchase from it. Through omnichannel marketing, brand experiences across all platforms are personalized for each customer. The overall customer experience will be improved with such an approach, leading to increased customer loyalty and retention.
Improve Brand Recall
With omnichannel marketing, your brand can be seen consistently across channels and devices so that your customers will perceive your brand the same way. Customers are more likely to recall your brand when you are consistent and you are more likely to see purchases among your customer base if your brand is well-remembered.
As customer loyalty is enhanced with omnichannel strategies, brand recall is reinforced, and repeat purchases are encouraged. Through content personalization and word-of-mouth marketing, brands are able to retain customers and attract new ones. Increased customer numbers inevitably lead to more revenue and, thus, more profit.
Which companies are already doing it well with Omnichannel?
The consistency of branding and customer experience is what distinguishes a good omnichannel marketing campaign from a bad one. Even with the most advanced automation tools and channels available to help you implement omnichannel marketing, a poor strategy can lead to failure.
If they are offered an inconsistent experience, your customers will not think twice before switching to your competitor. Omnichannel marketing strategy can not be tailored to fit all needs. The following examples, however, may serve as inspiration for brands wanting to implement effective omnichannel marketing strategies.
Disney understands the omnichannel experience down to the smallest detail. Beginning with the company’s mobile-friendly website, you will have a positive first impression. Even its trip-planning website works seamlessly on mobile devices which is something that you don’t see very often.
With My Disney Experience, you can plan your entire vacation, from where to eat to when to secure your Fast Pass. The park’s mobile app allows you to view the estimated wait times for attractions as well as locate them using your mobile device.
The company takes it one step further by introducing the Magic Band program. With this device, you can access your hotel room key, store pictures of you with Disney characters, and order food from restaurants. You can even use Fast Pass to make your vacation run smoothly.
That’s a truly omnichannel experience, and Disney is leading the way.
Bank of America is serious about its omnichannel strategy. Known as one of the industry’s biggest brands, they’re setting the standard for a dynamic experience; as of today, everything from check deposits to appointment scheduling can all be handled using the company’s apps.
Despite this, Bank of America has a long way to go. So far, users cannot apply for loans or perform other more complex banking tasks from their phones. However, other activities, such as paying your monthly bills or depositing a check, shouldn’t require that level of hassle – and the omnichannel experience that the company offers ensures that won’t happen.
Oasis is a UK fashion retailer that is automating its ecommerce and mobile platforms, as well as its brick-and-mortar stores, into one seamless shopping experience.
If you visit one of its stores, you will find sales associates working with iPads to provide you with on-the-spot, accurate, and current product information. iPads also act as a cash register, so associates can ring up customers from anywhere in the store. In the event that an item appears to be out of stock, the staff can instantly place an order for the item to be shipped directly to your home.
Also, the Oasis mobile app can be downloaded to supplement the store’s in-store and online shopping experiences.
How to create an Omnichannel Marketing strategy for your own business?
If you think you’re doing omnichannel marketing simply because you use multiple channels, then you’re mistaken. As the number of channels has grown rapidly over the last several years, many marketers are using email, social media, SMS and pay-per-click, while also using print and other methods. Because they use more than one channel, they are technically using multichannel marketing and NOT omnichannel.
With the growing number of marketing channels available, the customer journey has become increasingly complex. You can easily create an omnichannel marketing strategy by following these steps:
Know Your Customers
Marketing teams need to understand their customers in order to be successful. Developing buyer personas and identifying target audiences as well as understanding their wants, needs, behaviors, demographics, preferences, and goals is critical.
You will then need to analyze available first-, second-, and third-party data to identify and determine patterns in the buyer’s preferences. The right tools will be useful for gathering, analyzing, and storing this data. When you understand who your customers are, it becomes much easier to deliver relevant marketing.
The key difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing is that omnichannel prioritizes the customer. In order to achieve omnichannel success, the customer journey must be evaluated.
Examine every touchpoint a buyer goes through before becoming your customer. Is the customer experience consistent across these touchpoints? Otherwise, you will have to gather the necessary departments to implement the change. To enhance customer engagement, each department should be aligned with a customer-first mindset.
Use the Right Tools
As soon as you have identified your customers, you must decide which tools and solutions you will utilize to connect with them. Choosing the specific tools that fit within your tech stack can be complicated but you can look into the following solutions to get started:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Fully Integrated Customer Engagement Platform
Marketing Automation Tools
Social Media Management Solutions
Data Analytics Tools
Segment Your Users
Your audience should be segmented based on the data points and characteristics that are most important for your business goals. Segments can be created based on buyer personas, paths to purchase, subscription status, and more. Marketing and remarketing efforts can be more effective when segmentation is used correctly.
Personalise Across All Channels
Omnichannel marketing relies heavily on personalisation. That is how you let your customers know they are appreciated. Personalised marketing requires you to establish a 1:1 connection with each member of your target audience. By using the right data points, automation and analysis tools, your organisation can deliver individualized content to recipients. As a result, customer experience will be improved, revenue will be generated, brand loyalty will be increased, and consistency across all channels will be achieved.
Track Your Success with the Right Metrics
By tracking the right metrics with the right tools, you can report accurate data and derive actionable insights to enhance your omnichannel approach. With the right metrics, you can better report on the successes and failures of your omnichannel strategy and use that information to revise your strategy and enhance ROI.
Is Omnichannel Marketing Worth the Effort?
Despite all the efforts marketers put into understanding the data and creating a seamless experience for the customer across all channels, it is understandable that they may question whether omnichannel marketing is worthwhile. Here are a few statistics that prove omnichannel marketing is vital.
An omnichannel marketing strategy results in a 250% higher engagement rate than a single-channel marketing strategy. Marketers using the omnichannel strategy saw increases in orders worth 13%.
Omnichannel strategies resulted in a 90% increase in customer retention.
Creating a successful Omnichannel campaign may require your team to merge their marketing and technical experience and sort through enormous amounts of information. However, all of it is going to help you create a positive customer experience in the end. What could be better than a satisfied customer who will return to you repeatedly?
By using omnichannel, you give your users, shoppers, and customers a unified experience. This results in better user engagement, as well as higher sales and brand awareness.
In a summary, omnichannel marketing will allow you to:
- Integrate multiple channels seamlessly
- Ensure a unified experience for users
- Access to all channels more easily
- Increase your return on investment
- Promote brand awareness
- Establish a long-term, sustainable business
Using omnichannel marketing, you can transform your online store from a good business to one that is powerful, sales-driven and can establish and grow its customer base.
Amazon and other major competitors use this method, and it is available for you to use as soon as you’re ready.
Your company can set itself apart from your competition by getting your entire brand into the driving seat of delivering an omnichannel experience. Being omnipresent on the channels that your customers prefer and getting the entire company behind creating an omnichannel experience will ensure your success.