As a human, we love having options & choices. And this stands true when it comes to shopping! Multiple pieces of research suggest that people love to shop from various channels instead of sticking to anyone.
They constantly hop between channels to get the best deals & ultimate services. This is the reason why leading brands & retailers are shifting their attention to Omnichannel marketing to grow their business significantly.
These brands clearly understand that to keep their existing customers & get new ones, they need to offer an unmatched shopping experience to the customers across every channel. Being at the various touchpoints of a customer’s shopping journey is vital for the survival of any brand. This has led to a lot of investment in Omnichannel Marketing by big shots of the industries.
In this blog, I will explore answers to the questions like What is Omnichannel Marketing? What are the benefits of Omnichannel Marketing & What can be the best Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
So let’s get started without wasting much time.
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What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel Marketing is a multichannel marketing & sales strategy that focuses on offering an integrated & intuitive shopping experience to the customers. It doesn’t matter whether a customer shops from Mobile apps, desktop apps, websites, or physical stores; Omnichannel Marketing focuses on creating a unified shopping experience.
This covers everything from traditional marketing approaches like Print Media & Bill Boards to cutting edge marketing strategies like Social Media Marketing, SEO & SEM.
If you think this is something that you have never experienced before, you are not paying proper attention. E.g., when you receive an SMS related to Black Friday off in a physical shop, you are witnessing an omnichannel marketing strategy!
Similarly, getting e-mail notifications from online stores when you ditch shopping at the last moment & leave your cart is also an example of Omnichannel Marketing!
Why Omnichannel Marketing is critical for your business?
Recently, Harvard Business Review commenced research on some 46k shoppers to understand their shopping behaviors & channel preferences. The results were very astounding & unbelievable.
- Just 7% of the users preferred only Online shopping
- 20% of the users chose only Offline Shopping
- Whopping 73% of the users preferred both online & offline shopping.
With these numbers, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why Omnichannel Marketing is so crucial for your business. Shoppers are not confined to just online & offline stores. As the new marketing channels emerge, retail businesses must rethink & restructure their existing marketing strategies. The focus needs to be shifted to Omnichannel Marketing.
Above all, Omnichannel marketing is essential as it assists you in delivering an excellent customer experience through every possible channel.
Let’s understand with an example.
It’s a weekend & you want to take dinner at your favorite restaurant with your partner. But you already know that it’s going to be crowded. Wouldn’t it be great if they have a facility where you can book an early appointment via a mobile app before you visit?
This is precisely what Omnichannel marketing is all about. It helps you serve your customer across multiple channels, resulting in a better customer-brand relationship.
What is the difference between Omnichannel Marketing & MultiChannel Marketing?
People often confuse Omnichannel Marketing with Multichannel Marketing. But I don’t blame them. As both marketing strategies utilize multiple channels to promote a product/service to connect with potential customers, it’s easy to get confused.
So before we start understanding the critical difference between them, let’s take a look at their definition first.
A strategy that leverages the potential of different Marketing channels on multiple platforms to reach out to new customers & retain existing customers. Multichannel marketing channel covers traditional marketing platforms like Print Media, Billboards, Product Packaging, Promotional television ads & digital marketing platforms like Social Media & Websites.
Omnichannel Marketing is a multichannel marketing strategy that focuses on offering an integrated & intuitive shopping experience to the customers. Whether the customer is buying from a physical store, mobile app, or a website, Omnichannel marketing focuses on delivering the ultimate shopping experience.
If you are still confused, I can understand as there is a fine line between the definition of both. But check out these three basic differences between Multichannel Marketing & Omnichannel Marketing.
2- critical differences between Omnichannel Marketing & Multichannel marketing
Approach towards customer
Customer is at the Core of every Omnichannel Marketing strategy. Specialists fuse all the available channels to engage & holistically interact with the customer at various touchpoints. The goal is to deliver them an excellent shopping experience & thus creating an everlasting bond between the Brand & the customer.
On the contrary, Multichannel marketing is more about getting your message to the customer by utilizing various marketing channels available. The core goal here is to reach & engage as many customers as possible. Brands do so by leveraging the power of different Social Media platforms, websites, paid ads, & Traditional Marketing tactics.
Suppose any brand wants to stay connected with the customer. It’s vital to have a consistent Brand Voice. Omnichannel Marketing ensures that every message they deliver to the customer is consistent.
This is not the case with multichannel marketing. Multichannel marketing focuses more on getting the word out, no matter the consistent tone or Brand Voice.
I hope now you understand how Omnichannel marketing is different from multichannel marketing. Now let’s take a look at the benefits of Omnichannel Marketing.
What are the Benefits of Omnichannel marketing?
Higher Customer Retention rate
In today’s highly competitive world, brands are focusing more on retaining their existing customers than the new customers. The reason is simple, multiple pieces of research suggest that a retained customer tends to spend more than compared to a new customer. Moreover, a retained customer becomes a Brand ambassador & brings in extra revenue.
This is where Omnichannel Marketing can be of great help. As customers like to buy via the more convenient channel, having an Omnichannel marketing strategy in place ensures you stay in touch with them constantly.
So if you deploy multichannel marketing strategies, your Customer Retention Rate will shoot up.
Improves Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers are the real growth engines that drive the success of any Brand. And to ensure your customer stays loyal to your brand, it is essential to make them feel they are important & you care for them.
Omnichannel marketing is an excellent way to do so. With Omnichannel Marketing, you can utilize all the channels that are available at your disposal & offer them a unique & personalized shopping experience.
This improves your customer’s shopping experience with you & there are better chances of them staying loyal to you. So if you want to improve your customer’s Loyalty, Omnichannel marketing is an excellent way.
No customer will buy your product without checking it out & verifying it on multiple platforms. Let’s say you are selling a sleeping mattress. Before your customer buys from you, they will check out reviews & ratings on various platforms. They will even consider “word-of-mouth” before buying.
If your brand doesn’t stand out on these platforms, there is no chance they are buying from you. But with Omnichannel Marketing & Centralized Database, these customers can easily find out your products & their reviews anywhere they look. This will increase your chance of selling the product, resulting in higher efficiency.
The best thing about Omnichannel Marketing is its integrated structure. With Omnichannel Marketing strategies in place, you won’t have to look at work on different segments with different goals.
Omnichannel Marketing offers you integrated Business management & helps you focus on other essential aspects of the Business. You can manage everything right from a single, centralized system & make multiple segments work in sync. This is a tremendous advantage once your business grows as it is impossible to keep track of your different marketing campaigns at once.
Excellent customer insight
Data & insights are beneficial for any business. Imagine what if you can get all the critical customer insights like shopping cards, IP addresses, mailing lists, social media accounts & POS sales data at a single platform?
It will boost your efficacy like never before, right? That’s what you get when you deploy Omnichannel Marketing. You get all this data at a single point & you can later analyze what channels are delivering better results & which are not. This will help you optimize the ones that are not working & get better outcomes.
Improves customer satisfaction
A satisfied customer will keep coming back to you, bringing in more business. But to ensure a customer comes back, you need to deliver excellent satisfaction. A research report suggests that 65% of customers expect to get excellent customer support, no matter what channel they are shopping from.
The same research also suggests that almost 75% of customers are ready to return for repurchase if they feel they are getting an excellent service.
Thankfully, Omnichannel Marketing allows you to do so by offering the best customer support services across different channels. This makes a customer feel special & they will keep coming back.
How to create an excellent Omnichannel Marketing strategy 2022?
The first step for creating a successful omnichannel marketing strategy is to understand your customer’s pain points. When you understand your customer’s pain points, you get a clear idea about what you can do to solve those issues.
Let’s take the example of Starbucks. This global beverage leader quickly understood the problem of their customers. They wanted to sip their coffee but were not interested in standing in the long queues. So that’s what they focused on while designing their Omnichannel marketing strategy.
So before you create your strategy, you must understand what problems your customers are facing, what channel they use most of the time, How they interact with your Brand & what gadgets they use for shopping.
Once you are equipped with all this information, you deliver a seamless & customized shopping experience to your customers. And once your customer is satisfied with your solution, they will keep coming back to you.
Now, let’s take a look at all the steps involved in creating Omnichannel Marketing strategies for your business.
Step 1: Place consumer at the Core
As I have mentioned earlier, Omnichannel Marketing is all about placing a customer first. So the first step is to map your customer’s journey at every touchpoint.
Try to identify multiple touchpoints they passed through before reaching you as a customer. All these touchpoints are critical & it’s important that your customer gets consistent experience across all of them.
If that’s not the case, you need to get in touch with the department that handles a particular touchpoint.
Make sure all your departments are working on the customer-first approach.
Step 2: Understand your Customer
Once you are done mapping your buyer’s journey, it’s time to understand your customers. To do so, you will have to identify your customers, their demography, their interests, their behaviors, their needs, & their wants. In short, you will have to build your customer’s persona.
Once you are done, get started with understanding their shopping preferences. You can do so by analyzing first & third-party data available to you. Data analytics plays a crucial role at this stage, so make sure you have an excellent data analytics team.
This step is significant, as without understanding your customer, any strategy you build will not succeed.
Step 3: Compartmentalize your customers
When you have access to many consumer data, it’s easy to classify them based on their behaviors. Businesses often neglect this point, but let me tell you why you shouldn’t.
Compartmentalizing your customers ensures you have separate groups of like-minded individuals. For e.g., you are selling broad-spectrum sports equipment. Suppose you separate your customers into two groups, one who is interested in indoor sports & the other who are interested in outdoor sports. In that case, it will be easy for you to deliver a personalized customer experience to both of them.
Step 4: Get the proper Context
A lot of Omnichannel Marketing fails & the primary reason for this is they don’t get the Context right. E.g., Let’s say a customer is planning to buy an Android Smartphone from an offline store. It makes no sense to show them an online offer on an iPhone. They are not looking to buy an iPhone from an online store.
So, no matter how great that offer is, you won’t be able to convert that customer.
So make sure you place your ads at the right time, in front of the right audience.
Step 5: Have the proper infrastructure in place
Without a rock-solid infrastructure, creating an effective Omnichannel marketing strategy is impossible.
You will need many tools & hardware to identify & manage your customers. This process is a bit of complex & depends on multiple factors.
But here is the list of some essential tools you must have for Omnichannel Marketing.
- Marketing Automation tools
- Personalized CRM software
- Social Media Management Software
- Data Analytics tools
This is neither a complete list nor a definitive list. These are the basic tools that I feel every Omnichannel Marketer must-have.
Step6: Offer Personalized service
Personalization is the driving force behind every successful Omnichannel Marketing. The more personalized services you deliver, the better are the chances of getting new customers & retaining the old ones.
So make sure you establish a close one-on-one relationship with your customer. This can be done by utilizing all the data & resources at your disposal. A highly personalized user experience will help you improve customer satisfaction & generate more revenue by driving exceptional growth.
Step 7: Keep Testing & Optimizing
As the digital world evolves, you cannot get stuck. The key to a successful Omnichannel Marketing is to test & optimize your existing strategy. The best way to do so is using Media Planning Tools that can run “what if” conditions that take budget, multiple KPIs & Target Audience.
Now let’s take a look at some Omnichannel Marketing examples by leading brands.
Brands that are leveraging Omnichannel Marketing to grow their Business
The global pharma brand that offers health & wellness products has developed a unique Omnichannel marketing idea for its customers. They launched an app that allows their customers to refill the prescriptions & collect the products from their store. This has eliminated the need to stand in a queue. It also helps customers locate their nearest store, so they don’t have to keep running around.
Starbucks has deployed one of the most efficient Omnichannel Marketing strategies in the market. Using Mobile Rewards App, Starbucks has integrated an online & in-shop experience to deliver maximum convenience to their customers.
Their customers can recharge their cards online & avoid long queues in the morning by placing early orders via the app.
What are the Omnichannel Marketing best practices?
Let’s look at some of the best practices that you should follow while performing omnichannel marketing.
- Make sure you understand your customers journey at a personal level
- Choose the proper channels as if you make a mistake in selecting the right channels, you won’t get desired results.
- Analyze different Omnichannel Marketing tools & choose that best fits your Business model
- Don’t overdo messaging, as it can trigger a negative response from your customer.
- Keep testing & optimizing to get the best results.
What are the mistakes that you should avoid while doing Omnichannel Marketing?
Here is the list of some common mistakes to avoid while performing Omnichannel Marketing.
- Don’t create Content blindly. Understand your user’s persona first & then create Content for better results
- Utilize Data efficiently. Analyze your data in detail & ditch that’s not useful for you.
- While analyzing metrics, focus equally on Online & Offline channels to get a better picture.
- Fix every problem as you move ahead to avoid any issues in the future.
- Keep the customer at the center of your entire strategy
- Once your strategies are ready, stick to them
Avoiding these primary mistakes will ensure you get the best results from your Omnichannel Marketing campaigns.
Omnichannel Marketing is probably one of the most effective & proven ways, especially for retail brands. Customers are shopping from everywhere & you must reach out to them at every touchpoint.
It is possible that you might find Omnichannel marketing daunting at first. But once you get started, everything will fall in place. So don’t delay anymore. Get started with your Omnichannel Marketing campaigns for exponential growth.
I hope this detailed Guide on Omnichannel Marketing will help you in your quest to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Are Omnichannel & Multichannel Marketing the same?
No, both are different. Although they do utilize multiple channels to reach out to the customers, their core objectives are other.
Is it a good time to start Omnichannel Marketing for my Online Business?
Yes, there is no better time to start Omnichannel Marketing than right now. Get started today.
Which Leading Brands are using Omnichannel Marketing for their Business?
Brands like Starbucks, Singapore Airlines, Target, Sephora, Zumiez & Bank of America are using Omnichannel Marketing to grow their business.