The internet allows us to connect with more customers than ever, encouraging limitless sales potential. Yet our interconnectedness also means that customers expect your brand to show up in far more places than just your store and website. You’re now responsible for maintaining a presence on social media, in email inboxes, and on various other platforms.
According to Salesforce, 74% of customers report using multiple channels to start and complete a purchase. Offering a cohesive experience on all channels is vital, as 80% of customers say that the experience they get from a company is just as important as its products or services. This is quite a challenge, but there is a solution: omnichannel marketing.
With omnichannel marketing, you can provide a seamless experience to each customer, no matter where you interact with them. By doing so, you can increase engagement, boost loyalty, and ultimately earn more sales. Still, it’s easier said than done. Follow along with our in-depth guide to learn everything you need to get started.
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Thanks to the rise of the internet and social media, businesses have a huge range of sales touchpoints. As a business owner, you have to manage the way you interact with customers in brick-and-mortar stores, at events, on your website, through email, via text, and on social media. Plus, you’re connecting with people on several mediums - in person, on mobile devices, and on computers.
Omnichannel marketing allows you to create a seamless shopping experience across all the above channels. You can provide a consistent message from platform to platform, and reflect up-to-date knowledge about a customer’s purchases and preferences regardless of which channel they’re on.
It all works by using data and analytics to help each channel work together. A customer can move from channel to channel across several devices, and your software works to update their information with each touchpoint.
It might sound complex, but multichannel marketing is really just a different framework for your marketing. It uses many of the same tactics you already have in place but amplifies their impacts by creating a more personalized experience. The more you can deliver on this front, the more customer loyalty you stand to gain.
What's the Difference Between Omnichannel Marketing and Multichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing aims to create an integrated customer experience across all channels - from social media to ecommerce stores to physical locations. A customer can add an item to their cart after clicking a link on Instagram and then log in on their laptop and find the same item in their shopping cart.
Comparatively, multichannel marketing uses different campaigns on each channel, so users get a different experience depending on which platform they interact with. For example, a retailer might use one tone of voice to connect with TikTok users while offering a completely separate message to people in stores.
Omnichannel marketing is primarily focused on offering a personalized experience to each customer, while multichannel marketing aims to attract new shoppers. Omnichannel is also more flexible, always changing to meet the needs of the customer wherever they are. Meanwhile, multichannel marketing is mostly static and unchanging.
The Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing
When you first get started, omnichannel marketing can seem quite complicated. However, this marketing strategy can be incredibly rewarding, making the effort worthwhile.
Improved Customer Loyalty
Brands with marketing campaigns that involve three or more channels earn a 90% higher retention rate than companies that have a single-channel focus, according to Omnisend.
Meanwhile, a Harvard Business Review study revealed that 73% of customers use multiple channels throughout their shopping journey. When you meet shoppers where they are and offer a cohesive experience, you keep them coming back.
Omnisend data shows that omnichannel marketing campaigns received an average 18.96% engagement rate in 2020. In comparison, those using a single-channel campaign earned just 5.4%.
More Orders and Sales
As engagement and loyalty increase, so do your sales. Omnisend’s 2021 data shows that omnichannel campaigns had a 494% higher order rate than campaigns that focus on just one channel. Plus, customers who engaged with omnichannel marketing spent an average of 13% more.
The Drawbacks of Omnichannel Marketing
Like any other marketing strategy, there are downsides to omnichannel marketing to consider before jumping in.
Omnichannel marketing can be quite costly when you first get started - especially if you’ve already invested in a multichannel strategy. Spending money on refining your user experience on each platform and updating your IT infrastructure can cut into your profit. If a multichannel approach is already working for you, it might be tempting to just stick with it.
Flexibility Is a Must
Omnichannel marketing provides one experience for your customer across all channels. If you find that it isn’t working, you can’t rely on another channel to bring in customers. In order to be successful, you have to be willing to be flexible and change the strategy quickly to meet customers wherever they’re at.
More to Manage
An omnichannel marketing strategy requires you to manage many moving pieces at once. If you’re coming from a one or two-channel strategy, this can be overwhelming. You’ll need to invest in tools that can help you organize and automate as much as possible.
Examples of Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing might sound great in theory, but hard to imagine in practice. Here’s a helpful list of real-life examples to help you understand how you might roll out this strategy in your own business.
Example #1: Target
Target is a nationwide general merchandise retailer. It differentiates itself from Amazon and Walmart by maintaining a “store-centric strategy.”
Its website and app enable customers to shop, using customer data to personalize user experiences. Then, Target encourages shoppers to collect purchases in-store via drive-up or in-store order pickup. Once they arrive, customers are likely to buy even more.
Example #2: Nordstrom
Nordstrom prides itself on serving customers wherever, whenever, and however they want to shop. It draws customers in with relevant ads based on shopper data. People can shop on the app, review personalized recommendations, and check stock levels in nearby stores. They can also get personal styling services from salespeople, both in person and over text.
The retailer also has Nordstrom Rack and Nordstrom Local stores to serve customers' different needs - all while operating under one brand voice. Meanwhile, it uses email marketing to draw people to each channel.
Example #3: Sephora
Sephora provides a huge variety of beauty products that can leave even the most makeup-savvy person overwhelmed. To help customers navigate, Sephora has iPads in store which customers can use to access their Beauty Bag account. They can add products to their Beauty Bag in-store or online. They can also use it to research products and eventually make a purchase regardless of where they are.
How to Build an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
1. Analyze Your Customer’s Shopping Journey
First, you need to understand the journey you want your customers to take. Map each of the following steps:
- Where and when do they learn about you?
- How do they consider and research buying from your brand?
- How do they make a purchase?
- How does your brand contact them and nurture the relationship post-purchase?
With this understanding, you can identify all the ways your brand communicates with your audience and map how each interaction happens along the customer journey. Be sure to use audience data to ensure this is an accurate, feasible plan.
2. Segment Your Audience
Using your audience data, create detailed profiles of each type of customer you encounter. Consider their demographics, buying behavior, and any survey data you may have. Then, create personalized journeys for each unique buyer persona.
3. Nail Down Messaging
Omnichannel marketing is all about creating a cohesive experience across all channels. Make sure your brand voice is clear and consistent. Then, get to work on creating the copy and creatives that will go along with each step of the journey.
Meanwhile, remember that you’re delivering different messages to different segments. Be mindful of the context of each message. Sending the wrong message at the wrong time in the process or on the wrong platform can put customers off your brand. Nailing messaging and timing is key.
4. Utilize the Right Tools
You’ll need the right software and IT infrastructure to implement your omnichannel marketing strategy. In most cases, that means you’ll need to enter your audience data and marketing collateral into a CRM (customer relationship management) platform.
5. Ensure Company-Wide Consistency
Every time a customer interacts with your business, they should get a seamless experience. That means that everyone - including sales staff, customer service representatives, and chatbots - needs to be on the same page. Ensure that your entire company understands the customer journey and your company values to provide a consistent experience.
6. Monitor and Adjust
Once your strategy is in place, track your progress and make sure each piece runs properly. Be mindful of your metrics. If customers aren’t engaging with one channel, you may need to adjust the messaging or change channels altogether. Likewise, you should also keep an eye out for any holes in your marketing plan where customers are getting lost rather than directed to the next step of the journey.
What's the Best Way for a Business to Accept Online Payments?
After a customer engages with your omnichannel marketing and reaches the purchase phase of the journey, make sure you provide an excellent checkout experience to keep them coming back. With Pay.com, you get a powerful payment infrastructure that provides a seamless customer experience.
You can use our developer-friendly APIs to add Pay.com’s hosted payment fields directly to your website or app. Or, customize a prebuilt checkout page to get started quickly. Then, start accepting your customer’s preferred payment methods with just a few clicks from the Pay Dashboard. Customers can opt-in to save their payment information, making future purchases even easier.
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The Bottom Line
Omnichannel marketing allows you to provide a cohesive experience for customers no matter how they connect with your brand. As personalization becomes more common than ever, customers expect an omnichannel experience. Plus, the research makes it clear: brands who utilize an omnichannel approach earn more in revenue and gain more customer loyalty.
Still, the drawbacks are nothing to scoff at - the cost of implementing this marketing strategy may not be worth it if you already have a strong marketing plan in place.
Whether you decide to take an omnichannel approach or stick with what you have, Pay.com can help you retain customers with a smooth, secure checkout process. Get access to our affordable platform, a variety of payment methods, and in-depth analytics.
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