Omnichannel marketing is the wave of the future as more and more customers access multiple devices and methods during a shopping and purchasing journey. The idea is to meet that customer at every point along the journey, providing helpful information, great deals and easy ways to make the purchase. Think of it this way: every time your customer thinks about your company or product, you are there.
Is it worth the investment? Consider a study of 46,000 shoppers, which showed that those customers shopping across multiple channels spent an average of 4 percent more each time they shopped, 10 percent more online and 13 percent more while researching products. Here’s how to get on the bandwagon:
The first part of an omnichannel strategy is understanding the customer. Not so long ago, products had to be marketed to some incredibly broad group such as women between the ages of 25 and 35 who have one or two children or middle-aged men who enjoy hunting and fishing.
Today’s technology allows you to create very specific customer personas that not only encompass who your customers are and what they might purchase, but also how they shop, what they browse, what their goals are, when they make purchases and what discount helps them pull the trigger on a sale.
They also access product and company information on multiple devices. In fact, one study showed that 213 million U.S. adults access the internet using an average of four different devices. Combine that fact with information that comes from banner ads, emails, social media, and web sites as well as television, magazines, and billboards, and you can see why omnichannel marketing is critical to tomorrow’s ecommerce business.
Currently, only about 11 percent of companies consider themselves sophisticated in omnichannel marketing strategy implementation with the majority somewhere in the exploration and implementation process. One-quarter of businesses are not currently considering this cutting-edge strategy.
One of the first things that a business must do is ensure that its internal structure is omnichannel marketing friendly. That means that the various departments of an organization must work together well, have a shared vision, be transparent in their tasks and break down silos.
If the customer is seeing your company and products at varying levels, in different places, and on multiple devices, you want to be sure your message and brand are consistent and that you are collecting data on customer behavior and input that can be shared company-wide.
Everyone knows that quality content is of the utmost importance when it comes to providing information to prospects and customers. However, that alone is no longer good enough. Simply providing high-quality content to your customers can easily overwhelm them in our world of information overload. Although a few people might go looking for something specific, most will ignore even quality content if it is not critical to what is currently a priority.
The answer for businesses, then, is to find a way to provide just the right quality content to the right customer at the right moment. For example, if a customer is browsing through an online catalog, you want to make sure content such as colors, quantities, and pricing information are front and center. If you can convince a customer to return to an abandoned shopping cart, you’ll want to provide the best discount or incentive to help close the deal. If you’re reaching out by email, you may want to select a related or complementary product to entice additional buying.
Finally, you’ll want to consider all the technology that you have available on the back end to collect, organize, categorize and report on as much consumer behavior as possible so you can refine and improve your next marketing campaign. Known as the marketing stack, this usually revolves around a customer relationship management system. By combining your CRM with an email service provider, a video conferencing solution, an analytics solution, and other related technology, you can create a very detailed customer profile.
This marketing stack circles back to the initial point of this article: the customer. The beauty of omnichannel strategy is that it can be adjusted, tweaked, and refined on a nearly continual basis so that your ecommerce efforts become more are more targeted and successful as time goes on.