With the development of technology and its integration into our daily lives, customer behavior continues to change every day. As we spend more time online, the way we buy a product or service today is so much more different than it was 10-15 years ago. Companies that want to keep up with these changes, need to improve themselves accordingly. In this challenging environment, if they want to be at the top of their game, need to offer a consistent experience to customers across different touchpoints.
Rather than focusing on a single channel, a more holistic approach is needed to meet customers’ demands instantly and seamlessly. This is where omnichannel marketing comes into play.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing has become one of the most talked about topics in marketing and e-commerce circles in recent years. Although the definitions of this term vary, we can briefly summarize it as follows: Omnichannel marketing refers to an organization’s presence across multiple channels and its holistic approach to every customer touchpoint.
These channels can include digital/online channels as websites, apps, SMS, social media, e-mails, or physical/offline channels such as brick-and-mortar stores, call centers or live events.
Customers today often engage with a company in multiple ways before making a purchase; these interactions occur on various platforms and touch points: they interact the business online or offline, through stores or apps, via social media, etc… Also, they expect the companies have an up-to-date knowledge of their preferences and purchases. Every time a customer has an interaction with your brand, it needs to feel like a continuation of the previous one – there should be a consistency. To achieve this, coherent brand messaging and personalized content should be delivered through all marketing channels.
Omnichannel marketing takes a consumer-centric view of marketing tactics with the goal of creating a consistent brand experience. It aims to create a seamless, cohesive, integrated shopping experience – starting from brand discovery, all the way through to purchase– for your customer, regardless of the channel (or device) they are using.
Here is a simple example to understand different channels and aspects of omnichannel marketing: Imagine you see an ad on Facebook about an item you want to buy. You clicked on the ad, went directly to the online shop. You purchased that item online but decided to pick it up in-store. Then, you submitted your complaint about the product on social media. You received feedback about your complaint by a phone call from the brands call center. After the problem solved, you received a survey via e-mail to evaluate your experience during the process…
The bottom line with an omnichannel marketing is that the customer should have an extremely smooth experience with your physical and online shop, with any device they use, while the same personalized information/message is displayed everywhere.
The Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing
There are plenty of benefits of using an omnichannel marketing approach, including:
- An identifiable and consistent brand tone and vision: By using omnichannel marketing, messaging is combined across all channels; an interaction with one channel will mirror that of another so this will create a consistency in brand experience. Creating a consistent experience across multiple platforms makes it easier for customers to recognize your brand.
- Better customer experience and increased loyalty: As we discussed earlier, omnichannel marketing centers the customer experience. The ability to communicate with brands through multiple channels is convenient for customers, and this improves the brand-customer relationship. The more you improve the customer journey, the more customer loyalty will increase.
- Better customer retention: According to a survey, businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies reach 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to business that don’t. By placing the customer at the heart of your marketing strategies, you improve the chances of them coming back. Delivering a consistent experience and communication on all platforms, omnichannel marketing builds trust in customers and customers always prefer to buy from brands they trust.
- Growth in sales and revenue: One of the main goals of omnichannel marketing is to provide an effortless purchasing experience for the customer. Plenty of research has shown that adopting an omnichannel strategy encourages customers to make and repeat purchases. According to one of these studies, purchase rate of omnichannel campaigns is 287% higher than single-channel campaigns.
Top Channels You Should Use for Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
Creating personalized, customer-centric journeys across different messaging channels has been proven to increase user sessions, drive purchases, and boost retention. Omnichannel marketing works best when you layer your multiple channels on top of each other to send your message to customer. Here are four main channels you should use for creating your omnichannel marketing strategy:
E-mail is one of the strongest (and oldest) components of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Some believe that e-mail marketing holds the most weight in an omnichannel strategy, since it has the highest ROI amongst the different digital communication channels. Customers give permission for getting e-mails from you. It’s a direct channel; you can speak directly to your audience, and to be able to send your message to them effectively you can personalize e-mails.
SMS is being viewed as an old school communication channel and it is still popularly in use. The fact is, short – pointed messages with timely offers as they are on the go have a higher open rate than e-mails. SMS perceived as highly personal; customers expect to have personal communication with sellers and companies and really appreciate when a brand takes this approach. Having a high open rate (over %90), being personal and minimalist makes SMS marketing an essential part of the omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Web Push Notifications
Web push notifications are notifications that can be sent to a user via desktop web or mobile web. On mobile, they come through at a specified time, while on desktop they show up when customers open their browsers. When a user clicks on a web push notification, they are sent to a URL the company has defined.
Web push notifications are a permission-based marketing channel. Before receiving a web push, users must opt in to receive them.
They are used by companies with websites desiring to connect with users to drive greater engagement and conversions as well as to improve the customer experience —even after a customer has left their website.
Push notifications can bring customers back into your website and remind them of what’s left in their shopping cart, alert them of a promotion or delivery time, or bring them back to socially engage with other users.
- In-App Messaging
An in-app message is a type of pop-up message that’s only displayed while the user is actively using your mobile app. In-app messages allow marketers to send real-time and personalized messages to help engage, keep, and upsell new products to customers.
The engagement rates of in-app messaging are so good. Some studies show that the open rates of in-app messaging can exceed 75% more than the open rate of push notifications.
In-app messaging is the most effective way of creating a stronger, richer app experience by segmenting and tailoring to target audiences. It creates a more valuable app session by providing the user with personalized messages and can direct actions to conversions.
An omnichannel marketing strategy allows brands to meet their customers where they are, with the right message at the right time. Delivering a personalized shopping journey across all touchpoints and devices can help brands to build customer trust and loyalty. Investing in omnichannel marketing strategy not only led to a seamless user experience, but it also improve customer loyalty, increase sales, and drive greater brand awareness.