Times are changing and so are consumers. People are not fully satisfied with brick-and-mortar stores these days. The marriage of retail and digital is far from a new technology for marketing, but the customer of today is expecting a completely integrated experience regardless of what channel they use to engage with a brand.
And that’s how omnichannel marketing came into effect. Far from a buzz word or an “idealist” concept, omnichannel is the future of retail as we know it. Because at the end of the day, this is what the customer wants, and the customer always wins. Today, I’m going to show you how to create an omnichannel strategy from scratch. Let’s get to it.
So, What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
The omnichannel strategy is basically a result of the evolution of customer behavior. From ecommerce store to social media stores, it requires your business to be present everywhere at all times. Customers will use a multitude of touchpoints to connect with your brand, and they expect the same exact personalized experience on each channel.
With omnichannel marketing, the customer has access to everything on their fingertips. It is a multichannel sales approach that provides a seamless and consistent shopping experience to the customers.
However, the biggest part of omnichannel is that you put the customer and their data at the center of everything you do. But wait, how will you implement the omnichannel strategy for your ecommerce business? That sounds complicated to do- where would you even start? Today, we are going to discuss one of the best methods for implementing the omnichannel strategy for ecommerce.
1. Get Your Entire Company Involved
If you want to skyrocket your ecommerce business with the help of omnichannel marketing, you have to make sure that your entire company is on board. For instance, you can’t leave out your customer support and just get started with the sales and marketing departments. Consumers today are not only finicky but also super selective. They are easily lured by the prospect of something better.
With your entire company on board with omnichannel marketing, you will have better access to customer data. However, if you leave out your customer support team, how do you expect to get feedback from your customers? You want your customer support to be privy of customer information including their preferences, last purchase, and the channel of communication they are most comfortable with.
2. Understand Your Customer Better
Knowledge of your happy customers and their buying journey can give you a tremendous edge over your competitors. That said, most often sales professionals see it as a trivial activity that can be overlooked. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Here’s the deal: the more you know about your customer’s preferences, the more you are likely to succeed.
So, how will you understand your customer from inside out? Well, for starters, you can watch how they interact across all social media channels. It isn’t actually as creepy as it sounds. Social media can actually tell you a lot about your prospects. Apart from social media research, assess other traits of your customers. Now that you are informed to a large extent about your customers, it’s time to audit your own ecommerce website.
Here are the steps you need to follow to audit the whole buying experience on your ecommerce website:
- Go through the product research phase
- Order from your own store
- Test your returns and refunds processes
- Interact with each channel that you use with customers
- Place a support ticket
- Ask for outside help
Assessing your website is important to discern the type of experience your customer is likely to have with your ecommerce website. This may seem like a tedious process in the beginning, but the outcome will be well worth the efforts. It’s also important to have an unbiased view of these processes- you’re more likely to forgive yourself if you understand all the moving parts behind the scenes. But your customer doesn’t know anything about that. So get external help in doing this to have a fresh perspective.
3. Segment Your Audience
Marketers know what is marketing segmentation. Doing this for a target audience can do wonders for their marketing campaign, much more so with an omnichannel strategy. Your motto is to get the right message across to the right channel and at the right time. Therefore, having a successful omnichannel strategy is all about laser-targeting your audience and garnering maximum outcomes. Once you segment your audience, you can save a huge amount of time that could be otherwise wasted on pitching your product to the wrong audience. For example, if you sell luxury clothing and are targeting college teens, then you are simply wasting your time. It’s better to save your time to do something more productive.
Here are the things that you should consider before segmenting your list:
- Assess the shopping behavior of your customers or their last purchase.
- Gather demographic information about your customers
- Track their response and interaction with your marketing campaigns
- What problem(s) can you solve with your product?
I would suggest you do thorough research before singling out your segments. Make sure that you start segmentation with a clear vision from the get-go. Each segment should consist of a different audience, otherwise all your efforts will be in vain.
4. Keep Analyzing Your Results
Figuring out how your omnichannel strategies are faring at each step is important. So often, marketing and sales professionals think that the analytics part is subjective. This is where they are going wrong. It is important to analyze your omnichannel strategies because how would you fix something without knowing that it has a problem in the first place?
When you keep track of your metrics, you know exactly how your strategies are performing. It gives you a better insight into your audience’s mind. Once you know what your audience prefers the most, you can keep on optimizing your business accordingly.
Omnichannel marketing isn’t even the future of ecommerce, it’s the here and now. It’s time to provide the experience your customers want from you, because it can be what sets you apart from the competition. By unifying your company behind your omnichannel strategy, knowing your customer like the back of your hand, segmenting and targeting your personalized messages properly, and analyzing your results, you can implement your own omnichannel marketing strategy. I think you’ll find the results impressive.