Customers these days are finding new brands in innovative ways and seeking out new services to assist them in their purchase decisions. This article will teach you how to connect your online and offline channels, as well as all of your operations, to offer a consistent, comprehensive experience across touchpoints.
Let’s Understand What Omnichannel Approach Is
The term “omnichannel” describes a system in which customers interact across various channels, including marketplaces, social media, brick-and-mortar locations, and more. Omnichannel has become a popular buzzword recently, but it doesn’t imply that you sell on multiple platforms.
Your brand experience must be consistent and coherent wherever you sell to keep up with your consumers, develop connections that transcend channels, and optimize your business. It should also include a focus on channel diversification and data integration throughout the entire process.
eMarketer increased their 2020 e-commerce retail sales growth forecast from 20% to 30% in October 2020.
Consumers demonstrated a heightened level of brand awareness, inquiry, and intent. They switched products or companies and engaged in the purchase process under new restrictions such as locating stores with curbside pickup or delivery alternatives.
Why is it Important for Retailers to Have an Omnichannel Strategy?
An omnichannel approach may help you achieve greater sales and income. According to an eMarketer study, simplified digital experiences, curbside pickup, and touchless payment have encouraged increased purchasing frequency and extra sales. Here are some of the reasons why omnichannel is so important.
1. Make contact with people where they are
Customer journeys have changed dramatically as a result of technology. They have always been less linear, but today they are anything but. Customers are discovering a variety of brands and goods in several ways, including Facebook and Instagram marketing, Google Shopping, Amazon and other marketplaces, product reviews, in-store discovery, word of mouth, and more. They may view your brand on their desktop computer, TV screen, or smartphone.
Shoppers may discover you faster by appearing where they are. In today’s world, altered by COVID-19, this is more essential than ever. However, it has always been so. According to a poll conducted by the NRF before the epidemic, 83% of consumers said that convenience while shopping was more important to them than five years ago.
Customers want their lives to be as easy as possible. A strong omnichannel strategy is attuned to changing consumer behavior, and it lays the foundation for technology and operations that can meet customers where they are —and where they want you to be.
2. Stand out in a crowded marketplace
With more merchants competing for internet traffic, getting noticed necessitates a more resonant brand, a better shopping experience, and outstanding service.
To achieve that objective, you’ll need to adjust to new customer demands and behaviors, as well as re-calibrate your perspective on the target consumer. Some of what you thought about your customers may have changed; check out whether any of the following are true:
- Assorting the products
- Channels for sales
- Channels for advertising
- Brand messaging
To minimize any unexpected changes, do this effectively and consistently.
3. Using data and analysis to improve your company is a must-do
Many companies may need to modify their sales and marketing channel mix to fit the new reality, as consumers abruptly shift from one behavior to another. Understanding your data can help you figure out where and how best to deploy your efforts.
A holistic omnichannel approach allows you to combine data from all of your sources and channels to select the greatest methods for balancing inventory, meeting clients where they are, and offering the finest service, no matter where they shop.
How to Develop an Omnichannel Strategy in 7 Simple Steps
Orchestration is the practice of developing a personalized customer journey for all relevant marketing and sales channels as part of an omnichannel strategy.
Because you’ll choose the sales and marketing channels that best complement your goals and objectives, your approach for orchestrating your omnichannel strategy will be unique to your company. Plus, depending on your specific needs, your operations may vary. However, these seven steps can assist you to understand how it works.
1. Organize your customers into groups
You may slice and dice your client base in a variety of ways; you’ll have to figure out which one works best for your company. Also known as market segmentation, the aim is to identify multiple distinct categories within your target market so that you can tailor your offer specifically to them.
Some of the criteria that some businesses use to separate their customers include:
- Range of Income
- Geographic location
- Generational segment (e.g., millennial, Gen X)
- How they behave online
- General values
- How they interact with marketing campaigns
Once you’ve discovered distinct customer categories, you may go further into how to tailor your offering to each one.
2. Examine your customers’ behaviors to determine which channels they utilize
You must know how customers behave, where they browse, where they buy, and what motivates them to make purchases to reach them in the proper place at the right time.
A combination of qualitative and quantitative information may assist you in making well-informed judgments about your most essential channels. Customers may provide a wide range of qualitative insights, as well as a stronger sense of empathy for them. However, tracking important performance indicators will complete the picture that forms in your head.
Determine which of your channels are the most profitable, efficient, and/or successful by analyzing data. Then concentrate your efforts on enhancing the shopping experience on and among those channels.
3. Create a customer journey map
There are an infinite amount of ways that the trip could have been altered or re-planned at any time – but the client still expects a flawless experience. That is one of the most difficult aspects of omnichannel.
“Customer journeys aren’t simple and linear, but rather a series of handoffs between traditional and digital channels that might differ significantly by customer type,” the McKinsey piece notes. “To be effective, an approach necessitates a thorough knowledge of what consumers want.”
4. Assist your clients with cross-channel customer service
Today’s customers want to buy where and how they want when it’s most convenient for them — and so do their clients. If you’re going to commit fully to having a presence on many channels, make sure you can give customer service whether they’re using their smartphone or messaging you through Facebook Messenger.
Providing assistance that your consumers can count on may assist them to improve their lifetime value and cement them as faithful clients.
5. Use your technology to its full potential
You may aggregate key information to assess performance and identify possibilities more effectively when your marketing and e-commerce processes are closely linked. Customer service employees will profit greatly from smooth hand-offs across channels. If a phone agent is already familiar with a customer’s email correspondence, she may simply start where the email leaves off.
“It has the potential to improve customer satisfaction if done effectively,” according to a recent McKinsey article. “Advanced analytics and cutting-edge technologies, such as predicting problems before the customer explains the reason for the call, enable early movers to create ‘wow events.’”
6. Take advantage of automation
The most efficient methods of small- and medium-sized businesses are those that need little to no critical thinking, and automation is the answer.
Here are some additional examples of how automation may help you have more control over your company:
- Use a chatbot to handle routine customer inquiries and concerns so that support staff may devote more time to more complicated problems.
- Prioritize a technology stack that allows for smooth connections, so you can always have a real-time view of your company and make decisions based on aggregate data.
- Set up behavioral triggers to deliver more targeted marketing across the purchase journey, so that interested consumers are seeing the appropriate messages at the right time.
7. Do regular testing
It’s not only about testing during the last few days before your launch. Testing should be an ongoing, methodical process in your business, especially if you’re going through the pains of an omnichannel journey.
It will be critical for you to gather information at each touchpoint to make the best judgments possible. Make sure you have a platform and partners who can help you combine all of your data sources so that you may gain insights.
Customers want seamless omnichannel shopping. As a consequence, retailers are now having to react to new consumer demands and behaviors while also updating their understanding of the intended customer.
It’s critical to have a holistic omnichannel approach. It relies on a solid foundation bolstered by the four legs of sales channels, marketing, and advertising, operations, and shipping and delivery.
“The only way for a business to handle growing complexity, provide an exceptional customer experience, and manage operational costs is through an omnichannel transformation,” according to McKinsey experts.
If you wish to create a cohesive omnichannel strategy for your business, start your free trial with Wigzo now!