Looking to Kickstart Your Omnichannel Strategy? Look No Further
If you’re anything like most consumers, it won’t be unusual for you to be regularly receiving a whole raft of personalized offers, content and incentives from the brands you frequently spend your time - and your money - engaging with. A push notification offering me 10% off online, an email recommending a few ‘frequently bought together’ items based on a recent purchase, or an SMS while I’m in the queue at my favorite coffee shop, inviting me to try a new drink using a very tempting discount coupon …
So embedded in our daily lives are omnichannel interactions with our favorite brands that we barely notice if they’re doing it properly. Seamless, smooth, and valuable interactions have become the best way to maintain a valuable two-way relationship. How? Let’s get into it.
Reaching customers where you find them with relevant, valuable messaging is critical to remaining relevant and valuable. It’s why companies that successfully utilize a consistent omnichannel marketing strategy enjoy a nearly 15% year-on-year increase in revenues and retain, on average, nearly 90% of their customers (Aberdeen Group). And yet, 55% of businesses have no cross-channel strategy in place, meaning they’re missing out on the benefits and their customers.
Let’s look at what makes a great omnichannel experience and how to start creating the foundations for a robust omnichannel strategy so that you can start reaping the rewards. Time to dive in!
OK – so what makes a great omnichannel experience?
Think of the optimum omnichannel experience as seamless, integrated brand encounters that allows customers to sail between different channels – online, in-store, or mobile – without the friction that sends consumers running straight into the arms of competitors.
Ultimately, you’re aiming to deliver a consistent, smooth, and personalized experience that meets customer needs and preferences at every touchpoint with products, offers, and content unique to them as individuals. Think of it like this:
Your omnichannel should be convenient …
Consumers expect to be able to interact with brands where and when it suits them, so those that can provide that convenience will enjoy a significant competitive advantage. So for retailers, convenience might include offering flexible delivery options; in-store collection, curbside pickup, or same-day delivery. For finance, it might look like providing seamless, value-add support across many touchpoints – for example, an in-app chat option or a ‘call me back’ website feature.
… and consistent
We’ve all been there – enjoying a great shopping experience online, only to be scuppered by a friction-packed experience in-app. The result of this disconnect? If you’re anything like most consumers, it’s straight to the ‘uninstall’ button. Bottom line? Consistency is essential for customers across the omnichannel because it creates a seamless and cohesive experience that ultimately builds trust and elevates the overall customer journey; customers feel more comfortable and confident, which by default leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
It should be relevant
No one appreciates irrelevant promotions, offers they’ll never use, or content they’ll never digest; we all expect brands to understand our preferences, consider our past interactions, and provide us with personalized content, recommendations and offers that we’ll love – regardless of the channel we use to interact with them. By leveraging data across all channels, brands can provide customers with recommendations and promotions that align with their interests, heightening engagement and ultimately compelling a purchase.
…and it absolutely must be agile!
Implementing new channels, modifying messaging, and upgrading promotions based on real-time insights are a few of the ‘non-negotiable’ elements that make up a successful omnichannel strategy. Brands MUST adopt the technology that provides the tools to recognize inevitable market changes and shifts in consumer behavior, so they can adapt quickly to these changes and take advantage of new opportunities.
So what now?
Establish your goals
Brands that enjoy success with their omnichannel focus on their strategic goals and desired customer experience to guide their approach. With this in mind, before you can start setting your omnichannel wheels in motion, you must define what success looks like – for your business and your customers. Common goals for an omnichannel strategy include:
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- Increased customer retention and loyalty
- Better customer engagement and interaction
- An optimum customer experience
- Increased sales and a healthier bottom line
Once you’ve defined these goals and KPIs, you can start thinking about how the master plan might look to achieve them.
Know thy customer!
To develop a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of your customer’s preferences and habits. Part of this means clarifying which channels they use most frequently, the devices they prefer, and the platforms they frequent, aka the customer journey. Once you’ve got that clarity (as always, data is your friend!), you can start thinking about how to direct your efforts toward the channels that are most likely to deliver the desired results – and start creating the content and messaging that’s going to hit the sweet spot!
Invest in a robust, all-in-one analytics platform
Although it goes without saying, providing a seamless omnichannel experience means that you need to be able to track customer interactions across all of your touchpoints. This means utilizing a robust analytics platform that collects, organizes, and analyzes data from all the channels on which you do business.
With these critical insights, you can track customer behavior and preferences and use that data to craft the personalized experiences consumers seek wherever and whenever they find you. You’ll also have the tools to react in real time to rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations, ensuring you deliver content and messaging that never misses a beat.
Align the right content with the right channel
Omnichannel marketing isn’t just about repeating the same message across multiple channels, so when it comes to content delivery, it’s important to keep your activities relevant to the channel you’re using. For example, photos and videos naturally do well on Facebook and Instagram, videos on TikTok or YouTube, and short text-based offers will do well with a push and SMS approach.
Ultimately, you’re looking to lead customers along a journey that eventually compels them to purchase. That journey will look very different depending on the channel, the content, and the customer. Yep – you’re right; data is key! And as you advance along your own omnichannel journey, you’ll discover which content performs best on which channels so that you can adapt future campaigns accordingly.
Make testing a habit
As you begin to implement the foundations of your omnichannel strategy, it’s important to test and refine your approach. Use the KPIs you defined at the start of your journey to measure the success of your strategy and make adjustments as needed. Testing can involve A/B testing different versions of your website or app, testing different campaigns, or even testing different in-store displays; if it can be tested, it should be! By testing and analyzing results, you can make data-driven decisions about what’s working and what’s not and continually fine-tune your omnichannel strategy to deliver on your goals.
A final word
The omnichannel journey involves continuous adaptation and improvement based on emerging data, evolving customer preferences, and shifting business objectives. But despite the challenges, the payoff is a truly customer-centric experience that fosters brand recognition, elevates user satisfaction, and cultivates long-term loyalty. Following these foundational steps, you can start setting the wheels in motion to create the optimum omnichannel experience for your customers across all channels – and look forward to the following growth. If you’d like to find out how Optimove can help you reach your omnichannel goals, you can find out more here.