The Ultimate Guide For Omnichannel Marketing For Retailers

This approach is providing a seamless shopping experience to the customers. One central point to take note of here is that in omnichannel marketing, all channels are interconnected to each other

Do you know where your ideal customer is? They might be scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or using search engines, looking for a product that you are selling. So, if you are not where your customer is, you are missing out on many sales and marketing opportunities! This is the time of omnichannel marketing, and this guide will give you all the details about it.

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is the integration of marketing efforts across various channels or platforms. It works on the principle that a customer journey might span through different channels. So, it looks into how marketers can create a seamless shopping experience by synchronising all those channels. It is unlike multichannel marketing, which just focuses on distributing content and advertising across various marketing channels. The content and engagement across the multiple channels might not be interconnected in multichannel marketing.

Importance of Omnichannel Marketing in Retail

The onset of technology has made the retailing business more competitive. Changing customer behavior and demands is one reason why retailers need to be on their toes all the time. But, with omnichannel marketing, they can create a revolution! Here is why omnichannel marketing is essential in retail:

1. It provides more channels for purchase

When your store is available via a website, a mobile app, and an online store, it automatically increases the possibility of more customers and better sales. This is because customers can find you everywhere. They can shop at their convenience. When all your channels are interconnected and synced, the customer is free to start and make a purchase at any channel.

2. It boosts customer loyalty and retention

Since omnichannel marketing provides a consistent experience across all channels, it is easier for customers to trust a brand. As a result, they tend to buy more from the same brand. You can provide them omnichannel rewards, which they can use on whichever platform they like, further enhancing their shopping experience.

3. It is more customer-centric

With omnichannel marketing, you are not just promoting your brand on every channel. But, at the same time, you are keeping the customer first. For instance, suppose a customer abandons the cart. You can send them a follow-up email reminding them that they have left something they might want to buy in the cart. But, for that, you need to pursue both website and email marketing.

4. It offers various ways of communication with the customers

Not every customer is comfortable sharing their contact number; some customers would not want to provide an email id to a retailer. Omni-channel marketing makes it easier for retailers to connect with different customers via the medium of their choice. For instance, you can easily send an SMS to the customers who have shared their contact number with you and an email to those who have shared their emails.

5. It provides a better understanding of the customer journey

Omnichannel marketing can do wonders with your data analytics. When you collect data on how a customer interacts with your brand through different channels, you better understand what a customer journey looks like, when customers prefer to engage with your brand, and which campaigns bring in the most results. All of this data can help strengthen your marketing tactics.

Steps for Leveraging Omnichannel Marketing

If you have decided to provide an omnichannel marketing experience to your customers, you need first to build up a strategy. For instance, you need to determine how you will ensure consistency across all channels, how you are going to provide a personalised shopping experience to every customer, etc. Here are four steps to ensure a tremendous omnichannel marketing strategy.

#1 Data collection

If you want to implement a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, start with collecting all the data related to a customer. This will help you understand your customers better, such as their preferred communication channels, times when they interact the most with your brand, their demographics, interests, location, and much more.

#2 Bringing all customer data to one place

To utilise this collected data, you need to create a centralised repository for it or a CDP. A CDP or a Customer Data Platform is a unified persistent database that stores behavioral, transactional, structured, and unstructured data into a single repository from multiple sources. This data can further be used to build a unified profile around an individual customer.

#3 Customer understanding

Once you have all the data for a customer in one place, the next step of your omnichannel marketing strategy should be to understand that data. You can generate reports and build charts and graphs to understand the shopping patterns. You can divide your customers into different segments and target them accordingly based on this understanding.

#4 Customer journey mapping

You must know that every customer has their journey of how they discover the brand, interact with it, and make a purchase. A customer journey map highlights such a pathway for every customer and makes it easier for retailers to understand how to interact with the customer. You can send communications to customers based on their interests and enhance their shopping experience.

Tips to Make Omnichannel Marketing More Effective

1. Maintain a consistent identity across all channels

Every channel might involve a different type of content marketing strategy. But, your message should be the same across all channels. For instance, if you organise a huge sale next week, make sure you communicate the same message across all channels. Similarly, you must maintain one brand voice across all channels. This will help customers become familiar with your business and identify it with one identity despite being present across all channels.

2. Integrate in-store and online shopping

Align the in-store shopping experience with the online shopping experience for your customers and find a significant change in your sales. For instance, you can provide inventory details on your website so that customers know which products are out-of-stock and which are available. You can also offer live chat on your e-commerce website, where customers can connect with one of your sales representatives in real-time. It is a fast and convenient way to get all of their questions answered.

3. Align all the promotions

Provide your customers with a seamless shopping experience by aligning your online and offline promotions. For instance, if you are offering a 10% discount on your online store, make sure to provide the same deal in your offline store as well. You can also offer coupons for shopping online and offline, making it easier for customers to shop from your brand.

4. Do not overdo your omnichannel marketing efforts

It should not seem that you are bugging your customers using every channel. Make sure you communicate the right message to the right customer at the right time using the right channel. Send messages relevant to a user, that is, adopt a personalised marketing strategy. For this, you need a deep understanding of your customers and precise segmentation of different types of customers. All in all, omnichannel is all about reaching your customers wherever they are, with the right message and at the right time. Therefore, increasing brand awareness and sales alongside building a customer experience.

*The author is Pranav Ahuja, CEO, Xeno

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