If you are active on social media, chances are you have experienced omnichannel marketing.
Let’s say you are browsing online, trying to look up sneakers on a mobile device. Eventually, you find a web page that appears to have the sneakers you want on sale. However, you get distracted and leave.
Later during the day, you check out the same company’s social media profile. You see the same messaging and the same offers listed there. Even the tone is consistent across both channels.
This is an example of what the user experience is like when there’s an omnichannel marketing strategy in place.
In fact, 71% of people who go to physical stores for shopping say that they also use their phones for online research. They also admitted that their devices were important for the in-store experience.
It is evident that there is no clear distinction between offline and online shopping. Overall, omnichannel marketing can make a big difference to the shopping experience.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is the process used by marketers to create, streamline, and deploy a flawless customer service experience across all portals and channels.
You can think of omnichannel marketing as the business code of conduct that all in-person and online interactions need to follow. It is all about the integration of automation tools to streamline the customer journey.
The biggest benefit of leveraging this strategy is that it helps all departments work together under the same guidelines.
According to ClickZ, engagement rates more than triple when omnichannel marketing is in place.
Omnichannel marketing enables marketers to create a multichannel strategy using consistency and branding. This makes way for a professional customer journey experience.
Platforms like Factoreal make it easy for marketers to automate customer experiences across different touchpoints.
In the next section, let’s take a look at how omnichannel marketing differs from multichannel marketing.
What Are the Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing?
Are you on the fence about leveraging omnichannel marketing for your brand? In this section, let’s take a look at all of the benefits you can get from taking an omnichannel approach:
- Understand customer preferences
- Boost client satisfaction
- Increase customer loyalty and retention
- Improve content and ad targeting
- Get more brand recognition
- Get a better turnover rate
- Provide more efficient customer service
- Get customer engagement
- Get more sales
What Is the Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing?
People often confuse omnichannel marketing with multichannel marketing. While they do seem similar, there is a big difference between the two.
Multichannel marketing simply refers to the variety of channels a company uses to sell their products and services.
It does not guarantee that a customer will have the same experience in a physical store and the online store. Understandably, the experience will be different, but certain aspects can be streamlined. In a nutshell, multichannel marketing is only about increasing presence across different platforms.
This is where an omnichannel marketing strategy is different. It is when all channels that a company uses seamlessly integrate with one another to provide a smooth customer experience. There is a consistent experience across these channels.
According to the previously quoted study, marketers say that you need to use at least three channels for omnichannel marketing to be effective.
How to Implement the Perfect Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
By now, you know what exactly omnichannel marketing is. But how can you implement it to give your customers a better experience? Here are some tips you should keep in mind:
1. Put the Customer First
For any decision that you need to make, you should remember one rule:
Put the customer first.
Without customers buying your services or products, your company wouldn’t exist. Keep this in mind when you design your omnichannel marketing strategy. Try to think from the customers’ viewpoint and try to understand their intentions, motivations, and pain points.
Based on that, you should create your landing pages, ads, blog posts, and other promotional content keeping in mind what your customers are looking for.
For this, it is important to ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page. Since omnichannel marketing is all about breaking down silos, you should set the tone for it by making your processes more transparent. It is also important to encourage more collaboration.
2. Make Data-Driven Decisions
To plan and implement the perfect omnichannel marketing strategy, you need to leverage customer data. It can help you understand what your customers want and which strategies are working well for you.
To keep track of customer insights, it is recommended that you maintain a centralized database that stores information from different channels. You can use a specialized platform like Factoreal to get detailed insights.
When you look at the collective data, you can get a better understanding of the entire customer journey. Not only can data-driven marketing help you make better decisions, but also take calculated risks. That’s because you can leverage data to predict what the customers are likely to do next.
3. Create Ideal Buyer Personas
If you have access to customer data, then it will be relatively easy to segment your audience and see how various groups of consumers are interacting.
Once you identify these groups, you can design a different customer journey roadmap for each. You can segment your clients into several macro-categories based on their locations, demographics, behaviors, or other such criteria.
4. Add a Dash of Personalization
After you identify your various audience segments, you’ll be in a better position to personalize your messages for each group.
For instance, let’s say some of your audience resides in China. You can create tailored content to wish them a Happy Chinese New Year. Similarly, you can create customized content based on your audience’s interests, age, and other criteria.
This marketing strategy can go a long way in boosting your revenue as well.
Accenture reported that 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that recognizes them or sends them relevant offers based on previous buying behavior.
That brings us to the next question:
How can you target each audience segment?
When it comes to social media, you have access to specialized options to create personalized campaigns, such as the Facebook Pixel.
Have you noticed that when you visit, for example, a particular ecommerce clothing store, you soon begin seeing their ads on banners, and all over social media?
This is because of the Facebook Pixel option.
Similarly, all the other social media platforms also have special features to enable you to target your ads more effectively.
5. Provide Great Customer Service
Today, customers are more conscious of what they want and can read between the lines. They do not like being tricked with aggressive advertising. During the customer journey, there may be occasions when they want to ask questions related to your products or services.
If you sell your product or service during such an interaction, they may get annoyed. To avoid this, you should train your staff to educate your customers. Make it an integral part of your overall omnichannel marketing strategy.
In addition to this, you can also deploy chatbots on your website and social media channels. This can ensure that you are responding to their queries promptly. Alternatively, you can also invest in live chat solutions to make your brand more approachable.
6. Repurpose Your Content
Content will be a big part of any successful omnichannel marketing campaign. Before you begin, survey all the existing content that you have on different channels.
Does it align with the needs of buyers at different funnel stages?
If not, plan content that can educate and engage your audience.
To provide a consistent experience across channels, you can adjust and repurpose the format of your planned content. For example, you can turn an infographic into a long-form video for YouTube. The best part is that repurposing content will also help you save time on content creation.
7. Test and Optimize
Omnichannel marketing is all about spreading your wings to increase your presence across channels. But you need to keep in mind that each channel is different.
What works on desktop websites may not necessarily work on mobile apps. Each channel has a different audience segment, so you need to focus on A/B testing. Without tracking, it is difficult to boost your performance. Testing can help you figure out what is working for you and which tactics need to change.
That brings us to the next question:
What should you test?
Everything from headlines to landing page layouts and CTAs. The more you test, the better your chances of giving your audience exactly what they want. In fact, you should also test the channels that are getting engagement and returns. That will help you get a better idea of how you should channel your marketing efforts.
Omnichannel Marketing Examples: How Other Brands Are Leveraging This Strategy
There are many brands that are leveraging omnichannel marketing to provide great user experiences to their customers. If you are looking for inspiration, take a look at these examples of omnichannel marketing:
1. Bank of America
Bank of America is a brand that takes pride in their omnichannel approach. They have invested in ensuring that their customers get a dynamic yet consistent experience across mobile devices, websites, and social media.
Whether users are trying to check their account statement or pay their bills, they can do it with ease via desktop as well as the mobile app.
Image via SQLI Digital Experience
Of course, complex banking requirements like applying for loans can’t be done via these platforms. But for other simpler activities that don’t require a lot of authentication, apps can work well.
The Starbucks rewards app is one of the best examples of a brand excelling at providing an omnichannel experience. Whenever you buy something from Starbucks, you get a rewards card for free. The best part is that users can reload this rewards card via their desktop or phone app. At the same time, they can also use it at brick-and-mortar stores.
Whenever there is a transaction or change in the balance status, they update it in real-time across all channels.
Image via Starbucks Singapore
French multinational beauty retailer, Sephora, is one of the biggest brands leveraging omnichannel marketing. Their app is designed to connect all online purchases to in-store visits. On their app, users can check out the latest products, and even scan products while they are shopping in physical stores to check reviews and ratings.
Image via Multichannel Merchant
Target’s omnichannel marketing initiative is unique. They partnered with Pinterest to improve their brand awareness and get more conversions. They have integrated the Pinterest Lens in their mobile app, so users can take photos of any products they like.
The app analyzes the picture and gives suggestions of similar products that are available for purchase on Target. Not only does this strategy provide a seamless experience to users but it can also help users move faster through the sales funnel.
Image via Antevenio
When it comes to omnichannel marketing, Disney has set the bar quite high. As you can see in the screenshot given below, the experience of using their platform is consistent across all channels. If a user visits a Disney park or resort, they can use the mobile app to check which attractions they are near. They can also see the waiting time for all of the popular rides in the park.
Another unique offering in their omnichannel experience is the MagicBand. It is a wristband that lets users enter parks, unlock room doors, check-in at all FastPass entrances, and more.
Image via Magecom
This UK-based brand is known for their trendy women’s clothing collection. For the London Fashion Week, Topshop came up with a unique marketing idea. They launched multiple digital billboards across the country.
They linked these billboards to Topshop’s Twitter data. Whenever a user would create a tweet with the branded hashtag #LFW, the billboard would display the tweet. Alongside it, users would also be able to see a relevant product from Topshop.
What’s more, they placed these billboards strategically. They were all within a 10-minute walk from Topshop’s physical stores. So, anyone who liked one of the displayed items wouldn’t have to travel too far to buy the product.
Image via Trend Hunter
Sweden-based furniture company, IKEA, has an intuitive mobile app that also infuses VR technology. It enables users to visualize furniture from the comfort of their own homes. Once they are sure about what they want to purchase, they can check it out in a physical IKEA store. This strategy is blurring the line between offline and online shopping experiences.
Image via Inhabitat
Pharmaceutical retail giant, Walgreens is another brand that has been successful in adopting an omnichannel approach. Through their mobile app, users can submit refill requests, find discounts, manage prescriptions, and even place orders.
They also run a loyalty program with a special focus on omnichannel marketing. They had a program called Steps to encourage users to remain fit. They integrated this program with their loyalty program. This made it easy for users to connect their walking and running activities to their Rewards program.
Along with this, Walgreens also offers a chat function that ensures that users can contact a pharmacist any time of the day.
Image via eTaileast
Chipotle’s omnichannel approach makes it easy for customers to place an order while they are on-the-go. This can cut down on the overall waiting time and make the lives of their customers easier. Their app also has other options that make it easier to track the order.
Chipotle is a prime example of how food businesses can leverage omnichannel marketing to provide better customer experiences.
Image via Multichannel Merchant
Macy’s omnichannel approach uses Image Search technology to enable users to click photos of apparel that they like anywhere. Based on the snaps taken, their app can suggest similar products that are available on their website.
Image via MR Magazine
What’s more, Macy’s also supports payments via Apple Pay. So, users can integrate their credit and debit cards via their mobile phone to pay even at physical stores.
Q1. What is omnichannel marketing?
A. Omnichannel marketing is an approach that enables customers to have a seamless experience across multiple channels and devices. It focuses on sending a unified voice through consistent branding and messaging.
Q2. What is an omnichannel approach?
A. An omnichannel approach focuses on creating a consistent brand experience for your customers across different marketing channels, including social media platforms, mobile apps, brick-and-mortar stores, online websites, and more.
Q3. What's the difference between multichannel and omnichannel strategies?
A. Multichannel strategies focus on increasing brand presence across different communication channels, while omnichannel strategies are all about providing a consistent experience across them.
Q4. Why is omnichannel marketing important?
A. Omnichannel marketing can help you provide better customer experiences via personalized content and offers. This, in turn, can increase your conversion and retention rates.
Q5. Does Amazon provide an omnichannel experience?
A. Yes, Amazon provides an omnichannel experience to their users. They leverage data to provide more personalized, relevant experiences across different channels.
Q6. What is omnichannel marketing for ecommerce?
A. Omnichannel marketing strategies for ecommerce focus on providing an integrated user experience to users across multiple channels across different touchpoints.
Q7. What is an example of omnichannel marketing?
A. Starbucks’ loyalty rewards program is a great example of an omnichannel approach. The program is run primarily via their mobile app. However, users can also add money to it through the website or other channels.
Q8. Who should use omnichannel marketing?
A. Any marketer who wants to provide a better customer experience, boost conversions, and improve retention rate should create an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Q9. What are the benefits of omnichannel marketing?
A. Omnichannel marketing can help you boost brand awareness, sales, brand recognition, engagement, customer loyalty, and retention rate. It can also help you understand your customers’ preferences better. All in all, it can help you get more detailed insights and provide a better customer experience.
Q10. What are some examples of omnichannel marketing?
A. Big brands like Sephora, Disney, Amazon, Macy’s, Target, IKEA, and Chipotle use omnichannel marketing to give their customers better experiences. To see how they are leveraging this strategy, check out the section with examples.
Omnichannel marketing, at its core, is about building trust, increasing engagement, and growing your sales. If you do it right, you can also provide a great customer experience and boost your retention rate.
As you can see, there are many benefits to omnichannel marketing. It’s not just a fad, but the future of shopping. If you want to take your business to the next level in 2021, it’s time to start working on creating a successful omnichannel strategy. Are you ready to get started?
Do you have any questions about leveraging omnichannel marketing? Please share them in the comments section.