How To Create an Omni-Channel Marketing Experience
When you first hear the words ‘omnichannel’ you might think it is some technical buzzword. However, the chances are you have already experienced it for yourself.
- Have you bought something via your phone or tablet during the past few years?
- Have you added items to your cart on a shopping app and then completed the sale later on a company website?
- Have you purchased tickets to an event, and then used your phone to gain admission at the door?
- Have you ordered an item online and visited the store to pick it up?
If so, you have had an Omni-Channel experience. It’s the new way that business has adapted to the new innovations in online ordering, apps, social media, and integrated them into their business marketing strategies.
What is Omni-Channel Marketing?
Omnichannel customer experiences are made up of individual customer touchpoints, over a variety of channels. All these touchpoints seamlessly connect and allow customers to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience on another.
For example, customers can order online and pick up in-store, or vice versa. Both the retail location and the online store deliver within a similar time frame, so there is no inconvenience for the customer.
Today, over 80% of consumers will channel-hop between different types of purchasing options so it is important to know how to capitalize on this trend.
The Rise of Multiple Platforms
Today in 2020, very few people use only one device or platform to make buying decisions and purchases. We all different touchpoints to gather information, price shop, look at delivery options, and more.
A 2017 Harvard Business Review study of 46,000 shoppers showed the way that shopping has changed:
- 7% shopped online exclusively
- 20% were store-only shoppers
- 73% used multiple channels
Shopping via apps as also seen a dramatic increase. Amazon is the most popular shopping app in the United States with 150 million mobile users. Walmart ranks second with 86 million mobile app users.
How To Improve Your Omni-Channel Experience
We are very fortunate that all the tools available at your disposal can help to create a seamless experience for your customers. Here are some of the best ways to improve your omnichannel experience for your customers.
Focus on the Customer Experience first
40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels (Internet Retailer).
At the core of your entire marketing strategy should always be the consumer experience. Wherever you can, you should personalize the experience at every step. Using social media API tools can help to gather insights and create a complete customer profile.
Create a Seamless Mobile Experience
The first step in moving towards an omnichannel experience is creating a mobile user experience.
As of last year, over 59% of all American adults own a smartphone and are starting to shop online either through a mobile or tablet, with the time spent on a mobile device surpassing time spent on a desktop last year.
Make your site mobile friendly, with large visuals and simplified navigation to help mobile users quickly find what they are looking for.
Manage User Data
Perhaps more important than gathering user data is sorting through and organizing the ‘big data’. You can use all the information gathered from a variety of social networks in order to maximize the full potential of personalization.
To do this, you must ensure you have the right infrastructure in place to store massive amounts of data and the ability to access it quickly as well. Organized data makes it easier to scale marketing efforts and target the right customers, at the right time.
Make Every Touchpoint Shoppable
One major key to designing an omnichannel retail strategy is making every touchpoint shoppable.
Companies like Disney are a great example of this. Whether using their mobile app, website, or being in their theme parks, at every point you can make a purchase.
Every time you have a touchpoint experience with Disney, they create the opportunity to make sales.
If someone adds a product to their cart from your website, it needs to appear in their mobile app too. If they land on Facebook, they should get suggested products through ads based on that previous product viewing.
All Roads Can Lead To Sales
Always look for new outlets and ways to connect each and every channel. Create an experience that doesn’t force people onto a single platform. Instead, create an experience that can be completed and repeated on each.
Buying a product should be a seamless experience, whichever channel your customer uses, so map your customer journey and streamline the sales process.