As the world changes, so must your business. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed shopping habits forever. More customers are buying online than ever before, using several different marketing channels to do so: from social media to Google Shopping Ads, to online marketplaces.
Omnichannel selling is fast becoming the most effective and far-reaching marketing strategy for businesses who want to increase customer satisfaction by meeting their customers where they are.
But what is omnichannel selling, and how can you make the most of it?
Read on to learn more about what omnichannel selling can bring to your online store, and how you can use it to increase your customer base and drive sales.
Omnichannel selling is a marketing strategy which gives customers the same experience of your online store across several different channels (social media, marketplaces etc).
Multichannel selling is a marketing strategy which offers the customer a range of different ways to interact with your business: through Google Shopping Ads, social media or your website.
Each of these different ways of marketing your business has its own strategy, meaning that two customers may have very different experiences when encountering your website from your ads on social media, for example.
Omnichannel selling, however, offers a more synchronized retail experience by providing the customer with a consistent marketing strategy across several channels, all at the same time.
Each channel contributes to the experience as a whole – meaning that wherever your customers are, they can experience your business in a consistent way. This makes your overall brand more robust and helps your business stand out from the crowd.
All omnichannel customer experiences will use several channels, but not all multichannel experiences are omnichannel. You could have an amazing mobile experience, creative social media campaigns and a fantastic website, but if they don’t work as a whole to build your brand, they won’t create an omnichannel experience for your customers.
Let’s take a look over the benefits of omnichannel selling:
Better Customer Experience
Your customers will love the fact that your business is consistently represented across multiple channels. Not only will this enhance your brand, but it will also increase consumer trust in your business. It shows that your store is willing to go the extra mile to make sure your customers get the best experience.
By providing a seamless experience across multiple channels, you can reach your customers wherever they are, on the channel that they’re using at the time.
Customer journeys are no longer linear – people discover brands and products in all types of ways, such as social media, Google Shopping, online marketplaces, and in-store discovery. Having a consistent presence where your customers are is more important than ever.
Drive sales with an increased presence across multiple channels. A customer’s first experience with your store may be through social media – in fact 85% of GEN Z shoppers use social media to research a product before buying it. Omnichannel selling makes the most of social commerce in this way, so your customer experience can start at social media and end with a purchase in-store or on your website.
Advice from the Experts
Top tip: Make use of influencers!
Social media influencers may have a powerful effect on your customer base. Reaching out and establishing a paid sponsorship with them can be a useful way to target certain products to your customer segments.
Create Customer Loyalty
With a consistent customer experience across multiple channels, you can make sure your brand is instantly recognizable. Returning customers will be able to tell it’s your business from the branding and style alone, leading to increased loyalty among your customers.
Better Data Collection Opportunities
With customers using a variety of different channels, but still having the same experience, it is easier than ever to measure the conversion rate of your channels. With one common variable across them all (the content), it becomes easier to see which aspects of your marketing strategy are working, and which aren’t.
#1. Get to Know Your Customers
Understand your customer journey by learning which people use your website and how, so you can shape your marketing strategy to target your customers’ needs. By segmenting your customer base, you can personalize your strategy to reach different groups, instead of a one size fits all approach.
#2. Choose the Right Channels
Next, you need to figure out which channels each customer segment uses. This can be done through using Google Analytics, for example, as well as a mix of qualitative data, such as speaking to your customers. Research your customers’ habits to learn how to reach them in the right place, at the right time.
Advice from the Experts
Top tip: Know your customers!
The importance of research and reporting in developing and maintaining your omnichannel marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. Keeping up-to-date with your customer journey is one of the golden rules of digital marketing!
#3. Create a Clear Purpose
Once you feel like you know your customers’ habits, where to reach them, and how to attract them to your store, set out a clear strategy on how to deliver your omnichannel experience. This involves knowing what customer needs you are fulfilling and why, and then developing marketing content that suits this purpose.
#4. Implement Personalization
Now is the time to deliver a truly personalized experience for your customers. Using your research, develop marketing content that speaks to your customers’ needs and profiles. Use different channels to drive a coordinated marketing strategy that is consistent across channels.
Advice from the Experts
Top tip: SEO targeting
Make sure you do your SEO keyword research when developing your marketing content. This will mean that you can reach your customers whenever they search for your brand or products. It will also help you to understand your customers better.
#5. Deliver Seamlessly Across Platforms
Finally, now that you know your content strategy and which channels you’d like to use, it’s time to deliver to your customers. Promote your brand across multiple channels, using on-brand content and calls to action (CTAs) to drive site conversion and sales.
#6. Maintain Your Channels
Keep the process going! Omni channel selling and managing your ecommerce site is a constant exercise, and the best businesses continuously adapt to changing markets and customer behaviors. Keep an eye on your analytics and keep speaking to your customers to stay ahead of the trend!
Advice from the Experts
Top tip: Use data to drive sales
Use Google Analytics to help you see which channels are leading to the most conversions for your website. Keep updated on the latest trend changes, and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly, so you can reach your customers in the right place.
The world of digital marketing has shifted dramatically in the past few years, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more customers are looking to buy products online.
What used to be a relatively niche marketing strategy has now become the norm for businesses selling online.
In fact, as many as 95% of customers use three or more channels in just one interaction with a brand!
Any online store who are looking to thrive online simply has to make use of omnichannel selling to promote their brand, get to know their customers, and encourage loyalty through a consistent customer experience.
Not only does it encourage consistency, but omnichannel selling also ensures your branding and marketing strategy stays on point, wherever your customers are.
- Google Shopping Ads
- Marketplace advertising
- Retargeting ads
- Social media
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Influencer marketing
- Email and SMS
- Understand your customer journey
- Have a clearly defined brand personality – including colors, images, and logo
- Create and distribute a brand style guide
- Perform regular communication audits
- Tailor your brand voice for different channels