There is a lot of talk about how businesses, whether ecommerce or otherwise, need to market themselves across various social media platforms and through other online marketing avenues such as emails to reach a cross section of their audience. While such multi-channel marketing is becoming central to marketing strategies and is being widely incorporated, the proliferation of devices and customers’ movement across these multiple devices has necessitated that marketing strategies not only advertise on these platforms but also provide the same experience across them all.
This new form of customer centric marketing that is aware of the customer’s behavior and engagement habits across the various platforms, and connects them all with a continuous story about the brand is known as omnichannel marketing. Omnichannel marketing works to give the customer a seamless experience across devices and online as well as offline channels, thereby breaking down any walls that may exist between online and offline marketing.
Today’s retail consumer expects to shop and research products via mobile devices, online resources, and brick and mortar stores before committing to purchase.
This means that a customer may encounter your products on a social media platform or print advertisement, read more about it on your blog and then walk into your retail store while still comparing prices for the same product in other stores on his mobile device. Furthermore, with omnichannel marketing you would have equipped your retail salespersons with the right information about your products, enabling them to be ready for any questions that an informed customer might have, thereby giving your customers a more satisfying shopping experience. Omnichannel marketing thus increases your chances of sales and creates satisfied customers that are more likely to stay loyal to your brand in the long run.
Benefits of omnichannel marketing
Source: DM News
By combining efforts for marketing resources online and offline, the consumer is able to complete more thorough research and make more informed, confident purchasing decisions.
- Save duplication of marketing efforts and resources for online and offline mediums with a combined marketing strategy. Such combined efforts make for more relevant, robust, and effective messaging.
- Get higher return on investment for your marketing efforts with higher sales across your online and offline stores. As customers stay longer with your brand both online and offline, the chances of sales increase.
- Increase brand retention and loyalty with uniform messaging.
- Increase customer engagement and satisfaction with your brand with messaging that is adjusted to their buying habits and online behavior, and gives the impression of a more personalized service.
- Opportunity to collect better data about customer behavior and buying patterns across various online and offline channels, enabling you to modify your marketing strategies accordingly to meet their needs and expectations. This consequently helps you market your products better and increase sales and brand loyalty.
- Enhance employee productivity by empowering them with product and customer information that can be used to convert leads and walk-ins into sales, while providing a better shopping experience to the customer.
Tips to get started with omnichannel marketing
Whether you are an ecommerce merchant or run a brick-and-mortar retail store, here are some tips to get you started with omnichannel marketing. We shall assume at this point that you have some online presence, either in the form of a web store or on the social media platforms.
- Gather and analyze customer behavior data from both online and offline sources.
- Based upon your analysis create a cohesive marketing strategy that ensures that online and offline marketing efforts complement each other.
- Create more than one type of messaging and creatives that can be tested for customer response, providing you in depth data about your customers’ shopping behavior.
- Ensure theme and design uniformity across various channels such as Facebook, Twitter, banner ads, print ads, in-store advertising, etc. Your creative should ideally be usable across channels, or at least uniform enough that the customer gets the same experience whether he is looking at it in print or on his television, etc.
- Personalize engagement with the customer where possible on social media platforms, through email marketing or in-store experience, by managing your messaging to suit their tastes and habits. The customer should be left with the feeling that you had only him in mind when you created the message.
- Constantly analyze customer data and make modifications to your strategy until you get the perfect blend that maximizes sales across all your channels.
Ignify eCommerce has you covered
As you start exploring the rather daunting world of omnichannel marketing, Ignify eCommerce helps you in a variety of ways.
Multi-device browsing: With Ignify eCommerce you get responsive web design for your web stores, which means that your customers can browse your web store using any device, such as laptops, mobile, tablets, etc. with the same user experience. Not only is your web store accessible, the customer can also seamlessly carry over his shopping sessions from one device to another with features such as save cart and a self-service account on the web store that store essential information accessible as and when required.
Ignify eCommerce’s responsive web design templates ensure browsers have an excellent user experience regardless of which device they are using.
Support for Google Analytics: The Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel lends itself easily to have Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager configured on your web stores to help you track and understand customer behavior and plan your omnichannel marketing activities accordingly. Depending upon his business requirements, the merchant may choose to have Google Analytics, both Classic or Universal, or Google Tag Manager on individual web stores. If you have multiple stores, each store could be assigned a different tracking mechanism via the same Manager Panel.
With these tips and tools at hand you can now kick start your omnichannel marketing efforts and stay ahead of the competition.
Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.