What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Over the past few years, the term “Omnichannel marketing” has evolved around the eCommerce and marketing sectors. While everyone has their own definitions of what the term might mean, luckily, we have the full explanation for it.
In simple terms, omnichannel marketing is a strategy used by the eCommerce industry to provide a seamless shopping experience to their customers right from the first touch point to the last, regardless of which channel they use. This may seem vague because it can be implemented in various ways.
“Every time customers interact with your brand or touchpoint, ensure to make the process easy for better customer experience and engagement” – Pon Pandian, CEO of TargetBay.
Let’s say you want to renovate your house and have made a list of products you want to purchase during BFCM sales. You went one step further to check for product availability and kept an eye on them.
Finally, the big day of sales arrives, and you step into the store to add your desired product to your cart, but to your dismay, after a long time searching for the product location in the huge store, you discover that it’s out of stock (Pooooffff!)
This can be frustrating, especially after spending so much time searching for it. Relatable??
Many of us have experienced the frustration of searching for a product in a crowded store during BFCM sales. “Home Depot” has come up with a solution for this problem by introducing a mobile app that helps customers locate products quickly and easily.
The app provides a location finder, image search, and other useful features that make shopping more convenient for customers. Even if a product is unavailable in-store, customers can take a picture of it and use the image search function to find the exact or similar item. These innovative initiatives have significantly boosted online commerce sales by $1 billion annually.
In 2015 alone, the Home Depot website received 1.5 billion visits and generated a total of $4.7 billion in sales.
Home Depot is one of the classic examples where eCommerce stores can offer convenience and improve customer experience with omnichannel marketing strategies.
History of Omnichannel Marketing
Well, we all know the eCommerce industry has evolved over the years from mom-and-pop to a big-box format at a fast pace due to the high utilization of the internet, smartphones, and technology. Before, we had an offline model battle where every brand was more into promoting their products/services via traditional methods.
But it is not the same now – the online battle is quite peaks and valleys. So, it is important for a brand to enter the online space with a unified, seamless omnichannel marketing model today. Although the concept of omnichannel was introduced in the market back in 2010, the word didn’t get the attention until 2013.
Since then, it has become a buzzword in the eCommerce industry. The rise of omnichannel marketing can be attributed to the popularity of smartphones, as stated in an article published in HuffPost in 2013.
Back in early 2014, Marketing Land stated that omnichannel is a “must” for brands and retailers, which is likely to be relevant in the upcoming years. Furthermore, according to Forrester Research report, mobile commerce will surge 33% in the next years due to the high rise in mobile and diversity of omnichannel marketing.
Laying Out the Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing
Undoubtedly, as a marketer or eCommerce store owner, you have to lay your focus more on omnichannel marketing to set your campaigns via email, SMS, social media, paid search, and offline advertising.
Let’s dive into the benefits of omnichannel marketing strategies that boost eCommerce revenue.
1. Deliver Seamless Customer Experience
The concept of omnichannel marketing is brought into the market with the aim of providing a seamless customer experience regardless of the channel or devices they use to engage with your message.
“The better customer experience across the customer journey, the better they are likely to convert.”
According to Invesp, it is said that companies that make investments in the omnichannel customer engagement strategy retain 89% of their customers, compared to the customer retention rate of 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement strategy.
Remember, “Every digital touchpoint your brand has with your customers is an opportunity to either win or lose the sale.”
2. Whatever the Device, Reach Your Customers
A better omnichannel marketing strategy is that your customers should receive a consistent and seamless experience every time they engage with your brand. It can be a mobile phone, desktop, tablet, or OTT your customer doesn’t stick to one mode, and so as your omnichannel marketing effort and strategy.
Omnichannel is crucial because customers expect to connect with your brand from any device and interact with it seamlessly across channels – Pon Pandian, CEO of TargetBay.
For instance, in omnichannel marketing, you show an ad in your customer’s Facebook feed right after they visit your website as “similar” or “suggested.” This can make them think, and the chances of conversions are high because this type of personalization marketing help to remind your customer of their behavior and choice to move them down the purchase funnel.
3. Analyze the Business Beyond the Channels
As a brand, you can pull data from multiple sources and tweak your approach with your audience when you have an omnichannel marketing strategy.
“Always understanding customer touchpoints helps companies create better omnichannel marketing experiences.” – Pon Pandian, CEO of TargetBay.
In marketing campaigns, there is a difference between single-channel, multi-channel, and omnichannel marketing. Let’s take a look at it.
Single-channel Marketing: As a brand, you solely depend on one marketing channel for promotion. For example, you see Google ads and Meta ads as different campaign channels.
Multi-Channel Marketing: As a brand, you use multiple channels for your marketing effort to promote your product/service. For instance, simultaneously, you run ads in Google and Meta, then derive the data from both channels to analyze and improve your marketing campaign performance.
Omnichannel Marketing: Though it is similar to multi-channel marketing, the two have a key difference. Instead of focusing on delivering your marketing message in all advertising channels, you focus more on providing seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels.
5 Key Omnichannel Marketing Challenges and Solutions
Though there can be many challenges in omnichannel marketing, here we have scrutinized the key challenges and given them appropriate omnichannel marketing solutions.
1. Improper Utilization of Data
Well! It is data, data, data all over when it comes to omnichannel marketing campaigns. The advent of the internet and digitalization has lead us to exponential usage of consumer data generation.
The users leave behind data such as their email ID, contact number, and address when interacting with the brand, but 60% of the collected data expires within two years, according to Neustar. Your collected data is obsolete because 37% of the US population changes their contact details in a year.
How to fix it: It is good to use a 360-degree view of your customers and perspectives for the success of your omnichannel marketing campaign. As a marketer or eCommerce store owner, identify obsolete, duplicate, and incomplete data at regular intervals and fix them so your marketing effort won’t go in vain. Make all the available data in a unified system so your sales and marketing team can collaborate and work together.
2. Consistency Across Channels
The one never-ending challenge as a marketer or eCommerce store owner you will face is consistency across channels because the number of channels your customers interact with is slowly increasing.
For one user, social media might work, but for another user, email works the same way some use mobile, and some use desktop. Hence, maintaining consistency of brand messaging across the channel is more important to maintain the trust you’ve built.
How to fix it: Unify all your customer data in one single platform and also create a comprehensive brand guidelines document such as brand logo, color, message tone, and imagery, and regularly update the document as your brand evolves. This will help you to send more precise, selective, and impactful communication to your customers.
3. Personalization at Scale
Nowadays, personalization is the key goal of omnichannel marketing, and scaling it can be challenging. Even you can have a question: How can I deliver a meaningful 1:1 personalized message? It is true that customers expect 1:1 true personalization in every message they receive from the brand.
They want them to be understood and appreciated as individuals. But for brands with huge customer data, this can be time-consuming and impractical.
How to fix it: Here is where the marketing automation tool like BayEngage pops in: use the data and customer behavior to make the segmentation properly. You can segment them into small groups. Then, create a customized and personalized template that you can dynamically populate only by changing the content, like name, offers, and product information. Now, automated email marketing platforms and SMS marketing platforms can assist in delivering personalized messages.
4. No Action on New Findings
According to the survey conducted by the CMO Council, Red Point Global reveals that marketer doesn’t use the existing data properly for better customer experience. It also stated that 42% of marketers install more than ten solutions across marketing, data, and analytics, but sadly, only 3% of them are properly aligned with the system and data.
Failing to take actionable steps can lead to an ineffective omnichannel marketing campaign.
How to fix it: Well! The best way to solve this problem is to hire a technical hire to solve the problem between the technology and data available about the users. These insights will help you to plan better omnichannel marketing strategies.
5. Not Measuring the KPIs at Every Stage
Regarding a buyer’s journey cycle, every buyer crosses four stages – Awareness, engagement, conversion, and delight. For a successful omnichannel customer journey, marketers should ensure the entire journey offers a consistent experience to the buyer.
Most marketers see the overall effectiveness of the omnichannel marketing campaign but fail to understand the KPIs of each stage of the buyer journey.
How to fix it: Change the measurement; instead of measuring the entire marketing campaign, start measuring every stage of the campaign. For instance, calculate the number of visitors to your website in the awareness stage and from which source they come: email, social media, or SMS, or calculate the duration of the users when they are in the engagement stage. With this data, you can send a personalized approach that leads to more conversions.
Ready to Overcome the Omnichannel Marketing Challenges?
It is common knowledge that marketing has its own challenges. So, when it comes to omnichannel marketing, follow the solution given above.
When done correctly, it not only rewards your business but also satisfies your customers. Along with the listed out solutions, many of the omnichannel marketing pain points can be set right by leveraging the best marketing automation platform for your business.