Some shoppers would visit a physical store to check the availability of the item, how it looks like, how much it costs, and to see if the item is something that the shopper would want to purchase right away. Then, there are those who rely heavily on online stores to check its availability or make the purchase readily.
E-commerce greatly flourished over the last few years not only due to the vast improvements made with the Internet (i.e., the birth of Internet-of-Things), but also because of those made with the devices used to access it.
There are indeed more ways than one to present and to purchase the things customers need. As a business owner or retailer, taking advantage of these different channels not only allows your business to engage better with buyers who may prefer to shop via one or more channels, but it also means potentially growing your revenue.
An omnichannel strategy refers to unifying the many channels available to users to access a store and create a harmonious buying process that utilizes one or more of these channels. Some of these channels include desktop, mobile, apps, SMS, and email marketing to name a few.
Omnichannel e-commerce relies heavily on creating a consistent and seamless customer experience across all channels and is often confused with multi-channel. However, it’s as beneficial as multi-channel or probably even more.
If you believe that the benefits of omnichannel are something you want for your business, you should implement it alongside these guidelines.
1. Plan it out
Determine first the nature of your business—its needs and goals, strengths and weaknesses, and challenges.
This is also the first step in knowing which channels to take advantage of. Keep in mind that not all will be beneficial to you. Just because a particular channel worked for one business, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for yours, which is why studying the details of your business is essential.
2. Embrace all possible channels in the customer journey
It is important to determine which channels to start with and utilize. Fortunately, there are low-cost solutions for reaching your target market.
Take advantage of these systems and allow your customers to interact with you through their preferred method. Forcing them done a single generic path may be easier for you in terms of boosting your numbers, but the priority should be adapting to consumer behavior and preference.
Today, 45% of consumers prefer a combination of online, mobile, and in-store shopping, so make sure that you are discoverable across all channels to give you the most ROI and opportunities to convert at every avenue.
3. Decide which customer segments you to focus on for a personalized experience
Around 74% of consumers do not like receiving content that isn’t relevant to their interests. Segmenting your buyers depending on specific criteria (with the help of your CRM) allows you to personalize the messages to send out—assuring you of maximum engagement and that your content doesn’t go straight to the Trash.
Identify what works for your customers through social monitoring, analytics, and even surveys. Listen to what they are saying and invest in their experience.
4. Make every touchpoint a shopping haven
According to Google, a critical element in omnichannel strategies perfects the customer journey: making every touchpoint shoppable. This means that all platforms utilized are capable on its own to convert.
Reduce friction to help give customers a seamless purchasing experience, and for your business to drive to more conversions.
5. Maintain a consistent brand image
The omnichannel strategy requires consistent branding. Whether customers access your business at the physical store, on social media, or the e-commerce website, they should be able to identify your brand and message. This helps in providing them a consistently excellent buying experience.
Unifying your channel approach means avoiding conflicting messages and making your campaign goals clear. There should be a common theme running on your UX, website, emails, and all other customer-facing materials. They should be able to trust you.
6. Invest in customer care service
According to reports, 54% of millennials, 50% of Gen Xers, and 52% of baby boomers will discontinue supporting a business due to poor customer service. Another 77% of people say that excellent customer service for businesses means valuing the customers’ time.
It’s safe to say that customer support is integral in retaining buyers. Apart from that, it may also lead to referrals and recurring revenues. Listen to your customers and implement these suggestions accordingly to improve customer service.
7. Integrate your systems and tools for customer data gathering and processing
Consolidate your marketing systems and tools to reduce data ambiguity and ensure integrity. With the correct data, you get a better picture of the success of your campaign.
There are services from different providers offering every aspect of omnichannel setup. You can pick several providers including e-commerce outsourcing instead of just one. You can even choose specific tools to favor your business and the needs of your customers while retaining control on your system.
May it be BPO services or providers in your area, they should have specialists working to implement the strategy effectively. In addition, the programs should be kept up to date with new features.
8. Continuously optimize your channels
Optimizing your online and offline channels means monitoring their performance including cross-channel experiences and reorganizing them when needed.
Here are some of the ways to do it:
– Use the data you gathered to determine the efficiency of the channel, not industry benchmarks.
– Modify the channel that is not generating revenue. If still ineffective, drop it altogether. Invest in a channel that offers you the best ROI and take advantage of the channels that are performing well.
– Regularly monitor top channels and modify the strategy if the ROI is decreasing or not increasing as fast as before.
Nowadays, having an omnichannel strategy for business shouldn’t just be a choice—it should be a prerequisite. Technology is continuously evolving to address consumer needs, but each evolution yields more demands that should be met.
Unifying the available channels integrates the system for a more personal engagement to eventually ensure ROI and drive more leads.