How to implement a killer Omni-channel marketing strategy
For a consumer shopping is one experience, regardless of channel. It doesn’t matter whether he/she is buying a product online or form a brick and mortar store. These consumers expect to be able to show up from any location and at any time of the day. As a company it is very important to create a seamless experience for their customers. It has become more important than ever for any kind of marketer to devise a strategy for how they will create a unified message for their consumers across all channels.
What is Omni-channel Marketing?
Omni-channel basically integrates varied shopping channels into one, so that consumer efforts are reduced and they make an informed purchase decision. The Omni-channel marketing enhances the customer buying experience by giving them seamless access to the same product or a service across different channels of shopping.
Omni-channel must always consider that a customer may begin his purchase journey on one platform, might jump to another in between, and finally make a purchase on the third one. So what an individual sees on one channel must mirror the same message that they view across all the channels.
Omni-channel marketing is often confused with Multi channel marketing. As there definitions do not appear to be any different. Multi-channel marketing refers to the ability of a brand to interact with potential customers on different platforms.
In Multi-channel marketing more emphasis is given on the number of channels to reach out to customers and engage them. But in Omni-channel priority is to ensure customer is having wonderful overall experience with the brand on each and every channel.
Why should I have Omni-Channel Marketing?
One single interaction can hardly engage a customer, so a brand has to connect with its customer or prospects at different touchpoints. This is where Omni-Channel marketing plays a crucial role. Below are a few reasons why you should implement it right now, in case you haven’t.
- Improved data collection – Since your brand is visible across the channels, more prospects know who you are, and they will, at one point in time, check your product. The more they check, the more data is created, which can be used to understand customer behaviour better. Tracking when customers are more likely to purchase certain items to tracking demographics of loyalty customers becomes very easy.
- Effective Customization – In the current market, customers crave a personal touch. Customization helps in giving that touch, and Omni-channel marketing can perfectly complement customization. Customers hate waiting and become frustrated if any of the marketing experience was not up to the mark. Customized Omni-channel helps in building the relationship with the customer across the channels. It provides customers with more options, and when customers have more options, they sense your willingness to meet all their needs.
- Business Integration – Omnichannel communication helps in integrating key parts of the business like customer service, sales, inventory, and enterprise resource planning. Rather than these departments working in isolation, each aspect of the business works together with other parts to provide the highest quality of service and product to the customers.
- Make the most of ZMOT – Zero moments of truth (ZMOT) refers to the customer’s inclination to do online research of the product before making a purchase. With Omni-channel, you can provide a seamless product experience across channels, which make it easy to win new customers and re-attract the old ones.
How can I implement a fool-proof Omni-Channel marketing strategy?
The millennial consumer has a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional life, and his shopping tendencies have also become a reflection of this impulse. This is why, as a brand, you need to be present everywhere – in the offline and the online world! It is therefore imperative that you take out time and effort to build an all-inclusive and highly effective Omni-channel strategy if you want to outdo the competition and get ahead of them. Here are a few factors to keep in mind while you go about implementing a dependable & sure-fire Omni-channel marketing strategy:
- Gather & analyze customer data – It is true that “big data has all the answers!” In order to chart out the course of your consumers’ journey, gather and then intelligently analyze all possible data that explains their buying behaviour. Where they shop, what time of the day they are most active, which products are popular among a particular customer segment etc. Having access to this goldmine of information will help you deliver the most satisfying experience to your customer.
- Delight your customers – Personalization is the key to gain user attention and retention as well. Companies implementing Omni-channel strategy should realize that the focus should always be on the customers. Go for a “relationship-based approach” instead of just an “interaction-based approach”.
- Consistently follow-up – Consumers have now got used to expecting to see a uniform & consistent brand message across online, offline and mobile platforms. And with the attention span of your target audience at an all-time low, it is important to pursue them persistently across multi-channels (proximity notifications, reminders about offers, abandoned cart follow-up) to boost customer engagement & finally get a conversion.
- Improve your tech-efficiency – The transition from a mono-channel or multi-channel strategy to an Omni-channel plan is largely dependent on how tech-savvy your brand is. You need to adopt tools and tactics that allow you to move in fast to please a customer as soon as an opportunity arises.
- Be Omnipresent – An Omni-channel strategy literally expects you to be present across all channels (Omni = all). Establish your presence across as many channels as possible – website, SMS, app, e-mail, offline stores etc. This way, no matter where your potential customer goes, you’re right there. At the same time, ensure that the customer experience across these channels is not disjointed or aimless – make all channels work towards the same goal.
- Customize each channel’s role – While you maintain your brand’s message across all channels, don’t forget to play to the strengths of each channel, i.e. tweak your strategy & content according to the medium. So be concise on Twitter, visually appealing on Instagram and prompt to answer on Chat or Phone.