Furthermore, the same study also found out that companies with a weaker omni-channel marketing strategy are able to retain only 33% of their customers.
So, we could safely say about the bottom line that a seamless omni-channel marketing strategy could make sure that companies safeguard their businesses by improving customer retention.
However, not many market leaders are well-versed with the channel experience concept, so let’s understand what is omni-channel marketing strategy?
To understand the omni-channel marketing strategy, we first need to understand what a channel or an omni channel experience is.
A channel is a touchpoint of a company. Brands use multiple marketing channels to inform customers about their products, offers, events, and their availability to offer them a cross channel experience .
From a mail to a call to an Instagram ad, these are all marketing channels for a brand to utilize and reach out to their target audience.
What is Omni channel Marketing?
“Omni channel” is a word used to describe the integration of various channels into becoming a unanimous mouthpiece.
In simple words, it is a multi-channel approach to reach customers with a cross-platform facility offering a cross channel experience.
This is an attempt to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience, regardless of his/her current location.
A good omni channel marketing strategy links the available channels of communication.
This helps a brand in delivering a clearer message in a more effective manner as compared to other methods.
Let’s say if a customer gets in touch with your customer service team. They would obviously have to brief the rep on their query.
If they had been talking via live-chat facility, they would have already texted the details into the chat.
Now, if they have to switch to a voice call, does it mean that they have to repeat all the details again? Oh boy!
A lot of interest and energy get lost in repetition! Not to mention, it is a waste of time, and a loss of leads for you too!
Luckily, with omni channel marketing strategies, they won’t have to start the whole conversation all over again.
Instead, they would simply be able to continue the conversation from where they had left it off over the website chat.
Let’s take another example, an individual visits an eCommerce website and adds a product to the cart. However, they left the website without purchasing it.
Here, a cross-channel or omni channel strategy would help the business by delivering a text message or an email to the individual about it.
These strategies and best practices also help a company keep its customers updated on their various offers and programs.
Moreover, if we look at the buyer journey, cross-channel or omni channel marketing campaigns enable you to update the consumer data automatically as your users move across the sales funnel.
However, we will touch upon it at great length later; for now, let us look at a huge confusion gripping marketers regarding omni channel marketing.
Omni channel and multichannel marketing
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Omni channel and multichannel marketing are two terms that are always used and confused for one another, however, there is a huge difference between omni channel and multichannel marketing.
The process through which a single message could be spread across different digital marketing channels is called multichannel marketing.
This strategy, thus, becomes the first choice of a company to reach the maximum number of clients via a cross channel experience.
Stats says, approximately there are only 52% of the marketers, who make use of 3 to 4 channels for marketing.
Shocking, I know! It may seem obvious that the more digital marketing channels you use the more visibility your brand gets, and yet only 52%!
However, the stats have gradually improved from the earlier 44% in 2015.
Moreover, another study claims only 51% of the total companies make use of over 5 channels to communicate with their customers for a complete cross channel experience.
A multichannel marketing strategy only emphasizes on increasing the number of media channels that work together to inform customers about their products.
For example, emails, website notification, social media, etc, are all different types of media channels to be used in a multichannel marketing strategy.
Here, the messages are highly static and make sure to reach as many people as possible.
On the other hand, the aim of omni channel marketing is to integrate the services of these channels. Therefore, its services are customer-centric.
The message here is highly customizable yet in sync with the other platforms.
Although the main focus is on customers, the brand is kept at the center in the case of omni channel marketing.
In the case of multichannel marketing, a marketer has to blatantly send the written message to the clients through every channel in front of him for a complete 360-degree channel experience.
However, in the case of an omni channel marketing approach, a single channel is chosen from the past behavior of the customer, and then it is used to target them.
An efficient omni channel marketing strategy would help bring your brand closer to the lead using their preferred mode of communication.
For example, if a consumer has contacted the company for the first time through their phone number, then they should receive notifications on their number, whereas, had they used their email address to communicate, then any notifications regarding the company’s offerings would be directed to their mail.
When a consumer contacts a company, they picture all of your support channels as one; to them, these services aren’t different.
So naturally, 91% of the potential customers do not want to start all over again after switching channels.
As the multichannel marketing approach is brand-based, it fails to fulfill this expectation of the customers.
However, the omni channel experience stands well on this expectation of the customers here. The omni channel experience connects each channel in a way that they are all extensions of one another instead of parallel lines.
Omni channel marketing is customer-centric as well as brand-based.
It is easy to understand why every brand would want to tap the potentials of this all-rounded marketing technique, so let’s get down with the recipe!
How to Build an Omni channel Marketing Campaign?
- The customer is the king
- Human Touch
Before we get down with the ingredient of a perfect marketing strategy, it is important to understand how crucial the online platforms are when it comes to making an impression.
A study shows 88% of consumers conduct extensive online research before purchasing any product.
Image Courtesy: Software Suggest
This is where your customers can learn, review, and approach you in a minute’s gap.
So, while the whole internet is up for grabs, and you can make the most of this opportunity in any way you want, these factors will help you make the most of the most:
The customer is the king
Remember omni channel marketing or any other efficient form of marketing revolves around the customer. Omni channel marketing should focus on how to make the consumer experience easier and lesser time-consuming.
You will have to look at the product/service you are offering from the perspective of the consumer and then create an omni channel marketing strategy.
The average consumer goes through a 4 channel experience before making the purchase.
Following are the 4 most common scenarios through which the consumer will show interest and buy your product/services:
- He will have a look at the product on the laptop and then shift to the app on his phone. Here he will also research the pros and cons of the product and talk to customer care in case of any doubts. After full satisfaction, he/she will buy the product.
- He looks at the product/service on an app/ website and based on the reviews of an influencer(person or blog), purchases the product.
- He looks at the product on his laptop, opens another window to research, then switches to a phone. Eventually, he goes on to buy the product on the app.
- The fourth scenario is where the person knows of the product via a website, goes to the application, and even after adding the product to the cart, buy the product from a retail store.
Countless other permutations and combinations wait, however, the one thing common among them all is the involvement of more than one channel in the customer journey.
Depending upon the demographics of your target audience, it is important you master-curate the right platforms.
The data collected from a consumer based on their online behavior is a relevant factor when it comes to building omni channel marketing.
Consumers leave a huge trail of data while searching the internet. The data trail they leave behind helps you build customer persona and will further help you develop the campaign.
Adding human touch i.e. calls to omni channel marketing is a contributing factor towards the success of the campaign.
Even if a mail gets ignored, a call will most likely be picked. According to a study, a customer will call if his email goes unanswered in 71% of the cases.
At this point, he will obviously want to talk to an executive rather than a bot.
Step by step process to design an omni channel marketing strategy
- #1. Get a Data Management Software
- #2. Develop Relevant Content
- #3. Use all Channels
#1. Get a Data Management Software
The knowledge collected by a Data Management Software(DMS) helps provide the right direction to an omni channel marketing strategy.
Maintaining a database of consumers, their on-site behavior, purchasing habits, etc, is a must for every corporate.
A robust and smart DMS framework would enable your brand to collect, analyze, manage, and organize data.
#2. Develop Relevant Content
Armed with the data collected in the previous step, you can create relevant content for the audience segments the data is relevant to.
There is a huge volume of content available on the net. What imparts a charm to your content is the relatability it strikes with your people.
The first step towards gaining someone’s attention is to make sure to offer them something they have been seeking.
Every customer has a problem, and your brand can become an instant hit if it offers a solution. Your content should be aimed at bringing your consumers closer to your solution.
This will also help in future customer retention.
#3. Use all Channels
Marketing across all channels ensures optimum coverage and channel experience. Digital technology has changed the way marketing works.
To reach every consumer, you will have to use traditional as well as modern modes of marketing.
Therefore, channels like SMS marketing, calls, emails, ads on social media, blogs are all important channels to set up omni channel marketing.
For example, social networking is one of the biggest database holders. You can come to know about consumer behavior and buying trends by tracking their social network.
These statistics show that social media, influencer reviews, and advertisements are one of the many channel experiences of omni channel marketing.
What defines a good Omni channel customer experience?
- 1. Convenience
- 2. Prioritize the mass
- 3. Fast-paced Experience
- 4. Invest in a technology stack
- 5. Human Touch
Channels such as internet browsers, social media, online stores, etc. provide an extensive platform for research.
So, it is not a far-fetched assumption when we say that consumers today are more skeptical than they used to be.
They won’t just go into the “purchase” mode, they would first transition from one search material to another.
Here’s a step-by-step rundown on how consumers go about purchasing:
- Research about a product
- Look for reviews by customers/ influencers
- Raise query(if any) on customer services and
- Purchase the product
This rundown is evidently hinting at a constant change of channels. If they use Google to research, they may switch to Instagram to see what their favorite influencer might have to say about your product.
They may switch to your website to read your clientele’s testimonials. They may, yet again, switch to other forms of social media or review channels.
Having decided that your products are worth a shot, they would again experiment with various platforms.
However, once the decision of trying is made, the channels involved require your efforts.
This is where the Phase-II of omni channel marketing starts.
Phase-I involves things you may not always have a say over, but in Phase-II, you can maintain a friendly and successful narrative for your brand.
It is also important to note that not only are your consumers switching channels, but they are also capable of switching devices.
Thus, it is important to ensure that your omni channel marketing strategy is compatible with all devices and has responsive templates.
Your customer could be using any device, and they should still have a hassle-free journey from researching about the product to buying it, which creates a pleasant omni channel experience.
It is the duty of an omni channel marketing strategy to provide a healthy platform for every customer to express their problems and lodge their inquiries as well.
While ace marketers focus on deploying all the modern ways to engage and eventually satiate the consumers, they are somewhere missing out on the older equation.
Marketing isn’t just about the “new”!
The “old” hasn’t gone out of the picture entirely. Customers keep toggling between different channels.
Therefore, traditional as well as modern marketing ideas have to collaborate together to work better.
To ensure enchanting omni channel experience, the things we need to put in place are:
Customers want convenience these days.
They want everything in one place. While it is easy to lose a customer in their transition from one channel to another, you could also have every information ready across all channels they visit.
Let’s say, a customer who googles your product should reach a page, which informs them about the product, its reviews, and also a link for them to purchase it.
The easier you make it for them, the more they will come back to you!
Marketing statistics indicate that 86% of these customers are willing to pay extra for a seamless customer experience.
However, the trick is to not go on populating every channel with “buy now” pop-ups! There needs to be a balance between information and Call to Action.
2. Prioritize the mass
Prioritizing the major chunk of your customers with respect to the business helps in making sure that the right shopping experience is delivered.
Prioritizing the mass is done right when you constantly research your audience more.
When you try to understand and help them out better, you are escalating your brand image towards wholesome customer experience.
3. Fast-paced Experience
If the customer’s queries and complaints get sorted speedily, the chances of the customer trusting your brand are higher.
He will come back for more, based on his past shopping experience.
Additionally, everyone loves transparency; having a responsive chat-based system that keeps a track of the customer’s query while being easy to use is the easiest way to keep your customers glued.
4. Invest in a technology stack
Businesses that invest in a good stack of technology profit more. While we have already discussed the usage of a good Data Management System in an omni channel strategy, a DMS isn’t all you need!
Customer Relationship Management software or CRMs are what you are looking for if you want a complete solution!
The right technology can save you time and maximize your productivity, further helping you to deliberate on better marketing tasks and customer relationship management.
5. Human Touch
Apart from technology, every business needs a human touch to enhance the customer experience.
Software provide data that can be used by the marketing team and the customer services team to smoothen the buying experience.
However, the heavy responsibility of lead conversion and product satisfaction falls upon the humans of a company.
To ensure that your humans are no short of superhumans when it comes to marketing and sales, you would need to undertake regular reviews, meetings, and training.
So what really is omni channel experience?
Omni channel customer experience is the overall impression that your brand would create on your consumer based on their interaction with you at various touchpoints.
For an ideal impression, it is important that the business makes sure all the channels are working in harmony towards providing a perfect customer journey.
We have seen that customers go through various channels, they even switch devices, so is it possible to narrow down their behaviors in different phases or stages for an easier comprehension?
What are Customer Phases?
- #1. Onboarding
- #2. Engagement
- #3. Conversions
- #4. Retention
To get the most out of your investments in omni channel marketing, it is necessary that you acquaint yourself with the significance of customer phases.
Each customer phase is a stage in the journey of a customer from becoming a viewer to being a loyal customer/leaving the product/service.
Notice that we haven’t referred to a potential customer as a “lead” here, a potential customer may even be a passive viewer in the beginning!
Image Courtesy: MailUp
It is our tactic and product that can help us draw even disinterested groups of people in to try!
Every business has different customer phases. For example, Starbucks’ customer phase is short; it begins and ends at the purchase of their coffee.
However, in the automobile/ real estate business, the usual customer journey crosses 7 customer phases.
Customers have a higher chance of sticking around with businesses that have a seamless buying experience across all channels.
It is important for a business to know that there is over a 60% chance that your older customers would buy the services you are offering, whereas there is only a 5-20% chance of selling products to new customers.
According to a study, 67% of the existing customers spend more than new customers.
These statistics clearly hint at the need to preserve the existing customers’ interest.
It isn’t enough that we sell, but it is needed that we sustain a customer.
Moreover, these very numbers also hint at the urgency to improve new lead conversions.
For most industries’ sales curve, there are 4 customer phases. Let us see them and how omni channel marketing helps:
When the customer comes in contact with your brand for the first time, it is called getting the customer onboard.
In this phase, the customer comes to know about the product that you are offering through channels. This is also the phase at which a viewer becomes a lead.
Omni channel marketing helps you get your content out to the viewers, and it also helps you track:
- What brought the customers to the product/service?
- Keep a track of visitor’s data and their behavior onsite.
- Track pay-per-click and Adwords data.
At this stage, they want to touch base with you.
When a prospective customer shows interest in your product, they would initiate a conversation.
Every business should start engaging a customer through calls, emails, blogs, and advertisements.
This will help the customers stay updated about the products of your business.
However, it should be kept in mind that the approach should not be aggressive.
Additionally, to keep your customers engaged, you should also have customer feedback/ surveys/advisory boards to help the business improve.
It isn’t too hard to understand how omni channel marketing improves your engagement.
Whether they reach out to a chatbot or to your Facebook page, they are looking for an oneness.
They are looking for the entirety of your brand on whichever channel they have reached.
A good omni channel presence would help your marketing team hit better numbers in engagement.
For this phase, the business will have to create an emotional bond.
A business can’t just sell a product, they have to build customer relationships.
Of all the products out there, why must a general consumer choose you?
Good quality of products is fundamental to their purchase decision!
However, the customer support they have received so far is instrumental also.
The customer support can be improved by highly responsive, quick, and intuitive communication channels.
The conversion rate formula is: (Total Number of Sales/ Total number of leads)X100.
Omni channel marketing automation provides options like cart recovery(for lost cart) and safe money transfer platforms to the customer so that they don’t abandon the brand experience at this crucial step.
So, now that the sale is made, does the working end? No way!
Customers don’t lose value after they have made a purchase, instead, the older a customer gets, the more their value increases. Thus, customer retention is crucial.
According to many studies, an existing customer is more likely to purchase a new product than a new customer.
With a loyal customer, a business doesn’t have to go through the customer phases again, therefore, it is imperative for customer retention.
Omni channel Marketing Automation provides customers with automated guides and self-help kits for using the products.
Omni channel Marketing Automation also helps in delivering follow-up messages.
While it is good to have a large customer base, it is even better to convert them into willing brand ambassadors.
The happier a customer is with you, the more likely will they recommend you to others.
This could significantly improve all the other phases we have discussed above.
To maintain a loyal and strong customer base, your business will have to keep track of your customers’ interests.
Furthermore, you should keep track of a customer’s behavior by keeping an eye on the reviews and ratings that they give.
This will help the business improve and also get new customers on board.
Omni channel Marketing Statistic 2020
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The world faced a threat from a potential world war and then from a real pandemic, all this in the first three months of 2020.
The year 2020 may not have had the brightest of starts! However, this has boosted the prospects for virtual businesses.
More so than ever, marketers are willing to experiment with all the digital and virtual channels to reach out to remote workers, whose only source of entertainment is these digital services now.
Omni channel marketing plays an important role in boosting the revenue of every business.
It is, therefore, one of the main areas where every business invests heavily in.
To understand the importance of omni channel marketing here is an insight into how even some of the biggest companies use it and profit from it:
Disney used omni channel marketing to enhance a Disneyland visitor’s experience across all channels.
It brought in the smallest part of the user’s experience and made all of its platforms responsive.
The Disney booking website is accessible on PC/laptop/mobile app/tabs.
It gives you a tool called “My Disney Experience” to organize the whole trip.
With the details the customer creates, they can locate anything in Disney Land on their mobile app.
Amazon uses customer data to personalize their experience and makes every step of the purchase very interactive.
Amazon unifies its channels in the background and makes sure that its customers get what they need on any preferred channel.
It provides unique incentives like Amazon Prime One-day delivery to keep its customers wanting for more.
A huge example of seamless omni channel marketing is Amazon Go. Amazon introduced walk-in stores that let customers purchase groceries on the go.
Amazon Go is a unique initiative where customers can pick up grocery products from the Amazon Go store, without having to worry about payments.
The payment for the purchase is made while walking out of the store automatically, online.
From the moment a consumer steps into an Amazon Go store, everything is taken care of by smart automation tech and mobile apps.
This is one of the top omni channel examples because Starbucks provides a Rewards App.
Starbucks makes the customer’s rewards card accessible through phone, website, at the store, or through the app itself.
All additions to the card get updated across all the channels.
Not only does it keep the customer up-to-date, but it also enables even technically challenged consumers to be able to use the credit system.
This make-up giant makes use of omni channel marketing at its best. They connect the customer’s in-store purchases to the online application.
Additionally, Sephora offers complimentary makeovers and beauty workshops.
The mobile app also allows the customer to digitally try the make-up online.
The customers can also use the ‘Beauty Bag’ that the app provides, to be accessed in-store for better communication with the on-desk employees.
This India-based furniture company has accomplished an excellent omni channel experience.
On the website/ application, the customer can choose the furniture they like and book an appointment with their design assistant in Pepperfry Studio.
Here, they can find the perfect decor for their house. Pepperfry reported an increase of 10-15% in their sales after setting up of these studio locations.
Chipotle makes ordering food easy with its omni channel customer experience.
The website and application let the customers order food from anywhere and access details on any device.
The experiences throughout the channels are seamless and easy-to-navigate.
This sports shoe giant collaborated with Apple to come up with a running app NikePlus App. This app connects with the customer’s shoes and tracks the fitness journey.
This app records the exercise preference of individual customers, and then, provides product suggestions according to it.
In 2020, 87% of the customers expect the brands to develop a seamless experience throughout their channels.
Repeating themselves is a major issue amongst the current customer base.
You may end up losing a potential customer amidst this repetition.
This again sounds like a job for great omni channel strategies and best practices!
The world is quickly moving towards virtual reality. What this means is that customers prefer to keep their interactions online.
It wouldn’t be surprising to note that 50% of the surveyed customers were okay with making online payments and purchases.
The same study hints that for a wide majority of customers, having to go to the shop is the last preference.
The customers prefer online resources to the extent that if they do not find the product on the brand’s online shop, 39% of consumers won’t even visit the retail shop.
However, this doesn’t eliminate the fact that human touch plays a trust-building role in omni channel marketing.
Therefore, approximately 35% of the surveyed customers want to speak to a customer care executive instead of a bot.
So, there needs to be a balance.
A balance between manual intervention and automating technologies, a balance between going overboard with brand exposure, and going with a select few channels.
Today, 77% of the companies save their customer database and unify it over multiple channels.
By 2021, 51% of the companies will start using 8 channels at least for customer experience.
It is predicted that by 2023, the global omni channel market platform will be worth $11.1 billion.
On the same lines, it has been found that companies with a strong omni channel marketing strategy see an increase of 9% in their revenues year after year.
How to fix the common mistakes in omni channel marketing?
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Omni channel marketing helps in increasing sales, and 74% of the businesses believe that investing in omni channel marketing has given positive returns. However, it doesn’t end at a bare investment!
Think of omni channel marketing as a living breathing organism. An organism with various developed parts that together bring your brand to life.
It isn’t enough to just spend on this organism, but also important to groom it, nurture it, and fix some bugs it may have.
Why is it that some brands get it right and some don’t? Following are a few reasons behind the gap:
#1. Inability to Use and Compile Data
The data collected by omni channel marketing goes out of date within 2 years. One of the major mistakes a business makes is not updating their data.
Redundant customer data has no value, whatsoever.
How to fix this: Identify old data and make efforts to update it.
Omni channel marketing uses a technology stack to help collect, analyze, and update data. This will help the marketing and sales team to benefit from it.
#2. Weak Content Strategy
Content is the king for a reason! No good strategy can fruition without a good content strategy in place, irrespective of the multiple channels and investments you have put.
Unfortunately, the content quality of most internet isn’t up to the mark.
How to fix this: The most effective way to use Omni channel Marketing is to use a software of the likes of Plagiarism-Checker, grammar-checker, SEO, content marketing, etc.
This helps in building relevant content for every group of customers.
#3. Maintain a consistent brand image
As we have established, omni channel marketing is brand-centric.
Thus, the message coming from all the channels needs to be in line, such that every channel complements each other.
An inconsistent brand message fails an omni channel marketing campaign.
How to fix this: Use omni channel platforms responsibly. Send out uniform emails, write consistent content that serves the customer’s purpose, and see your omni channel strategy flourish.
Mainly, one channel needs to pick it from the point the other channel left it.
#4. Communication between departments
Omni channel marketing uses platforms like social media, customer care services, feedback forms.
A lot many times each of these entities works in their individualistic space, thus, creating a gap between the brand’s message input and output.
How to fix this: Communication between departments is an easy way to bridge the gap.
The data collected by omni channel is crucial. But, if the marketing and customer care department doesn’t communicate on its basis, the data is useless.
#5. Failure in Execution
Even if the business has a good omni channel strategy, a lot could go wrong. The key aspect of this strategy is that it is as consumer-centric as it is brand-centric.
Companies fail when they fail the consumers.
How to fix this: Shift the business’s focus from the channels to the customer experience; try to know the customers better and differentiate between them to provide better content.
The bottom line is that if we start correcting these mistakes today, it won’t take long until we can enjoy the fruits of the omni channel marketing strategy.
We hope this article helped you understand the nitty-gritty of the topic.