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Why should you use the Omnichannel strategy to take your business to the sky?

The center of an omnichannel marketing strategy will always be the consumer/customer, who will have the opportunity to buy how, when, and where they want, regardless of the device or channel they are using to access the brand.

This translates into a continuous experience, in which all channels and media are fully integrated so that the user can start a purchase from a computer, for example, and then go on to ask customer service questions by phone and finish the purchase the product in the physical store, all this as part of the same experience, without showing that the purchase is made in different steps.

An Omnichannel strategy is a method that helps you create a smooth experience for customers across all the channels through which you sell. It includes the online and offline touchpoints of your brand, from a point-of-sale system to an Instagram shoppable post, and it is not just for retailers anymore.

Is omnichannel marketing right for your business?

The short answer is yes. Any business that is trying to grab the attention of consumers in an age where customer experience is a key influencer in decision-making should have a plan to execute omnichannel marketing. That being said, it is important to have the right strategy and tools in place first to make sure that your experience executing omnichannel marketing is as seamless as the experience you aim to deliver to your customers.

Adopting an Omnichannel strategy can help your business win new customers, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and gain a competitive advantage.

Here is an overview of what an Omnichannel strategy is, and how you can create an effective approach for your business.

When does the Omnichannel strategy come in?

Businesses need to deliver a consistent and cohesive brand experience across all sales and marketing channels, whether they are accessed digitally, or in building locations, or both. It is about connecting the dots across your digital and physical presence, and that is where an effective Omnichannel strategy comes into play.

What are the four pillars of a successful Omnichannel strategy?

It is important to understand the elements that can help you give customers what they expect while also providing opportunities to charm and surprise them.

Here are four distinct pillars of a successful Omnichannel approach:

Sales: Your sales strategy directly influences your Omnichannel strategy and can help you prioritize the channels that make the most sense for your audience.

 Marketing: Implementing a unified Omnichannel marketing strategy can help your customers feel connected to your brand on each channel you show up on.

Fulfillment and Logistics: Whether it is a meal or a product, order fulfillment is the only way to get customers what they bought from you. It is also an important part of the Omnichannel experience and can help you reinforce your brand promise on the last leg of the journey.

Operations: Use a system that ties all of your channels together.

How to create a successful Omnichannel strategy

1. Understand your customers

The first step to creating an effective Omnichannel strategy is to understand who your customers are and how they buy from you. One way to do this is with a simple survey that asks people about their shopping preferences. You can offer a discount to give your customers an incentive to complete the survey.

You might ask customers how they discover new products or menu items (social media, in-store shopping, word of mouth) or what sorts of items they would be more likely to buy in person rather than online. That sort of information helps focus your efforts and clarify where different channels can reinforce one another.

2. Diversify where you sell

Sell and market your products or services wherever your customers are shopping, browsing, or simply looking for more information. Most customers navigate between many touchpoints to purchase an item, digital, in local store locations, social media, online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, your website, review sites, and larger retailers that sell different brands, to name a few.

While you diversify, remember to keep your customer experience consistent. As consumers jump across multiple touchpoints, they should encounter similar branding and pricing. Ninety percent of shoppers expect their experience to be consistent across all channels and devices.

3. Integrate your online and offline channels

Try to integrate social media into your in-store building experience. Dressing rooms can have displays that let customers check out product reviews of what they are trying on, a valuable complement to other try-before-you-buy methods. Also, encourage customers to take photos of what they bought or ate and post them on Instagram for a prize.

QR codes are another technology that can take your Omnichannel approach to the next level. There are many creative ways businesses can use QR codes to connect with customers, including using them to share details on the makers and chefs behind items and to recreate the ambiance of an in-store experience.

4. Create educational content

High-quality, engaging content is imperative when it comes to educating customers, answering questions, and instilling trust across channels. The more compelling content you can create to explain why purchasing something from you is a good or the best choice, the more you will sell.

Content marketing can take many forms: blog posts, social media, guides, customer reviews, and live streaming video. Video content is engaging, helps with SEO, and performs well on social media. Consider creating explainer videos for your products or services, or launch a video series of tutorials that show your area of expertise.

5. Offer free in-store pickup

People love to save on shipping costs. Try turning your in-store experience into a fulfillment center for your online channels so people can pick up their products without paying for shipping.

6. Offer Wi-Fi in your physical location

Increasingly consumers are doing their product research while they are in-store buildings or restaurants.

Offer in-store Wi-Fi to help these customers along their buying journeys. To make in-store and in-restaurant research even easier, integrate QR codes that link to product and nutritional information online.

7. Leverage your expertise

Small businesses have a huge improvement with Omnichannel. Since you are homegrown, you likely have loads of expertise in your products and industry. Offer tutorials and workshops. Online, integrate live chat or even the ability to video chat with an expert into your website.

An Omnichannel selling strategy can help you reach more customers and deepen their loyalty by making the experience with your brand feel consistent and accessible. And it is an approach that is a natural fit for small businesses since the levers and tools that can help you tie your channels together are already within reach:

Single-Channel Marketing

This marketing channel involves buying through just one channel.

Multi-Channel Marketing

This channel involves various channels, such as physical stores, e-commerce stores, websites, email, etc. where consumers can learn about a product or service. In a multi-channel approach, each channel essentially acts as its own. This approach is centered on the brand.

Omnichannel Approach

In an Omnichannel approach, all communication channels work together to educate and empower the consumer rather than working in their own best interest. This approach is centered on the consumer.

Omnichannel Marketing

Communication channels are designed to optimize the consumer experience based on the consumer’s preferences rather than the brand’s preferred method of communication.

There are different communication channels you can explore as a small business without having to break the bank. You can start with any of these three.

1. Email Marketing

Email marketing holds the most weight in an Omnichannel strategy, as it can drive the highest ROI among the different digital communication channels. It is a permission-based channel. You can speak directly to your audience.

2. SMS Marketing

Using an SMS marketing strategy to boost your email marketing is how you speak the language of your customers. Short, pointed messages with timely offers as they are on the go will have a higher open rate than emails. This fact is backed by data.

3. Social Media Marketing

The benefit of social media to your Omnichannel strategy is the best advantage when you know what platform your customers are on, integrate it with email marketing, gather customer data to make personalized offers, and manage your online community adequately.

As we have discussed so far, Omnichannel marketing strategies are providing businesses with new opportunities to improve their customers’ buying experience and increase brand loyalty. Implement an Omnichannel strategy today and see your business acquire new customers and gain a competitive advantage regardless of whatever industry you are in.

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