With an omnichannel strategy, a seamless shopping experience is provided across online, mobile and in-person retail channels. This is the result of the change in consumer buying behavior. Retailers are now bound to offer their products anywhere their customers wish to shop – online and offline – or risk missing out on customers and revenue.
The 2014 survey report, “The Omnichannel Challenge: Strategies that Work,” shows that about 45% of retail executives believe omnichannel shoppers are 11 to 50 % more valuable than single-channel shoppers. Another joint study by Google, Ipsos MediaCT, and Sterling Brands also found that 75% of consumers are more likely to visit a store if they come across local retail information on the web.
A multichannel strategy is needed to benefit from an omnichannel strategy, which is critical today to support consumers throughout their purchasing journey. Various organizations have been investing in omnichannel retail in recent years. A research by Oracle Retail highlights the fact that omnichannel shoppers are considerably more valuable than single-channel shoppers. This is why businesses are very committed to omnichannel strategies.
Here are some tips to develop an omnichannel strategy in order to increase sales turnover:
Be present where your target customers are
In today’s evolving corporate world, any business has the possibility to reach a large number of people, especially with the variety of low-cost, mass-market solutions available at their disposal. This provides small businesses with the opportunity to develop an omnichannel commerce and effectively reach their customers wherever they shop.
Let’s take for example, a business who provides products for teens. They need to think about using social media as an effective sales channel, particularly Facebook, given that 77% of online teens have a Facebook profile according to Pew Research. Another example are consumers who are constantly on the go: they have turned to shopping via their mobile devices. Research shows that there has been 45% year-over-year increase in mobile purchases from 2013 to 2014.
The key is to make sure that your business can be found across all channels – whether that’s on your website, social media page, mobile site, marketplaces or even face-to-face.
Keep Expanding your Channels
Being present on all channels is not enough. Businesses tend to consider that they have an omnichannel strategy since they use email marketing, social media, and sometimes podcast advertising. This is certainly a great start towards reaching potential customers wherever they are, but other channels need to be considered as well.
Here we are talking about other channels such as live video or events. In fact, live video integration in social channels such as Instagram and Facebook have great value for businesses and offer an additional way to connect with customers.
2016 saw a surge in the popularity of video as a content marketing format. From 360-degree videos to Facebook Live, marketers are responding to audiences’ shorter attention spans by making content more interactive and visual — and it’s paying off. Video is growing to dominate your audience’s online activity: 78% of people watch videos online every week and 55% watch videos online every day.
Establishing your brand presence on relevant channels is a good idea but you should ensure that you are paying enough attention to the ones that are working for you. For instance: don’t abandon a good blog that gets a lot of traffic to shoot a video or commercial. Consistency is the key. By providing consistent outreach, you ensure that you continue to raise familiarity and recognition with your target audience.
An omnichannel strategy encourages business growth especially when it concerns brand awareness and revenue. What you should do is ensure that you are creating a consistent brand for your customers in order to channel your creativity into the right places. For example: collaborate with brand ambassadors who believe in your brand, because you are always seeking to bring them value too.
The outcomes of an omnichannel strategy
Better Customer Experience and Increased Customer Loyalty
As mentioned before, an omnichannel strategy requires consistent marketing experience across multiple touchpoints and platforms for all your customers. Having such a strategy offers the opportunity to customize messages for individuals or for specific audiences. Personalization can lead to better customer experiences, better conversions, and improved customer loyalty, all of which lead to boosted revenue over time.
Better Business Analytics
Having an omnichannel strategy allows companies to automatically have several sources from which to pull data. Understanding customer touchpoints helps organizations to understand the customer journey and create even better marketing experiences.
Having a good online sales structure will reduce the need for discounting schemes. In traditional retailing, heavy discounts are offered only on those products which are not getting sold easily via particular stores. However, with Omnichannel retail, nationally-based sellers are able to sell the products to all customers (all over the country) at full price.
The objective of an omnichannel strategy goes beyond simply managing sales in different channels. In fact, it also aims at integrating all channels so that both customers and sales people can enjoy an optimally functional range of sales capabilities. By leveraging multiple channels, the omnichannel experience not only increases revenue from online retail, but also drives significant traffic to stores, further increasing revenue.