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It’s likely that you have heard the term omnichannel. However, few exactly understand its significance in their ecommerce business. This is a marketing approach that offers an integrated and seamless shopping experience to customers across several touchpoints, including web, mobile, and brick-and-mortar. Omnichannel brands aspire to deliver from a set of channels that cater to the preferences of customers.

In the Omnichannel pool, the digital path-to-purchase significantly impacts how customers interact with businesses & how they shop. Customers, mostly Gen Z buyers, want a personalized omni channel experience with a robust digital capability, both online & offline. They don’t like traditional channel boundaries. According to the ecommerce website development companies, younger buyers are increasingly preferring to evaluate their favorite brands and make their shopping experience more comfortable. 

To embed the omnichannel ecommerce solutions experience into traditional retail strategies, retailers start paying attention to their consumer priorities and developing a clear-eyed view of what it will take to make a decisive advantage. Continue reading and know how brands leverage omnichannel strategies to optimize consumer behavior and choice.

Why Omnichannel Strategies Fail?

Omnichannel strategies need a focus on value creation. Before expanding the omnichannel capabilities, retailers should consider the underlying value drivers for their particular business needs.

Otherwise, due to the acute margin pressure and multiple technologies & approaches, retailers may invest in improper things & fall into downward spirals quickly which will ruin their business value. Moreover, a lack of clarity also disrupts many omnichannel efforts. Here are three most common issues that destroy omnichannel efforts:

1. Murkey understanding of how to prioritize omnichannel:

According to the research, very few retailers have only built alignment for their business on an omnichannel agenda that includes current status and a long-term vision. Without a proper strategic alignment, businesses often stop investing in fashion, funding huge priorities in-store operations, e-commerce, marketing, supply chain, and technology.

2. Avoiding the customer value:

Only focusing on the technology rather than customer values is another common issue that hobbles efforts. Many retailers prefer to embrace flashy and tech-enabled innovations such as Bluetooth beacons and smart mirrors to make a uniqueness. But without considering customer needs & deciding how all these investments and innovations will sustain the value at scale, retailers sometimes stop continuing to embrace innovations that disrupt capital expenditures.

3. Fail to sequence:

Many retailers have a tendency to take ecommerce solutions and omni channel initiatives without focusing on the critical thinking that is required for identifying the initial stage & particular capabilities to achieve success at each stage. Eagerness to transform an innovative concept into action or pressure to stay on top of the competition prompts some businesses. But without investing in the proper fundamentals and unclear sequencing approach, retailers stop with fragmented investments. This also drains the value. 

Know The Strategies To Set Your Ambition

Successful retailers always let customer experience and aspirational strategic ambition decide what strategy to pursue. Retailers may make mistakes due to the misalignment of underlying capabilities and ambition. Though an omni channel platform has too many variants, it has only three primary strategies – commerce, personalization & ecosystem.

   

Commerce

Personalization

Ecosystem

Customer journey

 

Excellent cross-channel shopping experience online & in-store

Relevant, targeted and tailored cross-channel engagement

Cross-channel engagement combined with customer lifestyle

Explore & consider

Product focus

Tailor-made offer

360 offers

Purchase & enjoy

Reliability & convenience

Integrated shopping

Experience at a center

Engage & advocate

App & loyalty

Engagement outside transaction

Access to the communities

Each strategy can create long-term value if it’s executed well. Retailers can focus on one single strategy & then excel as a personalization expert, or, with the appropriate fundamentals, they can easily move along the sequence & expand them into multiple business models 

1. Commerce:

Retailers take this strategy – digital-first and physical-first brands both – invest in cross-channel connections (targeted) and prioritize a single channel for supporting the purchasing experience such as ordering online & return to store ability. 

At a basic level, the commerce model enables retailers to achieve a minimum omnichannel performance threshold. However, some retailers with high capabilities take this model to a different level. 

For instance, Best Buy, one of the omnichannel marketing examples, has built an in-store experience with classic offerings that help customers explore smart-home tech solutions. In addition, popular brands like Everlane and Warby Parker prioritize digital but they have also added physical presence for driving high consumer convenience and excellent brand awareness. 

2. Personalization:

While many retailers personalize engagement to some degree, some retailers who rely on the omnichannel personalization model go far beyond lookalike segmentation and primary retargeting. They consistently shape tailor-made interactions across all channels.

For instance, Sephora, another omnichannel example, offers personalized push notifications and rich in-app messaging to its consumers. It also allows them to book beauty consultations from their smartphone devices. In-store technology enables “cast members” to access the favorite items of the consumers & also suggest new items that perfectly align with their consumers’ profiles. 

Consumers can also take advantage of scanners to properly match items to their particular skin type and hair color. Moreover, the Beauty Insider loyalty program of Sephora taps customer data across mobile, web, and email for driving in-store & online purchases. Achieving this kind of personalization level significantly enhances process integration and data-management capabilities. 

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3. Ecosystems:

This is the final model that expands the overall brand experience and it offers an ever-evolving platform of community-based interactions & content to the consumers. Instead of converting into retailers for the occasional interaction, consumers can easily create an omnichannel ecosystem as a part of their lifestyle. This is a long-term relationship that pays plenty of dividends. 

For instance, Nike uses Run Club and SNKRS apps that cherish running groups, in-person meet-ups, and other events. Moreover, the Training Club app powered by Nike offers multi-week fitness and workout programs. These unique investments transform Nike from just a sports apparel & shoe brand to the day-to day-routine of individuals. This kind of omnichannel ecosystem allows retailers to extend to adjacent business models. 

Each omnichannel model needs distinct foundational capabilities

   

Commerce

Personalization

Ecosystem

 

Data & analytics

Content management, decisioning & data (Aligned by channel predominantly)

Integrated cross-channel (Content management, data measurement & decisioning with strong automation)

All-in-all customer view including dynamic usage, third party data of predictive models

Customer journey

Supply chain & stores

Cross-channel inventory visibility

Integrated delivery and inventory

Omnichannel inventory with cost optimization

 

Mobile and sites

Powerful strong site (Mobile web and desktop), effectively driving conversion and robust app user base

Flexible app and site infrastructure (Ability to offer dynamic content)

Top-notch UI/UX and ecosystem across several apps and platforms

 

Process & people

High coordination across stores, marketing and ecommerce

Cross functional teams with access to data & integrated or shared KPI’s

Channel-agnostic and customer-centric organizational structure with KPIs

 

How To Choose The Right Strategy?

Top-notch retailers first focus on strategic & customer goals, then they accordingly set their omnichannel strategies. For instance, an apparel retailer knew it was essential to both rejuvenate the in-store experience & extend the ecommerce platform capabilities. Unfortunately, commerce models would not give them enough opportunities, since competitors would be racing to gain the same capabilities. Moreover, the ecosystem model can be an overreach, since information & data showed that what consumers exactly wanted were tailored experiences.

Apart from that, many retailers also want to provide fully personalized experiences, but the personalization model can be very relevant to businesses where convenience and accessibility both play a big role for the customers. Moreover, when retailers start trying to reach another level without making any proper foundational capability, they fail.

Technically, every omnichannel model contains some unique foundational elements & these elements have a certain significance. In personalization, for instance, businesses that need success should have a flexible app & site infrastructure, tech stacks, and integrated cross-channel information that fulfill inventory-fulfillment capabilities, cross-functional teams, and personalization to customize the major touchpoints in the value chain. 

These core requirements allow retailers to compete in a proper space. Apart from that, retailers must consider additional capabilities that allow them to easily stand out from the competitors & offer exceptional value. What is the core & what will give leadership – understanding both will help retailers strategically place their bets

How to Leverage Omnichannel Marketing?

Making an omni channel experience needs a strong foundation & integrated marketing approach. Your channels should collaboratively work together for driving the best-in-class experience for your potential customers. Here are the five key steps to consider: 

1. Research & collect insights:

As you know, the omnichannel marketing approach aims to deliver the best experience to the customers. But to make a customer-oriented approach, you have to understand all your customer’s needs. 

You need to start by collecting insights into your existing customer experience. Then you should pay attention to customer reviews, voice-of-customer surveys, or focus groups. Capturing this feedback and gathering all insights will help you adapt your strategy.

2. Segment your customers:

Next, you need to segment your customer base in a proper way. Though there are too many ways to segment, you should find which will perfectly work for your business. The customer segmentation process aims to find out the distinct group with the target market that will help you customize your offerings to the customers.

Why is it so Important?

Customer segmentation enables you to create a tailor-made strategy to reach multiple groups instead of a one-size-fits-all option. The below factors will help you segment your customers: 

  • Geographic region
  • Income range
  • Interactions with campaigns
  • Generation
  • Values
  • Online behavior

3. Map the customer journey:

Knowing the customers & which channels each customer segment uses is essential but this is not everything. You have to map the entire customer journey in a proper way. Mapping will help you know the thought process of your customers. There are too many ways that the customer journey could have been reordered or diverted, however, your customers still want an unparalleled experience. The customer journey is not very linear or simple but digital and traditional channels may significantly vary by the type of customers. Any effective marketing strategy always needs a clear and in-depth view of what customers really want.

4. Take advantage of automation:

Marketing automation tools help you smartly segment your target audience, schedule your campaign, personalize the messages & easily measure the effectiveness. So, leverage automation as much as possible. Here are some examples of how automation tools give you control over your strategy:

  • Chatbot: Create a chatbot to quickly answer customer queries & concerns. It helps to give more attention to complex issues. 
  • Tech stack: Use tech stack to support top-notch integrations so that you can get a real-time image of your business & make a proper decision on data.
  • Behavioral triggers: Set up triggers to offer personalized marketing across your customer journey. As a result, prospective buyers can witness the right message every time.

Key Perks of Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

1. Helps to gain high customer loyalty and retention:

Consumers always prefer to purchase products from a brand they love. The omnichannel strategy offers a consistent and seamless experience across multiple platforms. 

2. Enhances better customer experience:

By utilizing an omnichannel marketing approach, customers can easily engage on multiple channels & get a seamless experience that significantly improves customer satisfaction and engagement.

3. Increases sales

Due to the advantages of multiple channels, an omni channel strategy helps brands reach a massive customer base. It makes it easier for retailers to drive more omnichannel sales and at the same time enhance CLV or customer lifetime value. Studies show that omnichannel consumers usually spend 20% more than other shoppers.

4. Makes a unified brand experience:

Omni channel retailing approaches make a consistent and unified brand experience easier for multiple channels. In addition, high customer engagement and customer loyalty also lead to higher ROI and more conversions.

5. Makes it easy to enhance inventory management and optimize stock levels:

An omnichannel marketing strategy helps businesses understand the inventory better. Moreover, this strategy can make creating customer segments & capturing customer data easier which leads to personalized experiences.

Create an Omnichannel Experience for Your Brand Today

A few years ago, the concept of an omni channel ecommerce marketing approach was absurd. But nowadays, it’s mandatory. The majority of customers prefer to get in-store and various online shopping experiences before they make a purchase. So, limiting yourself to a few platforms can be hurtful to your long-term business growth. By concentrating on the multichannel journeys that your customer’s value, you can deliver personalized attention & offer the best solution to your customer. For more info, get in touch with our experts.