"Omnichannel marketing" has become a buzzword these days - but what exactly does it mean? How is it different from “multi-channel marketing” and how can brands take advantage of it to keep customers engaged and increase customer lifetime value?
Omnichannel marketing aims to create a cohesive brand experience for shoppers by making the customer journey feel like one continuous interaction over every touchpoint, across all channels, platforms and devices, in-person or online. This strategy builds trust and loyalty, as it creates a consistent, enjoyable experience that consumers can rely on and want to return to. This loyalty is key to maximizing customer lifetime value.
A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review set out to measure the trend toward omnichannel marketing as a response to the saturated digital marketing landscape. The study found that 73% of customer respondents used multiple channels during their shopping journey. The study also found that “omnichannel customers loved using the retailer’s touchpoints... [and] not only did they use smartphone apps to compare prices or download a coupon, but they were also avid users of in-store digital tools such as an interactive catalog, a price-checker or a tablet.”
The movement to omnichannel marketing is real. As shoppers visit retail stores less and less, it’s more important than ever for brands to stay top-of-mind by reaching potential customers at as many touchpoints as possible. Here are three tactics to keep in mind when building an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Figure out where your customers spend most of their time. Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to determine which channels drive the most traffic to your website and which of those channels are bringing in the most conversions.
It can also help you determine not just where most of your traffic is coming from, but where you have opportunities to increase traffic that will convert. For instance, if conversion rates from email traffic are relatively high compared to your other channels, but you're seeing relatively low traffic from your email efforts, you may wish to bolster your email strategy to generate more high-value traffic.
It's crucial to integrate your marketing channels, rather than allow them to operate as separate silos. Though each channel may address a different goal, they should all be working together to create a unified experience for the user across their journey.
Additionally, all platforms can (and should) generate revenue. According to an IDC study, shoppers who have the ability to convert on any channel have a 30% higher lifetime value, illustrating why it is key to make every touchpoint shoppable.
Sephora is a great example. The Sephora mobile app connects its shoppers’ online purchases to their in-store visits - customers can use in-store tablets to access their Beauty Bag account while enjoying beauty workshops and complimentary makeovers.
Design is often overlooked when it comes to omnichannel marketing, though it is just as important as some of the more technical elements of your marketing strategy.
Remember, the goal of any omnichannel strategy is to create a consistent brand experience. Your target customers should be able to easily identify the brand they’re engaging with, no matter where or how they encounter it. This means your product, packaging, website, ads, emails, mobile app, signage, etc., should all have the same look, feel and messaging.
Additionally, you should strive for channel-neutrality, meaning you provide the same data and options across channels so customers can seamlessly move between different touchpoints without interruption.
Omnichannel marketing is quickly becoming the new norm as customers require more and more touch points before ultimately deciding to make a purchase. Don't be late to the game - determine which channels are most effective for reaching your customers and optimize those channels by making sure your design and messaging is consistent throughout. In a sea of noise, customers will always return to an experience they know and trust.
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Emma is Hawke Media's Manager of Influencer and Content Marketing.