As our shopping habits change, so will the way marketing teams try to intercept us along the way. With marketing constantly undergoing rapid and major changes to adapt to these ever-changing habits, marketers found developing a more personalised relationship with consumers should always be at the forefront of any advertising strategy.
With shoppers having a greater reliance on hand-held devices, with them researching and transacting on both mobile phones and desktops, there is a consistent need to ensure the customer experience is a seamless sales process from shopping online to coming into a physical store.
According to industry analysts, mobile buying will continue to increase year on year, but businesses need to ensure they adopt a more omnichannel marketing process. As consumers move from device to device before making the decision to physically visit your store, businesses need to ensure they are not losing potential customers along the way and focus on consistently providing a streamlined purchasing process.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing refers to the multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. This is slightly different and not to be confused with Multichannel marketing, which refers to the ability to interact with potential customers on various platforms. This approach is focused on casting the widest net to get the most customer engagements.
The omnichannel approach links every channel from bricks and mortar to mobile, engaging with customers holistically and ensuring they are having a wonderful overall experience with the brand regardless of channel.
Omnichannel Marketing At Its Best
Here are some examples of companies who have successfully grasped and executed the concept of omnichannel marketing.
The objective of this campaign was to bring high-end fashion to everyday consumers. Six Twitter supported billboards were placed in prime cities around the UK, strategically placed within a 10 minute walk from a Topshop store. Each billboard showed twitter related word clouds that used the hashtag, #LFW.
The clouds included trends and were complemented by a small selection of Topshop’s clothing available in store. By tweeting a trending word to the Topshop Twitter account users built a shopping list custom to them that could then be used to guide their in-store purchases.
“During London Fashion Week, Topshop saw an impressive boost in sales of nearly 25% across all the categories featured on the billboards, with a 75% boost on items related to the #modernism hashtag.
Their Topshop On the Go app works to create a seamless experience between physical and digital worlds, with a barcode scanner that links users to nearby store locations and highlights their available stock.”
Glade took omnichannel marketing to another level by creating a revolutionary sensory experience linking emotions and scent — the strategy being memories are a gateway to human emotion, and smell is the strongest sense tied to memory.
A pop-up installation was created in a building in Manhattan’s Financial District, featuring several rooms that used touch, sound, visuals, and scent to strike emotions in its visitors.
The company developed a creative sensory experience, like kaleidoscopic mirrors in the Exhilaration room, green LED vines hanging from the roof in the Joy room, and light halos that close in on your feet as you approach the scent lamp in the Invigorated room. Even the outside of the building changed colours based on the “mood” of the city, which was calculated using trending social media info, weather reports, and stock market data.
The campaign won four awards at the 2016 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity: a Gold Lion for Live Brand Experience, Silver Lion for Omnichannel Experience, Bronze Lion for Spatial Brand Installation & Experience and Bronze Lion for Creative Data.
Topshop and Glade cleverly integrated multiple channels into a smooth experience, delivered in a way that aligns perfectly with the interests and behaviours of their users.
When adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy it is key you have the right tools in place to execute a successful strategy that meets your company objectives. Having access to these tools has been a major struggle when implementing a successful omnichannel strategy.
With Marketing Automation, predictive analytics, and CRM systems, it is important that marketing professionals ensure that they use the data that is available effectively. Focus on using this in a manner that is helpful and beneficial to the customer that continuously improves the marketing experience.
Although incredibly successful for some organisations, this method of marketing can still be very difficult to adopt.
In a survey from Rakuten, 26% of respondents still hadn’t taken any action on an omnichannel strategy.
Tips For Developing Your Omnichannel Strategy
Be Your Customer
Review the experience your customers go through regularly. Complete the transaction process internally to test, research and improve the process your customers go through. Interact with all channels, is this a good experience for you, what barriers do you face?
Test, Measure, Repeat!
Data is key, measure everything. Data will help to further enhance and improve the impact of your omnichannel strategy
Julie Bernard from one of Americas most popular department stores, Macys sums up –
“We can now measure success in terms of the response of real people over time, in addition to measuring individual campaigns. We have enough data at the customer level to see how she interacts both online and in the store, so we can tailor messaging and offers to her appropriately by channel. We strive to balance the use of customer data to inform content relevancy with the use of consumer insights to ensure that the relevancy is coupled with a sense of discovery and inspiration.”
Segment Your Audience
Segment your audience accordingly. Build very rich profiles about your customers and the customer journey. Build a journey that is unique to them and caters to that specific audiences shopping trials.
Infiltrate, Originate, Dominate
46,000 surveyed shoppers, show a whopping 73% shopped on more than one channel (only 7% shopped online-only, and 20% shopped in-store-only). Findings showed that they spent 4% more on average every time they visited a store and 10% more online in comparison to single-channel shoppers. And when they did research online in advance, they spent 13% more in-store.
The success of recent omnichannel campaigns shows that this strategic method of marketing is becoming less negotiable. Omnichannel marketing is no longer a choice for retailers, in his article Dan Virgillito talks about how we need to Infiltrate, Originate, Dominate.
“Omni-channel is no longer a choice for retailers — the name of the game is adapt or be conquered. As we careen into the age of technology, even the older generations are harnessing the power of digital channels to streamline and optimize their shopping experiences and their relationships with brands.
There’s a lot of competition, but with the right channel strategies and a healthy dose of creativity, you can set your brand up for longevity and stability in a rapidly-changing environment.”