What is the omnichannel shopper experience? According to Entrepreneur, “omni-channel marketing refers to a business delivering a consistent and uninterrupted brand experience across all channels and devices a customer uses to interact with them.”
Omnichannel is about true continuity of your experience, states the post here.
Let me explain with an example.
I recently decided to purchase a laptop. Like most smart shoppers, when I want to purchase any electronic gadget, I look up the online reviews to make my choice. So that’s what I did.
After some research, I settled on a laptop that met my budget and my requirements. I then went to the retailer’s website and checked if they had the laptop I wanted in stock. They did.
I called up the retailer to confirm it. They legged it down to their store to pick it up, along with a bunch of freebies that weren’t advertised on the website. My omnichannel shopping experience was a success and left me feeling pretty happy with my purchase.
A true omnichannel experience looks at “messages and touch points irrespective of disseminated channels and approaches the consumer brand experience holistically,” according to Marketing Land.
According to an MIT report, 80% of store shoppers check prices online. One-third of them access the information on their mobile device while inside the actual store. This means that retailers must now be able to reach their customers with their marketing messages in real-time. This can happen, both online and offline.
Today, success means reaching consumers wherever they are, on whatever device they may be using. Smartphones are the new personal shopping assistant for people once they’re inside the store, says the post here. It also reports that omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
In order to benefit from the omnichannel shopper experience, brands and retailers must understand how these shoppers behave and how to act on this information to boost sales. Here are some ways to achieve that.
Invest In Sophisticated Measurement Systems for Omnichannel Marketing
In order to understand your omnichannel shoppers behavior, and how it changes over time, you need to invest in sophisticated attribution systems. They will track your customer’s journey through online (web, email, social and search ads) and offline (in-store) channels to understand their buying behavior and what triggers it.
It is critical to use data gathered across multiple channels to identify customers and personalize their experience, says the post here. You can use consumer data identifiers such as email addresses, online cookies, cell phone and home phone numbers, home addresses and IP addresses to track your omnichannel customers.
Invest In Search Advertising and Remarketing
Search ads, on mobile and desktop, have been shown to drive in-store purchases. Investing some of your marketing budget in a targeted search advertising campaign over multiple devices can boost your in-store visits and sales.
Using search retargeting and remarketing ads, you can target the shoppers that did not buy the first time. This can be by offering them incentives and discounts to come back and purchase the product they were checking out. You can also offer special incentives to boost in-store purchases.
Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Using tools like Kissmetrics, ensure that your ecommerce store is optimized to take your visitors from search ad to sale without any problems. Using tools to measure and optimize your conversions, you can smooth out any hiccups and significantly increase the percentage of online sales.
A small percentage increase in conversions at each step of the sales funnel can result in a dramatic uptick in purchases. This will require some investment of time and effort in testing your visitors progress through your website and shopping cart, but it will pay off in spades, if successful.
Use Facebook’s Local Business Tools
Don’t forget that social media is an important channel in your omnichannel shopper experience. Facebook’s Local Awareness adverts offer call-to-action buttons. They give you the chance to connect with a local audience and drive in-store sales.
Facebook also offers a free analytics tool called “Local Insights” that shows small business owners foot traffic around their stores. Businesses with a single location can use it to see who’s nearby and when. These insights will allow local advertisers to connect the dots between their online ads and foot traffic to their various store locations.
Target Walk-In Customers With Facebook
Facebook’s Place Tips allows local businesses to send messages to people who check in, visit their business location, or have their location settings activated in Facebook mobile apps.
Place Tips gather useful information about a business or landmark. Like posts from the business’ Page, upcoming events and friends’ recommendations and check-ins – and show it at the top of News Feed to in-store visitors.
According to an article in Entrepreneur, businesses using Place Tips have seen a steady uptick in Facebook page traffic from in-store visitors.
To promote this initiative, Facebook is even offering free Bluetooth beacons that use Bluetooth to send a signal to the Facebook app on customers’ phones to show them the right Place Tips when they’re at your business location.
You can use the Place Tips feed to create special offers for your walk-in customers. Your feed could promote a sale, a discount of the day, or special prices on certain products.
Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Make sure your marketing automation system is geared to target your prospects. You can optimize content to where they are in the sales funnel. For example, by sending out special offers to reluctant buyers who entered a product into their cart but failed to make the purchase.
Send your prospects smart content and you’ll boost click rates and conversions through your email marketing campaigns. Sending in-store deals and offers to your email list can also boost walk-ins and in-store purchases. You can also collect email data from your walk-in customers. Later, use it to target them with online deals.
Use a Mobile-First Approach
In 2016, using a mobile-first approach is essential to the success of omnichannel ecommerce and retail. Going beyond responsive sites and apps, your ads and campaigns must be designed keeping in mind the fact that many omnichannel shoppers research their products on mobile devices while they are in the store.
Create QR codes that your shoppers can scan and read on their devices. A “Store Pickup” option that allows your customers to buy your product online and pick it up in the store will boost purchases.
Can you think of more ways to improve your omnichannel shopper’s experience? Do suggest them in the comments below.