Until now, the most effective marketing strategy was multichannel, which means it used multiple channels in reaching out to customers through different channels of communication – mobile applications, websites, physical stores, etc. The point of omnichannel is to combine different channels of contact with the customer. Currently, the attention of marketers is focused on omnichannel strategy, which concerns not only on reaching out to customers using multiple channels of communication but also linking them together.
It is not only about the decision whether it is better to reach customers through the stationary stores or online ones. The point is to combine many different channels of contact with the customer in order to increase the number of recipients and prevent the loss of leads at various stages of the purchasing path.
Will online eat offline?
Many popular brands postpone the introduction of online shops or other tools of communication with customers, fearing of a drop in profits from physical stores. An example would be IKEA, which postponed the opening of their online shop in Poland for years. This strategy of the furniture manufacturer stems from concerns about the fact that the introduction of new sales channels can have unexpected consequences, such as the loss in the operation of the restaurants in IKEA locations. With the use of the online store, IKEA will also have to deal with the problem of delivery of its product range. In the case of the purchase of furniture through the Internet, the customer will require fast and secure delivery.
How to introduce omnichannel to your sales strategy
At the stage of change in a sales strategy, new channels of communication should be introduced to customers very slowly, to examine increased interest and consumer needs. Despite the risks associated with the use of modern marketing strategies, omnichannel is an interesting trend that deserves a closer look and is worth considering for your own company. There are many indications that multichannel will become the future of the marketing. Here are the three most important points to consider when planning the implementation of an omnichannel strategy.
- Channels of communication
- Customer Journey
Before creating marketing strategies, the key is to analyze current data about customers, their purchases and the market in which they operate. Synerise has a special module to create recommendations for customers using the most effective channels of communication with customers and closing sales that will tell us which communication tools are the most reliable for our company and where we find most of the consumers of our product. Selecting channels of communication with customers is the first stage of preparing the implementation of an omnichannel strategy in the company. Among the most important ones are:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Offline communication
When choosing channels of communication with our customers, you should be guided by their needs, not quantity. Sometimes it’s better to choose only 2-3 channels of contact with consumers, but so powerful that through them we can build a cool brand image, promote products and continuously explore the needs and problems of customers. The key to success is to use a good platform for Marketing Automation, which will allow us to integrate many channels of communication with the customer and provide recommendations for marketers based on an advanced analysis of customer data.
The content determines whether or not a customer will be engaged. The information you present in your communication channels must be adapted to the place in which they are and what they are looking for. It can be divided into four categories:
The proper content is published in communication channels where customers know the brand or the product ,e.g. in search engines, on websites, in product advertising, etc.
Discover – identify the moment when the customer discovers your product. If we want to reach the customer, we have to, first of all, explore his needs. At the stationary store salesmen verify needs, but if customers are looking for information about our products online, we can make conclusions about this on the basis of search queries, clicks, advertising, etc.
Explore – the customer collects information about our products. The main used channels are website, video, social media and promotional meetings.
Engage – convince the customer to interact with the brand. Build commitment in channels such as mobile, website, social media and physical stores.
Buy – the last category concerns the purchase itself. In the omnichannel strategy, it will be the physical store, online store (available in web and mobile) and call center.
Content is important not only for the previously mentioned stages of customer interest but also in the context of the knowledge about customer whereabaouts and behaviors on the purchase path. Analyzing customer behavior in a particular context (time and place) lets you adjust it with suitable personalized content.
What is customer journey and customer persona?
The way your customer goes through the process of purchasing can be depicted on a map – that's exactly what customer journey is about. It involves not only the communication tools used with customers, but also elements such as complaints, reporting damage, repairs, replacement, etc. It should be prepared before the analysis of the purchasing process. Yet before you start sketching your customer journey, you need to create a persona. Customer persona is a full description of an exemplary customer including their preferences, tastes, place of residence, age, and anything that can allow you to know and determine your target group better. Then, on the basis of the transaction history, you can spot where the data leakage occurs, for example:
- Leaving the website
- Abandoning the cart
- Breaking the cycle of education (email)
- Uninstalling application
- Making a claim, etc.
In preparing the customer journey, we should choose support systems that help us design it graphically and verify it immediately.
By analyzing the customer journey, we know the reasons why people buy or not, reasons for leaving a newsletter subscription, or abandoning a cart. With this knowledge, we can create better communication strategies plan based on multiple channels and to take into account the fact that the customer can use them in any configuration.