The word “omnichannel” is everywhere – and for good reason: companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies can keep on on average 89% of their customersvs. a 33% customer retention rate for companies with low omnichannel customer engagement.
Why? The ‘omnichannel’ approach to selling – online or offline, via mobile, tablet and desktop – sees retailers focus on all touchpoints to create a more seamless customer journey that truly matches the fragmented and multi-device way that most people buy. today. That said, the stakes are high when it comes to successful omnichannel marketing: 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a site after a single bad experience.
So how can omnichannel marketing help you be where your buyers are – and how do you do it effectively?
The benefits of omnichannel marketing
When customers are able to take advantage of omnichannel experiences, there are many benefits – for them and for you. First, omnichannel strategies help you scale your market. It helps you meet your customers where they are: on their phone, in the app, while browsing your website or visiting your store.
Second, it helps you create a better online experience – period. When you streamline your journey through your site and across all of your digital properties, the shopping experience is much more seamless. Your customers can search and review products across all channels, then choose to transact where it’s most convenient for them.
On the business side, omnichannel retailers are seeing increased internal efficiency and are able to collect data across a wide variety of touchpoints. This convenience adds up to increased sales and site traffic, as well as increased customer retention when the journey works well. This is the definition of a win-win.
But if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that it’s easy for retailers to say they’re “making omnichannel first” — but it’s much harder to actually do it. (Hint: Research is the missing link.)
How to create a great omnichannel experience in three steps
Looking to up your omnichannel game? Here are three steps to get started:
1. Map customer journeys and focus on cross-channel experience: In today’s world, an e-commerce journey spans many channels. If you don’t research and map the myriad of paths your customers might take, you can’t understand where their pain points are likely to be — and you can’t fix them.
“Once companies gain greater visibility into customer personas, they can design end-to-end service journeys across digital and live channels. These journeys must consider a customer’s migration between channels to ensure seamless transfers,” writes Jorge Amar in a McKinsey Report. “A thorough review of journeys can help companies determine what capabilities they need across technology, people, and organization.
2. Invest in information and data: Customer preferences are not static. For example, just because you’ve seen a trend of customers searching on mobile and dropping into the office to pay doesn’t mean the behavior is fixed; Retailers need to keep an eye on changing customer preferences and adjust their offerings as needed. Continuing to invest in insights and comparing key customer data over time is essential for the type of digital agility” that helps businesses succeed today.
“Without a doubt keeping up with new trends and navigating the world of e-commerce, while keeping your brand in check… [is] a big investment”, explains Sarah Gilbert, eCommerce marketing manager at Lulu. [and trends] – worth the time.”
3. Take advantage of AI search:Every customer journey begins with research. It may be on a third-party search engine or on your website. But whether your customers interact with you via mobile, tablet or computer, search is the common thread that can help you offer them the exact information they need, wherever they are.
Indeed, the questions your customers ask when they search — from “store near me open now” to “buy a midi dress with pockets” — reveal their intent. People perform a search in order to access information or perform a specific action.
What can you do with this information? Well, you can start by integrating search into your digital experiences to deliver more relevant and personalized content across all touchpoints – no cookies required. When you can see (and understand) what your customers are looking for, you can better understand them and deliver more of what they want, no matter what device they’re using. Getting better search results pays off in terms of sales: research suggests the buyer can spend 2.6xmore on mobile and desktop than non-searchers, thanks to a rich and interactive search that shows relevant results.
Your customers need things quickly and efficiently. With information overload and a variety of digital touchpoints, it can be difficult to deliver true personalization — but that’s where AI-powered search comes in. Meeting your customers with the information and the most relevant answers wherever they search, you can take omnichannel marketing to the next level.