A business that lags in offering an interwoven customer experience across touchpoints is likely to sever ties with their audience. It is not just about maneuvering a customer through the stages of the sales funnel anymore. It is much more than that! The time demands businesses to be available to the customers in their desired manner, anywhere, and at any time. That is exactly what an omnichannel strategy strives to achieve.
Here are some key parameters that work in collaboration to create a successful omnichannel strategy.
An omnichannel solution gives users the freedom to choose a variety of touchpoints. No matter what point of purchase they choose, a successful omnichannel strategy eliminates silos to maintain a continuous and seamless experience that, in turn, helps optimize the customer journey.
73 percent of customers shop across multiple channels – Harvard Business Review
Omnichannel vs Multichannel — How are they Different?
Then there is another term that people often confuse with omni strategy, i.e., a multichannel strategy. There’s a thin line difference between the two.
Let’s say your brand has certain channels in place for communicating with the respective customers, which could be an app, a desktop website, and a brick and mortar store. Now if a customer buys a commodity from the app, the other channels are unaware of it, i.e., the shopping experience of the app is independent of other available touchpoints. This is a multichannel strategy.
In the omnichannel approach, however, all the channels are interlinked. For instance, content and commerce headless CMS integration paves the way for improved customer experience across all these channels.
5 Effective Omnichannel Strategies for your Business
In today’s world, the omnichannel retail strategy is a norm among organizations. But, sadly not everyone is getting it right. This eMarketer report is proof.
So, what stops them from getting the right omnichannel strategy off the ground? Clearly, it is the lack of a fool-proof strategy that will help create the difference.
1. Figure out Your Effective Communication Channels
There is a long list of communication channels that companies use, but not all resonate with your target audience. Your omnichannel analytics will play a definitive role here. Do not waste your time and resources on some random channel that has never interested your customers. Instead, shortlist channels that your potential customers spend the most time on, and move with the purchase.
Online was preferred for customer reviews (70%) and saving time (69%) whereas getting the product quickly (79%) and getting questions answered (51%) were considered in-store strengths – BookingBug
This finding makes it clear that to know your effective channels is something that will help to drive omnichannel marketing strategy in the right direction. Tools like Google Analytics can help improve digital customer experience by giving you insights on your audiences, and the channels they use.
Thus, it becomes easy to figure out which channels deserve most of your attention to driving sales.
2. Embed Voice Channels Across Touchpoints
Being able to communicate with your customers 24/7 is the biggest sales strategy that will bring revenues in the times to come. Where designing chatbots or virtual assistants play an essential role, indulging your customers with a real person should be given priority too. If your business fails to connect a customer to the live person in less than two minutes, you will be losing big time.
75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent – Harris Interactive
Having an interaction with a real person across all the sales channels creates a sense of trust and confidence in the brand. That is not enough though! You need to train your customer executives to aim for “First Contact Resolution” which, in turn, makes for an effective omnichannel retail solution.
3. Embrace BOPIS for an Improved Experience
Buy Online, Pick-up in Store (BOPIS) is the new omnichannel strategy that should be implemented for an overall better experience. The following Forrester stats reveal the difference between customer expectations and the corresponding retail strategy.
Therefore, managing an accurate in-store inventory should take a front seat so that your retail & eCommerce customer experience falls right into place. Also, the salesperson should be aware of online and offline product availability. This is possible if they have dedicated tablets or mobile devices to cross-check inventories. All in all, try to keep processes, technologies, and salespersons synchronized or you’ll lose out on revenue.
4. Take Advantage of Social Commerce
In 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 3.1 billion in 2021 – Statista
The above statistic shows that there is abundant data present on social media platforms. Thus importance should be given to collect this data to draw inferences about your customers with the help of the best data visualization tools. Also, make communication on social media platforms a priority as people consider reviews from friends while making buying decisions.
Another omnichannel retail strategy that can be adapted narrows down to promotions in the form of carousel advertisements that help offer personalized user experience. Such recommendations can follow from tracking the customer behavior by linking their social media logins used for both website and social media accounts. What next, persuade your customers to buy there and then through Facebook Messenger instead of redirecting them to your website.
5. Cashierless Checkouts Should Gain Momentum
Amazon is winning the game when it comes to implementing the omnichannel strategy. An example of one such disruption is their introduction of Amazon Go, which is one of a kind cashierless checkout system at their brick-and-mortar grocery stores.
They have simply moved one step ahead by eliminating the obligation to stand in queues for billing. This is the best omnichannel marketing solution while adding on to the digital customer experience. Have a look.
In the truest manner, this is an outstanding omnichannel retail strategy and as a business, one must identify such propositions to enhance their customer experience. And, the probability of making profits will see an upsurge too. Just like it did for Jeff Bezos.
Amazon Go just made Jeff Bezos $2.8 B richer – Investopedia
By embracing and implementing the omnichannel strategy, you will definitely be able to bridge the gap between online and offline channels. Not only will you gain brand recognition, but your revenues, customers, and customer experience will witness a positive impact too.
There might be challenges whether financial or technical, but your omnichannel efforts will surely pay off in the long run. An eCommerce expert consultant can easily guide and maneuver you through the best practices for implementing omnichannel while your regular business processes stay unharmed.