Omnichannel marketing is all about giving customers pleasing and consistent experiences, no matter how they interact with a business. It’s increasingly likely that people will engage with multiple channels before buying something. For example, a person who wants a new coffee maker might research it on the internet but buy the product in a local store.
Giving consumers engaging and seamless experiences across channels could strengthen their loyalty, increase average purchase sizes, and result in them recommending certain stores to people they know. Here are some vital things to consider for getting positive outcomes with your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Publicize the Possibilities on Social Media
Many people visit company social media profiles before going to brands’ official websites. Keep that in mind and think about how you could use existing channels to get people interested in your omnichannel campaigns.
Have you recently launched a buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) option? Keep social media followers in the loop by announcing it there. You might also use social media to clarify how your website lets people check stock levels at local stores.
No matter what you choose to promote, ensure that all the content features your brand voice and appearance as appropriate. Doing that helps set expectations for customers who interact with your company across several channels.
Highlight a Friction-Free Returns Process With Appealing Language
People appreciate the peace of mind from knowing they can return something if necessary. Rare occasions may crop up that necessitate taking an all-sales-final approach — such as selling clearance items at deep discounts. Otherwise, though, letting people know that returns will go smoothly regardless of where someone purchases will go a long way in helping them embrace your omnichannel strategy.
One study found that 60% of people were more likely to buy things online if they could return them to stores. Think about using phrases such as “Enjoy easy returns” or “Need to return something? No worries!” on a company website to help people feel more comfortable about going through with their purchases.
Then, cater to in-store shoppers by explaining how they can send things back rather than taking second trips to physical locations when making returns. You may also create a digital tool that lets people check return statuses for items. That option cuts down on potential customer service calls dealt with by your customer service representatives.
Promote the Versatility of Your Gift Cards
It’s not always easy to decide what to buy someone for a present. That’s a primary reason that gift cards are so popular. They let the recipient decide when and how to spend the funds. You can also let gift cards help reach your omnichannel marketing goals.
Start by confirming that people can spend the cards either online or in a store. Use phrasing such as, “Shop at any of our eight locations or use your gift card online today!” to reassure customers that there’s plenty of flexibility.
Remember the appeal of your gift card’s design, too. That’s a useful tip whether you offer digital gift cards, physical ones or both. Statistics showed that gift card designs or images could bring up to a 69% increase in people’s likelihood of buying them. Evaluate how vibrant colors, eye-catching shapes and even glitter accents could grab attention. Consider offering themed and seasonal messages on the cards, too.
Offer Your Customers an App
Many people use smartphone applications to do everything from online banking to scheduling appointments with their doctors. Launching an app for consumers to use could be a smart marketing strategy. For example, it gives customers more ways to connect with you and generates data you might find valuable for future campaigns.
Look for opportunities to sync a person’s online and offline engagements with your business. One way to do that is to get customers’ permission to ask for and record their emails when they carry out any transactions. Then, whether a person buys something from a website or a store, the app stores all associated records and makes them readily available if a person needs to ask a question, make a complaint or request a return.
An app also provides chances to encourage people to use specific channels. You might tell them about online-only sales or mention a new in-store line. Encouraging people to provide relevant details about themselves in the app — such as their cities and age ranges — makes it easier to send them targeted push notifications, too.
Use Inventory Data To Guide Marketing Efforts
Meeting customers’ needs through multiple channels can make it more challenging to keep shelves stocked and online orders filled. However, it becomes much easier if you can access up-to-date sales data from all sources. It can reveal valuable information, such as the percentage of orders caused by a recent social media campaign.
Inventory information from multiple channels can also help you decide when and how to appeal to customers. Perhaps you operate both a website and physical stores. The data might show that people in the Northeastern region of the United States are twice as likely to buy online compared to people in the South. That revelation might spur you to target people in Southern states for an upcoming marketing push.
Always make sure you have sufficient inventory to handle customer demand surges, too. Consider an example where you want to have an autumn scent sale at your candle store. If seven of the ten scents in that collection show as low stock within your inventory software, it’s best to wait until replenishment occurs before kicking off the promotional event.
Outline a Marketing Plan for Each Channel and Targeted Group
Contrary to what some people may think, making omnichannel marketing work for you does not mean interacting with customers through as many avenues as possible. The better approach is to select your desired channels and create dedicated marketing game plans for each one used.
Determining the best ways forward often begins by understanding which group you want to focus on with a particular channel. Perhaps your internal research shows that your customers in the 17-29 age range are highly likely to open texts from your company. If so, that’s likely a great strategy to use with them.
Conversely, people aged 60 and older might still appreciate physical mailings to tell them what’s happening with your company. Or perhaps people in the 30-59 age range are utilizing Google search, in which case search engine optimization or pay-per-click advertising may be the most advantageous. Whether in the online realm or a real-world setting, the main thing to remember is that people are most likely to respond to your communications if you reach them in their preferred ways.
Keep Content and Communications Balanced Across Channels
Since succeeding with omnichannel marketing relies on consistency, it’s important that you don’t distribute content too often on some channels more than others. Similarly, maintain that balance when deciding when and how to stay in touch with customers.
When you decide which channels to target, take the time to calculate the time and energy needed to regularly provide updated material and connect with your target audience. It’s better to manage three channels with excellent competency than to quickly get swamped by trying to oversee twice that number.
Listen to customer feedback, too. Some might mention that they get annoyed by how many emails your company typically sends in a given week. If so, that’s a sign to cut back. Alternatively, some might bring up how they’d prefer that your texts arrive outside of 9-to-5 business hours because they find them distracting while working.
Track Your Omnichannel Marketing Methods and Milestones
Besides considering these tips, don’t overlook the need to develop an accurate way to measure how well your strategy works and how long it takes the company to meet its goals. Staying aware of the necessary metrics verifies which of your approaches has paid off and which ones might need further tweaks to get the best results.
Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing firm prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.