This is a guest post from Kevin Payne.
If there’s one business that benefits from omnichannel marketing most, it’s ecommerce.
Because ecommerce owners want to deliver seamless experiences online, and to do that, you’ll need multiple channels—ones that aren’t redundant in messaging and visuals. That’s where omnichannel marketing comes into play.
Read on to discover the many benefits of having an omnichannel marketing strategy as an ecommerce business. Later on, we’ll take you through the 10 steps you need to get started today.
The importance of creating an omnichannel marketing strategy
Based on numerous omnichannel studies and reports, here are a few compelling reasons for why omnichannel marketing should be your next big focus.
- Brands who employ omnichannel marketing enjoy 90% higher customer retention rates and 18.86% higher customer engagement rates (see charts below)
- Average order value of stores using omnichannel marketing were 13% more than single-channel marketing
- After interacting with 3 or more channels, customers purchased 250% more frequently than those who interacted with only one channel
What this shows us is that omnichannel marketing not only lets you maximize on reach, but also boosts engagement and sales.
Steps to build an omnichannel strategy
Convinced that you should be employing omnichannel marketing in your ecommerce business this 2020? Here are 10 steps to build your own omnichannel campaign.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Because omnichannel marketing marries both offline and online channels, it’s important to keep your website and store ready for different devices, especially mobile. In a report on mobile ecommerce trends, 79% of smartphone users made a purchase using a smartphone in the last 6 months.
Fortunately, the best website builders on the market can let you not only optimize your store for mobile but also your entire website.
By optimizing for mobile, you don’t lose out on potential sales or leads, as it’s easy for customers to view, browse, sign up, or purchase from your site.
Determine which channels your customers are frequently using
Creating an omnichannel marketing strategy doesn’t mean jumping on every channel available to you. Instead, it means meeting your customers where they are—so you should only invest in the channels your customers use.
In this recent survey, for example, Instagram (73%) was the most-used platform for Gen Z adults, while Facebook remained the top choice for millennials (74%), Gen X adults (68%), and boomers (61%).
Revisit your buyer persona to determine which channels are best for your omnichannel campaign. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new and emerging platforms, but be sure to constantly evaluate results to see if it’s worth continuing.
Map your customer’s journey
As you build your omnichannel campaign, it’s important to map out your customer’s journey from one platform to the next to see that you leave no gaps or awkward encounters.
For example, after opting into a lead generation form for a discount lead magnet, you can present your discount code as well as product recommendations, right in the same email. When a customer clicks on one of the products that interest them, they’re taken to a page on your store called New Collections.
And if they decide not to purchase right away, you can also follow up with retargeted ads.
You can have several journeys all in one campaign. But here’s the most important question: How does each channel stand on its own, possibly lead to another channel, and ultimately get customers to purchase?
Match your content with the marketing channel
Next, it’s important to keep your content relevant to the marketing channel. For example, photos and videos do well on Facebook and Instagram, influencer marketing videos can be done through TikTok or YouTube, while longer text-based content will do well for blog posts or email newsletters.
Omnichannel marketing isn’t just about repeating the same message over multiple channels. It means making the most of different channels so that they lead customers through a journey that eventually convinces them to make a purchase.
As you keep up your campaign, you’ll also see which content forms do best on which channels, so you can adapt future posts accordingly.
Segment your audience
When you conduct lead generation for your online store, it’s important to segment customers right away using behavior-based data and triggers.
The data you gather from these leads and customers can help you craft better, more relevant emails, which in turn can help you also be more accurate in your targeted ads.
Here are some ways you can segment your customers in your email list:
- Previous purchases/interests
- Previous engagement (cold or warm)
Take advantage of shoppable posts
Shoppable posts are now a feature on popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. (Newcomer TikTok is also currently testing shoppable video ads on their platform as well.)
When you use ads or create posts on these channels, be sure viewers are able to instantly check out or learn more about the product by redirecting them to a product page.
Provide cross-channel customer support
One-third of customers reported that they would consider switching companies after just one bad customer experience. This points to the importance of customer support and how it helps build upon the customer journey.
Make sure your brand can handle customer support on multiple channels, such as email support and social media messaging. For a personal touch, allow customers to call you on your company phone or even write a letter.
Train your support staff to be friendly and warm as well. It’s important to have a playbook for different scenarios and circumstances that might arise, such as requests for refunds, complaints, or even getting good feedback.
Invest in your marketing stack
To successfully create an omnichannel marketing campaign, you’ll want to have a great marketing stack to help you track your campaign goals, analyze your both ongoing and previous campaign results, and run your campaigns with ease.
You’ll need a mix of both online and offline tools to help you create a truly well-rounded marketing campaign. Here are just some of the things you may consider investing in:
- Powerful website, landing page, and ecommerce store builders that let you customize your pages easily while integrating with other popular tools
- Easy-to-use email marketing software that lets you build, design, and track personalized campaigns for your ecommerce customers and leads
- Social media scheduling and analytics software for easy campaign management and tracking
- On-ground displays, posters, in-store experiences for offline marketing strategies
Keep your customer’s data sacred
Next, because omnichannel marketing is about multiple channels and a streamlined, seamless experience for your ecommerce customers, keeping customers’ personal data secure has to be top priority.
By entrusting you with their personal data like email addresses, postal addresses, and their complete names, customers expect that you use this data wisely.
Many customers appreciate and, in fact, prefer when content and promotions are personalized to their preferences and interests. So that’s one way you can use this precious data you have on them for both your business’ and your customers’ benefit.
Keep your CRMs and databases secure. Update any software and tools you use on your website constantly. And use the best security tools that will keep any malicious web attacks at bay.
Make testing a habit
And last but not least, always make testing your campaigns and tactics a habit. The beauty of doing digital marketing and online campaigns is that much of your data can be tracked, allowing you to glean better, more useful insights.
Start by testing simple variables in your email campaigns, such as campaign subject lines or opt-in forms for lead generation. You can also test post formats on your social media campaigns, or use different CTAs or landing page designs on your website.
In the example below, for example, you’re testing whether a multi-step contact form (in this case, 2-step) would work better against a contact form that’s already displayed onscreen.
Because each test would measure conversion rates against each other, the result you’re measuring for a test like this one is for the number of completed forms versus the number of page visits.
Specifically for your ecommerce store, consider using different product page layouts. Or experiment with different button text, such as “Buy now” or “Add to cart.” You can even do split tests on scarcity tactics, such as testing different “only X left” counters or using a countdown timer for a promotion.
The more data you collect, the better you can estimate which tactics will do best in your next campaign. From there, you’re able to create newer experiments that help you get even better data.
With omnichannel marketing, your ecommerce store can:
- Deliver more seamless experiences for customers from on-ground to online levels
- Build more brand awareness and personalized experiences
- Increase customer loyalty over time
- Meet customers where they currently are
Whether or not you run a completely online store or do offline retail, an omnichannel marketing strategy can boost your leads, sales, and customer loyalty with a rich, consumer-first experience.
Omnichannel doesn’t just make use of several marketing channels. It instead makes the most of them. Create your own omnichannel strategy using the steps outlined in this post, and keep testing to get the best results.
Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.