Today, brands are under more pressure than ever to ensure their digital customer experience is at a level that matches up to their offline one, with many turning to omnichannel marketing as part of the solution. In this post, we take a closer look at the benefits of building an omnichannel environment for customers, which might be interesting for those who want to complement their physical footfall and sales performance with greater online engagement, or who just want to provide a better 360-degree experience for their customers.
First of all, let’s clear up the difference between omnichannel and its oft-mentioned cousin, multichannel marketing.
Multichannel: This is where a number of channels are available to customers, but they are not integrated and there is limited or varying consistency between them.
Omnichannel: an environment in which all channels are available, and they are connected, consistent in messaging and experience, and convenient for customers.
Connected, consistent and convenient. It’s a powerful pull for customers: think about it like surrounding them with a series of seamless touchpoints - from your physical locations to your social channels to your presence in messaging apps - through any of which they can interact and, crucially, transact with your brand. The advantages are manifold, with vastly boosted engagement and retention levels, showing the impact across all stages of the customer journey.
Benefits of omnichannel marketing
If it’s implemented well across all the right channels, an omnichannel strategy provides access to numerous valuable data points for marketers. Information drawn from cookies, devices, transaction histories, mailing lists and loyalty schemes and the like combines to paint a picture of your customers which, thanks to being based on real-world data, is so accurate it can be used to improve the segmentation and targeting of campaigns moving forward.
Here are three more key benefits for brands who build an omnichannel environment.
Better results: As well as being able to use real data to better understand and communicate with customers, there are also directly commercial applications. Knowing more about purchase journeys and behaviours means you can implement cross-sell and up-sell tactics with more confidence. Brands can also make extremely quick decisions about CPAs, ROIs and more. If a channel fails fast, its budget and resources can be pushed into ones that are better performing.
Unified experience: Plenty of brands are still forgetting the value of making sure their online presence matches up to their bricks-and-mortar one. Think about the customer experience in your offline locations: warm, welcoming, attentive? Surely. Is it the same online? How good is your website on a mobile? Are you across the social channels your customers use? Don’t forget that the digital and social customer experience is just as important as the offline one and many consumers today see them as one and the same - or expect that they should be. It works both ways, too. Brands who further drive consistency by reflecting their digital experience IRL also see more benefit: one Nielsen study found digital campaign signage that brings the online world into retail locations can push the value of sales up by over a third.
Social selling: This consistency extends beyond just branding and combining the online and offline worlds. A well-built omnichannel environment lets you harness the power of conversational commerce, talking and transacting with customers in a joined-up way they have come to expect. Including chatbots and messaging apps in your mix of digital touchpoints adds a new level of convenience to your customer experience - and, let’s face it, also makes it easier for them to spend money with you. Indeed, a study by ClickZ found that, versus single channel marketing, purchase frequency in the omnichannel environment is 250% higher, with average order values also being 13% more. Who says you can’t put a price on convenience?
Building the right omnichannel worlds for your customers to live in can be a sizeable task, with the potential for missteps. If you would like some advice on understanding your digital audiences and creating a consistent marketing and retail experience for them, please get in touch with us by either sending us a message or calling 0161 848 4300 and we will be more than happy to help.