To understand how omnichannel marketing has evolved, we first need to look at where it came from. In a pre-digitalised world marketing was done via catalogues, billboards, flyers, radio and television advertising. Customers would randomly see this advertising and it had no way of targeting a specific market.
Next we moved into the digital world of online stores and customers now had a choice. They could choose to shop online or on the high street. So we created multichannel marketing. Although we have had multichannel marketing for a number of years, it proved to be highly time consuming and not very cohesive for either customer or retailer.
The problem with multichannel marketing is that offers online are often different from those in-store. Plus the online workers and face to face ones aren’t always in communication with one another. This means that if customers send a message to one department, the follow-up is not always carried out. These systems all run separately and it causes a lot of extra work and not very good customer service.
So, we evolved and developed omnichannel marketing. But what is omnichannel marketing?
According to advanced analytics company SAS “Omnichannel marketing is a multichannel sales approach that creates an integrated and seamless shopping experience across all channels. This includes online and offline marketing. Each channel works together; in other words, all departments work together seamlessly.”
All digital interactions, including social media, e-commerce and all interpersonal interactions, including in-store and customer services are integrated. Thus creating a better overall shopping experience, whether online or in-store.
At base level, an omnichannel’s aim is to make it easy for your customer and have a unified message across all customer interactions. In order to have a seamless approach, all your marketing, customer service, sales team and retail staff must be in communication and have the same information available. If they are not all aligned, then you are not achieving an omnichannel approach.
The Omnichannel Approach
Multichannel marketing connects a customer to their purchase via a direct straight line between each channel. However the omnichannel approach is non-linear. It looks at how the customer is approaching your company and aims to take a more strategic approach.
In doing so the communications and marketing can be more personalised and targeted. What you don’t want is your customer having to take a detour that may make them go elsewhere to buy. You want to make it easy for them to buy from you.
What Are The Benefits Of Omnichannel Marketing?
By creating a consistent experience across all platforms and being able to offer a more personalised experience, your customers will have an improved experience. This then leads to the customer trusting your brand and they are more likely to become loyal shoppers who will return.
The cross-channel consistency that omnichannel marketing provides means that your customers will always see your brand in the same way no matter what device or platform they are on. This strong sense of brand will improve the overall brand recall of your customers.
With improved customer loyalty and a strengthened brand recall, repeat purchases increase. Plus with the content personalisation and recommendations via channels such as social media, you can attract new customers. With new and repeat customers comes an increase in revenue.
Omnichannel marketing integrates online and offline products so that everyone knows what is and is not available. It keeps all departments in the loop so that there is no miscommunication or letting down customers by promising something that can’t be delivered.
Omnichannel marketing is personalised and tailored to what your customers are looking for. No more wasting money on general advertising hoping to hook a new customer.
The key to omnichannel marketing is that everything is consistent and works seamlessly together to create a better shopping experience for all.