An omnichannel strategy combines multiple channels to offer a seamless customer experience no matter how consumers transact. It used to be enough to just have an online store or brick and mortar store. But this is no longer the case. In today’s digitally-focused eCommerce landscape, a robust omnichannel strategy has gone from a nice-to-have to an absolute essential.
To a consumer, a brand has one identity regardless of whether they shop online or on their phones. Insights from Google confirm this finding 90% of multiple device owners switch between an average of three per day to complete a task.
What’s more, omnichannel strategies drive an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits. But, the journey to an omnichannel operation does not happen overnight. And with that in mind, organisations need to have a solid omnichannel strategy in place. We outline the 5 key steps involved with launching an omnichannel strategy.
Get to know your customers
Understanding your customers is central to an effective omnichannel strategy. This means you need to spend time analysing their online purchasing behaviour in order to build customer loyalty. You can then leverage these insights to significantly improve the customer experience.
Focus on responsive web design
Shoppers expect an easy-to-navigate and seamless online shopping experience. And with customers accessing your brand’s content on all channels and devices, it needs to display properly no matter the screen size. Therefore, your website should be responsive on a desktop, mobile phone, and tablet. Your customer’s experience should be the same no matter which device they are transacting on. Moreover, make important details like FAQs, delivery information, and contact details easy-to-find.
Make it personal
All customers want a tailored and personalised experience, irrespective of how they interact with a retailer. Data plays a critical role in the omnichannel strategy. With access to customer data and technologies such as analytics and artificial intelligence, retailers are able to offer their customers personalised experiences. This enables you to deliver the most relevant content, offer or recommendations in real-time. Sephora, for example, provides consumers with rich in-app messaging, personalized push notifications, and the ability to book in-person beauty consultations from their phones. Sephora, for example, provides consumers with in-app messaging, personalised push notifications, and the ability to book in-person beauty consultations from their phones.
Ensure you meet your customers wherever they are
Your ultimate goal should be taking the friction out of the shopping journey. Therefore, you should ensure your omnichannel strategy incorporates a variety of platforms. This should include your website, brick-and-mortar-stores, mobile apps as well as social media platforms and marketplaces.
Offer your customer 24/7 support
Providing consumers with consistent, 24/7 support is key to a successful omnichannel strategy. No matter which platform they are using to purchase your products, make sure you are there to support them across every touchpoint.
Gearing up for an omnichannel world
Customer expectations of your brand are sky-high and getting even higher. Especially because the shopping journey now takes place from wherever your customers are. Companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. In short, the importance of being an omnichannel retailer cannot be understated. And while this guide only represents a starting point for eCommerce merchants, it will provide you with a solid roadmap to get started.