Omnichannel marketing seems pretty complex to most ecommerce marketers. However, we know that customers are looking for an omnichannel experience, and are willing to reward merchants who provide it.
Omnichannel marketing is when you create a seamless, integrated customer experience across several channels.
While that might seem difficult to achieve, however, I’ve got 4 key steps to help you implement your own omnichannel marketing strategy.
Let’s get started!
1. Create a Company-Wide Omnichannel Stance
The first thing you need to do in order to properly implement an omnichannel strategy is to get the entire company, and all of its processes, on board with omnichannel.
Meaning that your company needs to put the customer at the center of everything, and each new process needs to be audited for “how does this benefit the customer?”
For example, there are hundreds of different places where a company might gather data on a customer:
- Marketing notices that the customer has signed up for a newsletter or clicked through an email campaign
- Sales sees that they’ve abandoned a cart/made a purchase
- Customer success gets a quick chat with them on shipping times or feedback post purchase
A customer is going to have several different touchpoints with your brand before they commit to a purchase or even reconvert. Each one of those touchpoints provides us with data, and that data needs to be centralized.
Every person that might have contact with a customer needs access to that data.
It means that if a customer leaves your site after abandoning a cart, that they’ll see a Facebook or Google retargeting ad for that product around the same time that they’ll get their first abandoned cart email. Or maybe the next day, they’ll get a push notification with an offer for free shipping if they come back to complete the purchase.
You want the customer to have a completely unified experience, no matter where they come into contact with your brand.
This means that every department in your company needs to shift their thinking to omnichannel for this strategy to really work. The only way to create a cohesive experience for your customer is to be cohesive within your company first.
2. Learn Everything You Can About Your Customer
Once you’ve centralized your data and you have everyone on top of the new game plan, it’s time to start digging.
You need to know your customer and your customer journey like the back of your hand, so there are a few things you need to do to start off.
Review Your Own Customer Experience
You need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. How do they experience your site? How do they experience your brand across every channel where you’re present?
You need to review the whole experience from A to Z in order to really understand how your customer experiences your brand. Perform Google searches for what you think your customer might look for - do your print on-demand products appear?
- Complete an order from your store, and note any points of friction. Do it on a variety of browsers, OS’s, and devices.
- Go through your own returns and refunds processes, submit a support ticket and test the time it takes to respond
- Engage with your own brand on social media and compare your social channels for consistency
Also, don’t forget to enlist external people to help you with this. Sometimes, we’re too close to a situation to give an objective opinion. So bring on friends or family to give their impressions of how smoothly everything runs.
Ask for Feedback from Your Customer
Your customer is the most valuable resource you have. But sometimes, our customers are shy. So demonstrate that you’re open to receiving feedback by responding to your existing feedback and by asking your customer for feedback often.
We get the most feedback from customers post purchase, but if you’re only collecting feedback at that stage, then you’re only seeing part of the picture.
For an omnichannel marketing strategy to work, you have to consider feedback from several stages of the customer journey.
Feel free to add a survey in the browsing/discovery phase on your site, or ask how customer service went for your customer. Note how your customers react to products on social media. All of that data is useful.
The most important part of this review and feedback gathering is that you use it to improve your customer experience. When they reach out, you should take their feedback to heart and make changes based on what they tell you.
3. Use Smart Segmentation for Personalization
The point of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to put your customer at the center of your brand communication. If you’re sending out the exact same message to every customer, it’s not an omnichannel experience.
With an omnichannel experience, your message should be personalized. In order to do that, you’ll need to segment your customers into different groups so that your message is always relevant.
There are a few ways you can use smart segmentation:
- Active/inactive customers for relaunch and re-engagement campaigns
- Customer journey stage- so that your customer always gets the right offer at the right time
- Recent purchases for upselling and cross selling/ feedback requests
- Average spending amount to personalize the offer your customers receive based on price point
- Demographic data, like age, gender, marital status, etc
- Geographic data for more area-appropriate messages
- Likes, dislikes, and values
- Active/inactive for re-engagement campaigns
- Last campaign clicked through to gauge interest in products/offers
- Last campaign opened to send similar offers to get a click through to your site
These segments are not exhaustive, but they give you a good idea of what you can do with segmentation.
Pro tip: layering your segmentation by combining a lot of these segments is a great way to get ultra precise targeting.
For example, sending a campaign that’s targeted towards age, location, and shopping behavior would be a lot more precise than if I only targeted based on age.
In an omnichannel marketing strategy, your message is going to be tailored for that customer. Using smart segmentation is a great way to achieve this.
4. Measure, Test, Rinse, Repeat
You’ve noticed by now that I’ve talked a lot about gathering data. This is because you should be measuring these processes at each step.
But that data does nothing for you if you don’t act on it. So what you’re measuring needs to be analyzed. From here, you should be testing new things, for example new product page copy, new email subject lines, and new retargeting ad messages.
How else are you going to find out what works best for your customers? The more testing you perform and the more data you gather is going to help you hone your omnichannel marketing until it’s picture perfect.
Creating an omnichannel marketing strategy can seem a bit daunting when you think about it. How can we possibly create the exact same experience for our customers on all channels?
The key to a great omnichannel strategy is putting the customer at the center of your operations. When you’re able to get your whole company on board, exchange data between you to learn everything you can about your customer, and personalize the messages that you’re sending out, you’ll create a better overall customer experience.
From there, it’s all about testing to see what works and testing again.
When you put your customer at the center of your omnichannel marketing strategy, your customers will thank you for it by engaging with your brand, being loyal, and purchasing often.