Do you buy online or offline? Or maybe here and here, also in one transaction? In the modern market, it is increasingly common for customers to communicate with the seller in a number of ways in their purchasing decisions. Throwing products to the e-cart using a smartphone and completing the transaction on a laptop, ordering the product online and picking it up in a stationary store, applications that allow you to get discounts during a visit to the supermarket … these are just a few examples of how omnichannel marketing works. See what it is and why it works.
Some time ago, the end of stationary stores and the transfer of all sales to virtual space was announced. But can anyone imagine, for example, buying a car without visiting the salon and “tangible” checking what it looks like and how it drives? This is why the shopping shawl does not tilt either online or offline. Something completely different is happening on the market: the virtual and real world are mixing up. Customers use many channels of communication with the brand to step by step through all stages of the marketing funnel and make a purchase. That is why omnichannel marketing is the strategy chosen by more and more important corporations. The more that brands are easiest to “experience” in the real world.
Omnichannel marketing, what is this?
Many people associate omnichannel with multichannel marketing. And indeed, in both of these approaches, the key issue is to provide the client with access to many different communication channels. However, there is a key difference between them: omnichannel marketing means a network of related online and offline marketing channels. They operate under one coherent strategy and complement each other. This means that companies that use omnichannel marketing accompany each customer in the purchasing decision making process at every step, “tracking” their actions – online and offline.
How does this translate into practice?
It depends, because each company can create a separate strategy, and in addition – each client can choose a different communication path. Nevertheless, it is worth illustrating how it works.
For example, a bank can use omnichannel marketing. Already, customers commonly use online and mobile banking systems in dealing with a financial service provider. But the omnichannel strategy goes a step further. For example, it may happen that a customer withdraws the last funds on the account from an ATM. The system registers this and takes the “next best action” (NBA). In this case, it may mean, for example, taking immediate contact with such a customer. And yes, his banking application can display to him a “push” notification with information about running out of funds or a question about whether he needs additional funds. Within a few days, the client may also receive a call from a consultant asking if he or she does not need a loan or another solution available in the bank’s offer. This decision can also be followed by mailing, SMS with notification of a new offer and so on. Of course, this is not about “flooding” customers with messages – too pushy would have the opposite effect. Rather, it is about immediate, multi-channel response to current or likely future consumer needs.
Other examples can be seen in the activities of the supermarket chain. Some of them are already selling parts of the product range online. But it is not everything. Omnichannel also support affiliate programs – implemented using an electronic customer card or mobile application. As a result, the store registers and analyzes the customer’s shopping habits and guides him through the shopping funnel. How? For example, the system notices that the customer purchases on average twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It also registers products that land in its basket or average bill amount. Marketing messages are tailored to this data, for example via SMS, push notification on the phone, by e-mail, as well as those reaching discount coupons in the stationary store or purchasing applications.
Why is it worth investing in omnichannel marketing?
Marketing in the omnichannel model brings many benefits for the company, which ultimately affect its market position and financial results. The most important are:
1. personalization of communication with the client
Research shows that up to 75% of consumers expect personalized communication. Therefore, the point is for the brand to contact every customer in order to build authentic relationships and tailor the offer and the way of contact to their real needs. Omnichannel marketing makes this possible because it allows you to track the customer’s shopping path, regardless of how he communicates with the brand. As a result, the consumer feels appreciated, and the questions and suggestions sent to him simply hit the point.
2. increasing the range of communication with consumers
The more “points of contact” with a customer, the higher the likelihood that any of the opportunities given to him will translate into conversion. Providing customers with many communication and shopping options, you also guarantee them a sense of freedom and independence, because it translates into the brand image.
3. the ability to automate marketing communications
Although the omnichannel model is geared to building personalized messages, it is susceptible to using marketing automation tools. An efficient system, in which you combine communication with many channels, will work more efficiently than a team of marketers. And this means lower expenses with high efficiency on the way to sales.
4. building long-lasting relationships
Although not every contact with the customer will end up with a purchase immediately – it will be an element of interaction, building engagement in contact with your brand, and thus – will create a strong emotional bond. As a result, you can count on greater brand attachment, and therefore also long-term benefits.
Is omnichannel marketing for everyone? This solution is primarily for companies that operate both on-line and offline and have an extensive customer portfolio or strive to expand it. If you want to learn how to use this form of sales support in your company – our experts are at your disposal. It’s easier than you think!