Omni-channel is a form of marketing where you provide a solid, seamless shopping experience to your customers. It is a holistic form of marketing where each customer is treated with individuality based on their intention of buying your product. Sometimes it is confused with multi-channel marketing where brands blend in various channels and mediums to promote their market.
It is quite similar to that but better in terms of customer satisfaction. In Omni-channel marketing, customers are put in the center of the marketing strategy. Their strategy begins with customers seeing their advertisement to the purchase of products. Customers have the ability to access products from various channels but it’s the duty of a brand to make the transition from one channel to another seamless and solid.
That’s where Omni-channel marketing comes into play. The channels or mediums customer use to know about the product is countless. Starting from the traditional billboard ads to Facebook ads to promotional email, here everything is connected in a loop where the customers do not feel lost. The customers may see an online ad on a sale but end up buying the product from the physical store.
The Omni-channel marketing strategy helps to integrate all these channels together so that information about the customer’s intention may pass from one channel to another. It creates a completely unified and seamless brand experience. Omni-channel marketing ensures that each of the channels will provide an equally seamless experience for the customers. The customer’s behavior and preference influence how their experience changes across every channel.
Steps to use Omni-channel marketing for your business
1. Test the Customer Experience Yourself
In order to truly understand your customers and their experience with your brand, you can re-create the process of what they do in order to reach your product for purchase. Try out test runs by taking both internal and external users in the experiment. This will give you a clear idea without any users being biased.
You have to go through all the process starting from researching the brand to purchase of products. This step will ensure you which channels or mediums are working resourcefully and which are not. The customer experience and the barriers will be known.
2. Analyze and Measure
Data is everything and everywhere! The world runs on data and information. It has become very easier to measure success these days and that is through data. Keep tabs on every data and information about your brand and customers. Measure every customer reach, response, turnover, etc. by taking data from all your channels. This will give you a clear idea of how your brand is doing. If you find any fault or barriers in any channel, work it out to remove it. Then construct a much smoother channel for your customers.
3. Audience Segmentation
It’s best to divide your audience into several segments based on their profession, demographic, gender, country, working pattern, purchase frequency, buying behavior, etc. You can only expect a person who is working in the tech industry to buy their products based on technical specifications. It doesn’t entirely depend on it; it just gives some attention boost. The general way to segment your audience can be done only when you have enough data.
These data are collected throughout your entire channels that interact with the customers. For example, the physical store or the Facebook page, your customers are more likely to reach one or two of these channels for their queries and preference.
4. Respond to their Queries
It is quite normal for a customer to use multiple channels and devices to know about the product or even the transaction process. For example, a customer might add a product in their cart from their mobile. They might have visited your website directly from Google. What’s crucial for a business is to preserve the items in the cart for later use. It should still be in their shopping cart when they log in from their desktop. They could’ve used a different link to enter your website but the items should still be there.
This is what Omni-channel marketing is all about, keeping all the channels connected with each other for easier transfer of information. This data are a great way to do your promotions! You can use this data to influence your audience to buy your products. Let’s say they have added an item in their shopping cart but have not purchased it.
What you can do as a marketer is sending them a reminder mail to buy your products. You can even add a small discount like, “buy this product within today and get a 10% discount!” This will give your customers a sense of urgency and allow them to purchase your products.
5. Map the Path to Purchase
Back during the reign of traditional marketing, the purchasing process was quite simple. Just visit the physical store and purchase your preferred product with/without being able to bargain. The customer journey was simple and so was the marketing strategy.
However, as days passed by, the marketing strategy became complex with the rise of technology. It doesn’t follow a singular linear path anymore. With so many channels and mediums both online and offline, the linear path has turned into a gigantic web. Customers go back and forth in multiple channels to reach their desired product.
This is why it’s best to map out the customer purchase journey so that you can get ahead of your customers and plan out your strategy. This required immense research and deep analysis of their purchase frequency, behavioral pattern, product preference, promotional strategy and many more. It also depends on your brand image as well, how the customers perceive your brand from their mind.
Nowadays, with so many competitions across every sector, it is important to have an Omni-channel marketing strategy. This is an approach that takes a lot of time, knowledge and effort to implement. However, if it is done correctly, customers become comfortable to buy products from your store.
There will be hassle among every customer touch points but if you can offer them a seamless shopping experience, it’ll be easier for them to move further across the funnel.