Insights from the EXACTA Media team
Today’s online digital landscape allows for integration of all channels to provide a truly cohesive experience—and customers want it! In fact, 73% of shoppers were found to use multiple channels throughout the buyer’s journey. This means that an omni-channel experience, which allows shoppers to move seamlessly throughout your company’s digital ecosystem, will make shopping easy for the customer and increase the likelihood of purchase.
Omni-channel marketing has presented an incredible opportunity to revolutionize how brands engage with customers. So, what exactly is an omni-channel strategy, what are the keys to creating one, how does it benefit the brand and what are some examples from brands that have embraced this tactic?
Let’s dive in!
What does it mean to have an omni-channel strategy?
Omni-channel marketing is when a brand creates cohesion throughout all its customer messaging and communication. This means that the shopper can move from throughout the online system as well as offline (in-person) and have a consistent and personalized shopping experience.
This is different from a multichannel approach. With multichannel, a customer can find your brand in various spots. For example, your brand might have a website, a Facebook page and a storefront, but they are all independent of one another.
With omni-channel, experiences are integrated across the organization and all its customer-facing channels. For example, your customer might see an ad on Facebook, and be able to click that to complete a transaction for BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store).
This is true for messaging as well. Each touchpoint should make sure the brand identity is clear and the customer should be able to feel that coming through. That doesn’t mean that each post on various social media channels need to be the same, or that your website and product-specific landing pages should have the same content. In fact, that’s not an ideal strategy.
However, your overall brand vibe should permeate each piece of content that the customer sees, letting them know that they’re still engaging within your consistent ecosystem.
How to make the best omni-channel experience?
Moengage notes that there are five key points to developing a strong omni-channel experience: convenience, consistency, relevance, empowerment and agility.
Image credit: moengage
Creating a strong foundation for a successful omni-channel customer experience with these key elements is vital to the realization and implementation of the strategy.
Benefits of embracing omni-channel communication
Brands that incorporate an omni-channel approach will see the effort rewarded. Here are some of the benefits of engaging with this tactic:
- Positive customer experience – As noted above, about three in four shoppers use an omni-channel strategy when shopping. Adopting an omni-channel plan will improve the customer experience and help forge a personalized and loyal relationship.
- Larger reach – Connect with customers where they are in the moment. This will help the customer move easily through the buyer’s journey and arrive at their purchase decision.
- Increased revenue – Brands that use omni-channel strategies increase overall revenue by up to 10% and outsell other companies by 20% on average.
- Strong brand identity – When your brand creates an omni-channel approach, your team will need to have brand identity and messaging dialed in. This will give your target audience a solid foundation for what they can expect from your company as well as help new customers connect to your value proposition.
- Data insights and optimization – All of these connected channels will provide outstanding data attribution as you’ll be able to track your target audience’s path in detail. It can highlight important spots in the customer journey where a sale was confirmed or lost, and will show you where your customers engage the most. With that information, your marketing team can start optimizing the media plan for the best performance and to reach target goals.
- Superior testing – Since data attribution will be at an elevated level, testing (such as A/B testing of messages, special offers or other marketing mix items) will deliver incredible insights.
Who gets it right?
Here are a couple of brands that invested in an omni-channel approach and came out on top.
Target – Not only does Target have a well-established brand identity, but its integrations across channels are robust. Shoppers can add items to the cart on desktop and mobile, complete their order via either option, and get products delivered, ready for pickup in store or even available with drive-up assistance.
Additionally, the retailer partnered to use Pinterest Lens, which allows users to take a picture of an item of interest within the popular social media app and then find out within the Target app if there is something similar for purchase. Target increased sales by almost 10% with this integration.
Image credit: moengage
Starbucks – Of course Starbucks has a strong brand identity with consistent messaging, but it also has a stellar mobile app and rewards program. Fans of the drink purveyor can reload the rewards card via the mobile app or through phone, website and in store. Plus, any updates get shared across all channels right away, so there’s no delay in using the card if you have to add money immediately before purchase. This means that it’s easy to be a loyal Starbucks drinker and you can even order and pay ahead of time to skip the line.
Image credit: Starbucks
An Omni-channel advantage
Instead of the siloed approach of multichannel marketing, where each customer contact point is its own island, an omni-channel strategy allows all of a brand’s touchpoints to work together. This is a game-changer for customers and companies alike, who can connect seamlessly both online and offline. Adopting an omni-channel marketing strategy can help brands stay competitive by engaging with the customer where they are at any given state of the buyer’s journey, as well as making it easy to purchase. This ultimately will boost revenue and loyalty, putting brands that dive into the immersive world of omni-channel marketing in a strong position within their verticals.
Does your business need an agency partner? Learn how EXACTA MEDIA can help. We specialize in end-to-end media management from strategy through buy and optimization. Connect with our team of experts to learn more.