The importance of an omnichannel strategy in marketing and retail
What is an omnichannel sales strategy
An omnichannel strategy is an approach to marketing, sales, and customer service that focuses on providing a continuous and seamless customer experience, regardless of whether the customer is shopping online from a mobile device, laptop, or physical store.
Most users use multiple channels during their shopping journey and only after gathering as much information as possible, they will decide to buy from a particular retailer.
Therefore, companies are called to redefine their marketing strategies, finding new ways to acquire, engage and retain customers through valuable experiences at different touch points.
What is the difference between a traditional, multichannel and omnichannel strategy?
Let's break down the terms one by one:
- A single-channel or traditional strategy involves selling a product through only one channel. This could be a physical store, an e-commerce, or a marketplace like Amazon. It alone can work perfectly but, to offer your customers a richer experience, it is advisable to integrate additional sales channels into your marketing strategy.
- A multi-channel strategy allows you to interact with users on different channels, both online and offline, via social media, by phone and in the physical store. All channels work in isolation without any connection between them.
- An omnichannel strategy takes place on several channels like the multi-channel strategy with the difference that all the channels work in a cohesive way and in harmony with each other. Omnichannel involves the combination and sharing of data across all contact points in order to create a seamless customer experience across all platforms.
Importance and benefits of an omnichannel strategy
An omnichannel strategy is essential because it focuses on the entire customer experience, guiding customers at every stage of their purchasing journey. It also allows to achieve the main marketing objectives with greater effectiveness and efficiency: to improve leads quality, sales and customer loyalty. Let's see some benefits in detail:
- Better customer experience
Customers expect a unified experience with continuous and uninterrupted service between different points of contact. As the number of touch points is increasing, integration is required between these, whether it is a social ads, a newsletter, a push notification, a conversation with the chatbot or with the staff in the store. By breaking down the walls that separate the different channels, customers are able to interact with the company in a way that seems natural, improving engagement and satisfaction.
- Increase in Customer Loyalty
Not only are omnichannel customers spending more, they are also more brand loyal. After a positive omnichannel shopping experience, the customer is in fact more likely to repeat a purchase and recommend the brand to family and friends.
- Better collection of data and information
Companies that monitor the behaviour of their customers on different channels have greater opportunities to collect data and use it to provide a better and more personalized shopping experience. Through an omnichannel strategy, companies can therefore acquire information on how to create content and offers that increase customer engagement by guiding them to purchase, not only online but also in physical stores.
How to approach an omnichannel strategy
Omnichannel has profound implications at the organizational level. The integrated management of contact points must be based on an agile and equally integrated organizational structure, which is able to understand the customer's needs and anticipate them.
To achieve a correct management of the topic, a profound corporate culture is also required in this regard. Considering the transformations that this approach requires, at an organizational, technological and process level, it is essential that omnichannel is perceived as a corporate priority and a strategic development choice.
An omnichannel strategy must therefore start from a business orientation of this kind, to be able to break down the barriers that exist between online and offline, and put customers and companies in contact in every channel.
If you need advice for the development of your omnichannel strategy, contact us!