The term “omnichannel” gets tossed around a lot, but many businesses that think they’ve properly implemented the strategy might want to take a second look.
This might sound obvious, but the first step to implementing a proper omnichannel experience is actually understanding what the omnichannel experience is. Many businesses develop purchasing channels through mobile apps and traditional websites for every conceivable platform to supplement sales in their brick-and-mortar stores, but this ultimately falls short of the omnichannel mark.
While these kinds of multi-channel marketing strategies do provide customers with more ways to make a purchase, each platform is isolated from the other, which can often lead to a confusing and unbalanced experience. Omnichannel marketing is all about creating a seamless, totally immersive environment in order to improve the consumer experience and foster loyalty to the brand. It also employs highly-targeted advertising techniques to anticipate each customer’s individual needs and tendencies, making for a more intuitive purchasing process and boosting revenue streams accordingly.
Fill in the Gaps
The problem with having a fragmented, multi-channel network is that when a customer encounters a roadblock or limitation within a single, isolated channel, it’s not always obvious what they should do next. Today’s consumer expects a frictionless digital shopping experience, and chances are they aren’t going to stick around very long if it’s not immediately clear how they get from point A to point B.
So how do you upgrade your experience from multi-channel to omnichannel? Well, assuming the basic multi-channel framework is already in place, you need to take all of those disparate channels and combine them into a single, seamless platform through which consumers can interact with your brand. But the experience should be more than just uniform throughout — each channel should serve to actually enhance the next, thereby guiding the consumer through the process and increasing the likelihood for an actual purchase.
Take it Even Further
Companies can also use data gleaned from purchasing history or social media posts to craft highly-targeted push notifications and coupons that can help drive an individual customer to make a purchase. Say, for instance, a customer posts a photo on Instagram of some new Nikes that they’re just dying to get their hands on. Then, when they walk into the Nike store, they immediately receive a 10% off coupon along with information on the shoes’ location on the shelves. This kind of individually tailored marketing is what sets omnichannel apart from multi-channel when it comes to generating a significant boost to revenue streams.
So take a long, hard look at all of your various sales channels — there’s a good chance that even if they seem somewhat interrelated, you could probably be doing a whole lot more when it comes to crafting a seamless, fully-integrated omnichannel experience.