The influence of technology has changed the way consumers shop. The lines of shopping in-store and online have begun to blur. As consumers change their behavior, business owners are coming up with innovative ways to attract potential customers.
Omnichannel selling is one technique that has become popular in the ecommerce world.
But what exactly is omnichannel selling? Is it the same as multichannel selling?
Read on as we look at what omnichannel selling is and how you can use it to boost sales.
Omnichannel selling is a marketing and sales strategy that gives customers an integrated shopping experience.
In other words, omnichannel unites customer experiences across various touch points. So, it involves creating a consistent experience no matter where your customer decides to shop.
Whether your customer decides to shop in a brick-and-mortar store, on your website, or choose to use your mobile app, they get the same shopping experience.
Omnichannel focuses on a customer’s entire shopping experience and not merely individual experiences on various channels.
An omnichannel selling technique comes with multiple benefits. These benefits include:
Your customers want to be able to interact with your brand across various touch points seamlessly. Omnichannel selling allows you to break the walls across various channels and give your customers the power to choose how they want to interact with your brand whether it’s through an email newsletter, a chatbot, or face-to-face in-store.
According to an analysis, omnichannel customers spent 20% more than single-channel shoppers. With omnichannel selling, you can reach a large customer base, boost traffic, and sell more. This ultimately increases customer lifetime value.
With the fierce competition in ecommerce, personalization is one way to pique the interest of your customers. Your customers also expect personalized experiences at every marketing channel. With omnichannel selling, you can easily collect customer data from different channels and gain insights that can help provide more personalized experiences and boost sales.
You may be wondering. What exactly is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel selling?
In a multichannel setting, an ecommerce business sells through multiple channels like an ecommerce site, an online marketplace, social media, and so on. These channels exist but are not synchronized.
On the other hand, in the case of omnichannel selling, there are not only multiple channels, but these channels are well-connected, making it easy for a customer to move between all channels seamlessly.
So omnichannel selling uses multiple channels but not all multichannel experiences are omnichannel.
For example, you can have an engaging social media platform and a well-optimized website but if these channels are not well synced, they cannot provide an omnichannel experience for your customers.
While multichannel selling may include just two or three channels working independently, omnichannel involves all channels, touchpoints, and devices.
Not only does omnichannel involve all channels, but it also creates a positive experience across all of them.
Beyond having multiple channels through which shoppers can connect with your brand, they also want a seamless transition between these channels. But how do you create an omnichannel strategy?
The first step to creating an omnichannel selling strategy is to find out who and where your customers are. In other words, who are your customers and what are their interests? What platforms, channels, and devices do your customers use daily? Where do they shop or hang out? What motivates them?
If your customers are not on Etsy, you shouldn’t be investing your money and time there. Don’t just guess who or where your customers are. Use analytical tools, surveys, and unbiased feedback to get customer data. Tools like Google Analytics can provide in-depth reports that show you how customers are discovering your business. Customer surveys can help you uncover valuable insights that help you create more personalized omnichannel experiences.
So you know who your customers are and where you can find them. How do you start? Well, start with the basics. Omnichannel is a slow process that requires time and effort. You don’t have to be on all channels all at once. You can start with creating an omnichannel experience on your website and social media pages first before moving to other channels. Post content on your social media pages and website and engage with your customers consistently through them. The key is to provide a consistent experience. Neglecting any of your channels will make your brand appear inconsistent.
Each channel or touchpoint should provide a seamless experience for your customers. When adding a new channel, ensure that those channels are created to solve problems every step of the way. In other words, any channel you add should be valuable and provide a problem-free experience.
One way to create a seamless experience at every touchpoint is to make it easy to shop on all channels. So if your customer adds a product to a cart from your website, they should be able to complete their purchase on your mobile app while getting personalized product suggestions on their Instagram social media account. Do you get the idea?
One way to create a seamless experience is to use consistent messaging across all channels. So if you’re running an ad on social media, you want to ensure you maintain a consistent brand voice and overall messaging across all the platforms. Note that this doesn’t mean you should copy and paste the same content on all channels as this could lead to getting penalties from social media platforms and search engines. Keep it unique but consistent.
Having an online and offline presence isn’t enough. Synchronizing both channels is more critical. Today, consumers want to connect with brands both offline and online. Most consumers will check if a particular product is in-stock online before visiting a physical store. And even while a customer is in-store, they are likely to carry out some research online. An airtight omnichannel strategy should aim at unifying both platforms.
A good example of this will be having your customers find items in stock through your mobile app, adding them to the cart, and picking it up in-store.
A customer should be able to make a purchase on both platforms syncing perfectly with each other.
Almost everyone has a mobile phone and a large percentage of consumers use it to shop for their favorite products. So, creating a great mobile experience is crucial to creating a stellar omnichannel strategy. If you have a mobile app, ensure it is easy for customers to search for products, shop and get support. Ensure your ad campaigns are both personalized and optimized for mobile use. Optimize on various mobile devices and make updates to ensure it is working at its best.
Here are some brands that are winning with omnichannel selling:
Starbucks effectively uses its mobile app to create one of the best omnichannel experiences out there.
First, Starbucks gives you a free rewards card you can use to make a purchase. But what’s unique about this is that you can easily reload your card on their website, in-store, and with their mobile app.
So if you don’t have enough while standing in line to buy coffee, you can quickly reload it through their mobile app and make a purchase right there in-store. All changes are automatically updated across all channels.
Amazon is one retail company that leads the way in the omnichannel experience. When you add a product to cart on their website, it is automatically synced to their mobile app when you are signed in. Customers can also choose whatever customer support method they prefer across all platforms.
Sephora connects its shoppers’ online purchases to their in-store visits. They have in-store tablets that customers can use to access their “Beauty Bag” account as they shop. With that account, they can pick up products, and try them on. If they like the product, they can add it to their wishlist and purchase it using their mobile app.
If you’ve ever tried to log in to an account using Google Chrome, you would agree that everything is automatically synced. When you log in using Google Chrome, your history and activities are synced into every device. You can even access tabs left open on your laptop right on your mobile device, giving you a seamless experience no matter what device you use.
Apple is a king of the omnichannel experience and they do it by creating an interconnection between all Apple devices. Once a user signs into their iCloud account, all information including messages and photos is accessible regardless of the Apple device they are using. If you change your Apple device, you don’t have to worry about lost data. As soon as you log in to your iCloud account, all data is downloaded to the device.
Omnichannel tools make it easy to track consumer behavior and manage all your channels. Here are some omnichannel tools for different categories that you can try:
Omnisend is an affordable tool that allows you to connect with your customers across multiple channels. It has an automation workflow that allows you to send omnichannel email campaigns and save time.
Omnisend collects customer data using landing pages and pop-ups, analyzes data using built-in analytics, personalizes your email campaigns, manages your emails, integrates with other websites like Shopify Plus, and much more to create a great omnichannel experience.
HubSpot leads the way when it comes to CRM. With HubSpot, you can track customer interactions, manage your customer relationships and streamline your marketing processes. With its robust features, you can keep your eyes on every part of your customer’s journey. You can also automate your marketing processes, manage your leads and track their progress through your marketing funnel. You can also integrate HubSpot with tons of other platforms.
Overall, HubSpot will arm you with the tools and features that provide customer data needed to create a seamless experience across all your channels.
Shopify Plus is a refined ecommerce platform that allows businesses to sell across multiple channels while streamlining their operations. Shopify Plus comes with powerful features that allow you to manage your products, marketing campaigns, and customer interactions all from one central location. You can also integrate it with up to 80 online marketplaces and over 100 social media channels. You can also automate day-to-day tasks and even create unique checkout experiences tailored to your customers and business.
What’s great about Shopify Plus is that it is easy to use and suitable for any ecommerce business regardless of size or technical knowledge.
If you want to create a seamless customer service experience through live chats and chatbots, Tidio is where to look. This user-friendly tool helps you automate customer interactions and engage with your customers in real time. You can also collect customer data and insights to help improve customer service.
Tidio integrates well with popular platforms like Shopify and WordPress.
SemRush is a versatile tool that allows you to improve your omnichannel marketing strategy. With a wide range of features, you can understand your customer journey and streamline your messaging all in one location. With their Social Media Toolkit, you can engage with your customers on all social media platforms, and analyze these platforms to understand your audience. With their marketing calendar, you can plan your marketing campaigns to deliver consistent messaging across all social media platforms. With diverse tools and add-ons for social media, market research, and content, SemRush is a comprehensive omnichannel marketing tool that every business needs.
The world of commerce is ever-changing. Only a few years ago, the omnichannel strategy would have sounded absurd. Today, many brands are improving their customer experience using omnichannel.
With omnichannel selling, you can effectively connect all the dots across all your channels and deliver a seamless experience.