Many marketers are already singing the praises of omnichannel marketing as the approach of choice for eCommerce success. Others, however, are yet to get on board and reap the benefits of omnichannel marketing for their own eCommerce businesses.
If that second description applies to you, don’t worry – we’ve got your back.
In this article we will look at:
- What omnichannel marketing is exactly.
- Statistics showing the many benefits of omnichannel marketing.
- How you can implement an omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Real-world success stories from using omnichannel marketing.
Let’s get to it!
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is an integrated sales approach which allows the customer to have a seamless shopping experience with a brand over multiple channels. While the multichannel marketing approach also uses multiple channels to interact with the customer, it is very different from the cohesive nature of the omnichannel approach.
Multichannel marketing simply gives the customer different access points to your brand: mobile, desktop, phone or walking into a physical store. Omnichannel goes further, however, by having all access points work as one with the customer as the center point.
Data is constantly being updated as it is shared among the channels and the company’s departments. As a result, the customer never feels like they are starting from scratch when they choose a different channel as the access point to the brand.
Research Proves Why You Should Be Using Omnichannel Marketing
Some of the most interesting figures on the effectiveness of omnichannel marketing were released by Omnisend. They got them by analyzing the results of over two billion campaigns sent out by their customers in 2018. The results are impressive to say the least:
- 90% higher customer retention rate. Companies using an omnichannel marketing approach saw a 90% higher customer retention rate when compared to companies that focused on single-channel marketing.
- 250% higher purchase rate. Companies which used three or more channels in their marketing efforts boasted an average of 250% higher purchase rate, compared to marketing via a single channel.
- 13% higher average order value (AOV). Omnichannel marketing with three or more channels led to an AOV of $66.31. Single-channel users only realized an AOV of $58.70. That’s a 13% higher AOV from omnichannel use.
Furthermore, the Omnisend report looked at the results of using various types of automation workflows. It found that when companies opted to customize their omnichannel approach through targeted segmentation and personalization, they reaped even greater benefits:
- 17.27% click-through rate. Out of all the workflows in the report, click-through rates were the highest of all, at 17.27% when companies chose to customize instead of going with the standard offerings.
- 52.7% open rate. The most basic action you want customers to take when you launch an email campaign is to open the emails you send. Customization led to an impressive 52.7% open rate, with only confirmation workflows performing better.
Use testing and measurement to ensure you are always on track
Making the most of omnichannel marketing goes beyond simply implementing the strategy. As with any other business process, you must dedicate time to evaluating, reworking and refining its steps.
Which types of messages are getting the best results in each segment of your customer base? Also, since it’s a fact that the timing of messages has an impact on their open and click-through rates, which are the best times for you to be sending out messages to particular segments?
Determining the answers to questions like these will direct how your omnichannel marketing evolves and the level of success you experience.
Tips to Help You Win Big with Omnichannel Marketing
Here are some practical steps you can take to ensure your foray into the omnichannel marketing space is as rewarding as you are expecting it to be.
Step 1: Make it a whole-team effort.
Your first move should be ensuring that omnichannel marketing is a company-wide strategy. Instead of a silo approach, omnichannel marketing is going to require that departments work in tandem. Get all employees on board with how the strategy works and how their department’s functions mesh with the functions of other departments.
Data coming in from the various channels will be useful to marketing, merchandising and customer success. Each one can use this data to help present a unified voice in interactions with the customer. That will, in turn, lead to the seamless customer experience which is the hallmark of omnichannel marketing.
Step 2: Don’t just gather the data – analyze it and put it to work for you.
Customer data is more than just a bunch of percentages or colorful graphs. It provides insight into how your customers behave; how they react to different elements of a campaign; and what their preferences are in terms of product or marketing strategies. In short, the data lets you create a profile of the customer so you can better understand them.
When you know who your customer is, then you will be better able to ensure conversion and repeat sales.
You can boost omnichannel’s effects by performing a thorough investigation of what your customers experience when they interact with your brand. This includes actively pursuing feedback from actual customers.
Feedback can be quite simple or more involved. You can opt for low commitment to get more feedback from customers with a simple one-click thumbs-up or thumbs-down link:
Alternatively, you can prompt for reviews and incentivize them with discounts or other bonuses.
This example above from Booking.com brought users right to a longer review page where more feedback was requested.
You may need to offer some kind of incentive to get that feedback but it will be worth it in the end – especially if you commit yourself to acting on whatever issues are revealed.
Step 3: Aim for personalization through segmentation.
Segmenting or grouping your customers based on their shared traits lets you target your campaigns for greatest effectiveness. Use elements such as age, location, and shopping frequency, as well as purchase history and product preferences.
Torrid does this well, marketing winter clothes where it’s starting to get cold.
While this brand services customers all over the world, this campaign wouldn’t make sense to someone in Australia, for example, where summer is just beginning. So be mindful of who you are targeting exactly and where they are located.
Once your segmented customer lists are in place, you can set up automations across the channels of your omnichannel approach. Your calculated steps in segmenting, identifying the triggers and activating workflows will translate into a more personalized interaction with each customer.
A classic example of personalized messages sent via triggers is with cart abandonment. When a customer abandons a potential purchase, this triggers an automation workflow that helps bring them back to your store.
Check out how Rogue Energy used this campaign with personalization based on cart abandonment:
This is actually the second email in their series, where they encouraged shoppers to purchase the product on Amazon, where shipping is fast and free, rather than coming back to the store to complete the purchase.
Step 4: Choose an Omnichannel Marketing Automation Platform
When creating an omnichannel marketing strategy, the platform that you use will make or break that strategy. While it’s but a tool, it’s important that your omnichannel marketing automation platform meets certain criteria for it to be truly useful to you.
Make sure that you look out for the following criteria:
- Does the platform support the channels you need and use most often?
- Does the platform offer segmentation outside of email to allow you to target via other channels?
- Is the omnichannel platform easy to use? Is there a lot of downtime at setup?
- How easy is it to create an omnichannel workflow? Does the platform offer templates?
- Does the pricing correspond with your need to scale?
There are tons of omnichannel marketing automation platforms on the market that will claim to do most of these things, but it’s important to do your homework before taking a dive.
Step 5: Align Your Channels on Your Omnichannel Marketing Automation Platform
Getting your company, processes, and automation tool in line are just part of the process. From there, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing omnichannel marketing correctly.
There are a few things you should do once you find that perfect omnichannel platform:
- Import your contacts: whether you have email data, phone numbers, etc, you’ll need to import your contacts from your old email marketing platform to your omnichannel platform.
- Integrate your most important channels: an omnichannel platform may offer channel support for channels you don’t even use. Prioritize the ones where your customers are most present to reduce downtime.
- Segment your contacts: much like in an email marketing tool, you’ll want to use segmentation to personalize and target your omnichannel campaigns to your customers. Added bonus? Now with an omnichannel platform, you can target based on most-used channel too.
- Create automation workflows and templates: When creating an omnichannel marketing automation strategy, it’s important to get your automation workflows set up. Don’t neglect your welcome, abandoned cart, and post-purchase workflows; it’s important to get those in place as soon as possible.
From this point, you can begin scaling as you go, but it’s important to get at least this foundation set up to begin properly implementing your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Check out two examples of how brands have integrated an omnichannel marketing strategy for their eCommerce stores:
Two Real-Life Examples of Omnichannel Marketing Success – They Did It and So Can You
The attention which omnichannel marketing has received is well-earned and there are plenty of real-world companies with the results to prove it. Two of those companies are Net-A-Porter and Mainline Menswear.
The Net-A-Porter Story
Thanks to omnichannel marketing, Net-A-Porter has positioned itself at the top of the online retail industry. Since Net-A-Porter is a luxury retail brand, the most obvious challenge it had to overcome was trying to raise its customer engagement and customer conversion percentages in the bargain-hunting world of online shopping.
The company chose mobile app/social network, email marketing and ad retargeting as the elements to focus on in its omnichannel strategy.
Their mobile app kept customers within their own controlled ecosystem, where engagement was able to be tracked from beginning to end. From there, customers would receive a follow up email that was triggered based on that tracked engagement (with product recommendations, encouragement to re-browse already browsed products, etc). Then, those customers who still hadn’t bought anything would receive retargeting ads with products they’d browsed, liked, and shared within the app.
The strategy was clearly a success. Overall, Net-A-Porter saw a 17% growth and earned over €2.5 billion in the process. Of these, mobile accounted for 50% of the resulting sales.
Not only were Net-A-Porter’s customers more engaged and making more purchases, they were also spending more than the customers of Net-A-Porter’s competitors. The company’s AOV stood at €328 – a figure unheard of by even some of the major online retail players.
The Mainline Menswear Story
Mainline Menswear found itself up against the two challenges many eCommerce businesses face: low traffic and poor sales. The brand had to do something to help it stand out among the competition and that “something” was omnichannel marketing.
The company put the bulk of its efforts into a mobile campaign with particular emphasis on offering promotions and coupons via SMS. Mainline Menswear backed this up with retargeting ads and cart abandonment emails to create an omnichannel marketing campaign for its Winter 2013 sale. The results were staggering.
Direct traffic to Mainline Menswear’s site went up by 45% with an increase of 27% in overall traffic. Most importantly, the company enjoyed a 93% jump in mobile traffic. These figures helped Mainline Menswear record a substantial bump in sales and make company history with its busiest sales days ever.
Omnichannel marketing streamlines customers’ experiences with your eCommerce brand; and because it is an adaptable, all-encompassing marketing strategy, it gets you both increased customer engagement and revenue. A slam dunk when it comes to the success of your eCommerce store…wouldn’t you say?
Have you tried out omnichannel marketing? Share with us your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.