Nowadays, shopping does not always occur in a brick and mortar building. And when your customers shop online, they want the ability to see products on their phones as well as at home on their laptops. Not only that, customers use specific forms of media depending on their ages or other demographics. How can you reach all customers in each of these scenarios? Welcome to the world of omnichannel retail experiences!
What is an omnichannel retail experience?
According to a GE shopper research poll, approximately 81% of all shoppers look online for the best deal before buying a product, even if they are standing in your store. Knowing this statistic, it is vitally important to spread your retail message across a vast array of platforms, hitting social media with the same message you are sending out to billboards, newspapers, sales ads, and online ads. This campaign to send the same message throughout a customer’s entire media world is an omnichannel retail experience.
Customers are savvy computer experts and are likely to look up ads in your store for the item directly in front of them. Does this mean you should block cellular service in your building? No, on the contrary — your best method of defense is to offer free Wi-Fi and place QR codes directly on product price tags to direct customers to your website rather than have customers arbitrarily scroll through the websites of your competitors.
What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel retail experiences?
In multichannel retail experiences, the message is distributed across platforms. However, the message is not always the same. In omnichannel retail experiences, the branding and message are consistent no matter what media a customer chooses. In other words, a multichannel experience is not integrated while an omnichannel experience is.
Creating the dream team omnichannel retail experience
Knowing customers use their phones to shop, create a mobile app with the same quality as your website. Ensure mobile shoppers have the same shopping experience as online or in-store customers.
Next, focus on the customer. Don’t buy print ads simply because you have always bought print ads. Survey your customers to determine how they shop, and meet them in their preferred venue.
Customer focus also means creating a user experience tailored to your clients. When they shop online, have them sign in. The information they provide offers a phenomenal starting point for targeted ads. As they shop, the products they click on give clues on their shopping experience: did they purchase the product? Why or why not?
Lastly, engage your customers via social media. Ask shoppers to take pictures of themselves using your products and post – and tag – those pictures. This free advertising is priceless as your existing customers engage new customers. And they enjoy the prestige of seeing themselves on your social media.
How does omnichannel retail marketing help you?
When your customers notice the same message spread across different media platforms, they associate the message with your business. This creates a more recognizable brand and message.
Engaging your customers with mini-contests, live chats, educational content, and pop-in events keeps your content enticing across all social media. This marketing is generally not expensive, and the engagement will keep the customers returning for new content. Even better, customers tend to spend more time on your website shopping because of the engagement across platforms.
The bottom line
Studies have proven omnichannel retail marketing increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, promotes profits, consolidates many of your business practices (rather than having a traditional marketing campaign as well as an online campaign, the two are combined) and stimulates better communication between you and your customers.