Today’s customers are much more aware of products, brands and prices than ever before. Typical features of today’s shopper are the presence of a smartphone to collect information about products and prices. They can shop in one store and checkout without waiting in line.
To cater to such a complex set of customers, omnichannel marketing is an easy-to-use interface. It allows marketing staff to visualize and sell products. It generates automated catalogs, launches email campaigns, and tracks sales performance.
What does the term « omnichannel » mean?
If we break down the term omnichannel, we have on the one hand the prefix « omni », which in Latin means everything and whole, and on the other hand « canal » which is a French word used to replace the original English term, « channel ». That is, the closest meaning would be something in the sense of all chains.
However, this is not enough to understand the power and scope of this term. When we limit ourselves to the semantics of the word, we can confuse omnichannel with multichannel and/or cross-channel – other terms also widely used.
All of them refer to the user’s experience with the channels offered by the brands, which is why they can convey the false sensation of having the same meaning. To avoid this, we have separated each of the terms below with their respective definitions and examples:
When we talk about multichannel, we have the prefix « multi » which refers to several. An example of a multichannel strategy is when a company offers multiple purchasing channels, such as site, app, and physical stores.
However, they are not connected. Sellers working in the physical store are not aware of purchases that have been made through the app and/or on the site and vice versa. There is competition between purchasing channels and no exchange of information between them.
The prefix « cross » in French means « to cross ».
In a cross-channel strategy, a brand’s channels can be crossed as follows: the purchase can be made online on the company’s website and the withdrawal of the purchased product can be made in the physical store.
Thus, there is no competition between the channels, as long as they complement each other.
As we said at the beginning of the article, the prefix « omni » refers to everyone. In this case, all channels in a company are connected. You can, even when you’re inside the physical store, use the brand’s app to check if the specific product you want exists.
If you find it through demand, you can order it from one of the sellers in the physical store and choose to have it delivered to your home. In this way, one channel helps the other to offer a better shopping experience and further strengthen online and offline relationships.
In addition, the information gathered on consumer movements across all channels helps make your sales funnel more efficient.
Why do we talk so much about omnichannel?
The strategy of transforming consumption into a unique and increasingly convenient experience is a challenge that many companies are trying to address. Indeed, consumers are more and more demanding and want more comfort.
Offering online channels for shopping and customer service is no longer a novelty, but a requirement for brands that want to survive in such a competitive market.
As we have seen, omnichannel offers a new and more complete shopping experience to the user and that is why this term has been used so much lately.
Although practiced by some brands, this strategy is still relatively new and can be the differential your business needs to stand out from the competition.
The benefits of an omnichannel strategy
Investing in a better experience for your customers will bring you various benefits, ultimately all this work is aimed at leaving them more satisfied. By leaving them happy, your business has a better chance of improving:
- the services offered;
- the loyalty process;
- and your brand image.
Thanks to this strategy, all points of contact with your customers will be developed to optimize these processes. And this will represent a valuable gain for your company that can grow thanks to the analysis of the corresponding measures.
How to transform your business into omnichannel?
Now that you know more about omnichannel strategy and its benefits, let’s learn how to apply it in your business. As we said in this article, the goal is to improve customer satisfaction. And to meet this challenge, the first step is to know the buyer of your business.
Once created, it will be possible to know countless information, including their buying habits. This knowledge will allow your company to better understand the requirements of these customers and offer them something truly valuable and appropriate.
After creating your person, you can move on to the next step: integrate your company’s channels. Once the channels are defined, it will be necessary to customize them according to the information obtained in the construction of your customer’s profile.
This integration involves aligning online media with offline media so that there are no gaps for the user and, of course, aligning your business areas (sales, marketing, support, etc.).
After that, it’s time to test everything that has already been done. In addition to verifying the functioning, it will also be necessary to evaluate the quality of integration and the sectors.
To do this, ask people who have a similar profile to your buyer for help – after all actions have been focused on that profile – to test implementations.
By following these steps, you will reduce the risks and possible failures of your omnibus strategy and you will also know if any changes or adjustments are needed before launching it on the market.
What are the main challenges of omnichannel?
In the previous topic, we discussed how to implement omnichannel strategy in your business and now we want to clarify that it is not so easy. Integrating channels and delivering a great customer experience is a big challenge.
In addition to relying on technology for this integration, it also requires in-depth knowledge of the business and careful monitoring of all sectors.
Added to this challenge is customer satisfaction, a sensitive issue that involves the expectations and opinion they have of your business.
We’ve reached the end of the job and hope you’ve learned enough about omnichannel strategy to apply it in your business. Among the discoveries, we have seen that omnichannel is a challenge, but if properly developed, it can deliver incredible results for your business and the desired differential in the market.
And to help you launch this strategy, you can contact an agency specializing in omnichannel. So you can learn how to align marketing and sales teams to increase your company’s performance!