What’s an Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy and How Can You Use It?
Do you ever feel like running an eCommerce business is like holding water in your hand? Just when you think you’ve got a grasp of it, your conversion rates slip away? We feel you. And that’s why you need an omnichannel eCommerce strategy.
What does omnichannel mean?
Omnichannel (in eCommerce) is a specific sales approach that uses multiple channels to provide customers with a cohesive brand and shopping experience.
This unified experience is felt across all channels the brand uses to touch base with customers, whether it’s through social media, a website, online directory, etc.
In today’s highly competitive online marketplace, getting and maintaining your target customer’s attention is paramount. But also difficult.
Discouraged eCommerce merchants, do these stats sound familiar? Surveyed eCommerce owners find these the biggest hurdles to success:
- Managing integrations across the entire marketing stack
- Executing fast enough on marketing initiatives
- Difficulty obtaining a unified, clear view of the customer
- Dealing with aging technology systems
The good news is that these hurdles can be overcome with an omnichannel eCommerce strategy.
Omnichannel eCommerce strategy: Why it’s important
No matter what channel a customer is using to access your brand, an omnichannel strategy ensures that their experience is cohesive and unified. The reason this is so vitally important is because 73 percent of consumers use multiple channels to purchase products from the same brand.
Offering an excellent omnichannel experience will help you reach more customers, but also obtain them too. Omnichannel strategies give you the ability to generate more recurring revenue. This will also lower your customer acquisition costs since you’re setting yourself up for better customer retention.
Omnichannel vs multichannel: What’s the difference?
You may have come across the term multichannel when researching different eCommerce marketing strategies. Sometimes, omnichannel and multichannel are used interchangeably, but they are different.
A multichannel marketing strategy ensures that a brand is present on, well, multiple channels. This gives the company the ability to get in front of their target audience wherever they're most likely to show up online.
Chances are, you have different target buyer profiles. So in that case, they’re also likely searching for and interacting with your brand in different places online.
For example, some customers may prefer to hear from you via email, while others like to catch up on social media. And then, you've got to break those channels down further into places like Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Of course, customers expect and appreciate a streamlined experience of your brand across all of these different channels. That’s where the omnichannel strategy comes into play.
Basically, the multichannel strategy is the chicken that comes before the omnichannel egg. And obviously the chicken comes first because an egg can’t turn into a chicken without another chicken to sit on it.
With an omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you’re anticipating how customers will start interacting with your brand on one channel, and then move onto another one throughout their buying journey.
Omnichannel is the capstone to a multiple strategy that’s optimized for how today’s consumers shop online.
Benefits of an omnichannel strategy for eCommerce stores
You might worry that omnichannel is just another marketing gimmick. But it’s actually the biggest differentiator between successful eCommerce brands and those slowly losing money and customers.
An omnichannel strategy and marketing to go with it will increase your lifetime customer value as much as 30 percent.
#1. Cohesive messaging
The biggest benefit for deploying an omnichannel strategy is that it ensures cohesive brand messaging across all channels. So no matter where a prospective customer finds you online, you can be sure that they will experience your brand the same way once they click over to a different platform.
#2. Clearer picture of the customer journey
Not having a clear picture of customers is a huge problem for eCommerce merchants. An omnichannel strategy dispels the fog and allows you to collect and merge buyer data from different channels.
In combination, the data gives you a clearer picture of the customers interested in your brand, how they interact with it, and how they make purchases. This gives you the power to optimize and personalize your customer journey for maximum conversions.
#3. A more personalized customer experience
It’s impossible to optimize and personalize the customer journey if you don’t understand your ideal buyers. With an omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you can create a personalized shopping experience and increase a customer's higher lifetime value over one who only purchases on a particular channel.
The best omnichannel eCommerce strategies to use
Now that you understand the value of omnichannel, let’s get into the top ways to use it.
Everyone wants to pay less for more. Automated eCommerce solutions offer you a convenient, affordable, and results-driven way to engage with your customers and increase revenue. So, embrace the new wave of technology and use automation for your eCommerce business.
An excellent tool? Live chat.
The best live chat tools enable you to meet your sales, support, and customer sales goals on any device.
Another great automation tool is near field communication technology. The gist of it is a shopper uses a large interface, like an iPad, to view products and build their shopping list. The data is stored in a user profile that later serves up targeted marketing materials and offerings.
With this type of technology, the customer is telling you precisely what they’re interested in and you can use that information to increase your sales and generate recurring revenue.
#2. Understanding the customer journey for more sales
It takes an average of six to eight touches to get a sale. Let’s think about how the average person shops today:
- On their smartphone while on a lunch break instead of in a store
- Sitting on the couch in their underwear sipping coffee at 5 am instead of waiting for the shops to open
- Maximizing their time efficiency on the bus going to work instead of during a weekend shopping trip
No matter how you look at it, this is how the majority of people shop today — online, at their convenience, typically on a mobile device.
Some additional stats:
- Eighty one percent of shoppers research online before buying
- Fifty seven percent prefer to shop online vs visiting an actual store
- One third of consumers prefer online shopping for its convenience, lower prices, and time saving capabilities
So, if you want to fully understand the buyer's journey, optimizing your omnichannel strategy will get you there.
Look into your target buyers’:
- Shopping patterns and purchasing preferences
- What online and offline touchpoints they prefer to use
- How you can establish your brand presence across these top touchpoints
- How you can make the touchpoints optimized for shopping
Remember, buyers use the touch points that are most convenient for them.
They don’t buy from your website just because it's your website. They buy because it's the easiest way to get the stuff they want. So, keep that in mind when creating an integrated omnichannel shopping experience.
#3. Use the data
Continuous, overlapping use of relevant customer data across multiple platforms is critical.
For example, let’s say a customer just bought a t-shirt from your store. When giving feedback, they mentioned that what they really wanted was out of stock.
In that case, it’s a really good idea to use that data to make sure you get the out of stock item restocked asap. And let that particular customer know about it. Maybe even offer a little discount for their disappointment.
Basically, data is useless for omnichannel strategies if you don’t leverage it. The best omnichannel strategies for eCommerce allow relevant data to transfer online. So, all marketing efforts throughout the customer lifecycle are fully optimized and working to their maximum ability.
Tools like notify me features can ensure that customers on the hunt for an out-of-stock product are kept informed of when it comes back online. The notification is also automated, which frees up your bandwidth.
Also, taking advantage of different tools that give you data on a customer’s prior purchases allow you to suggest relevant items and discounts.
Another great tip for a seamless omnichannel experience is to use Instagram and its mobile app. Customers just click the as seen on Instagram button to get their desired product added to the app automatically.
Get started with Lingble
Omnichannel strategies can kickstart your brand into the stratosphere of higher profits and increased lifetime customer values. It may seem complicated, but that’s why we’re here.
Get in touch with the eCommerce marketing experts at Lingble for a free quote.