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Omnichannel – what is it and how does it support sales in an online store?

Effective sales require an appropriate action plan, which is best based on strategies that keep up with the times, such as omnichannel. If you do not know what omnichannel is, this article will give you details on this strategy, its implementation, and predictions about its role in the near future.

What is omnichannel?

Omnichannel is a marketing strategy that is based on the integration of all company channels in order to interact with consumers to create a coherent brand image. Omnichannel marketing aims to ensure that the customer has the same experience of receiving each brand channel. This activity covers both physical channels (e.g. shops) and digital channels (e.g. social media, online shop).

While e-commerce only uses online sales and retail is based only on personal sales, omnichannel uses both solutions simultaneously and allows for a variety of channel combinations. For example, a solution that is gaining popularity is the “Buy Online, Collect in Store” offer. Omnichannel marketing is a modern approach to customer convenience, which positively translates into sales and brand image.

Omnichannel may include, for example:
– stationary stores;
– e-commerce sites;
– Social media accounts;
– e-mail marketing;
– In-app purchases.

Omnichannel and multichannel – how do they differ?

Until recently, a multichannel strategy was a frequently recommended marketing strategy. How is it different from omnichannel marketing? First of all, the customer experience resulting from the use of omnichannel applies to all devices and platforms, while the multichannel strategy covers several channels (usually two or three).

Currently, most entrepreneurs still invest in multichannel marketing and use, for example, an online store, blog and Facebook page. Unfortunately, in many cases their channels lack a consistent message and efficient customer service. Multichannel marketing is a strategy recommended to entrepreneurs who focus solely on e-commerce activities, while omnichannel marketing is a solution primarily for companies that operate in retail.

What are the advantages of omnichannel marketing?

Although the implementation of such a strategy is not the easiest and requires time, if it is done well, it can bring great results. Consumers are currently inundated with offers from other brands, which is why they are very selective about who they will establish contact with. The advantages of omnichannel marketing mean that companies using this strategy gain a significant advantage over others.

Omnichannel provides a better customer experience

The omnichannel marketing strategy focuses on providing customers with good experiences on various channels, not on a single one. Focusing on the customer, instead of on a particular platform, makes the quality of service much better. This, in turn, may translate into better sales results.

Omnichannel is a guarantee of image consistency

A consistent marketing strategy across all company channels makes the brand image much easier to recognize. When implementing omnichannel in your company, it is worth focusing on meeting the basic needs of customers and referring to the most important values for them. By acting in accordance with pre-defined assumptions, you will obtain a comprehensive brand strategy that can translate into increased customer loyalty.

Higher revenues after implementing omnichannel

Omnichannel marketing is a strategy whose one of the tasks is to increase the effectiveness of sales in the company. Thanks to a consistent message and multi-channel integration with the client, it is possible to efficiently increase revenues, which is confirmed by research. Paraphrase Online in its research proved that customers who engage in many areas of the organization’s operation are usually 30 percent more valuable to it. This also builds customer loyalty and increases the chance that the customer will use the offer again. According to data provided by Paraphrase.Online, multiple customers generate an average of 40 percent of revenues. What’s more, according to Google, companies that consistently use the omnichannel strategy gain as much as 14.6% of annual revenue growth.

The omnichannel strategy better defines attribution models

A properly implemented omnichannel strategy should be based on a detailed analysis of the company’s results. If you follow customer engagement in various channels, you will better understand their purchasing path and needs. This way you will learn where your clients are more likely to get involved and which of your activities bring the best results. You should use such data in your strategy to create better targeted campaigns and optimize promotional expenses.

How to implement omnichannel in your company?

The implementation of the omnichannel strategy cannot be carried out according to one’s own intuition, such action requires appropriate preparation and in-depth analysis.

1. Getting to know your customers before implementing omnichannel

In order for your strategy to be effective, you need to know who you are addressing it to. Familiarize yourself with your database and verify what most often connects your clients. You can take into account factors such as age, gender, place of residence, shopping habits, etc. Also check what brought them to your store and which of your channels they use the most. The next step is to adjust the strategy to the target group. Check the cost, quality, and purpose of your offering to find out which group would be best suited.

2. Engagement of online channels for the omnichannel strategy

One of the first steps to integrating channels is to make your offerings online – start with your website and relevant social media. Make your website readable and up-to-date, remember to publish regularly on social media and engage users. It’s important to reply to messages quickly and be careful with your audience. Also, remember to use the same tone of voice in all channels.

3. Integration of all channels in omnichannel

The main goal of multi-channel marketing is full integration of all sales and marketing channels. This way, you can manage both the physical and digital presence of your company and your customers will have a consistent view of your business.

If you run both an online and stationary store, make sure that the system you use tracks transactions from all points of sale. Regardless of whether your product is sold online or in-store, your assortment should be automatically updated.

Be sure to connect your site to social media. A very important element of an effective omnichannel strategy is the addition of a Facebook pixel that allows you to track who visits your store and then shows them ads on Facebook. It is also worth choosing to connect your online store with external e-commerce platforms, if you use them, for example, Amazon, Etsy, etc. Thanks to this, you can track the most important data from one place.

It is also worth connecting your online store with an email marketing platform. The appropriate platform (eg MailChimp) will allow you to track abandoned carts, send customers special offers and recommend products to buyers.

How to improve customer service in omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing, through the use of a consistent message across all channels, allows for better customer experience in the process of interacting with the brand. In this way, you also build the image of a modern, trustworthy company, because you show customers that you are available in all channels on which they could search for information about your offer.

1. Online activity in multi-channel marketing

According to research conducted in 2022 by our competition in the paraphrasing tool: Paraphrase-Online.com, as much as 53% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Even so, many people still do not take it into account in their strategy. When implementing multi-channel marketing, it is important to keep this in mind.

Website
An absolutely necessary element of an effective omnichannel strategy is to adapt the online store to the use of mobile devices. The website should be easy to use, clear, and designed in accordance with the UX principles. Failure to take care of this element can significantly worsen your sales results.

Email marketing
An important element is also the adaptation of digitally shared materials to mobile devices. Companies often send out newsletters with a large amount of image files that are not responsive with a smartphone. These messages can take a long time to load or be unreadable due to poor formatting. When preparing your newsletter, keep mobile users in mind and create legible messages that will not overload your phone. In addition, it is worth including a link in the e-mail that leads directly to your online store.

Social media
Web users usually use social media from a smartphone, so the published posts should be adapted to it. Take care of good-quality, aesthetic photos, as well as an eye-catching description, enriched with appropriate emoticons. Remember that the content of the post should be divided into paragraphs and consist of short, simple sentences. Thanks to this, the post will be legible and easy to read both from a mobile device and a computer.

2. The use of CTA in the omnichannel strategy

The omnichannel marketing strategy assumes that every opportunity to sell, promote an offer or a company should be used. The point is not to make your every action an advertisement for the product, but to give the customer an easy purchase option at any time. Always use CTAs across all your channels and platforms.

If you mention the selected product on your social media, do not forget to add a link to the point of purchase. Don’t send emails that don’t have any conversion value. Use CTA, even if it will only be an element of your footer. Even a simple message that encourages action can translate into increased sales.

Also remember that the quality of service at a stationary point of sale has an impact on the results achieved. The recommended practices in the omnichannel strategy talk about giving the customer a discount or other incentive to buy when he returns or gives the product for complaint. This way, you will ensure a positive memory of the interaction, even if the original customer purchase was unsuccessful.

3. The implementation of the application may improve the omnichannel effects

If you want to improve customer service, you should consider what it may be missing. Sometimes it is a good solution to create an application that will combine information about your online and offline offer. Remember, however, that this will not be a necessary step in every industry. Make sure you have a real reason to develop the app and it can deliver better results with your omnichannel strategy.

4. Duplicate content in omnichannel marketing

Due to the fact that the primary goal of omnichannel is a consistent message, many entrepreneurs decide to use the same messages in all channels. A better solution is to differentiate the content on the platforms, but in such a way that they remain the same tone. Do not overuse schematic phrases and do not focus on the same keywords every time. Instead, you can slightly modify the wording used in the different channels, as long as the overall message remains the same. It will also help you verify which content is more effective.

5. The role of the FAQ in the omnichannel strategy

Your task is to guarantee the customer the highest level of service, so you should answer his questions in advance and solve any problems. The customer should not have to call customer service to find an answer to his question. A well-formulated FAQ section should help you achieve this. If you put the answers to all relevant questions there, you will save time for both the client and yourself. This will positively affect the efficiency of your team’s work and will increase the customer’s trust in the brand.

6. Use of live chat

The customer always wants to find an answer to his question as quickly as possible. Omnichannel marketing requires that you be able to find this help in any of the available channels. In addition to social media, e-mail and telephone contact and contact with a consultant in a stationary store, there is also an online store. It is worth placing a live chat there, which will allow you to quickly solve the customer’s problem.

Prospects for the use of omnichannel in the future

The coronavirus pandemic meant that many companies that operated exclusively in retail also decided to start their activities in e-commerce. Many traders also put more emphasis on fine-tuning their omnichannel strategy. Currently, it is loudly said that single-channel and multi-channel companies are at a greater risk of losing profits than companies that use multi-channel marketing.

By allowing yourself to be disengaged from different channels and to communicate incoherently, you can significantly undermine your market position. We propose to use multi-channel marketing and look at your activities in a holistic way.

What aspects of omnichannel to focus on in the near future?

– Use target group research and social listening to get to know your customers.
 – Optimize your internet presence.
– Integrate all sales and marketing channels.
– Consider each point of contact with the customer.
– Use social media not only for sales, interact and build trust.
– Enjoy user-generated content (photos of purchased products, reviews).

Omnichannel – what is it and how does it support sales in an online store? Summary

You already know what omnichannel is and how to implement it in your company, now it’s time to implement. The advantages that come from choosing an omnichannel strategy are so valuable that they can immediately translate into your sales results. The market situation during the pandemic additionally shows why multi-channel operation is so important.

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