The range of goods available both online and offline is enormous: consumers interact with a large number of retailers every day. As part of this journey, they expect fashion brands, wine merchants, bookstores and other providers to constantly provide them with up-to-date information about their products and offers. And they want this information to be accessible everywhere. This is where omnichannel marketing comes in, since a consistent customer experience across multiple channels will boost sales and set your store apart from the competition. We explain the 10 steps you can take to improve the customer experience you offer and position omnichannel marketing within a 360° media strategy.
According to a report by the UN, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a wide-ranging and unstoppable acceleration of the e-commerce boom. Meanwhile, a forecast by Euromonitor says that omnichannel retail formats and marketplaces are expected to account for 86 percent of retail sales growth by 2024. For this reason, it is essential that all of your channels are optimally linked through omnichannel marketing and that you exploit existing potential as efficiently as possible. How? By providing a consistent customer experience and aligning your marketing and sales channels as effectively as possible.
Channel interactions between business and customer | Source: own image
Get the most out of all your online and offline channels with these 10 steps
1. LINKING ONLINE AND OFFLINE ACTIVITIES
Use in-store technologies such as barcodes and QR codes, near-field communication (RFID) and beacons to link online and offline activities and make them measurable. Integrate your POS devices into your customers’ shopping journey. Take this opportunity to ask for additional contact details so you can let your customers know about any future promotions, such as through email marketing.
2. ACTIVATE FIRST-PARTY DATA
Use your marketing data, transaction data, CRM data and product data – in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – to engage in targeted dialog marketing with your customers. Capitalize your insights and data, and use them to optimize your advertising campaigns so that they increase your ROAS targets – without any third-party data. That way, you ensure you’re communicating more efficiently and effectively.
3. OFFER CLICK & COLLECT AND ASK FOR REVIEWS
Offer your customers the option to do Click & Collect shopping. It’s important that you clearly show where orders can be collected from within the store and that you make the most of this opportunity to draw the customer’s attention to other products and offers. Also be sure to ask your customers to review your service on widely-used platforms – this will create even more visibility for your business.
4. CONVENIENCE IS KEY
Wish lists and shopping baskets should be synchronized across all channels and devices. Gift cards and vouchers need to be easily redeemable, both online and offline. Previous orders should be easy to find in the customer’s profile to encourage repeat purchases.
Personalization – both online and offline – enriches and simplifies the shopping journey. When you send customers your newsletter, address them with their full name, recommend products to them that go well with the purchases they have already made, or send them a voucher code via WhatsApp to wish them a happy birthday. This will keep the customer satisfied and create a special shopping experience for them. As a result, customer loyalty will improve and conversion rates will be sure to increase.
6. FAST, TRACKABLE DELIVERY
Offer next-day delivery or even same-day delivery. Be proactive about providing reliable information as to when the delivery will arrive, or when and where the order will be ready for pickup. Use your product packaging (e.g. via QR codes) to lead shoppers to your online store again and, if applicable, encourage them to make their next purchase by means of a discount code or a points system.
7. MAKE INFORMATION VISIBLE
Use your online channels to notify customers about events, shopping days and promotions in your brick-and-mortar stores and promote these across your channels. For multi-channel campaigns, always make sure that your advertising is tailored to the respective channel and that it has a consistent look and feel across all your communication. Google offers suitable campaign formats such as Performance Max campaigns or local inventory ads to convert online customers to omnichannel customers and promote offline sales. Meta offers “Store Traffic” as a dedicated campaign objective to increase brick-and-mortar store visits through social media campaigns.
8. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
For geo-specific search queries in search engines, optimize your local SEO and keep your Google Business Profile up to date to ensure maximum visibility through your Business Profile, as well as on Google Maps and Apple Maps.
Another way to promote your in-store inventory through online advertising is with local inventory ads, which enrich your Google Shopping ads with additional fulfillment options (e.g. same-day delivery, Click & Collect, etc.), thus adding a sizeable amount of value and offering customers a convenient way to shop.
Use digital out-of-home advertising to reach passers-by who are near your store and inform them of how close they are to it with appropriate messages. Measure store visits using suitable tools and analytics.
9. IDENTIFY AND EXPLOIT POTENTIAL
Identify untapped potential quickly and easily with the free Grow My Store tool by Google, which helps you get your future omnichannel marketing concept on track and identifies any missed opportunities and potential for improvement.
10. OMNICHANNEL MARKETING WITH A 360° MEDIA STRATEGY
You’ve now got some omnichannel marketing measures up your sleeve that allow you to synchronously get the most out of your advertising across all channels and offer your customers a smooth shopping experience. However, these measures ideally don’t operate in a vacuum; rather, they are key parts of a 360° media strategy. This is derived from your goals, target group(s), customer journey, market situation and the right channel mix in order to achieve your business objectives. Here’s how to devise a 360° media strategy:
Omnichannel marketing with a 360° media strategy | Source: own illustration
- Baseline analysis: which channels are used the most? What are your competitors doing? Can customer data be used? ...
- Defining your objective: what KPIs do you want to achieve (GRP, engagement, leads, etc.)?
- Translate the defined target group into a media target group using data collected by WEMF and analyze it in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, consumer behavior and media usage.
- The media concept, i.e. the strategy itself, includes the media campaign, the media mix, the recommendation for each channel and a campaign overview. The relevance of each channel is defined by whether the target group can actually be reached on it, what stage someone is at in the buying journey, and whether the platform’s format and options allow for precise targeting.