Omnichannel e-commerce: What it is, benefits and how to implement it

Omnichannel e-commerce. You have probably heard and read this buzzword many times. At your sales meetings, on your favorite marketing blog. From time to time, you can even blurt out the word yourself.

But when the word is everywhere, it can be confusing what people really mean by it. Being a new term, it is normal that there is some confusion about it.

In this blog post,  we will answer the question: what is omnichannel for e-commerce? once and for all. In addition, you will know the difference between omnichannel and multichannel.

Before you start, review what this article is going to be about.

  1. 1) What is omnichannel e-commerce?
  2. 2) What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel?
    1. 2.1) Multi-channel e-commerce
    2. 2.2) Omnichannel e-commerce
  3. 3) Benefits of omnichannel in e-commerce
    1. 3.1) Better customer experience
    2. 3.2) Increased sales and traffic
    3. 3.3) Increased customer loyalty
    4. 3.4) Better data collection
    5. 3.5) More customization
  4. 4) 7 omnichannel marketing strategies for e-commerce
    1. 4.1) 1. Audit your existing marketing strategy
    2. 4.2) 2. Analyze how your customers interact with your brand
    3. 4.3) 3. Segment your audience intelligently
    4. 4.4) 4. Customize the content of each channel
    5. 4.5) 5. Don’t forget to redirect
    6. 4.6) 6. Take advantage of automation tools
    7. 4.7) 7. Test, measure and repeat

What is omnichannel e-commerce?

Omnichannel commerce (or omnichannel e-commerce) is a multichannel approach to sales that focuses on providing a seamless customer experience , whether the customer is shopping online from a mobile device, a computer, or in a physical store.

The State of Commerce Experience 2021  shows that nearly half (44%) of B2C shoppers and 58% of B2B shoppers say they always or often research a product online before going to a physical store . Even when they’re in the store, they’ll still be online to continue their research.

Only when customers have collected as much information as possible from a variety of sources to support their purchase decision will they decide to buy from a business. According to the Harvard Business Review,  73 percent of all customers use multiple channels  during their buying journey.

Omnichannel operations focus on the entire customer experience , not individual customer experiences across channels.

Without multichannel, there is no omnichannel. The big difference is that omnichannel commerce connects all channels.

What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel?

Multichannel and omnichannel are two completely different terms. To learn how to differentiate them, we are going to see in detail what each one of them means.

Multi-channel e-commerce

Single channel commerce means that you are selling a product through a single point of sale . This could be your physical store, web store, or an online marketplace like eBay. This by itself can work perfectly fine.

But, if you want to give your customers a richer experience with your brand , it is advisable to look for additional channels where you can sell your product.

Multichannel commerce sells your product to your customers in different channels, both online and offline. Interact with your customers through social networks , by phone and in your physical store.

Your online presence is on point and your customers know where to find you. Multichannel is already a great strategy for people to get involved with your brand .

You must bear in mind that applying multi-channel does not mean that all your channels are necessarily integrated. You can have multichannel but managed separately. This is a big difference with omnichannel, which does integrate them.

omnichannel e-commerce 

Omnichannel commerce is also carried out on multiple channels, such as the multichannel commerce strategy. Without multichannel, there is no omnichannel. The big difference is that omnichannel commerce connects all integrated channels . This means that your customer has a seamless experience on all platforms. Better customer experience .

Benefits of omnichannel in e-commerce

We already have a clear concept between omnichannel and multichannel. Therefore, below you will learn the benefits of omnichannel for an e-commerce .

Better customer experience

What do your customers expect? Number one on the list is a unified experience. According to UC Today, 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.

As the number of touchpoints increases, so does the need for seamless integration from one touchpoint to another.

Whether it’s a social ad, an email newsletter, a mobile push notification, a conversion with your chatbot, or a face-to-face chat with your store staff. By breaking down the walls between channels in a business, the consumer is empowered to interact with a business in a way that feels natural to them .

Increased sales and traffic

Making your sales strategy omnichannel is not that simple. But it will definitely be worth your time and money.

A study of 46,000 shoppers  shows that omnichannel customers spend more money than single-channel customers. And with each additional channel they used, omnichannel shoppers spent more money in store.

Customers who used more than 4 channels spent an average of 9% more in the store compared to those who used only one channel.

Increased customer loyalty

Omnichannel customers not only spend more, but are also more loyal to your brand. The same study shows that within 6 months of an omnichannel shopping experience, these customers had recorded 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores.

They were also more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used only one channel. With a compelling brand story, you can stop pushing discount coupons, half-sale campaigns, and other traditional marketing gimmicks. Focus on customer loyalty and your brand will be safe.

This means that an omnichannel strategy will not only increase sales, but also improve customer loyalty. Sounds good, right?

Better data collection

Retailers that can track your customers across different channels can better serve your consumers with a more personalized experience.

The omnichannel approach enables businesses to gain insight on how to create content and offers that will encourage your customers to engage more in purchases, not only online but also in physical stores.

More customization

Your customers expect a personalized experience across every channel and touchpoint. Today’s consumers not only want quality products, they want them fast and to be able to get information about them quickly.

They want to go to your website and be able to easily search for products, compare prices or see personal recommendations. Amid this information overload, personalized content manages to attract the interest of consumers.

While all other information punches them in the face and is still ignored, personalized content speaks directly to them.

Delivering personalized experiences to your shoppers has become even more critical , as  74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests, and frustrated shoppers don’t buy.

The basis of an omnichannel marketing strategy is knowing your customer well. Not limited only by age, gender or location.

7 omnichannel marketing strategies for e-commerce

So far you have learned a lot about omnichannel for e-commerce. In the next part of this article, we will learn together what are the omnichannel marketing strategies that your e-business needs .

1. Audit your existing marketing strategy

Before you assemble your team and start developing a new omnichannel ecommerce strategy, it’s vital to audit your existing strategy to learn what worked and what didn’t. While the data will give you insight into what went well and what didn’t, looking at how everyone in your organization engages with the customer at different stages will help you build a better strategy.

Sometimes the most valuable insights can be found in the reviews your customers leave on your social networks for eCommerce or your eCommerce website. So monitor all of your channels and think of ways to improve your existing strategy. Think like a customer when working on the omnichannel strategy.

For example, complete a transaction from installing your app to completing checkout to see where the experience falls short. Does the customer take too long to checkout or can’t find your products added to the cart when they refresh the page? A small fix in the process can also improve your strategy. Therefore, spend time analyzing your existing strategy.

2. Analyze how your customers interact with your brand

The basis of an omnichannel marketing strategy is knowing your customer well. It is not limited to identifying the customer’s age, gender and geography. You need to pay close attention to how your customer behaves online and how they make a purchase decision. Analyze how they interact with your brand and what channels they use to connect with you. By knowing your client well, you will be able to personalize their trip in a better way.

3. Segment your audience intelligently

Once you know your client well, segmenting them becomes a bed of roses. Segmentation is vital because it helps you personalize the journey and communication for your buyer.

You can use a variety of criteria to segment your audience, ranging from something as basic as demographics to advanced segmentation such as their tastes or preferences.

The more well defined your customer segmentation is, the more effective your omnichannel marketing strategy will be . With the right segmentation, you will be able to plan different campaigns for different clients and personalize the content for each one of them.

4. Personalize the content of each channel

90% of users switch between different devices to achieve a goal, and App Annies reveals that an average smartphone user uses at least nine apps a day. If you want to drive traffic to your app, you need to target all of your channels. There are several ways to target them , from sending SMS and emails, to sending WhatsApp push notifications .

However, before you target all channels, take the time to create a custom message for each channel. For example, a push notification message cannot be as long as an email copy. It has to be concise and push the message forward in as few words as possible.

5. Don’t forget to redirect

A customer may not buy from you in the first place. By showing them relevant banner ads on different platforms, such as social media websites, you can create a memory of what is most important, which could increase the chances of conversion.

6. Take advantage of automation tools

As you plan your strategy and communication, remember to take advantage of the benefits your automation tool offers to optimize your strategy. Using a marketing automation tool in your e-commerce allows you to intelligently segment your audience, personalize messages, program your campaign and easily measure its effectiveness.

7. Test, measure and repeat

While planning an omnichannel marketing campaign, always do an A/B test and measure the result to find out what works and what doesn’t. Based on the results, you can alter the message, the images, the programming and even the segmentation. Remember that it is good practice to stay on top of your marketing game.

You have already learned everything about omnichannel for an e-commerce. I recommend that you start applying this type of strategy right now to be at the forefront within the sector in which you find yourself.

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