Today’s consumer can be difficult to pin down which is why having an Omnichannel strategy in place is important; to provide customers with a cohesive experience regardless of the preferred platform they use to engage you with. Many businesses utilize multiple contact points, from a retail outlet to a website to social media platforms they use to connect with customers, but are all of those platforms working in synergy to provide a great experience for your customers?
What do retailers need to know when they want to implement a successful omnichannel social strategy?
Here are our 7 useful tips for them:
1. DEVELOP CUSTOMER IDENTITIES
It’s important to gain an insightful view of the customer to get a complete picture of what they like and don’t like, as well as their buying habits, preferences, and how they behave across all channels. This data will help create an enhanced customer experience. By collecting and analyzing relevant customer data, a brand can build buyer personas, which will help them to use the right tools and technology at the right time in the buying cycle. It’s also critical for a business to test out the buying experience they offer through their customer’s eyes. Make sure the experience is seamless, user-friendly, and free of barriers. (The Marketing Scope) Understanding the customer decision making process is key to developing an omnichannel strategy. A few key considerations to map customer purchase behaviour in the omnichannel retail space are as follows:
– What is the frequency of purchases? – everyday/once a week/once a quarter
– What kind of products are purchased/are more popular – home decor/women’s wear/groceries
– How are purchases made? – smartphone/tablet/direct cash payment at the store
2. ESTABLISH A CLEARLY DEFINED SOCIAL STRATEGY FOR CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING
Personalize your approach with each channel. While it’s recommended that use the same brand imagery across all marketing channels, you should still personalize your approach with these channels. Each channel’s audience is different; therefore, you should approach your marketing and branding efforts differently. Retail marketers have their hands full with juggling numerous social accounts at once, so it is important to establish one perfectly blended social media strategy that uses promotions, advertisements and other information, leading to alternative brand-channels. At the end of the day, your overall goal is to increase sales, and a fully integrated social plan is the best way to save consumers time and allow them to get the best deal through you instead of your competitors or a third-party re-seller. (Marketing Week)
3. MOBILIZE YOUR IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
Most consumers want the in-store experience to have more features like they find online –convenience, ease of use and personalization. Being greeted by a trusted associate at a favourite store, having someone remember their buying preferences and being shown what they want rather than sitting through generic sales pitch all make shoppers more likely to buy. Some stores are rolling out apps that help their employees accomplish these things with each customer. Other apps deliver information about in-store sales and events to customers as they shop. Don’t ignore traditional marketing strategies. Physical stores can help in creating fulfilling omnichannel experiences, by also acting as fulfillment centres for the stores’ online counterparts. (QuickMar)
4. MERGING SOCIAL AND LOCAL
It remains the case that many businesses are not properly monitoring, measuring or analyzing the effectiveness of these channels. Remember a single interaction between your business and the customer can make or break a relationship. Businesses must ensure that any interaction a customer has with your business is handled efficiently and leaves the customer satisfied. Ask customers what they think. For example, you may want to ask the customer: “What did you think of your experience using our application?” Use quality monitoring to help improve. By monitoring quality across multiple channels, businesses can learn from their customer interactions and adjust their strategy accordingly.
5. CREATE A COMPREHENSIVE MEASUREMENT STRATEGY
Set against this, brave statements about new ways of working can easily fall on deaf ears. However, progressive CMO’s understand that a key reason that resources are so stretched is that the traditional channel-first approach to marketing is fundamentally unworkable when channels continue to proliferate so rapidly. If something is essentially broken, it won’t fix itself and the damage caused can only grow. (Marketing Land)
6. MONITOR AND OPTIMISE
There is so much information available, and it’s all attainable from a variety of sources such as a CRM, website activity, customer feedback, social media, etc. Using all your collected data, you can learn more about who your customers are outside of basic demographic information by focusing more on behavioral data and asking the right questions leading to deeper meanings and insights. Insights derived from various data sets can help brands know their customers better and for today’s marketers, there’s definitely lots of data available. However, having a lot of information is not the same as having the right data. It’s important to figure out which data requires the most attention. When retailers can successfully measure their social impact, they will be able to attain attain the actionable insights that they need to help construct their strategic business planning.
Ask customers what they think. For example, you may want to ask the customer: “What did you think of your experience using our application?” Use quality monitoring to help improve. By monitoring quality across multiple channels, businesses can learn from their customer interactions and adjust their omnichannel strategies accordingly, leading to better customer service and experiences.
Integrate. Whatever channels you choose, they have to be efficient and effective, and it is imperative that they work together. Does your web strategy support your mobile strategy? Does your social strategy support your web strategy? Do your mobile, social and web all tie together? And, does it provide a seamless, integrated user experience? Mobile, web and social must work in concert.
Customer experience is all about omnichannel. When customers reach out to an online or offline store, they often use multiple channels. That’s why businesses need to offer omnichannel experiences. Having an effective omnichannel strategy can be what will make your business stand out from your competition.