Omnichannel, the term has generated a lot of interest in the ecommerce domain. From big brands that had a strong multichannel presence to newly launched digital native brands, all are building their strategies to connect with customers across multiple touchpoints.
But what does Omnichannel mean? Let us try to understand with an example:
Real-life story of an omnichannel buyer:
Austin was planning to go on a trek, but he realized that his Trekking bag is not enough for a 4-5 days trek. He went to “Google Search” and searched for backpacks. He saw various shopping ads from D2C enterprise ecommerce brands and decided to click on Amazon’s ad. Although he added a bag to the cart but didn’t purchase anything.
The next day, while watching a Youtube video on “What to carry on a trek?, he saw Amazon's remarketing ad of the same “backpack” he added to his cart. He clicked the ad and placed an order. However, he opted for a pick in-store delivery and payment, as he was skeptical of the quality. He visited the store, inspected the backpack and paid via mobile wallet using a QR code.
Moral of the story: We saw how Austin used channels and devices (shopping ads, Google search, Amazon marketplace, Youtube ad, brick-n-mortar-store) to purchase a backpack; the same is with your target buyers. This means, they also use multiple shopping channels for buying.
With a D2C omnichannel strategy, you can easily optimize customer journeys and offer consistent personalized experiences on various channels by integrating them.
Example of today’s Customer Purchase journeys
They may like something online and head to a store to purchase it
They are at a brick-and-mortar store but prefer comparing products and reviews prior to buying products
They want to exchange a product purchase online, they can easily go to a physical store and can exchange by showing the invoice
The way consumers hear about brands online and buy products has changed. While the scenarios can be endless, as an enterprise ecommerce brand you should always keep your strategy updated.
Growth of OmniChannel in the past 3 years
More than one-third of consumers have made Buy online, pick up in-store as their buying preference. Younger buyers are seen most enthusiastic about new ways of shopping.
According to Google research, 90% of multiple device owners switch between an average of three devices per day to complete a task. Businesses that can help their customers complete those tasks by going omnichannel as cross-channel sales are predicted to reach $1.8 trillion in total.
How to go omnichannel with your brand
Here is how to go about it:
1. Learn about your customers: The first task is to research your customers
What are their shopping interests?
What shopping channels do they use?
What motivates them to buy your product?
Answers to these questions will help you design a target buyer persona. So you can use it while running promotions and offers.
Examples of target buyer persona for an online grocery store:
Natasha is a working professional (9-5 job) who usually shops online because she doesn’t have time to visit nearby departmental stores. So, she prefers surfing on Google to find online grocery delivery and sometimes purchases from Amazon Fresh app. She usually orders milk, eggs, fruits and cereals.
After designing a buyer persona, the next step is to formulate the D2C omnichannel approach. Read next.
2. Develop an omnichannel approach
To acquire the buyers that highly resemble your buyer persona, you need to know ~ which channel they use to shop? You need to first create a checklist of all important channels, where your customers usually shop. For example, Mobile App, Mobile website, Social Media, Marketplace and Brick and mortar stores.
After this, list down the D2C omnichannel marketing tactics to persuade customers on the above channels at each stage of the buyer journey. For instance:
Awareness: Try search, video and shopping ads; run app Ad campaigns targeting various countries; SEO keyword ranking; social media ads; etc
Considerations: Personalized shopping experience across website and app, automatic login and location detection, synchronized shopping cart (irrespective of the channel), email and web notifications with discounts and coupons, seamless shopping experience, remarketing ads, in-app notifications, etc
Purchase: Products rating and reviews, product description, competitive prices, effortless checkout with multiple payment options and affordable delivery rates, relevant products recommendations, allotting shopping points
3. Segment data to personalize the customer experience
By following the strategies listed under the “Awareness” stage, you can get a wealth of data. This can be further used to convince customers during the consideration stage (of course after data refinement and segmentation).
What are the best ways to segment data?
Sociodemographic criteria: Segment data by age, gender, occupation, education, work experience, income level, financial status based on the product you are selling
Psychosociological segmentation: Segmen by lifestyle, activities, political opinions, social commitment, interests, hobbies
Tip: To collect such deep details, you need to run Ad campaigns on Google And Facebook, that have a wealth of data about your target customers.
- Behavioral data: This data will only be accessible when your customer starts visiting your website and apps. Once you have, you need to create a hyper-personalized catering to “an individual customer”. Like his/her purchasing behaviour, loyalty, use of products, purchase history, lifetime customer value
Fact: This segmentation is the key driver in closing a customer fast and their Life Time Value.
Segmentation can demand a lot of labour and time but marketing automation tools can simplify this task. Let’s learn about them.
4. Leverage technology and tool
Before marketing automation, marketers were dependent on the IT team to code emails, create landing pages, churn and analyse data, and deploy mass emails. But with automation tools, like:
Marketing and analytics tools: Google Ads, Email marketing tools, Google Analytics and Google Search console, readymade customizable templates and themes to design landing pages without code,
Omnichannel technologies: Headless API infrastructure and MACH architecture, Chatbots, recommendation engine, device responsive sites to seamlessly deliver content on IoT devices (mobiles, smartwatches, desktops, LED), Virtual and Augmented Reality
By using these automation technologies, gathering data about customers and building memorable experiences becomes easy. But here are some common challenges to tackle while transitioning to omnichannel.
Top Challenges faced during OmniChannel transitioning
Inconsistent data across multiple channels
Creating an omnichannel customer experience requires data from different channels. However, existing data is often obsolete, duplicate, contradictory, inaccurate or incomplete. Hence, enterprise ecommerce businesses must switch to a unified database management system.
Inefficient omnichannel marketing
Most enterprise ecommerce brands fail to formulate a dynamic omnichannel strategy that could sustain the fleeting nature of customers. Therefore, updating your CRM, integrating advanced tools and re-designing marketing strategy is crucial.
For example, customers may move from shopping on a mobile site to the app after 6 months of engagement with your site. Hence, it is important to update your data.
Ecommerce software limitations
For an ideal omnichannel retail experience, brands need to leverage technologies like IoT, Augmented reality (AR), headless ecommerce and chatbots in their ecommerce platform. Legacy ecommerce platforms limit the brand ability to develop updated digital experiences for customers. Even renovating the entire platform and upskilling the team about new technologies demands-resources.
Inability to interpret data in real-time
Omni-channel marketing requires brands to provide personalised assistance to customers in real-time. If not done correctly, this can cause an unimpressive user experience due to brand disconnect. It necessitates a strong ecommerce platform capable of unifying customer data and leveraging it to customize the user experience in real-time.
How StoreHippo helps in overcoming the above challenges?
There are many ways StoreHippo can help.
StoreHippo offers a well-rounded ecommerce platform with a feature-rich admin that unifies the data from all your sales channels. Along with using the feature-rich dashboard you can further align and streamline your omnichannel sales by integrating with the best in breed ERP, CRM, POS, Accounting and other software that sync and automate your processes. This setup connects all touchpoints to offer a connected customer experience. You can thus eliminate the problem of inconsistent data and software limitations.
Inbuilt marketing tools and third-party integrations
With inbuilt SEO tools, you can create an SEO-friendly site to increase traffic and conversions. Through third-party integrations like chatbots, social media, email marketing tools, CRM, Advertising tools, Analytics tools; you can build a perfect omnichannel marketing strategy. Customers can seamlessly contact you from any channel as all channels (like the site, app, social media, ads, email, chat) are integrated. This resolves the problem of data inconsistency across channels.
MACH Architecture also called Microservices, API first, cloud-native, headless
This architecture lets you create, manage, and deliver content to the right channel at the right time. Here the frontend is separated from the backend, which enables faster and innovative changes. This separation gives flexibility to developers and marketers and reduces dependencies over each other.
StoreHippo ecommerce solution completes all your omnichannel needs with its cutting-edge MACH architecture.
Omnichannel payment solution
StoreHippo offers 60 payment gateways that makes it easy for buyers to complete purchases at any channel (Mobile site/app, or social media) or device (POS devices, Kiosks, contactless payments). They integrate all your business’ payment processes together, providing a holistic view of customer interactions. Thus, helping in building personalized and consistent customer journeys across various touchpoints.
Are you now ready to go omnichannel? Assuming that the answer is Yes, I like to wrap by giving you the essence of D2C omnichannel i.e. customers and their changing shopping needs. The whole motive is to enhance customer experience by connecting the channels and delivering similar experience on each channel via advanced technologies.
Looking for an ecommerce solution that could overcome all challenges and bring desirable results?. Look no further, StoreHippo gives you 14 days free trial to its exclusive features. Sign up Now!