Omni-channel strategy for E-commerce business
We often come across marketing terms which are relatively new and we are often not sure how to exactly spell such terms. Remember e-mail, email and E-mail? These days it is not uncommon to find omni-channel, omnichannel and omni channel splashed across various websites with inputs from a plethora of marketing pundits. We choose not argue about the spellings and rather see omni-channel (that’s the spelling which endears us the most) as a harbinger of a new marketing concept which has established a firm foothold and brands can’t simply turn away from imbibing this approach.
So, what is Omni-channel?
‘Omni’ comes from the word ‘omnis’ which means universal. In simple terms, it refers to cross channel marketing. Omni-channel is an approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store. The name reflects the fact that retailers interact with customers through countless channels-websites, emails, social media, physical stores, kiosks, direct mail, mobile devices, gaming consoles, televisions, networked appliances, and more. We are entering an omni-channel world, where the customer experience across all channels is orchestrated to be seamless, integrated and consistent.
Why do online retailers need omni-channel?
Today the consumers are highly informed and complete transactions across a plethora of interactive channels. In today’s world of cut throat competition, marketers need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device, in order to tap more customers. It is important for the retailers to adopt a multi-channel approach for success since the customer has many choices for completing his purchase and marketers cannot afford to undertake any risk of investing in only one channel while ignoring the potential of another. The retailers need to attract, engage, transact, and serve through omni-channel and leave no stone unturned in order to approach the customer.
The E-commerce link
At the root of omni-channel strategy is the retail e-commerce technology linking customer data including orders, products and preferences across all touch points in order to drive personal interactions on every channel. As Smartphones and internet connectivity have come to pervade our lifestyle, more number of people are completing their transactions online through mobile devices. The online retailers can track the location, preferences and buying behavior of the consumers. This gives the dual benefit of better reach to the target customers and more online sales.
Best practices to benefit from omni-channel
1. Collect information: E-commerce merchants should always engage all their resources to gather information about their customers. They should keep track of their location, preferred payment mode, shopping habits, device from which they browse, etc. Keeping a record of e-mail addresses and following social media on a daily basis is important.
2. SEO strategies: The merchants need to put their SEO strategy in place. SEO will rank the brands higher in search engines and direct more traffic to site since the tech-savvy consumer of today will search for products before buying them. The higher you rank in search engines, the better chance you have to attract people to your store and lead to higher sales conversions.
3. The importance of profiling customers: It is no brain wave that interests and behaviours vary largely amongst people. What interests one person, may not appeal to the other. The evolving shopping behaviors are transforming e-commerce into an essential element of omni-channel success. Try to categorize customers according to their habits, preferences, purchasing habits, etc.
Omni-channel marketing -a valuable tool
Omni-channel marketing is important for success today and is in line with the unprecedented growth of e-commerce. The retailers can either jump the bandwagon or they can wait till their brand is overtaken by others. Retailers need to align themselves with this new paradigm in order to capture repeat sales in the online shopping industry. To tap the digital buyers, one needs to build strong digital capabilities and omni-channel approach will help to realize this goal. Omni-channel strategy will drive repeat purchases, cut costs, trigger conversions and, at the same time, it will help to meet the customer’s needs and expectations.
Omni-channel strategy for E-commerce business