If your marketing campaigns are struggling, omnichannel marketing could be the answer. While many digitally native businesses develop single-channel or multi-channel strategies, few embrace a truly holistic approach. And for a good reason!
Omnichannel marketing is not for everyone — it's hard to plan and execute. But businesses that invest the time and resources in omnichannel marketing can reap significant rewards, including improved customer engagement and marketing ROI.
This article covers the what, why, and how of omnichannel marketing. Stay tuned to learn how your business can benefit from adopting an omnichannel approach.
Omnichannel marketing refers to the process of creating a unified customer experience across multiple channels and devices. By merging customer data from all sources into one central location, companies can target their customers with highly relevant and consistent messaging.
In crafting this interconnected experience, businesses enable customers to move from one channel to the next while still receiving the same level of engagement. This highly tailored approach ensures that customers feel like they are receiving personalized attention no matter where or how they interact with the company.
Omnichannel marketing takes advantage of a combination of tactics, such as email, social media, web pages, mobile apps, and more. The goal is to create an integrated experience across all of these various interactions so that customers enjoy a seamless journey from initial discovery to purchase.
The key difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing is that multichannel marketing focuses on creating distinct experiences across multiple channels. In contrast, omnichannel marketing focuses on creating an integrated customer experience across all channels.
Under a multichannel marketing strategy, a business will utilize multiple sales channels such as a website, Facebook shop, shopify store, Amazon store, and more. However, each channel will operate independently of the others and provide a separate customer journey.
For example, an offer presented on a website might not be valid for purchase through the same brand's Amazon store. And a customer’s behavior on one platform may not be reflected or acknowledged on other platforms.
In omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, a business will integrate all of its sales channels so that they work in tandem. The result is that a customer’s experience is consistent no matter where they interact with the business, allowing for more fluid transitions between channels.
For example, after browsing in-store, a customer may receive an SMS message about an upcoming sale on their website. Or, a Google display ad could retarget a customer who abandoned their cart. By cleverly mixing mediums in a way that nudges a customer through the sales funnel, omnichannel marketing creates a more unified and engaging experience.
Omnichannel marketing is difficult to execute, but it can offer many benefits to businesses that embrace it. Here are a handful of the key advantages:
By providing a consistent experience across channels, customers can move from one device or website to another without losing any connection to the brand. This creates a more enduring and memorable relationship between the customer and the company, leading to higher levels of engagement. In many cases, this also leads to higher levels of loyalty as customers are more likely to return to a company they recognize and trust.
Omnichannel marketing allows companies to create a better shopping experience for customers, increasing their likelihood of making a purchase. By providing an integrated customer journey and tactically overcoming objections, omnichannel marketing minimizes any friction that could stop a customer from buying.
As customers become more comfortable and confident in their interactions with the brand, omnichannel marketing can also lead to higher average order values. This is because omnichannel strategies create more personalized experiences, which can expose customers to more suitable products and encourage them to make bigger purchases.
The feeling of individual attention that omnichannel marketing can produce can also make customers feel more valued and willing to spend.
Finally, omnichannel marketing enables companies to build stronger relationships with customers. Because of the elevated customer satisfaction and increased engagement, customers are more likely to stay loyal and return for future visits. This leads to greater customer lifetime value and better long-term business results. In other words, a successful omnichannel strategy should lead to revenue growth over time.
To reap the benefits of an omnichannel approach, businesses must invest in more sophisticated marketing campaigns. This involves analyzing customer data and developing a plan to deliver a consistent brand experience online and offline.
Here are the five key steps involved in rolling out an omnichannel marketing strategy:
At the center of every omnichannel strategy lies the customer. Unlike multichannel marketing, in which the promotion of the product or service is the main focus, omnichannel marketing is all about curating a personalized message.
To do this effectively, businesses must be able to understand the customer, provide a solution, and speak to their current objections and needs. This approach requires real-time data and thoughtful consideration of the customer journey.
To start, businesses should map out their marketing funnel and uncover opportunities to engage customers more meaningfully. Rather than blasting the same generic promotion (regardless of the customer's relationship with the brand), omnichannel marketing requires companies to tailor content according to context.
When done correctly, this marketing strategy should make customers feel heard and compel them to act.
In omnichannel marketing, data is king. Without the ability to collect and analyze customer data, omnichannel strategies wouldn't stand a chance.
Data helps to identify customer behaviors, preferences, objections, and tendencies. It also gives businesses a complete picture of their current customers and growth opportunities.
Data can be collected actively through surveys, feedback forms, and customer journey analysis. But it should also be collected passively through web tracking, email subscriptions, purchases, and behavioral analytics. This combination will help to fill any gaps in customer understanding and provide a more holistic omnichannel experience.
Once businesses have collected sufficient data, they can begin to segment and target different types of customers and conversion journeys. Understanding these common pathways is the entry point to crafting an omnichannel campaign.
For example, some customer avatars may fit into a straightforward, single touchpoint group. This means that any of your single-channel campaigns, like an email newsletter, social media post, or display ad, could generate a purchase.
Many other customers, however, will likely take longer and require more personalized messaging. In this case, omnichannel marketing is all about connecting the dots and forming more intricate pathways that demonstrate an understanding of how the customer interacts with the brand.
If omnichannel marketing is all about understanding the customer, message engineering is how you communicate that knowledge.
Personalization and relevance are the two main components of omnichannel marketing. As the customer journey becomes more intricate, the messaging must also become more tailored and segmented.
If your target audience purchases one product, your omnichannel marketing strategy should automatically recommend similar products or additional services. And if another group of customers visits your physical store, your online CRM should reflect this visit and send automated follow-up emails at certain intervals.
The ultimate goal is to create a set of strategic messages that resonate with the customer and provide a sense of familiarity at every touchpoint.
Today, omnichannel marketing is complete with an effective and user-friendly mobile experience. Mobile traffic has only increased over the years, making it the primary touchpoint for most omnichannel campaigns.
Due to this significant presence in our daily lives, companies should ensure that their omnichannel strategy is optimized for mobile. After all, in most cases, a mobile phone is the easiest way to connect with a broad range of customers.
From push notifications and social media campaigns to personalized SMS messages and email marketing, the omnichannel approach should feature a combination of mobile-friendly tactics for maximum exposure.
To ensure a smooth omnichannel experience, businesses should create content, apps, and websites that are optimized to fit the small screens of mobile devices. Accessibility and convenience should always be at the forefront of omnichannel marketing, especially when it comes to mobile.
Omnichannel marketing is an ongoing process that requires patience, continuous optimization, and testing to ensure maximum efficiency.
Start by segmenting your omnichannel campaigns and hypothesizing where there may be room for improvement. Set aside a small budget to A/B test various aspects of your omnichannel strategy in batches and then analyze the results of each run. Every test should yield some insight, conclusion, or improvement.
Over time, you should learn which groups respond better to certain messages or touchpoints. And while this does not indicate that you should stop testing, it should help inform future omnichannel marketing decisions.
By testing, iterating, and testing again, businesses can identify the weak spots in their marketing strategies and better understand how to target and communicate with different customer profiles.
To make omnichannel marketing easier, many SaaS companies have developed omnichannel marketing tools. These tools allow businesses to collect and analyze data, automate marketing campaigns, and measure performance.
Before deploying an omnichannel marketing approach, check out these five categories of software that can simplify the process:
Email marketing tools can play a powerful role in the omnichannel strategy. Solutions like Mailmunch allows businesses to target and segment customers, create personalized messages, track results, and more.
If you want to engage your audience with beautiful email newsletters, try our marketing software today. We empower businesses to:
These features and insights were specifically designed to support omnichannel approaches. With Mailmunch's email marketing tool, you can launch an omnichannel campaign quickly and efficiently.
SMS marketing tools allow businesses to send bulk SMS messages, track open and click-through rates, and gain insights into customer behavior.
In recent years, text message marketing has become increasingly popular to re-engage customers and drive sales. That's because open rates can reportedly be as high as 98%, with 90% of texts being opened within three minutes.
As part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, SMS messages can be a simple way to reach customers quickly and affordably. Most SMS marketing platforms charge a small monthly fee for access to the software and a fraction of a cent per message sent.
Like SMS messages, push notifications are an underutilized but highly effective method for omnichannel marketing. With push notifications, businesses can send pop-up messages to customers directly on their mobile devices.
Unlike SMS messages, however, this approach requires customers to download and install an app before they can receive notifications. But for those customers that do complete the necessary onboarding steps, businesses can send images, graphics, and longer messages.
Push notifications see an average open rate of around 20% and can be used to highlight special offers and promotions and increase the engagement of a retailer's mobile app. Like other marketing tools, push notification software typically includes analytics and reporting options so businesses can optimize the effectiveness of their omnichannel campaigns over time.
Social media is one of the most popular and widely used omnichannel marketing tactics. Businesses can use social media platforms to communicate directly with their customers, segment audiences, and measure the performance of their campaigns.
With omnichannel social media marketing, businesses can create highly personalized messages for each customer, post targeted ads, and track results over time. They can also integrate their social media campaigns with other omnichannel tools for a more holistic approach to their marketing efforts.
Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram give businesses a unique opportunity to reach their customers in an intimate, authentic way. Plus, these platforms natively integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify so merchants can retarget previous customers in a snap.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads allow businesses to reach customers with highly-targeted, personalized ads. PPC ads can be used to drive traffic to a website, generate leads, increase online sales, and promote omnichannel campaigns.
These platforms also provide businesses with advanced reporting and analytics capabilities to see which keywords, customer segments, and ad creatives are most successful. With omnichannel PPC ads, businesses can connect with customers on multiple channels with dynamic messages for a truly integrated approach.
By leveraging omnichannel marketing tools like email, SMS, push notifications, social media, and PPC ads, businesses can easily and quickly whip up omnichannel campaigns that reach customers in new, exciting ways. With the right combination of segmentation, messaging, and timing, omnichannel campaigns can help businesses maximize their return on ad spend and create lasting relationships with their customers.
If you are sold on the promise of an omnichannel marketing campaign but still need to figure out where to start, we have you covered. Here are seven omnichannel marketing examples to help get you off the ground and on the path to success.
Sephora uses omnichannel marketing to provide customers with an integrated experience across various channels, including online, mobile, and in-store. They even offer a loyalty program that rewards customers for engaging with their brand across all platforms.
Sephora's ability to connect in-person and virtual experiences makes it so successful at omnichannel marketing. The website automatically indicates the closest store to the visitor and offers an AI-enabled chatbot capable of making personalized product recommendations.
Plus, the website is enabled with a color-matching tool that allows customers to try on products before they buy virtually. And when shoppers need human attention, in-store beauty advisors are available to facilitate makeovers and offer their recommendations. These products can be quickly scanned and emailed to the visitor for future reference and online purchase.
Target is an incredible example of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy. The brand has adopted a "store-centric" model in order to integrate its digital and physical experiences.
To do this, Target has developed an omnichannel mobile app that allows shoppers to check in-store product availability and pricing, use the store for order pickup and returns, and create shopping lists that sync across devices. Target offers exclusive deals for omnichannel customers, personalized ads, and exclusive in-store events.
The company also uses location-based marketing to send messages and offers to customers in or near a store. Target’s omnichannel efforts have paid off — the company has seen tremendous growth in online sales and increased foot traffic, validating the true potential of investing in omnichannel marketing.
The Nike App, released in 2018, has been instrumental in the company's omnichannel marketing strategy. Nike created the "ultimate shopping companion" by using the app to enable in-store barcode scanning, unlock special promotions, and reserve items in person. In this way, Nike is able to use its various channels cooperatively.
Another example of this omnichannel approach is how Nike references its online site within their displays. Specific products include tags or small prints that read Nike.com only.
Whether you make an online or in-store purchase, products can always be delivered to your home or picked up at a retail location. These truly integrated efforts demonstrate Nike's commitment to creating a seamless customer experience.
Walmart brings together a vast network of brick-and-mortar stores, the second-largest eCommerce website in the U.S., and a sophisticated supply chain to create an unparalleled shopping experience for customers.
The company continues to expand its digital capabilities with the rollout of online grocery pickup, geo-fencing technology, and virtual try-on. With an omnichannel mobile app capable of locating items in stores, tracking orders, and offering personalized promotions, Walmart is truly at the cutting edge of omnichannel retail.
Nordstrom understands that customer experience is a competitive advantage, which is why it consistently ranks among the top of the pack in omnichannel shopping. To better connect its web, social, app-based, and offline experiences, the retailer recently began opening smaller stores that facilitate online ordering.
These "Local" shops support pickups and returns, alterations, styling suggestions, and more. Nordstrom continues to invest in strategies like these that support its interconnected model. In the future, the company intends to improve its in-store and curbside pickup capabilities, allowing customers to take advantage of Nordstrom's omnichannel convenience.
As more and more luxury purchases take place digitally, high-end fashion brands are beginning to embrace an omnichannel marketing strategy. While some designer brands continue to resist eCommerce entirely, Louis Vuitton has taken a more forward-thinking approach.
The brand's website not only allows customers to purchase products online, but it also provides a unique omnichannel experience. For example, the website offers in-store and virtual appointments with advisors. And the company also allows customers to pick up in-store or curbside at the click of a button. While these offerings may not be revolutionary, they reflect a stark change for a traditionally brick-and-mortar luxury brand.
Omnichannel marketing is not only for retailers. Fintech companies, traditional banks, and other financial service providers are now investing in omnichannel capabilities to win tech-savvy customers and improve customer engagement.
With a few slick innovations, Bank of America allows its customers to move between its website, mobile app, and physical locations. The company offers remote check deposits, online bill pay, ATM deposits, and even an AI assistant named Erica.
Plus, Bank of America recently rolled out "Robo-branches," where customers can work with machines instead of tellers to resolve basic account issues. And in-branch customers can access free WiFi and tablets to complete self-guided banking transactions.
Omnichannel marketing flips traditional marketing on its head. Rather than pushing products on customers, successful omnichannel marketing strategies focus on creating an integrated user experience. This shift in priorities allows brands to remain in contact with customers, no matter how, where, or when they shop.
Through digital innovation and an omnichannel approach, companies like Sephora, Nordstrom, and Bank of America are leading the way toward a more seamless experience. If your brand is ready to join the ranks of these omnichannel leaders, start by implementing an omnichannel marketing tool like Mailmunch.
A voracious reader and a music lover, Ammar has been writing engaging and informative content for over 3 years for B2B and B2C markets. With a knack for writing SEO-optimized content, Ammar ensures the results speak for themselves.