How to Create an Effective Omnichannel Marketing Strategy for Retail

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Appnova Digital Agency
  • Date Published
  • Categories Blog, Editorial, Guide
  • Reading Time 6-Minute Read

According to recent research, 90% of multiple device owners switch between an average of three per day when they are completing a task.

According to recent research, 90% of multiple device owners switch between an average of three per day when they are completing a task. With this in mind, businesses that can help customers complete those tasks when and wherever they want will greatly benefit from the $1.8 trillion that cross-channel sales are predicted to reach this year. This is why, increasingly, companies are nurturing their prospects and leading them on a journey towards converting with an omnichannel eCommerce strategy.

Ultimately, the best omnichannel marketers see success because they understand that it’s the customers, not the brand, that are the core of any business. Instead of putting your brand front and centre, you need to be putting your customers there instead. This means that you are ready to engage with them in any way that they choose to, giving them what they want before they have to ask for it. So let’s take a look and find out just what is an omnichannel retail strategy in regards to modern marketing?.

Multichannel or Omnichannel Marketing: Is There a Difference?

In the overlapping worlds of eCommerce, social selling, digital marketplaces, and physical storefronts, it can all get a little complex and confusing for people to understand. None more so is the case than when it comes to omnichannel and multichannel marketing. Here, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two but essentially it can be broken down this way:

Multichannel retail refers to many different channels. It revolves around your products or services and allows customers to engage and purchase wherever they shop. However, the key factor here is that it treats channels as silos that are independent from one another as each channel exists as a separate purchase opportunity.

Omnichannel retail on the other hand focuses more on your customers and creates a single experience across your brand by unifying sales and marketing that accounts for continued switching between the different but connected channels.

Essentially, when it comes to a multichannel approach, marketers are looking to blend the customer experience and give consumers the choice to engage on the channel they want to. It’s flexible but is still confined to the channels themselves. Once it’s clear which channels resonate best with your audience, you can optimise marketing in those areas specifically in order to maximise sales.

Omnichannel retail trends involve being as immersive as possible while putting the customer, not your product, at the core of the campaign. It’s about communicating in a coordinated way and displaying awareness of their individual touchpoints in the customer conversion cycle. Customers can purchase wherever they are. As opposed to treating channels as independent silos, omnichannel accounts for crossover and offers customer experiences within and between channels.

Who’s Using an Omnichannel Strategy?

When it comes to omnichannel eCommerce marketing strategies, there are some companies out there who are truly excelling. Here are some of the best omnichannel marketing strategy examples to take inspiration from:

Oasis: Oasis is a fashion retailer fusing its eCommerce site, mobile app, and physical stores to form a simple, seamless shopping experience. If you walk into an Oasis store, you’ll find sales associates with iPads who can offer on-the-spot, accurate, and up-to-date product information. This also acts as a cash register, making it easy for you to pay from anywhere in the store. Plus, if something is out of stock, staff can instantly place an online order for you and have the item shipped directly to your home.

Sephora: Sephora’s omnichannel experience connects its shoppers’ online purchases to their in-store visits. In addition to beauty workshops and complimentary makeovers, customers can use in-store tablets to access their “Beauty Bag” account while shopping. This allows them to look up item details and virtually try on products with digital software. If they like a product, they can create a wish list and then purchase the whole thing through the app itself. By integrating its Beauty Bag feature with in-store channels, Sephora is able to help customers narrow their options and track the products that they want to purchase seamlessly.

Walgreens: Walgreens has created an omnichannel pharmaceutical experience with its mobile app as a primary tool for communications. Customers can use the app to check and refill prescriptions without having to call their pharmacy. They can also set up alerts if a prescription needs to be renewed. This removes needing to call and set up a prescription with a pharmacy as customers can do everything through the app, eliminating potential hold times and lowering waiting times for in-store pick-ups.

How to Create Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Staying one step ahead of eCommerce retail industry trends and predictions is more important than ever before. Every company must develop its own unique omnichannel experience to develop an effective strategy. While building your own program, you’ll need to focus on making all of these factors work together harmoniously:

  • Product
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Support
  • Customer Success

Once everyone is aligned, you can start planning this campaign effectively. Including all these departments early on will make it easier when you try to enact this omnichannel approach. Ultimately, you will need a strategic plan that looks to build a coherent, aligned and united experience across multiple platforms. This will likely include any or all of the channels you currently use to engage with customers in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness and ROI.

Final Thoughts

Looking to become a leading retailer in omnichannel experience creation and marketing can have significantly positive effects on your business. Omnichannel marketing is a way to effectively unite all the different platforms that your customers use to engage with your brand. If everything is in individual silos, messages can get repetitive or disjointed and generally lower the quality of the overall shopping experience. When you build and enact an effective omnichannel marketing strategy you are giving potential customers what they want, where they want it. This means that you’re much more likely to turn a possible buyer into a loyal customer in a cost-effective manner.

This blog post is written by David Pittaway. He is a creative content writer for the London-based creative design agency Appnova who specialise in luxury branding, bespoke digital marketing strategies and eCommerce solutions.