As technology has evolved, so too have modern-day marketing methods. There are a variety of marketing channels at your disposal, and it’s becoming increasingly important to use them all. Furthermore, it’s become essential to make sure they all work together to give customers a seamless shopping experience. It’s what’s known as omnichannel marketing and it’s now a vital component of any marketing strategy. In fact, omnichannel marketing is a marketing strategy in itself. So, what is omnichannel marketing? Let’s pick it apart, look at a variety of examples, and find out what there is to know about this popular marketing methodology.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing utilizes a multichannel sales approach, but it gives your customers a coordinated shopping experience across each of those channels. In other words, a customer can shop online from a desktop or laptop computer, or a mobile device. They can call on the telephone. Or they can walk into a physical store location. Whatever method they choose at any given time, their shopping experience will be seamless among all of them. Each of the channels works alongside the others.
Here are some examples of omnichannel marketing in action.
Omnichannel Marketing: From Website to Store
Let’s say you’re looking for a specific type of protein powder on a retailer’s website via your mobile device. You discover that they have it in stock at your local store. There are three containers remaining in aisle 18. Shortly thereafter, you drive to the store and buy one container. The connection between the retailer’s website and your local store makes it an omnichannel experience. The two worked together to influence your purchase.
Omnichannel Marketing: Store to Website
Now let’s reverse the process. Let’s say you’re in a clothing store looking for a specific pair of pants. You find the pants, but they don’t have your size. So you visit the store’s website from your mobile phone, you find the pants, and you order a pair in your size. You can then have the pants shipped to the store to pick up in a few days, or you can have them shipped directly to your house. Again, the connection between your local store and the brand’s website makes it an omnichannel experience.
Omnichannel Marketing Example: Neiman Marcus
Those were pretty basic, yet effective examples of omnichannel marketing. Now let’s dig deeper and see how involved omnichannel marketing can get. We’ll use luxury retailer Neiman Marcus as an example. The Dallas, Texas-based chain has 42 store locations in 19 U.S. states, plus a website, an app, and a toll-free number for telephone orders. This makes them multichannel, but because they make everything work together, it becomes omnichannel. Their goal was to make a seamless omnichannel experience, and by all accounts, they succeeded.
Neiman Marcus marketers wanted to remove any barriers that existed between their channels. To make this happen, the channels needed to adjust themselves based on a customer’s actions. So Neiman Marcus turned to personalization. Here’s an example of how it worked.
Let’s say you search the Neiman Marcus website for a certain type or size of shoes—and you do this more than once. As a result, the website remembers your actions and the next time you search for those items, you’ll see the particular styles or sizes that are in stock at your nearest Neiman Marcus store. That’s personalized omnichannel marketing in action. Not only is the website referring you to a local store to buy the shoes, it’s also offering a selection of similar in-store possibilities for you to choose from.
Additionally, the Neiman Marcus website uses geolocation technology to send you information on local events or new stock of brands that you’ve shown an interest in. You’re likely to become the recipient of an email marketing message and/or a direct mail campaign. Neiman Marcus is anticipating what you might like based on your previous actions and they’re selling to you via one or more of their channels. They see where you’ve clicked, what pages you’ve visited, and how much time you spent on each of those pages to make assumptions about your preferences.
Wait, There’s More That Omnichannel Marketing Can Do
Neiman Marcus didn’t stop at personalization and geotargeting. They turned to technology and provided in-store visitors with a “Memory Mirror.” This 360-degree mirror allows you to efficiently capture and share images of outfits you try on. Then you can save it in the Neiman Marcus mobile app and look at it or buy it later. So if you can’t make a decision while you’re in the store, you have time to think about it.
Neiman Marcus also employed the “Snap. Find. Shop” image recognition app to assist with their omnichannel offering. This allows users to upload photos of items they like and compare it to Neiman Marcus inventory. If they have something similar, you can buy it immediately.
Here’s the Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing
A lot of people confuse omnichannel marketing with multichannel marketing. Omnichannel is like a souped-up version of multichannel. With multichannel marketing, you have multiple channels, as the name states. You may have a physical store, a website, and an app, but they don’t necessarily work together. With omnichannel, all the channels work hand in glove. One complements the other. You can jump from one channel to the next and pick up where you left off, so to speak.
Proof That Omnichannel Marketing Works
If you want proof that omnichannel marketing works, you just need to look at the impressive numbers. Here are some convincing stats that should influence your decision to use an omnichannel approach.
- First of all, there’s a need for omnichannel marketing. Almost 100% of Americans switch back and forth between devices during any given day. They’re regularly accessing some combination of their desktop computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and/or smartwatch. About 90% of consumers are expecting an omnichannel experience.
- Brands that offer high-quality omnichannel marketing keep about 90% of their customers. The key is to focus on customer engagement. The stronger your omnichannel experience, the happier your customers and the better your results.
- Businesses with a strong omnichannel experience see an almost 10% year-over-year increase in annual revenue.
- Omnichannel consumers have a 30% higher lifetime value than consumers who only use one channel when they’re shopping.
- Who wants to pay for shipping these days? About half of consumers expect to buy something online and pick it up at their local store.
Omnichannel marketing is here to stay because it’s centered on the customer’s experience. Consumers want to easily move from one touchpoint to the next when they deal with a business. Anything less is not only frustrating, but it’s also becoming unacceptable.
Direct Mail in Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
One of the most effective channels in the omnichannel experience is direct mail. This $44-billion industry has been thriving for the past 10 years and it’s continuing to grow by billions of dollars every year. Consumers receive an abundance of emails every day. When they get a well-designed piece of physical mail with a personalized offer inside, it really stands out. Email marketing is an effective marketing channel, but studies show that direct mail is more trustworthy and more personal. The benefits of direct mail marketing are encouraging businesses to use it more and more.
MSP can help you understand omnichannel marketing and offer advice on how you can succeed in using it. Contact an MSP representative today to talk about your interest in omnichannel marketing.
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