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Introduction to Omnichannel Marketing

  • Bhumika Dutta
  • Dec 23, 2021
Introduction to Omnichannel Marketing title banner

In the world of eCommerce, Omni-channel has been a buzzword for quite some time, but only a few have a deep understanding of this topic. 

 

This is an introductory blog on omnichannel marketing where we will learn about the working, benefits, strategy, and the basic difference between omnichannel and other marketing systems.


 

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

 

The purpose of omnichannel marketing is to integrate and collaborate the numerous channels that businesses use to communicate with customers to provide a consistent brand experience. This encompasses both physical and digital channels, such as stores and websites. 

 

As customers progress down the sales funnel, it's the seamless integration of branding, message, and online and physical touchpoints that allows for a more powerful customer experience.

 

Omnichannel marketing is about meeting customers wherever they are involved and providing them the best service at all the touchpoints, which may include stores, websites, online marketplaces, social media, email, etc. 

 

This can be done by sharing data among platforms so that it is easier for customers to interchange between them. That is why omnichannel marketing is also called cross-channel strategy. 


Depicting multiple platforms of omnichannel marketing.

Diagram depicting Omnichannel Marketing (source)


(Suggested read: Buzz Marketing: Types and Examples)

 

Omnichannel attribution:

 

Multi-touch attribution and media mix modeling (MMM) are commonly used by marketers to figure out what led to a conversion, however, these models aren't ideal. Attribution models no longer have to rely on antiquated methods and may now provide a more comprehensive picture of the marketing funnel and buyer's journey. 

 

Omnichannel attribution eliminates silos between campaign metrics to understand the role each touchpoint played in the journey, much as omnichannel approaches mix online and physical channels.

 

Here are the two omnichannel attributions according to marketing evolution:

 

  • MMM:

 

Media Mix Modeling only considers long-term aggregate data, not individual insights. 

 

While this enables marketers to monitor the impact of a campaign on conversions as well as historical trends such as times of the year when shoppers engage more or less, it does not give insight into individual preferences. MMM also utilizes data from some years ago, so teams can't use it to optimize ads in real-time.

 

  • MTA:

 

Multi-touch attribution provides comprehensive, person-level data across all touchpoints in real-time. 

 

After the data has been reviewed, teams may utilize it to make modifications to campaigns in real-time to better respond to customer demands. The difficulty with multi-touch attribution is determining how much credit should be given to each touchpoint for a conversion.

 

(Related blog: Effective digital marketing)

 

Working of Omnichannel:

 

An omnichannel approach eliminates segmented touchpoints and transforms the consumer experience into a seamless, tailored journey. 

 

The following are the essential components of an omnichannel framework, as written by Oracle Netsuite:

 

  1. Completeness of data:

 

All current and previous consumer interactions and transactions are taken into consideration, as well as the wealth of data accessible from sources like website cookies, social media activity, email lists, and Internet of Things (IoT) data.

 

  1. Automation:

 

In real-time, an omnichannel platform leverages the data to develop marketing material, promote items, give customer care, manage inventories, and handle other associated tasks.

 

  1. Communication:

 

Customers and businesses engage in unrestricted two-way communication via websites, applications, email, phone, and in-store experiences, all informed by comprehensive data.

 

Although omnichannel programs have many moving parts, they function as a single, coordinated system. Each touchpoint should offer a unique yet interconnected experience that builds on prior encounters and leads the client through the journey to the intended outcome.

 

For example, if someone is looking for a new washing machine, they get to know different models through advertisements on television and when they find something they are interested in, they search for the product online. 

 

In the process, they can go to the official brand site or they can look for the machine through eCommerce platforms like Amazon or Flipkart, or speak to the customer service. They may even visit the store to see the merchandise in person, in which case they will download the retailer's app and access the cart on their smartphone while they travel to the store. 

 

The customer would then be able to move the cart from the phone to the POS system, make the sale, and take the item home using a QR code or near-field technology. 

 

All of this is made possible by an omnichannel approach including the manufacturer and specialist retail partners, which eliminates the need for customers to enter the same data, do the same activities, or ask the same questions across various channels.

 

Other channels are similar to omnichannel marketing that can be often confused by users. Let us compare these marketing channels with omnichannel marketing.

 

(Read also: All about green marketing)

 

Benefits of Omnichannel:

 

There are many benefits of Omnichannel, some of which are given below:

 

  1. Omnichannel marketing helps in increasing customer experience. According to a new McKinsey & Co. omnichannel poll, 41 percent of CEOs think eCommerce is their most successful sales channel, topping out in-person (37 percent) and video (31 percent). 

 

While virtually all respondents anticipate being able to contact clients in physical places by the beginning of 2022, just 15% of business-to-business (B2B) vendors believe this would be the norm in the future (source).

 

  1. According to American Express, a pleasant experience outweighs the price for many consumers, with shoppers prepared to pay 17 percent more for things if the vendor is recognized for excellent service. 

 

That means firms can focus on providing high-quality products and excellent service without having to worry too much about the prices – and make decisions appropriately. This provides up a lot of interesting options for new pricing schemes.

 

  1. Goods data is shared across channels in omnichannel systems, reducing the danger of inventory being stagnant and unsold. Storage and opportunity expenses are reduced as a result. 

 

The "endless aisle" idea, which is used by stores including Coach, Kohl's, Greatest Buy, Sears, Macy's, and Walmart, is one of the best examples of cross-channel inventory management. These businesses allow in-store customers to explore online inventory and have products delivered to them or picked up at a separate location.

 

  1. Investing in customer experience may boost income significantly, according to Qualtrics study, with firms earning $1 billion gaining an average of $700 million per year after three years of focusing on customer experience. An omnichannel strategy is a powerful tool for improving customer experiences and, as a result, income.

  2. Businesses may send emails, SMS, push alerts, and even direct mail to promote complementary goods and upgrades using the data and access to customers that cross-channel strategies enable. 

 

In-store, the ship-to-store function is a great illustration of this concept, since it saves consumers money on shipping while also allowing them to buy complementary goods or impulsive purchases in-store. 

 

Businesses may send emails, SMS, push alerts, and even direct mail to promote complementary goods and upgrades using the data and access to customers that cross-channel strategies enable. 

 

In-store, the ship-to-store function is a great illustration of this concept, since it saves consumers money on shipping while also allowing them to buy complementary goods or impulsive purchases in-store.

 

  1. Going completely omnichannel should not only apply to a user's brand experience but also business data analytics. Brands gain a deeper insight into the customer journey by measuring engagements across channels, as well as when and where customers choose to connect, and which campaigns have generated the greatest value. 

 

All of this information may be included in the plan to help them create better-targeted advertisements and optimize overall media spending.

 

Omnichannel vs Multichannel marketing:

 

To deliver full consumer experiences and operational business advantages, omnichannel strategies rely on single-channel and multichannel initiatives. 

 

Even in the developing cross-channel environment, there are significant distinctions between each method, and each offers advantages. 

 

Customers can typically complete the same actions across several touchpoints in multichannel initiatives. These touchpoints, unlike omnichannel, are often independent of one another, with little to no data integration or cross-channel crossover.

 

Customers can typically complete the same actions across several touchpoints in multichannel initiatives. These touchpoints, unlike omnichannel, are often independent of one another, with little to no data integration or cross-channel crossover. 

 

Multichannel strategies are centered on the channel rather than the consumer. As a result, determining which channels are more effective at specific criteria, such as sales or customer happiness, is extremely simple. 

 

Our consumers, on the other hand, would be unable to start a purchase on an app and move it to an in-store point-of-sale system, and the merchant would be unaware of the customer chat.

 

(Related reading: Digital Marketing Channels)

 

Bottom Line:

 

Teams may meet their customers where they are with the appropriate message at the right time via an omnichannel marketing approach. 

 

Organizations may provide a unified customer experience with omnichannel marketing by acknowledging past touchpoints along the consumer journey. 

 

This not only raises brand recognition among consumers, but also leads to greater engagement, ROI, and sales, as well as improved customer retention and loyalty. 

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