eCommerce businesses have a problem on their hands. Their customers are fickle and price focused. And yet, overwhelmingly they want to feel a connection with the businesses they shop with. An omnichannel strategy has the potential to deliver the value customers seek while helping them overcome their own internal challenges.

For a lot of eCommerce businesses, differentiating themselves from their competitors is getting harder. Not least because the eCommerce industry is becoming increasingly crowded. 

Crowded markets also drive up the cost of acquisition. Coupled with rising cost prices and operational expenses, turning a profit with thin margins is tough. 

Low prices and free shipping may have been key drivers for customer behaviour in the past but it’s no longer enough. Businesses have to deliver an all encompassing customer experience that adds value and builds a relationship beyond the transactional.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is fragile customer loyalty, stemming from eCommerce training them to shop for the lowest price. 

The good news is 88% of customers believe the customer experience matters as much as products and services.

Similarly, 73% want companies to understand their unique needs and expectations and 62% expect businesses to anticipate their needs.

Tellingly, 56% believe that the businesses they shop with treat them as a number.

The result is customers now expect competitive pricing but will pay more if the customer experience meets their needs and expectations.

David Chon – General Manager at Hawke Media notes:

“Today, most savvy business people and marketers understand the importance of having and growing your customer base. However, it’s just as important to spend time building a mutually beneficial relationship with them. People only buy from brand they know, like, and trust.”

Omnichannel marketing is the most effective way of delivering on these expectations and driving revenue. All eCommerce needs to do now is to migrate to a new way of thinking.

The Omnichannel Strategy Mindset

Migrating to an omnichannel marketing strategy requires a migration to an omnichannel mindset. Fundamentally, multichannel or single channel marketing strategy is predicated on business-centric ideas.

That is to say – the business or the products included in campaigns come before customer needs. Or, more to the point, customer interest.

It’s an old fashioned approach that ignores how well educated customers are about the products they want. Products are thoroughly researched before a customer walks into a shop or goes online to place an order.

This represents a huge shift in the power dynamic between customer and retailer but one many businesses are ignoring. Especially when it comes to their communication strategy.

Customers don’t feel compelled to click on a link in a generic emailer because the majority of the content doesn’t apply to them.

Moreover, there is a kernel of disappointment for the customer because of that approach. Remember, customers want their needs understood and met. A generic emailer simply underscores how little that business knows about them.

“Personalisation no longer means simply adding each user’s first name to an email. True personalisation is about sending relevant content and messaging to the right audience. Segmenting your list allows you to send tailored emails to groups of subscribers based on their personal interests, engagement and purchase behaviours.”

It’s also important to recognise that customers are time poor and impatient. If the email doesn’t appear relevant customers are unlikely to even open it. Let alone invest the time on the website trying to find products that are.

The longer term impact of this lack of relevance is customers are less likely to open the emails and more likely to lapse. This last point is crucial. The main reason any customer in any industry lapses is due to lack of relevance.

“Brands must keep their content-to-promotion ratio in check. No one wants to be sold to 24/7. With each email, ask yourself, ‘Am I providing value to my subscribers by sending this?’ ”


Let’s unpack the above statement a little. Relevance is relative to the individual so it’s important to understand that no business can or will stay relevant to all of their customers indefinitely.

However, the objective is to sustain that relevance for as long as possible. While average order value or wallet share is important, the ability to hold an audiences’ attention is an equally important metric to measure.

The amount of time a customer or player is willing to spend on a website shopping or playing is a direct measure of their engagement in the platform, the product and the brand.

Or, to put it another way: how relevant it is to the user.

The combination of products, price, user experience, customer service, shipping, incentives marketing and customer engagement strategy all determine how long a business stays relevant to the user. 

The businesses that get this stuff right will stay relevant for longer.

Delivering an Omnichannel Strategy

Once an organisation has adopted an omnichannel mindset it becomes a lot easier to build and execute an omnichannel strategy.

There are two key elements that determine the success of any omnichannel strategy. Understanding what actions customers need to take and understanding the data you have to drive those actions.

Knowing the desired outcomes and what data there is available allows businesses to map out campaigns. Relevant channels, touch points, content and products can all be gleaned from customer data.

Providing the data is ingested and segmented in real-time, businesses can quickly adapt campaigns to reflect the ever evolving interest of their audiences.

It’s important to understand that customers rarely stay in any given pigeonhole for long. And recognise the difference between a change in buying behaviour and one off purchases.

Without that continual influx of information, businesses run the risk of damaging the relationship with their customers by sharing irrelevant products and content.

When relevance starts to decline, so will engagement and spend. At this point the customer is at risk of churn. 

Effective data management and analysis is critical to your omnichannel marketing success.

Data can be used to map out the entire customer journey, adding value along the way. The great thing about an omnichannel approach is that the object isn’t a product, but an outcome. This provides considerably more flexibility when it comes to converting target audiences.

“It’s crucial to understand your sales funnel. For instance, if 90% of your conversions occur with the same conversion path such as ‘paid search > retargeting > email > social’, then you should really consider prioritising toward the parts of your funnel that are most likely to produce conversions. Without knowing your path, your resources could be in danger of being misallocated and could impact your overall strategy.”

Whether the aim is to complete a purchase, transition into a loyal or VIP customer or download a piece of content, omnichannel marketing makes it far easier to achieve that.

Understanding the Moving Parts

When developing an omnichannel strategy and omnichannel campaigns, each stage needs to be clearly mapped out. What channel, what piece of content, how many days between touch points etc.

The more detail these plans have at the start the easier it is to iterate and improve. While it may seem counterintuitive to have a complicated omnichannel campaign, by having more touch points it makes it easier to test and refine.

Simply by virtue of the fact more data is available to learn from. Split testing is essential as it allows CRM managers, customer engagement or customer retention managers to quickly iterate the campaigns for maximum results. 

Again, real-time data allows businesses to iterate their campaigns quickly to reduce churn and maximise conversions.

Personalisation and Omnichannel Marketing

Personalisation is the name of the game when it comes to an omnichannel marketing strategy. Omnichannel marketing puts the customer at the centre of everything so personalisation is both essential and pretty easy. Providing the data is available.

Utilising everything from preferred communications channel to order history means a detailed customer profile can be created with relative ease. As customers interact with a website or app, that information is being fed into the customer data platform, in real-time, which allows the customer experience to be further refined.

If the campaign is successful it becomes almost self-sustaining. The customer provides third party data which in turn is used to improve communications. Intersperse the campaigns with opportunities to capture zero party data as well and the effectiveness starts to ramp up.

Third party and zero party customer data, blended together merges historical actions and stated intent to create a far more accurate picture of what the customer likes and what they are likely to do.

Equipped with this data, a business can create hyper-personalised omnichannel experiences. Moreover, the data will indicate how many touch points each customer needs before converting. That allows campaigns to be not only hyper-personalised but hyper-targeted to, driving the customer down the funnel.

The greater the levels of certainty a customer feels about a brand, product and service, the quicker they will convert.

Drive Certainty and Sales

The more value customers receive from a business (without asking for anything in return) the faster trust grows. When customers trust a business they cross the anonymity threshold sooner and are more likely to volunteer zero party data.

They are also more likely to convert and more likely to come back. When you consider a repeat customer spends 67% more than a new customer, and their cost of acquisition is lower, it can significantly improve profitability.

With the right omnichannel strategy, brands can utilize their data from abandoned cart and user-dropoffs to boost revenue, conversions and customer satisfaction.

By focusing on delivering value and driving certainty, businesses can deploy data driven omnichannel campaigns that actually deliver.

To learn more about how you can leverage your data to create a personalised customer experience, contact us today to request a demo of our omnichannel customer engagement platform with built in CDP.

David Chon is General Manager of Hawke Media, a leading digital marketing agency in the United States with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Boston. To find out more about David and the team at Hawke, visit their website.

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