Increasing sales and retaining customers comes down to ensuring that your customer journey is flawless. This is particularly important when it comes to digital commerce as there are too many similar alternatives for you to go wrong. Customers are generally happy enough to look elsewhere after a bad experience.
Businesses need to try different things to get customers hooked and reel them in. Putting an omnichannel strategy in place is a good place to start.
However, creating that omnichannel strategy isn’t the most straightforward to pull together. People often forget to give the offline element as much care as the online element. Similar to a combustion engine, everything must work together perfectly or else it won’t work.
Once you get the engine working, there are some great results you can get out of it.
Benefits of Omnichannel Strategies
What you aim to get out of your campaigns may vary. But, the long term benefits of an omnichannel strategy will seldom change from company to company. In general, a well planned and well run omnichannel strategy will work for your business. Particularly when it comes to the digital commerce space.
The goal of any strategy should eventually lead to an increase in sales. The introduction of an omnichannel strategy should lead to just that.
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, omnichannel customers spend 10% more than single channel customers. This could be down to the fact that they are interacting with your business at multiple points, which is far more engaging.
It’s important to recognise the long term benefits of an omnichannel focus. Concentrating on the short term benefits and taking them as they come won’t yield the best results. Be patient with the strategy and you should begin to see an increase in sales.
Customer engagement and retention
Although important, sales shouldn’t be the be all and end all when it comes to the results you want from an omnichannel strategy. Keeping your customers engaged and retained plays a huge role in the success of your business too.
Companies that run omnichannel engagement strategies have retained, on average, 89% of their customers. As compared to digital commerce companies with weak strategies in place, who only manage to retain about 32% of their customers.
Some newer businesses can find it difficult to engage customers in the first place, let alone keep them engaged long term. Brands that introduce an omnichannel strategy tend to see an increase in customer engagement.
Increase in purchase frequency
The customers you retain through omnichannel strategies will begin to purchase from you much more frequently. This doesn’t happen as easily for companies that engage customers through single channels.
Businesses using more than two channels for communication per campaign earned a 287% higher purchase frequency rate than those using only one channel.
Adding to this, you should also begin to see an increase in the average order value. Omnichannel shoppers tend to spend between 50%-300% more than your average shopper.
There are benefits of omnichannel strategies that you may not realise at first. Businesses tend to see an improvement in efficiency.
This is particularly noticeable when it comes to your data. With an omnichannel strategy in place, you only need to collect your customers’ data once. The data can then be used for every channel, rather than having to collect data at each touchpoint.
Setting Up Your Omnichannel Strategy
An omnichannel strategy can be a little bit difficult to approach at the beginning. Especially if it’s something you’re not too familiar with. But when you get to the bones of it, the set up is like any other strategy or campaign you’ve ever run.
The trick is to not try and reinvent the wheel or overcomplicate it.
Use your data to understand your customers
Data quality plays a big role when it comes to customer engagement. Your campaign performance depends on it. Consolidation of customer data helps you better understand your customers without leading to confusion.
Creating relevant messages requires a better understanding of your customers. You need to come up with messages that they will want to open, not ignore.
There are a lot of different types of data you can include to build your campaign. The more customer data you include, the more personalised your campaigns will be. And the more successful they will become.
Using demographical, behavioural, or transactional data to build your customer profiles for your campaigns makes for a richer experience. Your customers will begin to realise that you understand them, building trust and fostering loyalty.
Providing a personalised experience is what will turn browsers into purchasers when it comes to digital commerce. Customers expect you to know them on a more personal level.
91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with businesses who provide relevant offers and recommendations. When it comes to your omnichannel strategy, you can send these offers out on channels of your choice.
Customers also aren’t as scared of sharing their data as you might think they are. 83% are willing to share it to have a personalised experience. It used to be much more difficult to get data. But this change in consumer behaviour makes it more beneficial for both parties.
You can create more relevant campaigns that lead to higher levels of engagement and retention. The customer receives the personal experience that they want.
Invest in your tech stack
Data consolidation requires you to use some other form of tech in your stack. These generally come in the form of customer data platforms (CDEPs), or customer data and engagement platforms (CDEPs). These tools will help you understand your customers to a level that you may never have experienced before.
The use of AI and VR can be very beneficial when it comes to customer engagement as well. It’s a pretty new idea for businesses to make use of. In fact, 22% of people believe that the use of AI and VR is the most important way to connect with shoppers.
This type of tech opens up brand new doors of customer engagement. Shoppers have experienced new ways of shopping online. The use of VR to provide customers with virtual shops and dressing rooms has engaged them in ways never seen before.
AI and Chatbots are now a major tool businesses have been using to provide better customer service. Using this type of automation means that customers have access to support 24/7.
Investing in tech will improve the experience your customer has with you and you will get results from it.
Choosing your channels
67% of customers use multiple channels before completing a single transaction. A lot of customers also admit that they won’t do business with a particular brand if they can’t use their preferred channels.
This is why choosing and using the correct channels is vital to the success of any campaign. Customers will go elsewhere if you don’t provide what they want.
If you’re new to omnichannel marketing, it’s important not to try and boil the ocean. Choose a maximum of three channels to start with, then go from there. Identify where your customers spend most of their time and concentrate on those.
As important as your online touchpoints are, you must ensure that you don’t keep your in-store experience on the backburner. This is where your customers get a physical experience of what it’s like to shop with you. You can create great in-store experiences that build your brand and engage customers. So don’t underestimate the power of in person experiences.
Overall, ensure that all channels are managed as a whole and not operating in silos. Everything should work in unison in order to create the ultimate experience for the customer. A disjointed operation will not suffice.
Measure, Test, and Go Again.
As with any campaign you run, it’s vital that you learn from it. It is near impossible to create and carry out the perfect campaign.
You should constantly a/b test your campaigns and identify what you could have done better. Take those learnings and apply them to the next one.
If you want to learn more about creating omnichannel experiences and retaining your customers, book a demo today with a member of our team.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.