I’m confident you’ve heard it somewhere. Perhaps, someone in your team may have said it. Maybe you have seen it on the internet. The latest buzzword in the e-commerce world: omnichannel. It sounds fancy, fresh, and transformational. But what exactly does it mean?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a small business from the comfort of your home or your business is a big multinational corporation with thousands of employees. Adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy can be one of the best ways to reinforce the outlook of your business and accelerate growth.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why small businesses need an omnichannel marketing strategy and deliver a powerful brand messaging. But first things first!
What Does Omnichannel Mean?
An omnichannel experience is a multi-channel way of selling, marketing, and serving consumers to build an integrated and seamless customer experience, irrespective of how they reach out. The main goal of an omnichannel strategy is to ensure you are communicating with your customers at every step of the buyer journey and on all platforms, including social media, e-commerce, or your physical store. But does it work?
A study by Harvard Business Review, consisting of 46,000 participants, found solid proof that an omnichannel strategy works. For entrepreneurs, an omnichannel retail approach allows a cohesive customer experience from physical stores through a myriad of digital channels. Doing so puts you ahead of the competition and differentiates you from your peers. Why keep your retail channels in individual silos when you can use them together to improve your customer experience? Moreover, your business can gain economic value by providing digital channels to conventional store shoppers and vice versa.
How Can Omnichannel Improve a Small Business?
Many ways can help a company grow, be it a multinational corporation or a physical store looking to expand its market share.
Physical Store Pick-ups and Returns from Online Orders
The more options you offer your customers, the more willing they would be to buy things from your store or online platform. Customers and small businesses both love the flexibility of being able to select products online and at a physical store before going ahead with the purchase. This results in an increased lifetime value for the customer.
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Omnichannel retail provides better pricing incentives and the ability to provide discount offers. For example, offering a discount on your Facebook marketplace encourages shoppers to come into your brick-and-mortar store.
According to Neilsen’s Total Audience Report, people in the U.S. spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes every day browsing products on e-commerce websites. If people are online for such a long time, you might as well use your strategies to get them into your physical store.
Innovative Pick-Up Solutions
By leveraging an omnichannel strategy, you’re allowing people to shop things immediately rather than having them wait for days or weeks for conventional shipping. This also means that you’re putting your customers at the topmost priority. They can purchase a product while browsing their phone, on the road, in the back seat of a public vehicle, and then pick it up on the way home from work. It’s the best of both worlds, where you’re giving shoppers the ability to order online and the pick-up option from the store.
Leverage Big Data to Measure Data on Shopping Behavior
The more data you have on your customers, the better you can understand their behavior and customize their unique experience. If you deploy an omnichannel strategy, you are tracking their behavior at all parts of their shopping journey. As you gather more and more information on your customers and their shopping habits, you are using it to improve their experience and for future targeted marketing promotions.
The Bottom Line
As customer demands and business expectations continue to rise, companies will play a significant role in developing omnichannel strategies and identifying the customer journey. Rather than deploying only sales strategies, the future of stores may be used as places for brands to connect with their buyers, display products, and provide seamless experiences.
The current landscape offers an ample opportunity to deploy an omnichannel strategy as shops and touchpoints are waiting to be reimagined. Companies and brands that come up with new ways to create an omnichannel presence will win over customers and stay ahead of the competition. But, those who won’t have dissatisfied shoppers, disconnected silos, and empty shelves.