What is Omni-channel Marketing?
Omni-channel marketing has now become a necessity in the marketing strategy of every business, big or small. Omni stands for “to be present everywhere and to know everything”, and that is exactly what omni-channel marketing does.
Omni-channel marketing builds and integrates your entire sales channel to provide a seamless shopping experience to buyers. According to a survey by Aberdeen Group, companies with a vigorous omni-channel marketing strategy retain about 89% of their customers, whereas companies who are poor at it retain only 33%.
The Difference between Omni-channel and Multi-channel Marketing
Multi-channel marketing and omni-channel marketing aren’t synonymous to each other, as misinterpreted by many.
Multi-channel refers to the ability to be available for your customers through various sales-channels that run independently. Your channels may include social media, an e-commerce website, a brick, and motor store, direct mails, etc. but in a multi-channel strategy, these channels are not inter-connected. This creates a void in the shopping experience of your customers.
Here are a few differences between omni-channel and multichannel marketing, that will help you understand both better.
Role of touchpoints
In both omnichannel and multi-channel marketing, the marketer interacts with their target market through various touchpoints (which include both, online and offline channels). In omni-channel marketing, all these points are integrated, and they work as one unit whereas in multi-channel all these touchpoints work independently.
Experience v/s Leads
The motive of omni-channel marketing is to remove friction and create a pleasant shopping experience for customers whereas multi-channel marketing works for reaching out to a big audience through different channels and increase leads individually.
Effort v/s Effortless
Omni-channel marketing works to make the customer experience effortless, smooth and convenient. In multi-channel marketing, more channels to reach the customers are considered. Lesser or no importance is paid to minimize the customer’s efforts.
There is a huge gap in the level of customer satisfaction for both these strategies. Omni-channel has been successful in giving the customers wholesome shopping experiences.
The Importance of Omni-channel Marketing
Consistent customer experience
Omni-channel marketing creates a consistent customer experience across various channels and platforms. Online and offline consistency individually won’t provide maximum value to your customers. But when you integrate all the online and offline channels together, there is no room left for friction. A person can search for an item on your website while they hold the same in your physical store.
Builds trusts with consumers
When you integrate your entire sales and communication channel in omni-channel retailing, you create a holistic experience for your customers. They see the same information on your Facebook page, your Tweets, website and, your store. This builds their trust in you- they now have confidence in your product, deals and, promises.
Simplifies your marketing message
An omni-channel marketing strategy streamlines and simplifies your messages. When each of your channels gives out the same message, it reduces the chance of miscommunication. Any noticeable disconnect in the messages you provide through different channels may lead to customers doubting your loyalty.
Motivates buying behavior
If your channels and employees work together seamlessly to provide maximum value to the customers, they will embrace and support your business. The level of convenience you offer your customers will differentiate you from your competitors.
What Omni-Channel Shopping Feels Like
For an omni-channel marketing strategy, it is not enough to have different online and offline sales channels. Omni is much more than that.
For example, a buyer adds a certain speaker to their cart in your e-commerce store but wishes to check its look and feel personally before purchasing. They visit your brick and mortar store, provide their login details to your sales rep, and the sales rep immediately get them the same speaker for trial. Your customer heads home after trial. The next day they decide to purchase and call your customer care to place an order for the same speaker. The customer care checks the login details with the help of the customers’ contact number and places an order for the same speaker. This is how you create a seamless experience with a robust marketing strategy.
Once a customer is introduced to one of your sales channels, all the other channels should recognize them as well.
What’s next for Omni-channel Retailing?
Brands like Amazon, Disney and Sephora have already built strong omni-channel retailing. As more businesses realize its importance and move towards omni-channel marketing, customers will receive a high level of satisfaction, and their expectations will increase. It will be impossible to satisfy them with mediocre marketing strategies.
Why will they settle for less when they can get better value somewhere else? Brands who do not adopt an omni-channel strategy will get outdated in the future and will eventually die if they aren’t able to meet their pace with customer’s demand.
Keeping this in mind, VARStreet now offers catalog export to various marketplaces like Google Merchant, Amazon eBay, etc, to social media stores like Facebook and Instagram, to marketing tools like Mail Chimp, and also allows you to add a ‘Buy Button’ to your existing blogs or websites.