Omnichannel Marketing; how to master it.
Omni-channel marketing follows is customer-centered marketing featuring a “holistic” shopping experience, one in which a customer’s buying journey is smooth and seamless, irrespective of the channels used.
It combines numerous available channels and customer touchpoints, in such a way that the customer experience across channels is optimized to the extent that all the disparate channels feel and work like one.
But delivering omnichannel efficiency requires a realignment of cross-channel communication programmes with brand messaging strategies that are difficult to master even for the most seasoned marketers.
How can companies master omnichannel marketing?
Pursue a customer-centered strategy
Brand managers must continuously seek to understand their customers’ behaviours in the different paths to purchase and allow customers to use the channel of their choice at any point of the journey. They should also seek to present opportunities for purchase across a breadth of channels, from stores and catalogs to websites, apps, and social media, in order to maximize the chances that consumers find them and engage with them at any stage of the shopping journey.
Take your entire team along
There is the need to promote a culture across the organization that embraces omnichannel retailing, promoted by the company’s executive leadership. Brand managers should move towards a model that remunerates staff for sales that happen in their catchment, and attribute costs and revenues on this basis, rather than by channel. They need to be prepared to align their entire operations with omnichannel retailing, from marketing and distribution to staffing and IT.
Integrate your channel
Brand Managers should ensure product information and prices are consistent across channels but make use of the specific advantages of each channel to engage consumers and market their products. Over time, they may need to move to an integrated IT platform from where all channels are run, possibly with different frontends.
Streamline your logistics
Appeal to your consumers who value flexibility and convenience by offering a range of fulfillment options. A re-evaluation of delivery networks and partnerships may be appropriate to accommodate this flexibility in a cost-effective way.
Redefine the store
Managers will need to re-evaluate their portfolio of retail sites and make the most of stores as part of the omnichannel experience – for example by leveraging technology to enhance the store experience, using some outlets as flagship stores, or adapting some stores to be used as collection points.
Embrace emerging enablers
Marketers should regularly monitor consumer adoption of new technology, and seek to adopt such technologies that can drive increased loyalty or help capture new customer segments.
This variety of strategies will help reap opportunities created by the omnichannel needs of the consumer. They blur the boundaries between channels and include shifting the role of the store from a warehouse where all products are stocked to a display site for certain products. There are only upsides to implementing an omnichannel strategy.
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