The term ‘omnichannel’ is all around in the ecommerce realm. It’s not only the future of ecommerce but also the cutting-edge of online retail in today’s constantly changing technology world.
Omnichannel retail, or also known as omnichannel ecommerce refers to being available to your customers wherever they are. Whether they’re in-store or online or using desktop or mobile device, omnichannel ecommerce is designed to convert your visitors into your customers regardless of the platform they’re using.
Omnichannel is different from multichannel!
Multi-channel ecommerce allows customers to buy natively wherever they prefer to shop. On the other hand, omnichannel combines sales and marketing to create a single common experience across your brand.
What exactly is Omnichannel Ecommerce?
Also known as cross-channel ecommerce, Omnichannel integrates online and offline shopping experience. Unlike multichannel ecommerce, stores with omnichannel strategies have a physical store, a shopping cart on your website, plus shopping carts on many other third-party sites.
Today’s eager customers jump from one platform to another. These highly-demanding folks now want to shop their favorite things from all their favorite ecommerce platforms. This is what the concept of omnichannel online retailing helps achieve.
Benefits of Omnichannel Ecommerce
Omnichannel ecommerce has endless benefits for businesses. Here’re a few:
The omnichannel retail strategy enables the retailers to respond to their customers’ varying needs with a central database of products, prices, offers, prices, etc. Customers enjoy same prices and same offers whether they buy online or in-store, which enhances business efficiency.
Easy Data Collection
Increased visibility on multiple channels brings more personalized customer experience. When you track your customers’ behavior across these channels, you’ll collect valuable data to provide better services to your customers.
Integrated Communication and Data Analysis
Having multiple communication channels opens up several information streams for you. This is a great thing for businesses. Ecommerce stores should recognize these data streams to meet their customers’ demands. Analytics help comprehending, quantifying and reviewing the communications with your customers.
Strategy 1: Make Every Touch Point a Shopping Paradise
Oasis, a leading fashion retailer in the UK, has several brick-and-mortar stores, an ecommerce site, and a mobile app. If you walk into their outdoor store, you’ll notice their sales associates holding iPads. Through iPad, the company offers customers on-the-spot, accurate and updated product information.
Moreover, iPad acts as a cash register for associates to easily ring customers up from anywhere in the store. And, if something is out-of-stock, the staff can instantly place an online order to ship the item directly to your home.
So, with omnichannel, you can make every channel a shopping destination, without spending money, for your customers. First, look at your existing channels. If you’re active on social media platform, enable online sales on each those platform for a seamless customer journey.
Both Pinterest and Facebook are amazing shopping platforms with large average order values.
To start with, enable buyable pins on your Pinterest account.
How to enable buyable pins?
- Create a standard pin.
- Add the product’s URL, which points to the product detail page on your website, to the pin.
- It will automatically activate the pin as a Buyable Pin.
When users explore product ideas on Pinterest, they’ll see which ones are buyable pins. Clicking on these results will allow them to add the product to their shopping bag and checkout directly on Pinterest.
You can provide this seamless shopping experience on Facebook as well, by following these steps:
Step 1: Go to your business page on Facebook.
Step 2: Navigate to Edit Page > Settings
Step 3: Ensure that online shop is enabled on your page.
Step 4: Enable “Check Out on Facebook.” It provides deep integration required for omnichannel retailing.
When it comes to perfecting your customers’ shopping journey with your brand or store, keep the following things in mind:
- Make every point, at which people connect with you, shoppable.
- Allow all platforms to convert.
- Implement online stores on all social media channels where your business exists.
Don’t limit your business to a fixed platform!
Strategy 2: Globalize your business! BUT, act local for Localized Content Strategy
Does your business sells and ships internationally? If yes, then, this one is for you!
Giving a feeling of personalization to your customer brings unmatched outcome. And, this strategy, somewhat, relates to the same.
You can drastically boost your customers’ confidence in your offerings by having a website served in their local language and accepting their local currency. For example, if you’re serving in USA and Korea, then your website should be able to show up with American language and USD currency to Americans and Korean language and Won currency to Koreans.
Don’t make your customers feel like aliens!
To give your customers a complete omnichannel experience, you need much more than a translated version of your website hosted on a country-specific directory. Your customers should feel local even when they’re shopping at an international online store.
Apple is a great example of an international company offering a perfect omnichannel shopping experience to its customers all around the world.
How Apple’s website appear in Korea: https://www.apple.com/kr/
How Apple’s website appear in USA: https://www.apple.com/
Did you notice that not only the language but the content is also different on both American and Korean sites of Apple brand?
Customer reviews are extremely important!
Imagine: Korean people are reading product reviews posted by other Korean-speaking people. American people are reading reviews posted by American people. If customer reviews can’t improve your website’s conversion rate, nothing will do so!
Here’s how Apple displays customer review by localizing the content according to the target country.
How content on American website of Apple appears
How content on Korean website of Apple appears
You should localize your website’s content in more than one language and currency conversions, depending on the countries where you sell your products. Also, apply the concept of localization on your social media profiles.
Here is how posts on Apple Korea’s Facebook account looks like:
Not only the content, but even people are Korean on this account.
Some of the great ideas for content localization when you are dealing with customers in multiple countries are:
- Collaborate with local companies
- Create appealing local advertising, including print ads, video ads, display ads, etc.
- Choose the payment methods preferred by local buyers.
Strategy 3: Utilize the Power of Mobile Apps
Mobile internet usage allows people to access and share any desired information on the go.
According to some stats, around 52.7 percent of global mobile phones accessed the internet from their mobile devices. This figure is expected to grow to 61.2 percent this year. According to another report, the number of smartphone users globally is expected to reach 2.87 billion by 2020, from 2.1 billion in 2016.
On top of that, the worldwide mobile app market is expected to grow 270% to $189 billion by 2020.
Moreover, the worldwide market for mobile applications has been projected to grow 270% to $189 billion by 2020.
We can say that people are enjoying mobile experiences much more than before. And, here, mobile apps play a major role how people communicate with each other using these applications. Whether it’s a social media app or a brand’s application, we use all of them. Most of us start our day by opening our mobile apps, even before having our morning coffee.
Some of the smart and opportunistic companies are harnessing this growing usage of mobile apps in favor of their business. They are using mobile apps for perfecting their customer journey and improving their omnichannel ecommerce strategy.
You definitely need a mobile app being an online retailer!
It’s because of the following reasons:
Superior User Experience
User experience majorly affects conversions and sales. It represents how well your store does.
Online buyers are extremely demanding. All they want is ‘OPTION’ for everything. However, customers don’t want to deal with slow desktop sites. Many customers face the same issue with mobile sites.
Having a mobile app is the surest way to avoid such situations. A native app stores all data on customers’ devices, which minimizes load times and allow enough loading time for advanced UX elements, which makes users happy.
Better Conversion Rate
According to Marketing Land, mobile apps drive 189% more conversion than mobile websites and 50% more conversions than desktop ecommerce stores. It means mobile apps boost your conversion rate as well as your profits quickly.
Moreover, mobile apps reduce the cart-abandonment rate and bring plenty of organic traffic to your online retailing store.
This image shows that in both retail and travel, average order values on mobile browsers and mobile apps are almost same.
Better Search Engine Ranking
Google and Apple Spotlight Search now consider app content, in addition to website content, as an important ranking factor. It’s done via app indexing, a process wherein search engine robots explore the app using deep links. App indexing is available for both Android and iOS apps.
Thus, by having an app, you can potentially double your SEO organic traffic and SEO rating.
So, integrating your mobile app marketing strategies with omnichannel ecommerce strategy increases traffic, leads, user engagement, and revenue. You customers may get all the benefits you have to offer with your mobile app integrated with your omnichannel strategy.
Strategy 4: Use ‘DISCOUNTS’ Effectively
If used intelligently, a discount strategy can be a powerful addition to your omnichannel ecommerce marketing strategy.
RetailMeNot findings reveal that promotions, coupons, and discounts are immensely helpful in driving meaningful sales for ecommerce as mobile commerce continues to grow. Receiving a discount creates a sense of urgency and makes him click ‘buy’ button.
Types of Discounts
Take a lot at the most effective discounts and deals you can offer to your customers:
Offering gifts with purchase of customers provide additional value for the money of your customers. It also helps increase the order size or sells the product that isn’t moving since long.
Shipping charge is one of the common reasons behind the increased cart-abandonment rate. So, offer free shipping to mitigate the issue and boost your conversion rate. Make sure you use FREE Shipping discount with a minimum purchase requirement to increase your average order value.
Buy One Get One
When customers can get two items at the price of one, it’s hard for them to resist the deal. Ecommerce stores make up what they sell in volume what they lose in margin.
Offering discount based on the price value makes people feel like they’re wasting money if they don’t grab this offer. Pairing it with a minimum purchase increases its impact. Follow the rule of 100 while deciding the discount – if the item costs less than $100, use a percentage discount.
Otherwise, use a fixed amount discount.
As you implement an omnichannel strategy for your ecommerce store, customer loyalty will grow as their experience improves. And, offering discount is one of those confidence-building practices.
Strategy 5: Create A Movement By Standing Up For Something
TOMS Shoes donates a pair of shoes to needy children for every purchase made by normal people. With this purpose, the company has given out over ten million shoe pairs to children worldwide.
Purpose-driven companies, like TOMS Shoes, are on the rise these days. By merging purpose and profit, these companies carve a unique pathway to their success.
Customers love brands with a social purpose!
Today’s customers seek purpose outside the traditional methods, such as volunteerism, spiritualism, etc. Research conducted by Cone Communications and Edelman revealed that more than 80 percent people like to purchase from a company, which shows that customers’ investment can make a difference in people’s lives.
Engage your customers in various ways from multiple touch points. But, keep in mind; don’t overspend on traditional marketing as your target demographic wants digital.
Customers belong to an omni-connected world
Today, customers extensively use smartphones and make daily posts on social media. They lead this omnichannel and omni-connected world.
Brands can take benefits from this connection. They can emulate a particular social movement model that appeals to their customers’ hearts. Make sure you don’t forget your business goals while following the social movement. Keep both of them well-aligned.
Steps to build an effective social movement campaign
All social movement feature one, focused purpose, an authentic mission, low entry barriers and commitment to cultivate growth.
Step 1: Earn Your Mission
Decide your mission at first. Without mission, you can’t develop a success-oriented strategy.
Step 2: Build passionate platforms
Establish platforms, like clubs, groups and communities, to give space to people for discussing the movement.
Step 3: Balance Cohesion And Diversity
Lack of cohesion means no common purpose. And, lack of diversity groupthink eventually makes the purpose lose its relevance. So, maintain a healthy balance between cohesion and diversity.
Step 4: Create Genomes of Belief
The key to movement success lies in defining the principles at a deep, visceral level, instead of abandoning them.
For example, McDonald is doing great in India, where beef is a taboo. Similarly, Cosmopolitan Magazines are popular in Islamic countries, where view toward glamour is different from that of the U.S. Besides these, both brands remain faithful to their core values.
Strategy 6: Allow Flexible Purchase
Let’s admit it: Customers are fussy when it comes to the preferred ways to buy a product online. One may tell them not to buy clothing until they try it first, while other may not mind returning the purchase if it doesn’t fit them.
On the other hand, some people pick up items from a store, while others can’t even think of entering a physical store as ecommerce is handy for them.
Zumiez, a clothing retailer, realized its customers’ uncertain buying behavior. So, the company decided to offer multiple purchasing options to put the customers at ease.
Customers can now place a product in their shopping cart and choose to either pick it up in-store or get it shipped to their home. Customers can buy from every channel on which Zumiez is available. The selected item can be even shipped from one store to another.
Incorporate ‘Flexible Purchase’ Omnichannel Strategy to Your Business
Depending on the ecommerce platform you’re using, you can add a variety of store pickup features to your website. You can also install the WooCommerce Local Pickup Plus extension that offers product pickup at any location.
Shopify’s Store Pickup + Delivery app is also a workable solution.
Are you running an online store? You must, without a second thought, utilize these omnichannel ecommerce strategies to boost your business performance.