Using multiple channels in marketing is a concept we have stressed over our blog posts and eBooks. Having more than one successful channel is crucial to success for your business and building your brand. But what about taking it one step further than this?
Having your channels work together to create a more powerful experience for your customers is an approach to marketing known as the omni-channel experience. It is essentially a multi-channel sales approach which provides a seamlessly integrated customer experience.
The reality is that nowadays, the majority of people you will be targeting are omni-shoppers. Meaning that even when they are in store, they are looking online at the same time. You need to provide an experience that is entirely seamless for them. This is called the omni-channel experience.
Giving customers this omni-channel experience means that whether they are physically in-store, on your website from their desktop computer or are perusing what you have on offer from their mobile, the experience is harmonious and they are able to have the same experience from whatever channel they choose.
Providing this seamless experience allows customers to view your products and your brand from different channels without formatting issues and difficult navigation. You need to unite your user browsing experience and make sure that every single platform from which your products can be seen are cohesive for your target market.
Examples of omni-channel brands include
- Neiman Marcus
- Virgin Atlantic
These well-known brands dedicate time and effort into making sure that their customers have the same experiences from all of the channels they can be reached. This increases their success as it makes for a more positive experience for their target market across all platforms.
How do you ensure an omni-channel experience for your customer?
- Understand your customer for the omni-channel strategy
Make sure you understand their habits, their needs, and their wants. Make who they are your focus rather than what you think they might want. A deeper understanding of your customers will allow you to make their experience across all your omni-channel platforms more appealing and effective as you’re catering directly to how they think and act.
To understand how to correctly provide the omni-channel experience for your customer you need to know where they frequently look for products like yours. You need to ‘walk in their shoes’ so to speak. Find out where they frequent and what platforms they look at online. Mimic their browsing patterns and habits as you look across the board. Know how they want to view you from the channels you offer and try to keep it as cohesive as possible.
- Focus on customer context for the omni-channel strategy
You need to remember to create content that is contextual to your target market to generate the omni-channel experience, otherwise, it won’t have the impact that quality content can have. Offer information based on their browser movements, try and make the information you provide as tailored to their needs and who they are as you possibly can.
Find the popular channels for your target market using tools like Google Analytics and build your content around the content you know they already expose themselves to.
- Synchronise your channels for the omni-channel strategy
We know the point is to create a seamless and effective regime for your customers to see your products from across all the different channels you use. When your customer puts a product in their basket on their home computer, it should show up in their basket when they look from their mobile app. If you have a discount code in use online, you should also offer it in-store.
Remaining consistent and providing synchronised information/ offers and experiences is crucial. Linking these different ways to view your store will allow you to provide a seamless experience across all your platforms that is consistent and easy for your target market to navigate because it is so familiar.
Creating the omni-channel experience for your customers is vital for increasing the chance of sales across all of your different channels. Whether you are being viewed on social media accounts, in store, or on your website, by providing a cohesive exchange of information to your target market you are far more likely to get a sales lead and generate success for your business.