One thing that never stops changing is customer expectations. Since the advent of sales and marketing, customer expectations have been evolving, and brands have adapted accordingly. In this customer-driven business landscaping, customer satisfaction has become the cornerstone of business success.
Optichannel marketing is one of the most effective strategies that can help you align your marketing approach with your customers’ requirements and provide an excellent customer experience.
Here’s a detailed guide to using optichannel marketing processes to enhance customer experience and satisfaction.
If you’re a marketer and have heard the term “omnichannel marketing” from all directions, you’re not alone. With the entire business landscape going omnichannel, not coming across omnichannel marketing is almost impossible.
Omnichannel marketing is all about providing a unified, integrated experience across all channels. A multichannel approach is company-centric, intending to increase your outreach and reach as many consumers as possible across multiple channels. Omnichannel marketing is a customer-centric approach, where the focus is to provide a seamless customer experience regardless of the channel.
According to CX Today, 9 out of 10 customers want an omnichannel experience with hassle-free service across communication channels. Here’s what it means for your customers when you have an omnichannel marketing strategy.
The most common approach to implementing an omnichannel experience is by integrating your online and offline marketing. A customer walking inside your store should get the same experience they’d get if they had purchased online from your website. QR codes allow you to integrate your online-offline marketing.
You can create a customized QR code using a QR Code Generator and put it up on your offline marketing materials like brochures, flyers, and billboards. Link the QR code to a website landing page that provides in-depth information about the product. People can scan the code from their smartphones, reach the landing page, and learn more about the product.
This way, you can provide a unified marketing experience to all your customers irrespective of whether they buy online or in-store.
Optichannel marketing takes omnichannel marketing one step further, by tracking channel-wise metrics of usage and interactions of a customer or a lead with one particular channel, with the aim of optimizing and personalizing omnichannel touchpoints for the customer or lead. Tracking this data and the optimization allows for better conversion rates, improved touchpoint performance and enhanced customer experience and customer satisfaction rates. Optichannel marketing does not mean reducing the number of available channels, it simply enables the best performance in the available channels, with a unified customer experience across both online and offline channels.
Retail shopping has changed dramatically over the years, which has led to a surge in the popularity of omnichannel marketing. Let’s step back in time when eCommerce was in its early years. Back in the day, retailers would sell most of their products in-store. Then eCommerce came to light, and some retailers hopped on the online retail bandwagon.
They started selling some of their products online. At that time, the brick-and-mortar and online stores were separate entities, with no relationship with each other. Customers would shop online from a brand without even knowing if it has a physical presence.
Things aren’t so simple now. The evolution of the internet and online shopping has changed things, and you can’t have separate online and in-store experiences anymore. You never know how your consumers will behave. One day, they may purchase online. The next day, they may feel like walking inside the store. Some customers will visit the online store to select products and then go to a physical store to purchase them. While in the store, they may pull out their phone and compare the price of an item in-store and online.
In a nutshell, the online and offline worlds aren’t distinct anymore. They’ve collided, and retailers need to adapt accordingly. Any discrepancies in online and online experiences can affect customer experience and satisfaction. Therefore, retailers need to deliver consistent and seamless experiences across all channels.
This is where omnichannel marketing comes into the picture. By implementing omnichannel strategies, retailers can integrate their online and offline experiences and provide a truly unified experience to their customers regardless of the channel.
Net-a-Porter, one of the first fully-only luxury apparel stores, is a great example of omnichannel marketing in action. They were struggling to drive sales, establish brand loyalty, and create long-lasting customer relationships. So, they decided to take an omnichannel approach.
They set up three distinct channels – a mobile app, email marketing, and ad retargeting. When a customer signed up using the mobile app, they would receive a welcome email, creating an always-available experience. When a customer abandoned a cart, they’d receive an abandoned cart reminder email. At the same time, the brand used retargeting to show display ads of products added to the abandoned cart.
This led to a truly omnichannel experience and helped Net-a-Porter drive a 16.9% year-over-year revenue growth.
Optichannel marketing provides a framework for companies to improve their customer communications with a uniform customer experience, tracking usage statistics and deriving user insights can enable automation and optimization. With the availability of customer data and insights, companies can use AI to supercharge communication through the right channels, and at the right time can improve ROI exponentially.
These insights can also improve resource allocation and reduce costs. The opportunity of communication automation like AI based chatbots, integrated landing pages and so on help in improving operational efficiency.
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of optichannel marketing, let’s talk about how you can utilize specific processes to improve customer experience. Since customer satisfaction is the key objective of an optichannel strategy, putting your customers first is crucial.
Here are some actionable ways to enhance optichannel customer experience and satisfaction.
Data from Outer Box Design shows that nearly 80% of consumers have made an online purchase using mobile in the last six months. People nowadays expect good mobile services, and it’s no surprise that they’re also seeking support and service on mobile.
Retailers need to provide a superior mobile experience, and it goes beyond a mobile app for shopping online. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, and you have dedicated resources to provide customer support and service to your mobile customers.
Social commerce is becoming huge and continues to be a major influencer of buying behavior. If you haven’t already, allow your customers to shop directly from your social media profiles. Networks like Facebook and Instagram provide direct selling options to brands.
Social media can also be effective for customer support and service tool. You must’ve seen an array of brands using Twitter to resolve customer queries. However, there’s a huge gap between when customers expect a response to their query and the average time brands take to respond. 32% of consumers complaining on social media expect a response in 30 minutes. Thus, if you use social media for customer support, ensure that you have a quick response time.
Optichannel marketing is all about improving the customer’s experience, and to do so, you need to understand their journey. How does the journey of your typical customer look like? Do they find you via search results, sign up for your email, and make a purchase after a series of emails? Or install your app and buy the products?
Here’s a secret. Customer journeys are seldom the same. You can have five customers taking five different journeys to purchase the same product. Here’s another secret. Customer journeys continue to change from time to time. Hence, mapping out customer journeys is important for identifying how customers and interacting with your business. Knowing your customers’ preferred channels of communication is extremely important when wanting to reach out and get positive results and reactions.
Analyzing the customer’s journey also allows you to determine how your optichannel strategy is performing and if there are any roadblocks. When you know how your customers find you, you can understand their decision-making process and cater to their requirements. This ultimately leads to better customer service. Track user metrics like Net Promoter Scores, CSAT scores in each touchpoint, measure performance against audience metrics like demographics, industry, designation and the like to optimize your optichannel strategy for a target audience type.
Not many businesses see content marketing as a part of their optichannel strategy. When you create content for a particular campaign, see if it can be optimized and used for other channels. For example, if you publish a blog post, you can create an infographic summarizing its takeaways and share it on social media. You can also use it as a script and turn it into an animated video, share it on YouTube or email, and possibly even advertise it later on.
This approach is known as content syndication and can help you reach a broader audience. When repurposing your content, use the same imagery and graphic elements across all channels to maintain consistent branding and messaging. Hence, you’ll create a smoother customer journey as they’ll see your brand on various platforms and channels.
Around 73% of consumers shop on more than one channel, according to Harvard Business Review. Customers want more options when it comes to shopping. In most cases, retailers divide shopping experiences into online and offline, but things go much deeper. Online shopping can occur on your eCommerce website, a third-party website (like Amazon), social media, through affiliate links, email, and various other sources. In-store shopping can be through franchise stores or third-party retailers and distributors.
A common mistake retailers make is that they try to be present on as many channels as possible. More channels indeed guarantee more reach, but the core purpose of optichannel marketing is to provide targeted unified experiences. Choosing the most profitable channels, automating touchpoints and optimizing experiences are what companies must look to do.
Therefore, pick a few channels with the highest buyer volume and optimize them to provide a unified buying experience to your customers.
An optichannel marketing strategy is incomplete without personalization. While personalization has many benefits, let’s look at it from the customer experience’s perspective. Incorporating personalization in your strategy makes the customer feel that you care about them as an individual. If you’re skeptical about the significance of personalization, know that 90% of US consumers find marketing personalization appealing.
So, how can you personalize your optichannel marketing? You can get started by showing personalized and relevant product recommendations to your target customers. When users visit your site, they accept Cookies, which allows you to track their browsing behavior. You can track which products they check out on your website and which websites they visit after exiting your site. Based on this data, you can create personalized product recommendations for them. When users visit your website the second time, they’ll see personalized recommendations based on their browsing behavior.
Sending personalized emails is another effective technique. When your website visitors sign up for your email list, send them welcome emails and address them by their first name. When they abandon their cart, send them reminder emails and offer them appealing discounts. This guide by Moosend can help you get started with personalized marketing.
Marketing is one of the most important operations for any brand as it paves the way for sales. But marketing has changed significantly over the years. Present-day marketing revolves around providing seamless experiences to customers across channels, which has led to the rise of optichannel marketing. Hence, brands need to adopt optichannel strategies to offer a better experience to customers.
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