Omnichannel Marketing in Retails: What and How it works

Safalta expert Published by: Ishika Jain Updated Thu, 09 Mar 2023 04:15 PM IST


Omnichannel retail is a retail approach in which retailers interact with customers through a variety of digital and physical touchpoints. As clients travel through various channels, applications and data follow.

The integration and cooperation of the various channels through which firms communicate with consumers to produce a consistent brand experience are known as omnichannel marketing and it encompasses both physical retail and digital channels such as websites. The major purpose of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to provide consumers with a comfortable, seamless user experience that provides numerous options for fulfilment. It may allow consumers to find and purchase online in-store, or a hybrid such as "buy online and pick up in-store". Nowadays, firms in a variety of industries such as healthcare, retail, finance, technology, and others, are using omnichannel strategies.
Table of Content:
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing
The Advantages of Employing an Omnichannel Strategy
Steps to Using Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel Marketing Case Studies

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

The integrated solution of branding, message, and online and offline touchpoints as customers go down the sales funnel allows a more powerful customer experience.

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It considers marketing methods from the perspective of the consumer where it allows customers to communicate with brands through various platforms, ranging from social media to customer care hotlines. Providing a few important aspects, it ensures that the consumer gets a favourable and consistent experience across all channels.
  • Consistent and recognizable brand tone and vision
  • Customized messaging based on individual preferences
  • Material informed by previous interactions and the present stage of the buyer's journey
Personalization based on interests and buying history allows customers to interact with branded material across channels, while a recognized brand simplifies brand recognition.

Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing

Even though omnichannel and multi-channel are based on the idea of engaging customers across various channels, they are not interchangeable. Multichannel considers the channel in question and how the transaction will be performed there. Instead, omnichannel considers the customer journey through numerous channels - and ways to provide the greatest experience when consumers travel between them. Each encounter is a step along a road that leads to a conversion. Let's look more closely at the distinctions between the two:

The goal of multichannel is much simpler involving the distribution of information and adverts across several channels. A multichannel strategy makes a company available to customers online, in print, in-store, and so on. The consumer has the option of interacting with the brand through different channels but the content and engagements within these channels are frequently isolated.  This multichannel is considered more representative of operations as reaching out to as many channels as possible, whereas omnichannel is more representative of the complete customer experience.

Omnichannel makes companies available across online and physical channels, but it is more advanced by offering an integrated, smooth experience across all of them. Transitions between devices and online and offline platforms are fluid, and messages are informed by previous experiences. An omnichannel approach also allows firms to embrace a consumer-centric approach that maintains the entire customer journey at the forefront of their minds.

The Advantages of Employing an Omnichannel Strategy

Most brands believe that an omnichannel approach produces the best outcomes. Although executing an omnichannel strategy is not easy it provides numerous benefits if utilized properly. Consumers today are used to being bombarded with messaging from multiple businesses due to which they have become pickier about the brands they connect with. Developing multichannel customer engagements can serve as a brand differentiation by offering the following advantages.

Improved User Experience 
Since the omnichannel focus on the individual experience across devices rather than the channel, it improves customer experience (CX).  Companies can increase sales and improve retention rates by concentrating on the consumer rather than the platform.

Cohesive Brand Strategy & Identity 
Having a consistent approach across channels helps in developing a distinct brand image and tone and it should be based on the needs and ideals of the target audience. People will have a more comprehensive brand strategy if the focus is on the overall experience and work within their brand rules to target every channel. This will convert into improved loyalty and more focused messaging.

Revenue Growth
An omnichannel strategy encourages people to interact with a company through many touchpoints and channels. Expanded, diverse engagements at each stage of the buyer's journey help in raising revenue, as research suggests that customers who interact with various touchpoints are 30% more valuable. This focused messaging leads to fostering loyalty, boosting the probability that a customer will return to the brand. Although being a smaller component of any customer base, repeat customers contribute 40% of revenue on average.

Steps to Using Omnichannel Marketing

Building an omnichannel experience should include the way an individual interacts with the company and focuses  On the overall experience rather than the channel. With this in mind, there are certain prerequisites for building an omnichannel experience.

Accurate and timely data collection about the customers is very crucial for the implementation of an omnichannel strategy where the collected data can help in discovering when and on what devices the target audience prefers to interact with businesses, what type of messaging they are more likely to engage with, what items and services they are seeking for, and so on.  Businesses must ensure that they have the required tools to capture this data successfully across online and offline channels. Unified Marketing Measurement (UMM) is considered a sensible approach to do this since it combines the person-level data of multi-touch attribution with the historic, aggregate measurements of media mix modelling.

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Data Analysis

The gathering of data is merely the first stage and it is pointless without staff and a platform to turn all of this huge data into useful insights. Companies must implement an analytics platform that can distil all of this data in near real-time thereby allowing teams to course-correct while campaigns are running to fulfil customer requirements in the present.

Mapping the Consumer Journey

Organizations should construct customer journey maps for each of their audience segments before starting an omnichannel campaign as they assess the actions taken by the customer between discovering the brand and purchasing from it. It also enables marketers to design more focused campaigns by taking into account individual preferences, user experience & interface, and elements beyond the brand's control that may influence the route to buy, such as economic issues.

Brand Guidelines

Organizations must create a brand identity involving defined messaging and creative standards and such principles should be followed across all platforms to promote recognition and awareness of the brand through a consistent message. Another option for businesses to promote an omnichannel experience is by utilizing brand tracking tools to measure and anticipate their brand's health in the minds of consumers.

Optimization / Testing

One of the most crucial aspects of an omnichannel marketing plan is to test the efficacy of the omnichannel approach regularly as it allows the marketing team to optimize campaign cost, messaging, creativity, and other aspects. Today's enterprises should use media planning tools that can perform "what if" scenarios that take into account budget, target audience, numerous KPIs, and media mix, and give a very granular media plan that can maximize ROI and inform future decision-making.

Omnichannel Marketing Case Studies

Consider the following brands that have effectively used an omnichannel strategy:

Starbucks can further combine the mobile experience with the in-store experience with its mobile rewards program, putting consumer convenience first. It allows consumers to reload their cards using either their phone or a desktop computer and are awarded points for using the app to pay, which can be used to get a free coffee. They can also avoid the early wait by ordering ahead of time.

Walgreens developed a bespoke mobile app allowing consumers to easily refill prescriptions, which they can subsequently pick up in-store. It also displays store-specific goods which makes it easy for customers who are planning a trip to determine which location to visit.

Timberland is merging the convenience of internet shopping with the in-person customer experience by implementing near-field communication (NFC) technology. Timberland installed Touchwalls in their stores, which link to further information about their shoes, and consumers can then add these items to their online shopping cart or purchase them in-store. Timberland also employs a product suggestions engine to expose users to lesser-known products depending on their tastes. Omnichannel retail is a retail approach in which retailers interact with customers through a variety of digital and physical touchpoints. As clients travel through various channels, applications and data follow.

What exactly is omnichannel marketing and how does it work?

In e-commerce and retail, omnichannel refers to a business strategy that strives to create a seamless purchasing experience across all channels, including in-store, mobile, and online.

What is the process of omnichannel marketing?

The presence of a company across many channels is referred to as omnichannel marketing. Websites, apps, social media, and email are examples of online channels, as are offline channels such as brick-and-mortar retail stores or company events.

What does omnichannel retail look like?

JCPenney earns good marks for omnichannel examples by offering Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) and in-store returns on internet purchases (cross-channel returns). They've also brought their internet experience in-store by making their website available at the point of sale.

What is the purpose of multichannel marketing?

An omnichannel marketing strategy aims to provide consumers with a comfortable, seamless user experience that provides numerous options for fulfillment.

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