The modern-day consumer expects to be able to view your products online, download exclusive offers to their phone, while they browse in store, and then be able to easily share their purchase on their Twitter feed. Today, marketers are facing the challenge of converting the always-connected consumer. In a recent report from MIT, 80% of store shoppers check prices online, with one-third accessing the information on their mobile device while inside the actual store. Many businesses recognize the need for an omnichannel strategy, but stop short of developing a plan to maintain a consistent brand image across channels. We’ve come up with a simplified 4 step strategy to help you develop your plan.
1. Create a seamless experience on mobile. 45% of consumers prefer a combination of online, mobile and in-store shopping (eMarketer). But if you are strictly online, it’s an absolute necessity to optimize for mobile. 72% of mobile users say it’s important that websites are mobile-friendly (Search Engine Watch). As of last year, more than half of all American adults own a smartphone (Pew). More and more consumers are starting to shop online either through a mobile or tablet, with the time spent on a mobile device surpassing time spent on a desktop last year (eMarketer).The first step in moving towards an omnichannel experience is creating a mobile experience. Make your site mobile friendly, with large visuals and simplified navigation to help mobile users quickly find what they are looking for.
2. Focus on the customer experience first. 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across channels (Internet Retailer). At the core of your strategy should be the consumer. Personalize the experience at every step possible. Utilize a social login tool in order to gather insights and create a more complete customer profile. Collect data from social networks APIs for structured data, verified email addresses, birthdates, and unstructured data, interests, likes, friends, and more.
3. Manage user data. 54% of marketers revealed that the biggest inhibitor in establishing a consistent omnichannel customer experience is not having a single view of customers across channels (Retail Systems Research Institute). More important than gathering user data, is sorting through and organizing the ‘big data’. Standardize all information gathered from a variety of social networks in order to maximize the full potential of personalization. Ensure you have the right infrastructure in place to store massive amounts of data and the ability to access it quickly as well. Organized data makes it easier to scale marketing efforts and target the right customers, at the right time.
4. Engage with customers across all channels. Actively engage with users to foster user generated content, boost SEO, increase referrals, time spent onsite and ultimately conversions. Once the channels are in place, easily engage with users on each channel with social. Run social contests within social apps or onsite. Interact with users onsite with ratings and reviews. 90% of consumers would recommend a brand after interacting with it via social (IAB, 2013). Furthermore, 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online (Business2Community). Reward users for cross promotion to further drive engagement to every channel.
Leverage customer data and insights to personalize the omnichannel user experience and create an authentic, immersive customer experience that is sure to increase brand loyalty and lifetime customer value.