Tink Taylor looks at the omnichannel retail sphere, and how cross-channel marketing can help brands improve their overall customer experience strategy.
As technology continues to evolve, ultimate customer experience (CX) takes the lead ahead of competitive product quality and price in marketing. With the transformation of the way brands remain relevant in customers’ minds, it is crucial for businesses to consider brand coverage, social media presence, and overall lifestyle affinity. But, how will businesses be able to reap the benefits of an expanding marketplace? The answer is by investing in omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel marketing refers to the holistic approach that provides customers with an integrated yet smooth shopping experience on the go. With the proliferation of the fast-evolving digital marketing landscape, businesses and stakeholders now hold the essential tools to grasp new levels of engagement for their target markets. With customer experience at the forefront, how can marketers become exceptional and drive their brand’s value in 2019?
Today, the way customers interact with brands is no longer linear in nature. Therefore, customer experience is key, for both in-store and online businesses. According to a recent report, while 43 percent of consumers use five or more channels when dealing with a brand, 87 percent of engagements actually take place through two or more channels. Evidently, customers are now actively looking for businesses that provide unified experiences across all channels.
Going omnichannel means having a better understanding of your consumer and reshaping relationships in an experience-based economy. Every consumer interaction counts when it comes to achieving value creation through unified messaging. Brands need to be present on every consumer channel and realise that each interaction is evaluated as part of their customer’s experience. Omnichannel marketing enables businesses to align their goals and brand image ensuring they create value within their products.
The key to unlocking omnichannel is to get the basics rights with email and SMS marketing. They remain crucial when building a winning campaign strategy. Omnichannel communications and unified messaging promote email campaigns that adapt to customer preferences intelligently, increasing opens, clicks, and purchases. All of the data collected on individuals helps to build their unified profile, thus allowing for increasingly relevant and effective interactions over time and channels – in other words, developing a unified marketing experience.
Benefits of Adopting Omnichannel Marketing
While technology is a key enabler to deliver service and experience to customers, it is essential for businesses to consolidate their online environment; they need to focus on the common needs of customers in order to make their experiences seamless and easy.
In the current environment, consumers are less likely to purchase products due to the integration of online and physical markets. This is problematic for businesses when specifying which consumer markets they need to target. Omnichannel marketing works to resolve this challenge by streamlining the customer experience and ensuring that it remains consistent in a multifaceted landscape.
As marketing automation and omnichannel marketing are closely intertwined, SMS marketing must also be implemented in marketing strategies to tap into evolving customer habits. A ‘mobile-first’ approach will allow brands to maximise responsiveness across all devices and offer a positive first-touch experience for all mobile users.
With numerous brands to choose from, customers are no more confined to a particular one and are becoming selective, demanding more curated personalised experiences from brands. With Australians predicted to spend $43.1 billion by 2022 in the retail market, companies that do not adopt innovative technologies to enhance their brand will ultimately lose out on potential customers. They’ll fall behind the competition, unable to provide the inclusive experience consumers seek from brands.
Leveraging Technology to Create a Better Omnichannel Experience
In 2019, the latest technology trends have become intrinsic for online retail stores looking to achieve e-commerce success. Mapping out customer cross-channel journeys, and identifying the gaps around them, allows marketers to have better visibility to address those issues and provide a seamless experience to customers. Technologies such as AI and machine learning provide real-time insights into the ever-changing needs of customers.
Gartner predicts that by 2025 customer service organizations who embed AI into their customer engagement centre platforms will increase operational efficiencies by 25 percent, revolutionising customer care in the process. Marketing has always been analytically driven; and with the help of the real-time contextual data that’s gained through integrating AI and machine learning, businesses will be able to isolate the omnichannel strategies on the basis of their success and failure. For omnichannel strategy to succeed, it’s important to orchestrate each customer touchpoint, defining their buying preferences and journeys.
On the other hand, brands have the misconception that omnichannel marketing makes consumers unresponsive to their brand due to its singular nature. However, by utilising each communication channel, adopting the latest technologies (such as personalised messaging and user-friendly interface apps), and optimising the omnichannel experience, brands can ultimately satisfy customers with a great experience.
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