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Marketing

18 Jul 2024

Want to develop a strong omnichannel marketing strategy? Take these 5 steps

Reza Javanian

Mohammadreza Javanian

Talon.One loyalty expert

Developing an omnichannel strategy
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7 minutes to read

Offering a seamless experience across all marketing and sales channels is an effective way for businesses to create value for their customers. 

Creating such a frictionless experience requires developing an omnichannel strategy that gives customers the capability and freedom to link together all their interactions with a brand, no matter what channel they choose.

A successful omnichannel marketing strategy requires a think-outside-the-box mindset on two fronts: 

  • An innovative business approach that prioritizes customer engagement and value creation.

  • cutting-edge tech stack with all the technical capabilities to power omnichannel experience.

Once these two crucial elements are blended, you're ready to develop an omnichannel marketing strategy to stand out from the competition in your market. The following 5 steps provide you with a roadmap to your omnichannel marketing strategy.

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1. Conduct customer research

First, you need to know everything about your prospects and customers. On which channels do they spend most of their time? What are their expectations? How have their expectations evolved over the past years? What specific age group is mainly interested in your brand?

Don’t rely on outdated customer surveys. The characteristics, expectations and concerns of your customers have immensely changed compared to pre-pandemic years. 

On top of that, millennials and Gen Z, who are now among your main prospects, have totally different concerns and demands. According to McKinsey, most Gen Z consumers don’t even think in terms of traditional channel boundaries and they growingly evaluate brands on the seamlessness of their experience.

Your omnichannel strategy will give you a competitive edge if you frequently update it with fresh customer data. Customer data platforms can vehemently help businesses to orchestrate a consistent experience for their customers across the myriad of brand touchpoints. 

“After a decade of discussing it, a lot of brands realized that a huge blocker to achieving truly omnichannel experiences was weak customer data strategies. Customer Data Platforms like mParticle are helping retailers finally solve the data management piece of the puzzle, giving brands a truly 360° view of customers and their behavior and collecting/sharing customer data across the organization.” - Jonathan Senin, Senior Product Marketing Manager, mParticle

2. Synchronize online and physical worlds

Now it’s time to create a link between all your operating channels. You need to make sure that your physical channels are properly connected to your digital platforms. Technological innovations such as smart mirrors, Bluetooth beacons, and in-store kiosks can differentiate you from your fellow retailers.

You need to make sure that you’ve made every touchpoint shoppable. Omnichannel capabilities enable you to simplify the customer’s shopping process because they don’t need to switch channels in order to make a purchase. This is why brands with omnichannel retail strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers from channel to channel.

The growth of omnichannel architectures is estimated to accelerate in the coming years. Physical stores are predicted to be reimagined to be efficient for digital fulfillment. They will continue to exist but will interact with virtual and hyper-personalized store fronts. 

“If you decrease the friction in the checkout process, allow the consumer to buy and shop the way they want to, allow for a rapid delivery experience, you’ll get habituation. Those businesses will win over time.” - Thomas Lai, Head of North America Sales, PayPal

To know more about the sync between physical and digital aspects of customer experience, see our playbook on Omnichannel Retail

3. Deliver a consistent brand voice

Different channels have their own specific features. However, you need to make sure that your core values remain intact across all channels. For instance, if you’re known as a brand who prioritizes sustainability, you need to demonstrate it throughout all your operating platforms.

Consistency is also key to your omnichannel promotion marketing. If you decide to launch a discount campaign, you should integrate it into all your channels. If your customers receive reward points after each purchase, they must be able to redeem their points at every touchpoint. 

Maintaining consistency doesn’t mean duplicating your messages across all channels. You need to ensure that all your messages point to the same core values while they respect the specific requirements of the channel (social media platforms, app, website, brick and mortar) and the device (mobile, laptop, etc.) where they appear. 

4. Share data across channels

Your technical ability to share customer data across physical and digital channels is a prerequisite for the success of your omnichannel strategy. Your tech stack must be able to transfer customer data across channels in order to increase your visibility, automate processes and personalize your messages.

You can turn your customer data into valuable insights and engage in real-time interactions with your customers. It’s of note that as your omnichannel strategy gives you the opportunity to acquire first-part data, you need to safeguard your data assets. Any personal information breach would endanger the trust that your customers have put in your brand.

Composable commerce tools can help brands build a future-proof and scalable ecommerce stack, fully adapted to their specific business needs. The integration of your stack with a composable commerce platform ensures smooth and fast data flow between the backend services and the frontend(s).

"Omnichannel commerce requires a flexibility that traditional, monolithic platforms can't support. A frictionless customer experience demands 'best of breed' function across multiple domains. Composable commerce is the only approach that blends the physical and the digital with the appropriate depth of integration. Leadership demands innovation." - Chris Holley, Global Director, ISV Partnerships, commercetools, Inc.

5. Don’t personalize your messages; hyper-personalize them

As you move your operations to the omnichannel environment, you find the right architecture to move beyond personalization, delivering a hyper-personalized customer experience. 

Personalization focuses on the basic information about a customer such as name, gender, location and other demographics to tailor marketing messages that interact directly to the customer as an individual. 

Hyper-personalization is when we decide to go beyond basics, pulling from real-time and behavioral data to deliver highly relevant, individualized messages. 

Hyper-personalization:

  • Leverages AI, NLP and automation to create highly relevant and customized experiences. 

  • Tracks clickstream data (clicks, add to carts, etc.) in real-time to create relevant product/service recommendations. 

  • Increases marketing ROI and reduces marketing costs in the long run

Netflix is a great example of a brand that benefits from hyper-personalization in its omnichannel approach to customer journey. They have hyper-personalized recommendations and sundry other features including:

  • Hyper-personalized notifications delivered based on the user’s time zone and log-in time

  • Thumbnails on each TV show/movie match the user’s viewing habits

  • Closure notification which nudges the user toward their unfinished shows

  • Feedback through likes and dislikes which Netflix weaves into their algorithms to further tailor their recommendations to the user’s taste

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Courtesy: Netflix.com

An omnichannel approach to promotional solutions

Your promotions program, as an important element of your omnichannel approach, should be scalable and flexible to easily integrate with other components of your system, generating omnichannel promo codes, coupons, and more.

Talon.One’s promotion software integrates seamlessly with CRMs and other third-party APIs, allowing you to get up and running quickly with a scalable, versatile, and future-proof promotion solution. Benefit from in-depth developer docs that guide you every step of the way.

Keen to know more about omnichannel retail solutions? Check out our report, "The ultimate guide to omnichannel retail."

FAQs on omnichannel strategy

  • How do businesses ensure the privacy and security of customer data while implementing an omnichannel strategy that involves sharing data across physical and digital channels?

    Ensuring the privacy and security of customer data in an omnichannel strategy involves implementing robust data protection measures and compliance with relevant regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) or CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). Businesses must prioritize data encryption, access controls, and regular security audits to safeguard customer information. Additionally, transparent privacy policies and obtaining explicit consent from customers before collecting and sharing their data are essential to build trust and maintain compliance.

  • What are some common challenges or barriers that businesses face when synchronizing online and physical worlds, and how can they overcome these obstacles to create a seamless omnichannel experience?

    Common challenges in synchronizing online and physical worlds include technological integration complexities, legacy systems, and organizational silos. To overcome these obstacles, businesses can invest in interoperable technologies and platforms that facilitate seamless data exchange between online and offline channels. Moreover, fostering collaboration and communication across departments within the organization is crucial to ensure alignment and consistency in the omnichannel experience. Implementing agile methodologies and conducting thorough testing and optimization can also help streamline the synchronization process and identify areas for improvement.

  • How do businesses effectively measure the ROI of their omnichannel strategies, especially considering the complexity of tracking customer interactions across various channels?

    By analyzing key performance indicators such as sales revenue, customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and cross-channel engagement metrics, businesses can assess the impact of their omnichannel efforts on overall business performance. Conducting customer surveys, focus groups, and sentiment analysis can also provide valuable qualitative feedback on customer satisfaction and brand perception, complementing quantitative data to provide a holistic view of ROI.

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