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

Developing an omnichannel strategy

Marketing

Jul 18, 2022

Reza Javanian

Mohammadreza Javanian

Editorial Content Writer

Time to read icon

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 which gives customers the capability and freedom to link together all their interactions with a brand, no matter what channel they choose.

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

  • An innovative business mindset which prioritizes customer engagement and value creation

  • A cutting-edge tech stack which gives a business all technical capabilities required for removing the divide between physical and digital worlds

Once these two crucial elements are blended together, you can start to develop an omnichannel strategy that helps you stand out from the competition in your market. The following 5 steps provide you with a roadmap to your omnichannel strategy:

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Don’t rely on outdated customer surveys.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 discussing it, a lot of brands realized that a huge blocker to achieving truly omni-channel experiences were 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 the time of the day they usually log in

  • 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 weave into their algorithms to further tailor their recommendations to the user’s taste

Netflix home screen

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 be easily integrated with other components of your system. 

Talon.One’s promotions 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. You can benefit from in-depth developer docs that guide you in every step of the way.

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