In the old days, marketing was very much about showing people where to find brick and mortar stores that sold their favourite products.
Now, though, things have changed.
Thanks to the internet, companies can now use many different channels to present their brands and products to the world. Using a combination of channels in an effective omnichannel ecommerce strategy can mean big success.
In this article, we look at omnichannel ecommerce, explaining what it is, why it’s important and how you can use it to help grow your business on the digital shelf.
What is omnichannel ecommerce, exactly?
Put simply, omnichannel ecommerce is the use of various different platforms to sell your goods and/or services.
It differs from multichannel ecommerce in the sense that each platform serves as part of an integrated user journey, as opposed to fulfilling just one specific function.
Omnichannel ecommerce focuses primarily on the digital marketplace but can involve physical stores as well. For example, if your brand has a brick and mortar shop from which you are running an event, it is possible to use your omnichannel ecommerce journey to signpost customers to that shop.
At the same time, if you are focusing purely on virtual spaces, omnichannel ecommerce can be leveraged across all sorts of different media to attract customers to your company.
Why is omnichannel ecommerce so important?
According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, around 73% of shoppers use multiple channels while purchasing online.
This shows that, in today’s channel-rich environment, maintaining consistency is important if you want consumers to trust your brand and (eventually) buy your products.
No matter what digital device or platform they’re using, your customers should enjoy a unified experience with omnichannel ecommerce when buying across the digital shelf.
What are the benefits of omnichannel ecommerce?
Having a successful omnichannel ecommerce strategy provides numerous benefits, some of which include:
- Clearer, more cohesive messaging (which leads to greater brand compliance)
- Improved customer experience
- Personalised user journeys
- Increased customer loyalty
- Better data collection
Examples of omnichannel ecommerce
Omnichannel ecommerce can take different forms depending on what your business needs, when it needs it.
For example, your omnichannel ecommerce strategy might include:
- Displaying different products across various specific channels to generate excitement and signpost customers towards buying them
- Prompting shoppers to download a new app, which gives them additional features relating to products on another platform
- Encouraging users across social media to request a demo via your website, before pointing them to the correct landing page
How to create an amazing omnichannel ecommerce strategy?
Like most things on the digital shelf, omnichannel ecommerce requires much consideration and planning.
So, you should keep customer experience at the heart of your efforts, and be prepared to test again and again until you get it just right. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Want to create an amazing omnichannel ecommerce strategy? Here are a few tips that will help you get started:
1) Understand your target market
You shouldn’t make assumptions about your customers; take it from us, their behaviour is almost always unpredictable. Instead, do plenty of prior research into their buying patterns, interests and needs.
Social listening can help with this, as many shoppers nowadays use social media and other online hubs to talk about the brands they love (and loathe). Ask questions, invite feedback and, above all, listen! You’ll be surprised at how much your business can gain by hearing them out.
2) Choose the right channels
Whether they’re window shopping at your online store or seeing ads you’ve posted on social media, customer touchpoints are key. But choosing which channels to focus on? Now, that’s the real challenge.
First, you should know where your customers are appearing online, as well as what they’re doing there. Only then can you begin to boost your digital presence in the right places.
Next, identify a clear purpose for each channel. For instance, allocate one mainly to customer interaction, another to news updates, etc. By differentiating between platforms, you’ll establish clear boundaries across your brand that shoppers can easily recognise.
Finally, a successful omnichannel ecommerce strategy doesn’t overreach. If you can’t address every single aspect of your user journey right this second, don’t worry. Concentrate on the areas you can control; trust us – you’ll soon notice an improvement.
3) Take an always-on approach
Omnichannel ecommerce strategies aren’t purely about sales.
Imagine a potential customer asks a company-related question via social media. Are your customer service team able to reply quickly?
What about cross-channel communication? Have you enabled it so that if a customer adds to cart via one platform, they can still see their item ready for purchase in another?
Websites, campaigns, social media, customer service, automation efforts – omnichannel ecommerce applies to all these areas of your online business and more. It’s therefore imperative that you have the necessary resources and equipment to manage each aspect all the time.
4) Integrate analytics tools
Digital shelf analytics has everything you need to know about your customer base, and its integration into your omnichannel ecosystem is essential.
By integrating digital shelf analytics across all your channels, you’ll be able to better observe how your customers interact with them, and therefore build more user-friendly journeys.
5) Adapt, adapt, adapt
Ever heard of the phrase ‘set it and forget it’? Unfortunately, this is a common problem among businesses looking to win at the digital shelf.
Some companies believe that once they’ve optimised their online sales funnel, they don’t need to do any more work. Nothing could be further from the truth!
With omnichannel ecommerce, you should always be adapting your strategy to reflect the market in its current state. Make changes where needed – and fast. Doing so means you stand a greater chance of staying ahead of your competition.
Omnichannel ecommerce and Magpie DBX
A one-stop shop for success on the digital shelf, Magpie DBX can help you craft the perfect omnichannel ecommerce strategy, tailored specifically to your business.
We appreciate how difficult it is managing multiple online channels. That’s why our dedicated team of software experts will not only work with you to better understand your ecommerce goals, but also set up the Magpie platform in a way that ensures they are achievable.
Want to learn more about Magpie? Get in touch with us today and request a demo!