What Is Omnichannel Retailing?
Omnichannel retailing allows you to scale multiple channels by syncing product and inventory data across them, including offline and online channels. While traditional multichannel strategies are linear in their design, omnichannel is much more fluid. Instead of only feeding data from that source to multiple channels and back again, all channels work together simultaneously to provide a consistent user experience.
When a brand executes an omnichannel strategy correctly, it is able to link these touchpoints together in order to create a unified customer experience that meets its needs and drives sales.
What Are Omnichannel Strategies for Ecommerce?
An omnichannel ecommerce strategy provides consumers with a seamless shopping experience on whatever channel they are using. Whether they are shopping online from a desktop, phone, tablet, or in a brick-and-mortar store, omnichannel strategies ensure a consistent experience for the consumer. This approach emphasizes the integration between distribution, promotion, and communication channels on the back end.
The foundation of a solid omnichannel strategy has four critical parts that need to be implemented: channels, marketing, operations and fulfillment.
Having an understanding of your customer and the social channels they use are critical to success in omnichannel strategies. For instance, if your audience’s demographic skews towards a younger age group, using platforms like TikTok and Twitter are platforms you should utilize in your omnichannel mix. When devising an omnichannel strategy, ask yourself the following questions: Who are my customers? What channels are they using?
Omnichannel strategies require extensive thought when developing a marketing mix. As you begin to develop your channel mix, determine how you are going to allocate your budget within these channels.
- Which type of marketing campaign best helps you reach your audience?
- Is the goal to promote your brand or your product, or is it a mixture of different ad types?
Utilizing the wrong ad platforms can jeopardize the success of your omnichannel strategy.
As an ecommerce business owner, having full visibility of both current customers and inventory is an integral part of the omnichannel experience. If your products are available on multiple marketplaces, then it is necessary to have visibility into all aspects of the customer journey. Having control of operations includes managing product inventory, ensuring advertising campaigns are updated regularly, and making sure each marketplace your product or service is sold has up-to-date information.
An order is not completed until it is fulfilled and delivered to the customer. Having multiple marketplaces and channels where orders can be made, omnichannel retailing strategies can make this step harder to complete. When a fulfillment strategy is consistent, it increases sales by improving customer loyalty and extending the customer’s overall lifetime value.
Why You Need an Omnichannel Strategy
As always, technology is constantly disrupting the marketing landscape, uncovering new innovative ways to connect with consumers. Consumers expect businesses to be up to date with their online websites and services while simultaneously being able to access the website at any given time on any given device. With so many moving parts and evolutions in the retail landscape, having an omnichannel strategy is a requirement to be successful in today’s market, as it helps meet customer expectations, delights them with tailored experiences, and increases your bottom line.
Customers Want an Omnichannel Experience
Consumers not only want their interactions to be seamless, they expect it. 90% of consumers expect their shopping experiences to be consistent across all channels. They expect that the promotional code they saw on a brand’s Instagram page will give them the promised discount at checkout. If their phone dies before they finish checking out, they expect that the items will be saved and that they won’t have to go click on every item again when they try to complete the purchase on their laptop. In the digital world, customer expectations are constantly shifting and pushing brands to adapt their online stores to accommodate this. Omnichannel strategies can help meet these consumer expectations.
Omnichannel Retailing Improves the Customer Experience
Having an omnichannel strategy improves the customer experience by creating a more convenient and personalized shopping journey. Rather than having one, fixed approach to purchasing, an omnichannel retailing strategy lets the customer use the method that works best for them. This customer-centric model increases buyer satisfaction by providing a more tailored experience.
Omnichannel Retailing Increases Sales
Having multiple avenues to buy means more opportunities to sell. With multiple methods of being able to make a purchase, consumers will have more flexibility to make a purchase.
Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single-channel, and the average order value is 13% more per order on omnichannel vs. single channel. (Omnisend, 2020)
Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies. Similarly, strong omnichannel companies see a 7.5% year-over-year decrease in cost per contact, compared to a 0.2% year-over-year decrease for weak companies. (Aberdeen Group)
What Can Go Wrong With My Omnichannel Strategy?
While omnichannel retailing can work wonders for your online business, some problems can arise and prevent your strategy from being successful. Not understanding the customer, having conflicting channels, and an inability to meet customer expectations are some of the biggest issues that can hinder omnichannel retailing strategies.
Not Understanding the Customer
In order to successfully integrate an omnichannel marketing strategy, you have to understand your customer. After all, omnichannel is intended to benefit them, so if you don’t understand the customer, how will your strategy succeed? Say your customers are looking for a product at certain times of the year only. Implementing a sales strategy or promotions pages outside of this period would not make sense. Similarly, if you learn that a majority of your business’ sales occur on a mobile device, not ensuring your website is mobile-friendly ruins the opportunity to increase your sales.
Channels Are Conflicting
With multiple channels, the backbone of every business can face issues: inventory. Ensuring that every channel appropriately syncs with your business’ inventory is vital to not missing out on a potential sale. No one wants to discover a pair of shoes they like on their phone, only to be unable to buy them off their mobile phone because they are out of stock and the website did not display that information. In the same vein, it is important to ensure that information displayed across various channels is accurate. If your online store advertises a 20% off sale, it needs to be the same at the brick-and-mortar location and online unless it is stated otherwise.
Inability To Meet Customer Expectations
In an ideal world, a customer wants to be able to know that at the time of their purchase, their product will be the right size and fit for their needs. They expect that a website will provide them the product while also being easily navigable when it comes to purchasing or returning.
Take the fashion industry for example, which deals a lot with returns. If a consumer orders a shirt that is too small, they will likely try and return it or exchange it for a larger size. This is a process neither the customer nor business wants to go through, but it is a reality. But even more of a reality is the fact consumers will likely abandon the brand and never shop there again if this process does not go smoothly. Taking the time to ensure your strategy is in line with customer expectations will prevent your business from losing disappointed customers and missing out on future sales.
Achieving Omnichannel Retailing Success With Blayzer Digital
Utilizing the right tools and platforms makes all the difference when organizing an omnichannel retailing strategy. At Blayzer Digital, we have established partnerships with many experts in the industry that can help execute a strategy for your ecommerce business.
Data feed management platforms like Feedonomics can take your omnichannel to the next level. By synchronizing high-quality product data across your channels and systems, your data feed manager optimizes performance and streamlines operations. Data driven platforms like this can help your business in a multitude of ways.
- Collect data from every source to have it readily available to prepare for adaptations of your strategy.
- Populate your feed with key attributes. Attributes should be industry-specific. This is your master resource for your catalog feeds.
- Optimize data for each channel. Every marketplace and advertising channel has unique feed requirements, style guides, and best practices. Platforms like Feedonomics can help with this process.
- Ensure orders sync back to you by developing a product dashboard. Having an organized system for each channel can ensure product orders or deliveries are never missed.
- Monitor channel performance. Learn how your strategy is doing in real-time and what changes to make.
BigCommerce is one of the leading platforms for ecommerce and can help begin or improve your business’s omnichannel strategy. As a BigCommerce certified agency, our team of developers, designers, and marketers can unlock the potential BigCommerce offers you. From web design to app integrations, including Feedonomics, we can help develop and execute an omnichannel retailing strategy for your ecommerce business.
Blayzer has completed our Omnichannel Certification with BigCommerce and we are ready to help you take your ecommerce business to new heights. Learn more about our latest and greatest qualification here.
Let Blayzer Digital Help Develop Your Omnichannel Strategy
Omnichannel strategies provide numerous avenues for your business to increase sales. Blayzer Digital is capable of helping your business achieve its marketing goals. With experience in web development, design, and years of marketing experience, we can help you sell on all the platforms that are right for your business. While we spend hours behind the scenes, the world will see you as an overnight success.