Luna loves to shop for clothes. But her shopping style is a little peculiar. She first looks up trendy clothes that she can get on Myntra. But it's rather quite hard to decide since some dresses that interest her for their soft colors, don't size her well. Other dresses are all sparkles, that she wonders how they'll look on her. Still, others are glamourous but don't fit her bill.
Nonetheless, Luna keeps exploring clothes and brands till she arrives at a refined list for further research. Then, she visits websites of her narrowed-down brands, chats with the support agent to garner more clarity. Finally, she goes to the shop to try on the product that is ordered to her fit and suits her taste.
Once satisfied that she looks dapper in the attire, she buys it.
That, my friend, is what you call an omnichannel shopping experience - here to revolutionize the retail industry.
Table of Contents
Just like Robin, customers all around take no linear path to reach their goals. They engage with your company on multiple channels - pausing, abandoning, and resuming their journey along the way.
Before visiting your store, consumers might conduct online searches, look up your website. Before purchasing that makeup kit, shoppers might first virtually try the shades of maquillage, get on a support call with the sales assistant and ask their opinion of their choice of cosmetics.
This can come challenging for you, synchronizing cross-channel marketing at the same time in a single customer journey and also manage the customer lifecycle seamlessly enough to render a personalized experience each time.
The various disconnected interactions your customer base has with your retail brands make omnichannel customer engagement a necessity so that you don't end up struggling to orient the customer journey.
Having said that, you should understand that omnichannel customer engagement is a marketing strategy that creates a seamless transition between various customer touchpoints by blending and orchestrating them from a centralized customer relationship platform.
Holding onto the best practices and omnichannel customer engagement solutions as sacred commandments, your retail company will be empowered to deliver consistent, personalized customer experiences through each phase of the buying journey across all touchpoints and business channels.
According to research by Aberdeen Group, businesses with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers. This is a leap of 33% as opposed to companies with weak omnichannel strategies. And as you know, a mere 5% increase in retention rates can increase your revenue by 25 - 95%.
Following are more interesting statistical results on how omnichannel customer engagement is enabling companies to attain business goals and exceed customer expectations.
- The purchase rate for a marketing team using more than one channel in a campaign is 287% higher than those using a single channel.
- The purchase frequency is 250% higher and the average order value is 13% more per order on omnichannel versus single channel (Omnisend).
- Omnichannel has 90% higher customer retention rates than a single channel.
- Research by Think With Google indicates that omnichannel strategies generate around 80% of brick-and-mortar store footfall.
- 90% of customers expect consistent customer interactions across multiple channels.
- The lifetime value for omnichannel shoppers is 30% higher than those who shop using only one channel. (Google)
- Over 35% of customers expect a seamless omnichannel experience in being able to contact the same customer service agent on any channel. (Zendesk)
Looking at these numbers, I'm sure you are convinced that omnichannel strategy is indispensable for customer engagement in the modern era.
Let's look at how some of your retailer peers are adapting the omnichannel approach to give a consistent experience to their customers. It really doesn't hurt to learn and replicate, does it?
Walgreens, a pharmaceutical retail giant launched its mobile app, which was highlighted by Forbes as one of the highest regarded in the U.S. The success of this technology can be attributed to the implementation of an omnichannel strategy to deliver a consistent customer experience.
Shoppers can manage their pharmacy prescriptions with the app. They can fill out a rapid refill request, find deals on products in Walgreens' stores, and place orders and pick them at the nearest store. This mobile-focused experience across channels has catered to improving brand-customer engagement.
Have you ever used the Starbucks rewards app? You'll understand then why I and many others consider it as one of the top omnichannel experiences out there.
With this app, you claim a free rewards card that you can use in all Starbucks shops whenever you make a purchase. However, unlike traditional customer loyalty programs, you can check and reload your card with your mobile, or on Starbucks' website, in their store, or on their app. Any change to the rewards card or your profile will be automatically updated in real-time across all channels.
When I order food online and find that the restaurant hasn't prepared my purchase by the time I arrived, it gets on my nerves. Ever been in that situation? You'd agree then with me that there's no point in an online ordering system if we have to wait to get our order ready.
To pacify folks like us, Chipotle has come up with an interesting online system and mobile ordering app that will allow us to place our orders wherever we are. Signing up for an account, the app allows us to save our favorite orders so that we get what we need at the click of a button.
Walgreens, Starbucks, and Chipotle teach us that omnichannel strategy is all about having your consumer at the center of your business and making their lives easy. Leveraging customer engagement solutions and imitating these retailers will help you give your customers a seamless experience and unparalleled customer service.
Delving into the examples would have shed light on the wonders of an omnichannel customer engagement strategy. Let's now look at a five-step blueprint to assist you in developing your engagement strategy.
1. Discover the channels that your customers use predominantly
Don’t think that you need to be present on every single marketing channel. That’s not always necessary. Instead, you need to invest in the channels your customers use.
The best way to go about this is to hop back to your buyer persona, analyze customer intent on every channel, to finally pinpoint the channels best suited for your omnichannel strategy.
2. Map the customer lifecycle journey
The second step implores you to map the consumer lifecycle journey from one channel to the next so that they don't slip through the holes. Here are some questions you might want to ask while mapping customer journeys.
How does channel X convert customers to channel Y?
Does the progression from channel X to channel Y promise a purchase?
3. Craft compelling content on every channel
You should understand that omnichannel marketing is about pushing the right messaging and communication to the right segment of customers over the right channels.
For example, long-form content will do well for newsletters and your blogs. Short texts would perform well on Twitter and videos would be great for YouTube. But mixing up the content format on different channels has a good chance of blowing up your omnichannel strategy.
So, keep this in mind - your cross-channel marketing messages and experiences should work together to reach your business goals.
4. Provide cross-channel customer service and support
It's important to render customer support at every touchpoint when customers interact with your brand across multiple channels. This will help you to secure customer confidence and loyalty to your brand.
5. Invest in a customer engagement platform
Without a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, it's unlikely that you'll ace your engagement strategy. An Artificial Intelligence-based CRM technology will help you garner unified customer profiles to ensure you have the strongest omnichannel customer engagement plan.
An AI-driven CRM like Ingage will help you organize customer data in a single platform. You can then use the data to segment customers based on various attributes, run campaigns, and tie online and offline customer interactions.
To learn more about Ingage, book your personalized demo here.
Uniting online and the offline shopping experience is no longer a luxury for retail businesses, rather a must-have. Adopting this trend early on will give you a leg up in the competition.
Need a hand in developing your omnichannel customer engagement strategy to augment conversion rates and ensure customer satisfaction? Write to us!