What Is Omnichannel Marketing? Definition & Tips

Omnichannel marketing is becoming increasingly significant to businesses regardless of their niche. Customers want to feel like a company sees them as individuals and have a streamlined experience across platforms. You will hear a lot about customer experience (CX) these days because of its growing importance to consumers. In fact, according to research done by Ipsos, CX is the top reason that customers choose to buy from a brand. No matter how great your content or products may be, you can’t give them all they want without omnichannel marketing.

Implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy doesn’t mean abandoning your other types of marketing; it means making your customers’ experiences with your marketing and their actual shopping, both in-store and online, smoother. Research from WorldPay shows that omnichannel consumers spend up to 300% more than regular consumers.

Here, we’ll discuss what omnichannel marketing is and how it works, the differences between this and seemingly similar options, and the benefits of this method. Then, we’ll move on to examples of successful strategies and suggestions for developing your omnichannel marketing solution.

Omnichannel Marketing Definition

Omnichannel marketing is an approach allowing customers to go through a seamless buyers’ journey whether shopping on a computer, mobile device, or in a store. This method acknowledges and addresses that the modern customer is no longer confined to a single platform and offers a smoother shopping experience to customers no matter which channel, platform or stage of the journey they’re in.

How Does Omnichannel Marketing Work?

Consumers often use a combination of channels to make a purchase. Effective omnichannel marketing ensures your brand’s messaging, content, pricing, and mission follow your potential customer through their shopping funnel.

Different companies use omnichannel marketing differently because their leads and customers are not identical.

Omnichannel marketing is all about personalization. First, find out who uses your services and how they do so. Then, tailor your omnichannel marketing experiences to them.

This is why omnichannel marketing and marketing automation go hand-in-hand: Can you imagine trying to do this manually?

Important Differences Between Omnichannel, Integrated, and Multichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is often confused with integrated and multichannel marketing. Though the three share similarities, they aren’t quite the same thing.

Omnichannel vs. Integrated Marketing

Omnichannel and integrated marketing could fool us into believing they’re identical twins, much like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen did in the 90’s—they’re incredibly similar in appearance, but, deep inside, they’re very similar fraternal twins.

Both integrated marketing and omnichannel marketing are all about seamlessness between platforms and locations while meeting customers where they are. They want to improve communication with current and potential consumers and make them feel welcome.

It’s more a matter of how they do these things:

  • Omnichannel: Focus on blending channels so the actual process is seamless; often focuses more on the practical aspects of the buyer’s journey, like research and using different methods of purchasing
  • Integrated: Focus on seamlessness between marketing strategies; often focuses more on “storytelling” via something like a mascot or emotional pull on customers

These two types of marketing often work together, with omnichannel data informing integrated data and vice versa. While you can have one without the other, it’s becoming less and less common.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel and omnichannel marketing both work across several channels, including online and physical stores, but they do it differently.

Effective omnichannel marketing creates a streamlined experience for customers, allowing the company to turn leads into customers. Meanwhile, multichannel marketing focuses moreso on one message, spread across several methods. For example, the customer may see the same message on several platforms, whereas in omnichannel, it will be more personalized to each individual shopper.

This doesn’t mean multichannel marketing is a bad marketing choice, but companies using omnichannel marketing often have happier customers.

Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

benefits of omnichannel marketing diagram

There are many benefits of omnichannel marketing. Just a few of them are:

Improved Customer Experience

Omnichannel marketing allows greater personalization, which in turn improves the customer experience (CX).

The career site Indeed reports positive CX can improve customer retention (which is much cheaper than finding new customers), turn customers into brand advocates, and encourage patrons to spend more over the lifetime of their relationship with your brand.

Enhancing Customer Interaction and Targeting Customers

Data analytics allow you to personalize emails and create messages your customers are more likely to respond to. For instance, if you have customers who have not bought from you for a while, you can send “we miss you!” messages with coupons.

In the run-up to major events like Black Friday, you could send out messages at regular intervals, creating excitement and anticipation ahead of the date of the big sale. You can even tailor the emails to specific customers using data analytics.

Allowing Multiple Device Tracking

With automated marketing software, you can reach your customer no matter which device they use. You can then see where they are in the customer journey and communicate with them effectively across multiple channels.

Reducing Digital Shopping Cart Abandonment

Omnichannel marketing solutions are also useful in combatting online shopping cart abandonment.

Using several case studies on shopping cart abandonment, the Baymard Institute estimates the average cart abandonment rate is at nearly 70%—that’s a lot of folks who made it to the end of the purchase process without buying anything.

Sometimes customers get distracted or haven’t decided whether they want to go ahead with the purchase. In this case, you can send an email to gently nudge them to go back to your website.

Other times, they may be turned off by things like shipping costs. You can find out about this via a survey asking why they didn’t complete their purchase or reaching out to customers at large to see why they may opt not to buy.

Effective omnichannel marketing creates a streamlined experience for customers, allowing the company to turn leads into customers. Meanwhile, multichannel marketing focuses moreso on one message, spread across several methods. For example, the customer may see the same message on several platforms, whereas in omnichannel, it will be more personalized to each individual shopper.

This doesn’t mean multichannel marketing is a bad marketing choice, but companies using omnichannel marketing often have happier customers.

Developing an Omnichannel Strategy and Strategy Examples

When figuring out how to implement an omnichannel strategy, the first thing to do is understand your target audience. Their demographics, how they get to any sign-up forms, and survey responses let you determine what channels to focus on and how to best personalize your marketing.

Once you know your target audience inside and out, you build your omnichannel strategies on their needs.

Here are just a few examples of how companies creatively use omnichannel marketing:

  • Employee devices: Giving employees mobile devices allowing them to help customers determine precisely where an item is, order an out-of-stock item on the spot, or discover similar items in stock is omnichannel marketing because it allows for a streamlined experience.
  • Omnichannel loyalty programs: Some companies integrate a loyalty program that can be accessed via an app, website, or in-store. You can place an order remotely and pick it up, getting loyalty rewards that way, or spontaneously go to the store, place an order and have your loyalty program work just as well using their phone number or scanning a barcode on your device.
  • Quick updates: There’s nothing worse than being told an item is in stock online or in a store, only to get to the final stage and find out that’s not true. Automated website updates integrated with inventory systems let customers know the moment something sells out. They can even email clients who have left the site to alert them if an item in their cart sold out.
  • Mobile for everything: Organizations may integrate their mobile services with on-site experiences. For example, this integration may allow organizations to send leads discounts on relevant items when they come within a certain distance of the location. Or, customers could scan QR codes for coupons when entering a store or even use their device as a hotel room key. You can’t get more seamless than that.
  • Integrated snail mail: Some target audiences don’t automatically throw away physical ads. So, organizations may choose to use the demographic and other data they gather from customers to send ads through the mail.

Effective omnichannel marketing creates a streamlined experience for customers, allowing the company to turn leads into customers. Meanwhile, multichannel marketing focuses moreso on one message, spread across several methods. For example, the customer may see the same message on several platforms, whereas in omnichannel, it will be more personalized to each individual shopper.

This doesn’t mean multichannel marketing is a bad marketing choice, but companies using omnichannel marketing often have happier customers.

Need Help with Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing benefits customers, businesses, and marketers. Customers enjoy a seamless experience, and businesses gain improved customer retention and revenue.
As the way shoppers interact with brands continues to evolve, the need for brands to move towards omnichannel marketing will grow. This means marketers need to adopt omnichannel solutions to better serve their customers.

But implementing an omnichannel strategy isn’t an easy task for many. In fact, it can be a major overhaul of your business model.

Thankfully, there are omnichannel marketing solutions, like SharpSpring, available to businesses of all sizes. We offer much more than omnichannel options, though. We provide omnichannel marketing automation services as well as other automated solutions aimed at revenue growth.

To find out how SharpSpring’s marketing automation system can boost your marketing efforts and create personalized campaigns, visit our website or request a demo.

Effective omnichannel marketing creates a streamlined experience for customers, allowing the company to turn leads into customers. Meanwhile, multichannel marketing focuses moreso on one message, spread across several methods. For example, the customer may see the same message on several platforms, whereas in omnichannel, it will be more personalized to each individual shopper.

This doesn’t mean multichannel marketing is a bad marketing choice, but companies using omnichannel marketing often have happier customers.

FAQs About Omnichannel Marketing

What is an omnichannel marketing strategy?

An omnichannel marketing strategy is one wherein your customers’ experiences are streamlined across all platforms, including (but not necessarily limited to) your desktop and mobile sites, app, and brick-and-mortar locations.

What is an omnichannel example?

Omnichannel marketing is used differently by different companies. However, a couple of common examples of omnichannel marketing include allowing customers to use your company’s app to pay in-store, having a cart “follow” a customer, and creating a digital loyalty program factoring in-store and online purchases.

How are omnichannel and multichannel marketing different?

Omnichannel marketing is more personalized across platforms for each step of the shopping process, while multichannel marketing is the same message across multiple channels.

How do you create omnichannel marketing?

The easiest way to create an omnichannel marketing strategy is to hire a company to take the work off your plate. Otherwise, you need to look at every aspect of your business and ensure their visuals, messaging, and products are consistent. It would be best to also look at how you can use various platforms to make the customer journey run smoothly.

What are the pros and cons of omnichannel marketing?

The most significant pro to implementing an omnichannel marketing solution is that customers increasingly expect it, meaning companies should consider it so they can keep up with their competition. The largest con is that setting up and maintaining an omnichannel marketing strategy can be time-consuming and require a great deal of communication between teams—taking them away from other tasks and thereby costing additional money.

Effective omnichannel marketing creates a streamlined experience for customers, allowing the company to turn leads into customers. Meanwhile, multichannel marketing focuses moreso on one message, spread across several methods. For example, the customer may see the same message on several platforms, whereas in omnichannel, it will be more personalized to each individual shopper.

This doesn’t mean multichannel marketing is a bad marketing choice, but companies using omnichannel marketing often have happier customers.

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