The ecommerce field is not the same as it was yesterday.
To be successful in today’s market, you need to establish a personalized connection with every customer.
The need for unique attitude towards a group of customers derives from the very nature of e-commerce.
In addition to the traditional stores, printed ads, and emails we have websites, social media, mobile applications, SMS communication, and, of course, word-of-mouth.
With that many variables, you cannot rely on a single channel to grow your business.
Consumers these days use more than a single platform to purchase your products.
Multichannel marketing is essential for your business, as it enables full control over every single platform you are using.
Put simply, multichannel marketing is the ability to implement a single, solid strategy across more than one platform. This is done to maximize your interaction with potential customers.
Channels may vary, but your goal is to give your consumers a choice of action. Given that choice, they can pick a when and where to buy from you.
We will talk a lot about using data to get more sales and profit over time. Even disguised behind multi-channel and omni-channel marketing terms, data-driven marketing makes it all possible.
Thanks to modern CRM platforms, data-driven marketing has risen to the point of a constant for profitable businesses. As you may have figured, it uses data from all possible sources to boost purchase rates.
What makes it unique is that distinctive ability to target your customers individually.
Some years ago, marketers were limited to using a single message for all of their customer bases. With data-driven marketing, you can target each customer in a special and creative way.
If we can rank the stages of marketing engagement, we would put them into three categories:
To produce you need to create.
To publish you need the assistance of media.
To personalize a customer experience, you need creation, media, and data.
Speaking of multichannel and data-driven marketing, we must look at another crucial term. Omni-channel marketing is the epitome of market domination. It is connected to a remarkable shift in marketing in general.
Omni-channel marketing is strongly connected with the user experience. In a world of constant competition, marketers need to provide the most seamless shopping experience for their customers.
Your customers can engage with your brand in five general ways:
All of the above need to be coordinated for a smooth and complementary user experience.
Imagine that a customer sees your product in a printed catalog somewhere. They decide to check it out later on their mobile phone, they discuss it with friends, and after some consideration, they decide to buy it.
They enter your online store on their laptop but they don’t remember the exact name of the product. They scroll for a minute or two, and they leave it for later. Their shopping cart remains empty, and your product loses a potential sale.
A proper omni-channel marketing strategy lets you coordinate all of your marketing channels together.
Look at it through your customer’s eyes. The easier they can switch from one platform to another, the easier they will purchase your products.
In our busy everyday life, many have adopted the mindset of “easy-is-best”. If a purchase gets complicated, marketers risk sales stats. You have to anticipate that customers move from one channel to another.
If (we should say “when”) that happens, these channels have to be coordinated to ease the user experience.
If every possible channel of your brand is integrated with the others, you will be a step ahead of your competition. Your customers will have smoother transitions, and you will have smoother sales.
Omni-channel marketing is the ultimate form of multi-channel marketing.
The first step in understanding omni-channel marketing lies in your customer’s mind.
A consumer needs to have the full spectrum of purchase possibilities. And omni-channel does exactly this. It consists of not only managing but integrating multiple channels as one whole marketing machine.
For example, let’s say that customer X browses your physical store, likes an item but decides to buy it later. They go home, search for it, and realize that the only one item in the right size left was in your store. They weren’t able to check the number of products in stock, so they missed to buy the product on the spot.
If they knew this was the only copy left, would they have gotten it? Probably yes.
By implementing a connection between physical, online, and mobile channels you avoid losing a sale due to lack of information.
Now, that we have covered the basics, we can move on to the proven benefits of omni-channel marketing for your business.
The more communication channels we have, the more streams of information we get.
Every business must understand their customer’s needs, and this is the cornerstone to do so. Being able to analyze customer behavior lets you understand and polish your connection with them.
Omni-channel marketing enables data gathering across all possible channels for optimal analytics. It doesn’t matter where you get the data from, as long as you can cross-reference it with another channel. This creates a solid environment for future marketing campaigns and an overall better customer experience.
Platforms like Metrilo let you gather data from different channels to distinguish various channel-oriented customer groups. You can track purchases of best-selling products, where people come from for each purchase (not just the first acquisition channel), how they react to marketing communication like emails and coupons, etc.
We are familiar with the “Content is King” concept. And we accept it, but it gains even more power when it is combined with relevant data.
With modern platforms, you can track and identify customer behavior and aim your remarketing at the right place.
The key word when you have too much information is balance. You don’t want to risk seeming intrusive and over-informed about your customers. Offering a custom deal to a user is one thing, making them feel constantly “watched over” is another.
In marketing, there are two main ways of reacting to an individual custom offer – surprise and excitement, and suspicion about your accuracy. Balancing these two out is crucial for your targeted campaigns’ success.
The only problem with having data flow from all marketing channels is segmentation. You need to distinguish the important data from the not-so-relevant.
Understanding key data points lets you know your clients better. And this enables building customer profiles, which results in better sales.
Some of your customers may prefer social media, others may be fans of your newsletter. Gathering data about both will show you opportunities for different marketing tactics towards them.
Different platforms indicate different buying habits. Use those analyzed habits to target your customer groups accordingly.
Write detailed product descriptions, present your products differently, work on both the real and online presentation of your brand.
Metrilo, for example, offers detailed device tracking of purchases. This will help you target your future campaigns better.
Yes, you can predict customer behavior and benefit from it. But take a moment to think about how that seller-customer relation can be taken to another level.
As with casual human conversation, listening with understanding enables even more possibilities for success. Social data, implemented into an all-around CRM creates a portfolio of every customer.
First and foremost, every business owner should know that brands don’t choose their channels. Customers do.
In order to have an efficient multi-channel marketing strategy, you need to know your customers’ preferences.
We can look at it in a simplified way. Every customer has favorite channels of use. And every product can reach your customers via a certain number of channels. These customer-product pairs form the direction of your multi-channel sales strategy.
Some customers may like the element of variety in their purchases. They will buy one product online, another two from a physical store, and a fourth one by using a mobile app. All of those channels need to be coordinated in order to provide the needed data to target the customer properly.
A satisfactory number of sales is not enough for long-term profits. If you can identify which channels bring you the most sales, you will be able to enhance them. Tracking this data may seem hard in the beginning but it is easy with the right CRM.
Knowing the time and source of every order is the stepping stone in developing an adequate multi-channel sales strategy. No matter the case, you can use this data to focus your marketing efforts on a certain marketing channel.
It is crucial to understand the nature of the multiple channels marketing – all of your channels work as your marketing team. Each of them has their weak and strong sides, but together they make a flawless combination of future revenue.
Every sales channel has a different cost for your business. While direct online sales are least expensive, a full-time sales team may cost you a fortune. Both of those will target certain types of your audience with different rates of success.
To balance it out, you may look at third-party distributors, inbound sales, or intermediaries. Each of your marketing channels has different costs, which have to be considered strongly. Evaluate how much you can spend, and then find the best option for your brand.
Even if cost consideration is essential, more important is the connection between your channels. Omni-channel marketing is built by establishing a strong communication across all platforms. They don’t need to be the most expensive as long as their data flow is polished to perfection.
Even if you are running a small-to-medium sized ecom business, you can have an optimal omni-channel marketing strategy.
You can use a tagging in your CRM to distinguish between high- and low-maintenance customers so your sales people can call only the VIPs and automate the rest with retention emails.
Every business can and should benefit from the variety of marketing channels. You can launch on-field campaigns, social media promotions, and even e-mail targeting of your customers.
You will be surprised how much you can learn by analyzing your customers’ reactions to your emails or their feedback.
Selling everywhere is not impossible with the right tools to help you make sense of it all. So why limit your business to a number of options when you can use them all?
Metrilo’s mission is to help you build your ecommerce brand and win your place in the customer’s heart. We share what we learn from our daily work with product innovators and founders here. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the freshest lessons and conquer your niche.