Article

How to develop a strong omnichannel strategy

May 2022

Sophia Binder

Content Marketing Manager

Today, customers have more power than ever before. Skeptical of traditional advertising and empowered by the accessibility of information —  more and more consumers are making purchase decisions on their own terms. 81% report they read customer reviews to make smart buying choices, while 57% say they read online forums.

In order to win and keep customers, businesses need to be mindful of every touchpoint their customers may find and interact with them on. Businesses need to offer a seamless experience across all marketing and sales channels in order to create the best experience for their audience. A strong omnichannel strategy is, therefore, a prerequisite for success in the digital era.

Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average. In comparison, companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement have a typical customer retention rate of just 33%.

If you haven’t developed or refined your omnichannel strategy yet — we’re here to help. Read on for five ways to create a strong omnichannel strategy.

  1. Start with customer research

In order to meet the needs of your customers and prospects, you need to check in with them to gain an understanding of their current motivations and behaviors. Whether it’s customer surveys or one-on-one interviews — nothing can give you better insights than speaking directly with your customers.

Be sure to research:

  • The channels they spend the most time on
  • Which age groups are most interested in your brand and solution
  • Key demographic information including the industries they work in and their income level
  • What their expectations are when it comes to your product or service
  • How their expectations have changed — take into consideration societal factors (like the pandemic!)
  • Which content or forms of advertising they find the most helpful and inspiring

Data is at the heart of a strong omnichannel strategy. You can use customer data to optimize your content and channels. Maybe your customers are moving from Instagram to TikTok or they’d like to see more video content than blog content. Maybe they’re looking for more self-service customer support options, such as FAQ pages since the pandemic increased their sense of independence.

Use your insights to improve engagement on your customers’ preferred channels, in their preferred ways. With this extraordinary foundation of information management and analytical power, you can orchestrate a consistent experience across all your brand touchpoints.

  1. Connect digital and physical touchpoints

With an omnichannel strategy, you can simplify and speed up your customer’s shopping experience — this is because they don’t need to switch channels in order to make a purchase. Their shopping experience should be consistent and seamless no matter which channel (online or offline) they use.

With an omnichannel strategy that adequately addresses both digital and physical touchpoints, you can reflect the real ways people are choosing to shop and keep them engaged throughout the entire process.

A recent study found that almost 75% of shoppers use multiple channels to find discounts and compare prices or use in-store tablets to browse products online. Omnichannel shoppers also spend more than single-channel shoppers, both online and in stores. They also visit their favorite stores 23% more often. Another study revealed that over 85% of consumers prefer interacting with brands using both digital and physical channels.

  1. Hyper-personalization of customer messages is key 

Personalization done right, and with the right technology, can go a long way in creating brand loyalty and building customer relationships. 90% of customers find personalized experiences appealing, while 80% say they are more likely to purchase a product or go for a service from a brand that offers personalized experiences. And brands are catching on – 58% of companies currently pursue personalization strategies for customer retention.

When it comes to personalization and customer experiences, companies have traditionally focused on the basics — such as name, age, location, and other demographics. While this information can give you a good basis to work from, demographic information will never give you the deeper insights you need to truly personalize your customer messages.

Luckily, with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and automation that pulls real-time behavioral data — you can now go beyond just the basics. The result is hyper-personalization, in which you deliver targeted messages that are highly relevant to your customers. Examples of this may include: showcasing popular products related to other items they’ve purchased on each landing page or making personalized offers available. In addition, you can also use hyper-personalization to reduce marketing costs by only targeting customers who are most likely to buy certain products or services.

  1. Ensure your tech stack transfers customer data across channels

As you work to implement your omnichannel strategy, you need to ensure that your tech stack is capable of transferring customer data across channels. When you can easily share data, you can take advantage of the increased visibility, automated processes, and personalized messages that are possible when using an omnichannel approach. You can use the omnichannel approach to not only gather but also retain and share all-important customer data — such as purchase history and interactions with your sales reps, customer service team, and social media channels.

As you implement your strategy, you get the opportunity to acquire first-hand, real-time data and get deeper insights into your customers. By tracking customer data across channels and sharing this data with each department — you can gain a holistic view of your customers — thereby better serving their needs and offering more personalized experiences through interactions at every touchpoint.

75% of customers report their biggest customer service frustration is having to repeat themselves. With a solid omnichannel strategy, you can gather and centralize customer data to help ensure your team has all the information they need to support and delight customers – no matter what channel they’re on.

  1. Make sure your branding is consistent, especially your voice

When promoting your brand through multiple channels, it’s important to maintain a consistent tone. 54% of businesses say that brand consistency significantly contributes to their growth, while 71% claim that inconsistent brand presentation causes customer confusion.

You need to maintain cohesion on all channels by ensuring that your core company values are reflected across each. For example, if you value transparency, then you should demonstrate that value — whether you’re writing a blog post or sharing a post on Facebook.

Take note: consistency doesn’t mean repeating the same message over and over again. It means that all messages point to the same core values while understanding the specific requirements of each channel and device.

The key to consistency is maintaining your voice. From your word choices to the emotional tone you convey, your voice is the way your brand sounds in all of your content and communication. A consistent voice builds trust and improves memorability. There are several ways you can help your team perfect your brand voice — including:

  1. Exploring personality traits that embody your brand — such as playfulness or confidence
  2. A glossary of common terms and phrases to use in your copy and content
  3. Recommendations on grammar and sentence length to convey tone

Exceed your customers’ expectations and maintain your competitive advantage with a great omnichannel strategy

Customers expect a consistent brand experience through all channels and agile brands are taking notice — more than 90% of leading retailers have an omnichannel strategy or are planning to invest in omnichannel tech. To avoid falling behind your biggest competitors, you need to invest in such a strategy. Begin with customer research and start building the architecture of your (potentially transformative!) omnichannel strategy.