Omnichannel also spelled omni-channel, is a multichannel sales strategy that aims to offer customers a seamless shopping experience whether they’re making purchases online from a desktop or mobile device, over the phone, or in a physical store.
You will be able to contact your customers wherever they are if you have omnichannel retail, marketing, or service plan in place. They are no longer required to look far and wide to find you. Your staff or your products are accessible to everyone, everywhere, with just a click, an email, a direct message, or a phone call.
If and when your prospects are prepared to buy, it will be much simpler for them to do so if they can find your goods across a variety of channels and platforms. By providing a multi-channel shopping experience, you may increase the likelihood that customers will return to you or renew their subscriptions, generating recurring income.
- Improved client satisfaction
If consumers believe they have multiple ways to get in touch with your sales and customer care staff, your customers will be happy over time. Or if consumers can easily buy your stuff independent of their platform or device of choice. Keeping customers coming back to you for their requirements and lowering customer churn are both dependent on customer happiness.
As you can see, delivering an omnichannel experience to your clients is essential for the success of your company. However, what exactly is the omnichannel experience?
How does the omnichannel experience work?
The omnichannel experience involves marketing, selling, and providing customer service across all channels to provide a seamless and integrated customer experience regardless of the method or location of a customer’s contact. Customers should receive the same service regardless of the platform or method they select.
The experience should be smooth regardless of whether the customer is purchasing online from a desktop or mobile device, over the phone, or in a physical store.
It’s crucial to distinguish between an omnichannel experience and a multi-channel experience in this context. In essence, it depends on how thoroughly your company’s channels and platforms are integrated.
Omni-Channel vs. Multi-Channel
The user in a multi-channel environment has access to a number of communication channels that aren’t always connected or synchronized. However, with an omnichannel experience, there are not only several channels, but they are also interconnected, allowing for seamless switching between them.
There are two key distinctions between omnichannel and multi-channel experiences:
- Not all multi-channel experiences are omnichannel, but all omnichannel experiences use multiple channels. Amazing mobile marketing, compelling social media campaigns, and a beautiful website are all possible. However, if they don’t collaborate, they don’t give clients an omnichannel experience.
- Experiences that span all platforms and devices are omnichannel. An omnichannel experience encompasses all channels, platforms, and devices, as opposed to a multi-channel strategy that may only use two or three channels.
The majority of firms are now making investments in the multi-channel experience. They operate a blog, website, Facebook, and Twitter account. They interact and communicate with clients via each of these platforms. The client still typically doesn’t have a smooth experience or consistent messaging across all of these platforms.
Every platform and device a customer will use to contact the business is taken into account by an omnichannel experience, which also delivers a consistent, effective user experience across all platforms.
In retail, it’s crucial to create an omnichannel experience. How much you sell depends on whether you have an omnichannel retail strategy in place.
With the help of unified messaging, harmonized images, and standardized collateral, businesses can market their goods and services across all platforms, devices, and channels. By using omnichannel marketing, you can be able to deliver a pertinent and consistent offer to customers wherever they are.
Marketing teams can utilize omnichannel marketing to spread a brand message more successfully by combining the advantages of each communication channel. Additionally, they can approach target customers at the ideal moment, boosting the likelihood that they will become leads.
Utilizing the viewpoints and interests of the target market, omnichannel marketing maximizes the consistency of the brand’s marketing communications. For instance, you might solely target users on Facebook and Instagram who share a certain passion and produce collateral that speaks to them individually.
However, omnichannel marketing shouldn’t be implemented haphazardly. To make sure they are distributing material to their potential customers at the ideal time, brands should have a planned omnichannel marketing strategy.
Continue reading to discover how to introduce an omnichannel experience into your business. Even some brands who are already taking steps to develop better omnichannel experiences will be highlighted.
Omni-Channel Marketing Examples:
It is one thing to talk about omnichannel customer experience theory and practice. To see brilliant businesses using it in their strategy, though, is something entirely different. Here are a few people I greatly respect:
Disney masters the omnichannel experience in all its minute elements. Your first impression begins with the stunning, mobile-friendly website of the media mogul. Even their trip-planning website functions well on mobile, which is quite unusual in and of itself.
After making travel arrangements, you may utilize the My Disney Experience feature to organize every aspect of your trip, from where you’ll eat to getting your Fast Passes. You may use your smartphone app to look up the attractions you wish to visit in the park and see how long the wait is expected to be for each one.
However, the entertainment company goes a step further by introducing its Magic Band concept. This device serves as your hotel room key, a place to store any photos of you with Disney characters, and a way to place food orders. Additionally, it even integrates Fast Pass to keep your trip moving.
Why It Works
In order to give customers a genuinely omnichannel experience, Disney offers a wide range of services and tools.
2. Virgin Atlantic
In a blog post, Robert Fransgaard described his outstanding encounter with Virgin Atlantic’s omnichannel customer support.
In his anecdote, he talks about his unique interaction with a representative named Dan. Dan, who unintentionally heard Robert’s annoyance over a delayed engineer appointment, advised Robert to get in touch with him directly if there were any further problems.
Dan didn’t advise contacting customer support or sending out another tweet to attract notice. Dan, on the other hand, used all of the business’s available marketing channels to provide Robert with a customized level of service.
It’s incredible what a personal touch like this can accomplish, particularly when it comes to comforting clients who have had a negative interaction with the business.
Virgin is a pioneer in many facets of Omnichannel marketing, but this experience seems to best capture the kinds of outcomes that are possible when all personnel and channels operate as one.
Why It Works
Creating an omnichannel experience for marketing is one thing, but providing customer service through each channel is going one step further.
3. Bank of America
Bank of America is serious about its omnichannel development. As one of the most well-known companies in their sector, they’re establishing the benchmark for a dynamic experience that, as of right now, enables the company’s mobile and desktop apps to handle everything from check depositing to appointment booking.
Bank of America still has a ways to go, for sure. Users still cannot utilize their phones to handle more complicated financial demands, such as loan applications. The company’s dedication to the omnichannel experience guarantees that other tasks, like paying your bills on time or depositing a check, don’t involve that much hassle.
Why It Works
The highest level of convenience is achieved by letting clients accomplish chores through many channels.
The Starbucks rewards app is one of the best omnichannel experiences out now, as can be seen by taking a brief look at it.
To start with, you receive a rewards card for free that you can use each time you make a purchase. However, Starbucks has made it possible to check and reload your card through phone, website, in-store, or on the app, unlike conventional customer loyalty programs. Real-time updates are made to the card and your profile on all channels.
Realizing while waiting in line for a coffee that your balance is insufficient? By the time you swipe your card, the cashier will be aware that it has been updated if you reload it.
Why It Works
A customer’s mobile experience is more important than ever, so having a great app goes a long way.
By integrating near-field communication technology in its physical locations, Timberland fosters a social consumer experience. The software behind data transmission solutions like Apple Pay and Android Pay is called near-field communication. Users of this technology can tap their mobile smartphone against a unique chip to wirelessly transfer data between the two gadgets.
Timberland makes use of this technology in its stores rather than for e-commerce by providing customers with a tablet that can be touched against items and signage all over the place. Information about that product or deal is displayed on the tablet when it is put against the chip. Customers may readily see the discounts that are being offered for each product without having to ask store personnel for more information. The tablet’s personalization software starts to offer products to users based on their past purchases as they continue to check up on various products.
Why It Works
The customized experience for the customer brings to light frequently disregarded products.
To improve reach, decrease friction, and increase sales, omnichannel retail refers to the practice of making your goods and services available for purchase across all platforms and channels. Online platforms, brick-and-mortar locations, and app-based solutions will all be a part of an omnichannel retail experience.
For instance, a clothing company may sell its goods online, through its app, on Amazon, in the “Shopping” section of Instagram, and physical storefronts.
Retail-based business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors like apparel, consumer goods, food and beverage, and others are most affected by omnichannel retail. Businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B) might mimic an omnichannel retail environment by letting potential customers request demos, get quotations, or book consultations through a variety of channels and platforms.
As an illustration, you might develop a mobile application that lets potential customers view your product on their phone, add a “Request Consultation” button to your Facebook profile, and utilize Facebook Messenger to send instant quotations.
When combined with an omnichannel marketing plan, omnichannel retail is most effective, whether in a B2B or B2C setting.
Businesses employ an omnichannel marketing strategy to coordinate their communications, objectives, goals, and designs across all channels and devices. Businesses wanting to provide a better customer experience may find that omnichannel marketing is a useful tool.
The Secret to Future Success is Creating an Omni-Channel Experience
Every business needs to create its own distinctive omnichannel experience architecture and to create this effective plan, you’ll need to collaborate closely with a number of different company divisions.
Consider the following stakeholders as you are developing your program:
- Customer Support
- Customer Success
You can begin organizing your transition to this model after everyone is aware of the aims and objectives of your omnichannel initiative. When you involve these departments early on, it will be simpler to transition to an omnichannel method of working because it causes less trouble later on.
In the end, your approach should include a strategic plan for creating a consistent, unified experience across all platforms. There is still time to start small and grow later because this is still a relatively fresh emergent concept.
Undoubtedly, omnichannel user experiences still have a long way to go, and the size of some of the connectors mentioned above may make the whole project seem unattainable.
But I don’t think we’re that far off from a future where brands of all sizes can use omnichannel. Over the past ten years, technology has advanced significantly, and I have no doubt that forthcoming developments will enable even the tiniest businesses to interact directly with customers – regardless of where they are, what they are doing, or what devices they are using.