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Why an Omnichannel Approach Is Critical

Why an Omnichannel Approach Is Critical

Around 78% of consumers use 2 or more channels when looking for products/services and making purchases.

Modern consumers have high expectations from their favorite brands. Convenience is a huge factor, and part of that means easily being able to interact with companies in various ways. An omnichannel approach is a great way to do this for your customers.

Large companies like Amazon have been using this type of approach for years, and customers have noticed its benefits. Following a similar strategy will help ensure your business can stand out in the competitive market that currently exists.

For a rundown of what an omnichannel approach is and why it’s critical, keep reading.

What Is an Omnichannel Strategy?

It’s a type of business strategy that can make things better for a company as well as its customers. It involves linking the various touchpoints of a business together to create a more seamless experience. This can involve a range of elements such as:

  • Brick-and-mortar stores
  • Websites
  • Social media pages
  • Email
  • Mobile apps

The idea is that by connecting all of these, customers can move between them smoothly and efficiently.

Omnichannel vs Multichannel

A multichannel approach is another common choice, and this has one major difference from omnichannel. While it also involves using different channels such as social media, websites, etc., it keeps them all separate.

With this approach, a customer can use whatever channels they see fit to interact with a brand, but switching between them isn’t seamless like it is with omnichannel.

A result of this could be that your web team, for example, tries to dominate sales for your business rather than brick-and-mortar stores. With an omnichannel approach, however, your web team will see physical stores as an asset and may deliberately direct customers toward them.

In general, omnichannel is seen as the superior approach. It provides a better customer experience, allows for tighter inventory control, increases the chances of customers making additional purchases, and more.

Business Benefits of an Omnichannel Approach

More and more businesses are adopting this kind of approach. With that in mind, the majority of businesses haven’t fully realized their omnichannel maturity and still have work to do.

Many large companies have already decided to start working this way, and it has proven to be viable for small businesses too. Along with effective marketing, operating a business in this way provides several benefits.

Increase Sales

Over the years, many people have moved from shopping in-person to shopping online where possible. As such, in-store sales have declined. By connecting brick-and-mortar stores to online channels, brands have been able to increase the rate of in-store sales.

Customers can go online to look at products that you sell. When they find something they like, they can order it for collection from a convenient location. This is often quicker for the customer as they don’t have to wait for the product to be delivered.

Customers are also buying more online, as it’s easier to navigate the various channels. They might see something they like in an Instagram post, for example, and this post could link directly to the product page on your website. The Harvard Business Review collected consumer data on 46,000 shoppers and determined that customers spend 4% more on shopping occasions (and 10% more online) with businesses that use an omnichannel strategy.

“Reverse showrooming” is something else that’s become more viable through omnichannel strategies. You can advertise products online, which can encourage people to visit your physical stores.

Improve Customer Experience

Customers have higher standards now than ever before. Ensuring you provide a good customer experience is essential. Up to 86% of customers are willing to pay more to shop with a company that provides a superior customer experience.

One of the most crucial elements is customer support. When someone has an issue, how it’s resolved will have a huge impact on their opinion of a brand.

With poor customer support, a customer might have a lot of difficulties getting the help they need. This will give them a very negative opinion of the company. When this happens, there’s a good chance that they’ll stop shopping with that company and will likely tell their friends and family to do the same.

On the other hand, if your company can resolve issues quickly and effectively, customers will be more pleased, giving them a better opinion of your brand. Being able to move between channels can make it easier for your support team to help people, improving the quality of the service they provide.

Customers should also be able to resolve certain issues themselves. If they’ve forgotten their password, for example, you should have a system in place so that they can reset it with the click of a button without actually needing to speak to your support team.

Email can also be a very useful channel for getting customer feedback. This will help you make improvements while showing your audience that you value their opinion and want to provide them with a better service.

Reach New Customer Segments

The key to growth is getting more eyes on your business. You can do this by increasing your online visibility through things like advertisements and SEO. This is crucial for smaller, newer businesses as well as large organizations.

If you were to only operate on a few channels, you’d be limiting how many people would become aware of your business. The more channels you utilize, the more potential customers will see your brand. It’s worth noting that the effectiveness of different channels will vary depending on your target audience.

Getting across more channels will increase your visibility, and connecting those channels will make it easier for new leads to engage with your brand. This will maximize the number of leads that turn into paying customers.

Increase Operational Efficiency

Operating various channels independently can sometimes create more work. By having everything connected, different teams can easily share data, issues can be resolved more easily, and general business operations become more streamlined.

With customer data, for example, having an omnichannel setup ensures that when you collect it at one point, it can automatically be transferred to any other throughout your business. This ensures customers don’t need to input their details multiple times or create several accounts for the various channels.

It also makes managing strategies easier. You won’t need to develop as many separate strategies as you may be able to use a single strategy for several channels.

Improve Inventory Turnover

Ensuring inventory levels stay balanced is always beneficial. You don’t want to end up with too much stock as it can cause storage issues. You also don’t want to run out of stock as it can lose your company sales and leave customers disappointed.

An omnichannel approach will allow you to replenish inventory when needed and maintain optimal stock levels. It will also be easier to fulfill orders, regardless of the channel they’re made on.

Key Elements of an Omnichannel Strategy

Many businesses are embracing omnichannel operations, but it’s not the easiest thing to implement. There are three main principles that can help a business establish a successful omnichannel strategy.

1. Find Customers Where They Are

You need to know who your customers are and what they want. This will help you tailor your channels and messaging so that you can better meet their needs.

2. Direct Customers Efficiently

You want to guide your customers to the best channels for them and keep things as simple as possible when doing so. Make sure you can determine what they want and direct them to the right place in as few steps as possible.

3. Maintain Visibility

You should keep track of every interaction and record it on a central user profile. Things like loyalty programs are ideal for this, and you can provide incentives that encourage customers to share information that can help improve their experience in the future.

Developing Your Omnichannel Strategy

The omnichannel approach is a complicated one, but it can provide a huge range of benefits for your business and your customers. They’ll have better experiences, which will increase customer loyalty and generate more sales. This will help your business grow and allow you to reach a wider audience.

46Mile is a leading marketing and advertising agency. We help clients develop strategies that encourage growth and development within a business. With our help, you’ll be able to develop an effective omnichannel marketing strategy to give your customers the best experience possible.

To find out more about our services, click here to contact us today.

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