Posted By Seamus Barton
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
The consumer journey has changed dramatically in the last two decades. At one point, customers relied on print media advertisements and window-shopping to gain insight before purchasing a product or service. With the rise of the internet and e-commerce, the trend changed to internet shopping, with consumers relying on website content, comparison blogs, social media, and other online media to narrow down their options. This process was further enhanced with web-based handheld devices and apps.
Today, consumers use different channels and devices in a single purchase cycle. Marketers realize that appealing to the consumer is not a linear path, but an uneven one with multiple detours that can be confusing and frustrating for the consumer. To successfully lead consumers to a purchase, marketers need to adopt an omni-channel marketing approach.
What is the omnichannel approach to marketing?
Omnichannel marketing involves the delivery of a consistent brand experience across all advertising channels and devices that consumers interact with in their purchasing journey.
For example, suppose you see an advertisement for a nice pair of shoes as you check your friends’ updates on social media. You follow up on it, arrive on the seller’s website, and put the pair on the shopping cart. But you have other things to do, so you decide to complete the purchase later. And you forget about it completely.
Several hours later as you’re browsing on your laptop, you see the same advertisement and follow it to the seller’s website. Luckily, the item you had selected is still in the shopping cart, so you can go ahead and finalize the purchase. But then you decide to ask your partner’s opinion on the purchase, and put it off again. Finally, you access the same website on your tablet and find the pair still in your shopping cart and finalize it.
This is the kind of convenience that consumers expect today: continuity based on multiple synchronized devices and channels.
But marketers also need to synchronize the offline and online shopping experience. Consumers may research an item online and opt to buy it in-store, and vice versa. If their experience is interrupted, for instance by a late “out-of-stock” notice, you will most likely lose that sale to a competitor.
Omnichannel marketing is crucial as consumers have unprecedented access to many different shopping channels. Marketers have to leverage any available consumer data to identify key consumer behaviours and affinities to better lead them to a sale.
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