So, what’s the difference between omni-channel and multi-channel? Multi-channel refers to improving how customers initiate and complete transactions within a given channel, while omni-channel focuses on how customers seamlessly move from one channel to the next. They may start a purchase in one channel, but finish in another, and within retail and eCommerce, having an omni-channel digital marketing strategy is a must.
Putting together an omni-channel digital marketing strategy requires the ability to service different buyer personas within multiple channels, while also being able to gather and enrich the data that comes along with these transactions. In fact, it’s no longer about focusing on how customers interact within a single channel. It’s about the customers themselves and whether your company allows for a seamless migration between channels.
The key is to capture all transactional data that might be initiated within the store, on a mobile app, online, on a tablet or through social media. However, it’s not just about capturing the data, and tracking it across different channels until the order is secure, but ultimately about having the insight to use the marketing data properly – both now and in the future. Here are some things to consider.
Build Your Strategy Around Your Customer
Your entire strategy should begin and end with your customer. Understand how they interact with your company online, at the store or through mobile devices. Focus less on separate digital strategies and more on how your customers interact with your channels. From there you can focus on specific channel tactics and strategies that build awareness and convince customers to convert.
Don’t Focus on the End-of-Funnel Results
Don’t get caught up analyzing the last click. Backtrack the customer’s journey and understand how they migrated from channel to channel. Use a rules-based or data-driven analytics model to better understand the relevance of specific touch-points between your company and your customer. The more you understand each interaction, the more likely you'll be able to provide a seamless channel-to-channel platform.
Go Deep With Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Don’t get caught up in tracking the obvious metrics. Everybody has KPI that track website traffic, clicks, conversions, and revenue. Go beyond the obvious. Use acquisition KPI that track the percentage increase in new visitors, bounce rates and costs of conversions. Attribution KPI can be used to define the relevance of your online reputation by allowing you to define how many customers were won by market influencers and customer referrals (social media). Finally, use KPI that go right to the heart of your customer’s value. Customer lifetime value (CLV), customer retention, segmentation and affinity for specific channels should all be metrics you review.
Uniform Marketing Message Simplifies Data Gathering
Think about the customer’s experience when they buy an Apple product. It’s uniform across all channels. The visuals, prompts, branding and messaging is the same. The marketing message is simplified, succinct and to the point. Ultimately, it’s the same message and it’s that sameness that ensures that the transactional data is also uniform. Again, build your digital marketing strategy around your customer and then mold separate channels into one cohesive marketing message.
A Customer-Centric Focus is a Must
All your channels must be managed along a customer-centric mindset. This means putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and ensuring that the customer’s experience is seamless across all channels. Personalize your marketing message and your customers will come to appreciate their journey. This could include producing customized content for all buyer personas while identifying and responding immediately on preferred customer channels.
Uniformity of marketing message across the omni-channel is key. This means having a customer-centric model, an ability to capture data with every customer interaction, and a data enrichment strategy that helps your team produce content and other personalized digital strategies.
If you're interested in other insights into how you can optimize your E-commerce strategy, then download E-Commerce Insight: Top 8 Shopping & Feed Tips.