How omnichannel marketing helps small retail businesses grow
When you run an advertisement online, that’s an example of single-channel marketing. If you run online ads, an online store, a mobile app, and social media, that’s multi-channel marketing. You’re using multiple channels to persuade customers to convert.
Omnichannel marketing is the logical next step. You create a single user experience for customers across web, mobile, social media, and your brick-and-mortar stores. Instead of having separate marketing channels, you bring them all together with a consistent brand voice and seamless customer service.
Why is omnichannel marketing important for small businesses?
Let’s break down the reasons why people choose small businesses:
- 51% agree that small businesses offer better customer service
- 53% appreciate the convenience of small businesses
- 48% want to boost the local economy
- 30% are looking for unique products
- 21% are looking for better deals
But consumers worry about the lack of online stores, limited reviews, and slow delivery from small businesses.
Omnichannel marketing for your website
Omnichannel marketing is all about sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time. So you also need to segment your audience. Use omnichannel marketing tools to categorize customers based on their past purchases, how they access your website, and how they interact with your advertisements. You can also use smart chatbots to react to customer behavior in real time.
Let’s look at some specific applications for retail and e-commerce. When people shop online, they now expect an omnichannel experience—whether they realize it or not.
For example, let’s say a customer spots an ad for a specific deal on Instagram. When they visit your mobile website, they expect to find the same offer available. If they add a product to their basket via mobile, and then switch to using a desktop computer, they expect you to recognize the customer and still have that product in their shopping basket.
Next, customers want a seamless delivery and returns process, with online-offline combinations such as ordering online to collect in-store. They want to receive regular updates on orders, and be able to contact you at any point.
Finally, they will look out for remarketing and follow-up messages from you. The top reason for cart abandonment is that customers weren’t ready to buy at that moment. So you can contact them later—when they are ready to hear from you again. This is also an opportunity to collect feedback and online reviews.
Omnichannel marketing tools
There are many omnichannel marketing options when deciding on the best fit for your business. More and more platforms now offer a complete package, with everything from email blasts to customer service chatbots.
Start by looking at the software you already have. Can you find an omnichannel marketing platform which integrates with it? Or do you want to switch to a completely new system? Some providers, such as Zapier, will automatically link the services you already use.
Make sure that you choose a platform that is intuitive and easy to use. Omnichannel marketing requires all the different aspects of your business to work together—so the software you choose has to be accessible for your whole team.
Omnichannel marketing enables you to offer consistent, rapid customer service with a personal touch. When you unify your social media, web, mobile, and store design, you can accompany customers throughout the buyer’s journey. From the first click to leaving a final review, you can stay in direct contact with them. In fact, when you integrate sales, marketing, and customer service, you can also speed up order fulfillment and offer more targeted deals.