The digital age has many advantages, but it has also made it harder for businesses to differentiate themselves and attract the right kind of customer. As a result, sales strategies are becoming more and more complex.
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However, there are certain paths you can take to increase your chances of success, one of them being the implementation of an omnichannel strategy.
The Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing Strategies 160
In 2017, the Harvard Business Review published the results of an extensive shopping behavior study. The data showed that, of 46,000 participants, 73 percent used more than one channel during their customer journey.
These are strong arguments in favor of using multiple channels to sell your products. But would that be a multichannel or omnichannel strategy? These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, even though they mean two different things.
While a multichannel strategy simply refers to execution through multiple channels, an omnichannel strategy implies:
● Channel interconnectedness
● Consistent messaging across all channels
● Customized experience and offers based on browsing behavior and customer journey stages
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It has been shown that an omnichannel strategy can be better for sales than a multichannel one. For example, according to Omnisend, customizing campaigns based on browsing behavior and customer journey stages results in 26.5% more orders.
Of course, reaching those high conversion rates comes much more easily with the right incentive programs.
Incentivizing plays a big role in omnichannel retailing. The question is not whether to do it, but how.
How to Incentivize Omnichannel Retailing
Considering that omnichannel retailing increases the bottom line, it is no surprise that a lot of successful companies have implemented it. Offering incentives is usually a part of these models, but incentivizing, just like everything else in sales, reaps the most benefits when it’s done strategically.
Here are the steps to coming up with your own strategy:
● Determine a goal or set of goals based on your existing sales strategy
● Decide who to incentivize
● Choose the behaviors you will need to incentivize
● Come up with concrete incentives
● Find ways to track results and improve data collection and attribution
Who to Incentivize in Omnichannel Retailing
How do you decide who to incentivize? Basically, there are two most common options, at least when it comes to the world of retail:
● Retail staff
While every retailer can benefit from incentivizing customers, it has been shown that there is a rising need to offer incentives to retail staff as well.
According to Forrester research, 49 percent of retailers claim that hiring and retaining employees will be one of their top challenges in the coming year.
Of course, there is also the fact that retail staff perform better when incentivized to drive sales and grow awareness of the company, as evidenced by the increasing demand for sales incentives software.
What Do Companies Incentivize in Omnichannel Retail?
If talking about customers, there is a range of behaviors companies typically incentivize to boost sales:
● Giving out information: Common examples would be subscribing to a newsletter or exchanging contact information for a discount.
● Engaging with the brand: This type of behavior can take on many forms, including logging into the user account, taking surveys, rating products etc.
● Making the first purchase: It is common for companies to combine incentivizing this behavior with offering incentives for giving out information.
● Using a different channel: This can be a great move. Based on McKinsey research, customers who visit a retailer’s website after going to the store are three times more likely to buy.
● Becoming a return customer: It shouldn’t be difficult to achieve results. According to Retail Dive, omnichannel campaigns boast 90 percent higher customer retention rates than single-channel campaigns.
Once you have decided which behaviors you will be incentivizing, the only thing that remains is to choose the incentives themselves:
● Giving out coupons or samples
● Awarding points
● Offering complimentary or experiential services
While giving out coupons is a tried-and-true method, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get creative. In fact, one Shopify-commissioned study tells us that 32 percent of customers would want to engage with experiential moments offered in stores.
One of the best methods to ensure you have the most innovative plans for your business is to keep up with the top digital marketers.
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Example of an Omnichannel Strategy in the Business Sector
Sephora is one of the early adopters of the omnichannel retailing strategy, but one of the most successful ones as well. Every month, 60 million customers use its website to search for beauty products, while the loyalty program boasts over 25 million members. What is the secret behind the company’s success?
● Uses a lot of different channels to communicate with customers – stores, website, email, mobile app and social media, but with consistent messaging
● Keeps finding ways to engage customers across all channels, from virtual try-ons to in-store makeovers
● Makes it simple for customers to access their information and gain points wherever they are
● Promotes products to omnichannel customers in innovative ways, e.g. offering in-store makeovers and then emailing the list of products for recreating the look
● Promotes services to omnichannel customers by tracking location data and showing services available in nearest stores
As we have shown, a quality omnichannel strategy guarantees not only increased shopping convenience, but better overall experience as well. It delivers personalized messaging and offers and makes the customer journey smoother than ever.
And while it can take time and effort to implement an omnichannel strategy, data tells us it is the only way forward.
Lianna Arakelyan is a content writer and digital marketing expert to the extreme with a knack for social media marketing strategy and implementation. She is extreme in her work with a deep goal of always being updated on online and offline marketing and technology news of the world.