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Omnichannel marketing: much more than a passing fad

Publicado en Internacional el 02/10/2017

Omnichannel marketing has revolutionised e-commerce promotional techniques and strategies, especially in the retail sector. No company worth its salt can afford to omit this new trend from its marketing plan.

Brands are using more and more channels to communicate with their target audience and keep their customers informed of offers that may interest them, introduce new products and directly interact with them to better understand their needs and expectations with respect to the brand.

Many people are wondering what omnichannel retail is. Below is an explanation of what this concept entails and why it is so critical for brands.

An introduction to omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing is the most efficient way to carry out marketing and promotional strategies because it gives brands such as RADIAL a more cohesive and fluid experience with users through all the channels and devices they use to interact with them.

Using such a model, brands are able to place customers at the centre of their strategy. That’s why it has become a key tool for companies specialising in the marketing of products and services. In omnichannel retail marketing, it is the user who decides what communication channel to use, when to use it and how to use it.

Thus, it must be implemented systematically to ensure that the user has as seamless an experience as possible when switching between channels. Occasionally, it is not the customer who decides on the channel, but rather the brand; this occurs when the customer views a product on one channel and then switches to another to complete the purchase process.

The objective is to use all the information collected by companies through each channel they use to connect with their audience in order to better understand their profiles, needs and concerns, and offer them personalised services and products.

An example of how it works is as follows: if a user sees a product that appeals to her on the internet or through an ad on a brand communication channel, the brand collects that information and displays the product prominently in its store. Omnichannel marketing has therefore become a key strategy for the retail sector.

What is the omnichannel marketing shopping experience?

There’s no arguing with the fact that retail marketing is changing. A brand’s success is reflected in the way in the number of ways it connects with its customers to offer them personalised products and services and keep them coming back. This is called omnichannel shopping.

There are a number of guidelines that brands must follow to reach shoppers and better understand their behaviour by providing valuable information and creating the right organisational structure.

It is also necessary to measure user behaviour with respect to purchases across devices, since internet shopping has changed. The mobile has taken on particular importance for carrying out searches and completing purchase processes. After the computer, it is the most important digital device.

To attract shoppers through omnichannel shopping channels, it is first important to find out who they are. This means learning about user traits such as gender, age, location, preferences, browsing habits, the websites they visit and the types of devices they use.

Measurement methods are used to identify all this data. The user’s journey is traced through the network in order to achieve a holistic view of how a potentially valuable customer makes a purchase. In doing so, brands resolve important questions to reveal their ideal target audience.

They can use results to improve the way in which they use online communication channels to attract shoppers. Attractive online ads for products generate more sales; up to five times more than other methods.

Brands must also provide omnichannel shoppers with relevant information. Offering local information about a business is crucial, since it encourages customers to complete a purchase.

Ads that provide information about the store’s location, products and stock enhance customer confidence and promote trust between customer and seller. The results translate into higher profits and more investment in advertising that allows it to further boost sales.

The most important aspect of this strategy is the creation of an organisational structure within the company that allows it to implement omnichannel marketing strategies. Once it identifies its target audience and understands its customers’ behaviour, it must implement actions aimed at omnichannel marketing to improve the shopping experience for users.

What are the keys to developing an omnichannel shopping marketing strategy?

As mentioned above, there are several guidelines that a brand should follow. One crucial factor is collaboration between the company and the consumer. Without this, the customer cannot obtain information and will fail in his mission.

Each communication channel used must be synergised. Thus, users can rely on any channel to meet their needs and will not notice any difference between them.

To achieve this, the company must align the information it obtains from its customers, as well as the messages, goals, designs and all other information relating to the brand, across all channels and devices, including offline communication channels.

In addition, the information should be consistent across channels to avoid conveying confused messages. At no point should the customer notice that she is using a different channel to interact with the brand.

Omnichannel marketing versus multichannel marketing

It should be made clear that omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing are not the same thing. The method and vision of the omnichannel strategy are entirely different.

The multichannel strategy focuses on maximising the performance of each channel separately, each with its own goals, reporting structures and distribution channels. It even creates competition between the different channels.

Users are often dissatisfied with the experience. With the omnichannel strategy, however, this could not be further from the truth. This strategy provides customers with a whole host of tools so that they can buy what they want, whenever and however they choose, without any limitations, to the point that they may not even be aware of the channel they are using.

The new gold standard in e-commerce

Omnichannel retail is a strategy that allows brands to constantly interact with their audience. This interaction is unique and tailored to each user. Customers are no longer aware of the different sales channels and can enjoy a seamless shopping experience.

Channels are not a matter of choice for brands. They are essential tools that users can use to make purchases based on their needs at that moment.

Brands must be abundantly clear in their goal, which is to provide users with all means possible to offer satisfactory purchase processes. They should always have product stock set aside for these processes and there should be no competition between the different communication channels; rather, they must all work together in pursuit of the same goal.

A shift towards the omnichannel commercial era

Omnichannel shopping presents a dramatic change in the retail sector, and this paradigm shift within digital media marketing comes with major opportunities.

If a company is capable of following the correct steps, if it understands its customers, their specific traits and shopping behaviour, what kind of devices they use to make purchases and the products they want, it will be successful.

Retail brands have to stay one step ahead of their customers, be prepared at all times and give them what they want, before their customers even notice. They must have a direct connection with them in order to offer them customised options. And this is the key: giving customers what they want.

There must also be an instant connection between all communication channels to make access easier for users and create the perfect shopping experience. A satisfying user experience is what keeps customers coming back.

The challenge for the retail sector is to address the change in mindset brought about by the new paradigm. This dramatic and important change can sideline companies that are incapable of adapting to the new reality.

The barrier to achieving this does not lie in technology, but rather in the joint efforts required within the company itself. They have to change their mentality concerning corporate management.

In the company’s new vision, the business will be considered as one unit, a single global entity with different branches. This is in stark contrast to the current vision of most companies, which view themselves as a conglomeration of channels that are managed completely independently and in entirely different ways.

Being an omnichannel company means serving customers in the same way across all the channels they use to carry out their purchases. This is precisely why customers will not make a distinction between the brand’s communication channels, which he will see as one unit. Barriers will be removed for the user, thus resulting in interaction. To reach this point, the company must have changed its mentality and organisational model.

For those who want to find out more about implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy in the retail sector, the Digital 1to1 Europe event will be held on 19 and 20 October in Sitges. Key experts in digital solutions within the field of omnichannel marketing will be present.

There will be two intensive training days, including a personalised agenda with meetings, case studies of businesses that have already implemented this new strategy and their results, and workshops and activities to give you the opportunity to interact with different people with links to this field and enrich your knowledge.

CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, COOs, CTOs, managers, international digital solutions providers and other experts will attend the event. The goal is to ensure that guests enjoy a top-quality event and are able to socialise with professionals in omnichannel marketing, share ideas and gain the knowledge required to apply the strategies to their businesses.

The event will also benefit from the presence of executives and experts from top overseas companies in retail and other sectors in which this new digital media marketing strategy can be implemented.

By expanding their business vision and achieving different solutions, entrepreneurs will have the vision to succeed where they failed before. They will be able to continue moving forward and improving their performance by exchanging digital knowledge, talking and participating in interactive sessions with international experts.

The methodology of the Digital 1to1 Europe event will be based on meetings with major companies of interest and a personalised agenda. Thus, participants will be able to attend the talks that interest them most and resolve any queries they may have.

There will be a range of workshops run by leading professionals in the field of omnichannel retail. Each will last approximately 30 minutes and will be held with small, interactive groups. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to socialise, with dinners and other activities to allow you to relax and network.

This is set to become the event of the year for those who want to become experts in this new digital marketing paradigm and implement strategies that really work or get new ideas to create their own formula for success.

In order for companies to function and become a benchmark, they have to adapt to their customers’ needs and stay one step ahead of them. This allows companies to be ever-present whenever customers reflect on a brand that can meet their needs, even before such needs arise.