As technology advances, the ways in which our lifestyles intersect with the digital world grows increasingly complex. Electronic communication replaced mail, phone calls replaced the telegram and the world of eCommerce is slowly phasing out retail stores in favour of online shopping.

With more and more users shopping online, omnichannel marketing, or marketing that covers all the digital channels that your customers live and shop on, is growing.

Businesses and digital marketers are now realizing the need for a sales experience that doesn’t just account for multiple sales channels, but personalization, too.

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Marketing has many channels in which marketers can reach their audiences. These channels can include traditional channels, such as print and media, and digital channels, such as social media and online experiences.

Point-of-sale and in-store experiences are additional sales channels that can be leveraged to deliver a business’s desired customer experience.

Thus, omnichannel marketing is marketing that leverages multiple channels in order to create the ultimate customer experience. In other words, omnichannel marketing targets customers across multiple different channels. These channels can include, but are not limited to social media, eCommerce, retail experiences, traditional print and media, and more.

The goal of omnichannel marketing is to use multiple different channels in order to send relevant brand messaging and promotions to customers, no matter what kind of customer they may be or what channels they use to engage brands with.

Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing – What’s the Difference?

While omnichannel and multichannel sound similar, they operate on different principles.

Unlike omnichannel, multichannel focuses on delivering the same messaging consistently across multiple channels. Although the messaging comes from the same source, these channels will operate independently of each other without a unifying strategy.

Conversely, omnichannel marketing leverages multiple channels under one strategy. This results in messaging that not only follows the customer on the channels that they use but also provides them with personalized messaging that’s actually relevant to their interests.

Omnichannel efforts place the customer at its center while multichannel marketing focuses on the brand.

Examples of multichannel marketing can include:

  • sending print flyers, running newspaper ads and printing pamphlets for one product or service;
  • generic email marketing campaigns to acquire new leads or generate awareness for a product or service;
  • billboards, TV commercials and digital advertisements.

Multichannel efforts can expand to include loyalty programs, celebrity endorsements and retail store experiences. However, the main takeaway is that these efforts are not coordinated and are not meant to work cohesively as a whole.

Multichannel marketing runs multiple campaigns on multiple channels instead of running one campaign through multiple channels as omnichannel marketing does.

Examples of omnichannel marketing can include:

  • targetted ads on Social Media platforms after a customer browses a site and accepts its cookies;
  • targetted emails/SMS messages about a business’s products or services while they’re in the store;
  • integrated apps that provide promotions, discounts and offers for customers that they can use in stores.

As you can see above, the differences between the two types of strategies differ in both their focus and their scope. While multichannel sends out static, generic messaging, omnichannel targets its audience to promote personalized content.

Why is it Important?

As consumer’s shopping preferences and habits change, so too must the ways businesses engage their audiences.

A study conducted by Accenture placed the percentage of consumers that will continue to shop online despite stores opening again after the pandemic at 45%. With more consumers making the transition to online shopping, businesses will need to adapt their marketing strategies to cater to these new shoppers.

Already, poor eCommerce personalization led to $756 billion in revenue losses last year and only 12% of shoppers will continue to purchase from brands and/or retailers that don’t deliver personalized experiences.

Even if a customer decides to make their purchase at a retail location, more than half of all brick-and-mortar transactions will be preceded by some form of digital engagement.

These statistics make it clear that an omnichannel marketing strategy isn’t just important – it’s necessary.

What Do You Need For an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?

Executing an omnichannel strategy requires a different approach than traditional marketing efforts. Even smaller SMEs and entrepreneurial eCommerce businesses are getting their feet with these personalized, customer-centric campaigns. It won’t be easy, but it will be worthwhile. With that being said, here are a few things you’ll need to carve out your own omnichannel marketing strategy. Actionable Data As with any strategy, omnichannel campaigns require a solid foundation. Focusing on your customers means focusing on their data, and although many eCommerce CRMs and platforms provide their clients with a wealth of information, few do anything to make their data actionable. Actionable data is important because, without it, you won’t be able to center your strategy around the consumer. The omnichannel experience is targetted, personalized and omnipresent. It doesn’t just target your audience, it knows them intimately. The experience is meant to follow them through multiple channels while delivering consistent, branded content in order to increase the likelihood that they’ll convert and make a purchase. The more data you can use to understand your customers, the more personalized the customer experience you can deliver. Centralized Strategy An omnichannel experience follows the customer on every channel that they visit. As such, getting every member of your team on the same page is essential. Your channels must work in unison together to create an effective omnichannel experience. If your teams are working in silos or in isolation from one another, there is no centralized approach. For example, a customer’s browsing history and cooking information can be leveraged on social media platforms by promoting products that they’ve viewed recently. Customer Service efforts can be compounded with targetted discounts and promotional codes for overstocked inventory that your business’s Inventory and Warehouse team have trouble moving. The more involved your teams are in the strategy, the more effective your omnichannel marketing efforts will be. Choose and Personalize for the Right Target Merchandising is often said to consist of 4 ‘R’s. You have to promote the right product to the right customer at the right time and the right place. With omnichannel marketing, executing on the 4 R’s has never been easier. Suddenly, it’s possible to promote all of your products to all of your customers, all of the time on all of their favourite platforms. However, actual omnichannel efforts will be a bit more nuanced than simply dialling things up to 11. Personalization matters, too. Providing targetted campaigns for a product that customers aren’t likely to enjoy is bound to produce results that are contrary to the ones that you’d like to see. A customer’s demographic, shopping habits and purchasing trends can be used to create custom user profiles or segments that you can leverage to create specialized, targeted campaigns. In addition to providing customers with messaging that resonates with them, you’ll also be able to communicate with your audience regardless of where they’re at in the customer journey. Breadstack CRM – An Omnichannel Native Platform Delivering an omnichannel experience is an involved process, but the potential gains more than compensate for its difficulty. When executed properly, an omnichannel experience can lead to better engagement, better brand awareness and better ROI. While many CRM platforms today offer insightful data on their customer’s purchasing habits and trends, the data is far from being actionable. In other words, you’ll have spreadsheets of information and statistics, but no way to make use of it. Unlike other CRMs, Breadstack’s suite of eCommerce tools provides real, actionable data that can help you automate the omnichannel process. Powered by AI, Breadstack helps you organize, analyze and apply your business’s data in real-time to help you sell better. From AI-built user profiles that know what your customers will do before they do them to the real-time generation of coupons and gifts on your store’s overstocked inventory, Breadstack works with your existing eCommerce systems and platforms to provide a personalized, omnichannel experience that your customers will love. If you’re not sure how to deliver an omnichannel experience; don’t worry. There will always be great omnichannel tools and software to help you achieve your goals. Huge retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart are already using these strategies, and the software is available for you right now, whenever you’re ready to harness the power of AI for your business. Sign up for a free demo today & drive your sales the smart way.

Make the Move to Breadstack