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05 May 2023 • Resources

Omnichannel ecommerce: Guide and key tips for a successful strategy

Omnichannel ecommerce: Guide and key tips for a successful strategy

How do you choose the right sales channels for your business? How do you optimize your online presence and offer a seamless experience in order to achieve your goal of maximizing your store's conversion rate?

So many issues encountered by e-merchants on a daily basis and so many questions that deserve to think about great strategies to make your online sales site grow.

Thanks to an omnichannel strategy, you can be in control of the message sent to your target audience regardless of what media or platforms you’re using.

Definition and benefits of omnichannel ecommerce

What does omnichannel ecommerce mean? The differences with multichannel and cross-channel

All these expressions wouldn’t have been possible without the explosion of digital marketing and online sales. With the multiplication of channels such as cell phones, computers, voice assistants, and physical commerce, the customer has dozens of possibilities before making a purchase: so many reasons to digitalize your point of sale. Thus, this marketing approach corresponds to the choices made by the consumer to buy a product.

Three expressions stand out to define the buying paths and habits of customers:

  • Multichannel marketing: This strategy involves soliciting consumers on multiple channels such as the brand's website, the brick-and-mortar store, social media networks, etc. The goal is to multiply the points of contact towards the sale of products and services.
  • Cross-channel marketing: This concept is considered the next step. All the channels work together without competing with each other to allow the user to enter into a fluid ordering process. Cross-channel marketing focuses on the customer experience through the different possibilities of purchasing a product. The most significant example of cross-channel marketing is click and collect: the customer shops online before picking up the item at the brick-and-mortar store.
  • Omnichannel marketing: This approach is based on the idea of using as many marketing channels as possible and optimizing your commercial presence on each of these entry points to sell to a maximum number of customers online and at points of sale involving physical locations. Omnichannel is a way of dealing with ecommerce from an online sales point of view but also through features that’ll boost the merchant's figures.

For example, the consumer will compare prices online before going to the store to make a purchase: the different stages of the internet user's journey to becoming a buyer are getting to be more and more complex as technological tools multiply. Omnichannel is the most advanced step in personalizing the customer journey and optimizing the sales process, whether it’s offline or online.

What are the benefits of omnichannel ecommerce?

Omnichannel is a must for all retailers: it’s the key to the success of any ecommerce strategy in the long term. It offers your online retail business a variety of perks that can't be ignored. Here are some of the main benefits you can expect to enjoy with an omnichannel approach:

  • Provides a better customer experience: Omnichannel marketing allows customers to connect with your company on multiple platforms, such as your website, social media, advertisements, mobile apps, etc., and have consistent experiences regardless of the channel. You’ll also be able to better create personalized content and messaging for your target audience, allowing for an improved overall experience for each shopper.
  • Helps with brand recognition: Because this method aims to give customers a consistent, seamless experience whenever they interact with your business, it can make a big difference in improving brand recognition. The more frequently people come across your company and enjoy the same shopping experience at every encounter, the better they'll be able to recognize your brand, regardless of the channel. 
  • Increases customer lifetime value: Omnichannel retail puts the focus on the customer and offers a seamless experience for buyers. It's therefore not surprising that consumers prefer to stick with businesses that make them the priority. As the cost of keeping customers is generally much less than attracting new ones, implementing this strategy for your store is a good way to help you increase the lifetime value of your customers and save you money in the long run.
  • Allows you to reach new customer segments: Another major benefit of omnichannel retail is that it can assist you in achieving your goal of attracting consumers from new customer segments. Connecting with shoppers on different channels gives you more opportunities to cast a wider net and expand your reach.  
  • Makes business operations more efficient: With this method, companies are just required to obtain the data for a customer one time instead of collecting data at each touchpoint they offer. What's more, businesses don't have to use their resources to design new strategies and put them into action for a bunch of different channels.
  • Boosts product sales: For many businesses, one of the most appealing reasons to prioritize omnichannel retail is the increase in revenue. According to data from a study by Harvard Business Review, omnichannel consumers spend 10% more when shopping on the internet than their single-channel counterparts.
  • Improves product inventory turnover: Availing of an omnichannel strategy also allows companies to better understand the current state of their inventory, which decreases the chances of disappointing customers with an out-of-stock product. In addition, they can fulfill orders from multiple channels to help boost inventory turnover and optimize their inventory management.   

Why choose an omnichannel ecommerce solution?

Choosing an omnichannel ecommerce solution is to optimize your time and resources to allow your store's products to benefit from maximum visibility, to generate as many sales as possible. It’s not enough to have a presence on multiple communication and online sales channels to sell: you have to perform on each of them in order for your company to stand out and therefore reach potential qualified buyers quickly.

For example, an online store will have its website, its social media networks, its advertising campaign (on Google for example), etc.

When you start selling online, the most difficult thing is to be able to perform on all the channels chosen in your strategy and thus to make a place for your brand in an ultra-competitive sector.

Choosing an omnichannel ecommerce platform means giving yourself the opportunity to work on a solid foundation, already thought out for the future performance of your business's ads, offers, and online content.

With the WiziShop ecommerce solution, when you start selling online, your site is already optimized to perform well on search engines like Google. Our platform is SEO friendly and mobile friendly. Always attentive to ecommerce trends, it allows you to activate the communication levers most used by your target customer but also to ensure your brand's presence on the most promising channels in terms of traffic and conversion.

With the WiziShop platform, you'll have access to a variety of design templates to create the homepage that best suits your brand and highlights your most important product information, along with a plethora of pre-integrated features to increase sales. What's more, you can utilize our handy artificial intelligence feature to write all kinds of high-quality content for your website: product descriptions, blog articles, titles, meta descriptions, translations, and more.

We make it a point of honor to make your ecommerce business a success on the themes of SEO and marketing performance. Working with WiziShop is to ensure that your platform will always be configured for the benefit of your visibility, but it’s also to be accompanied by a complete platform with free ecommerce video training and the help of expert business coaches to support you in your daily life. At WiziShop, omnichannel has been in our DNA for over 15 years!

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The omnichannel retail customer experience

How do retailers adapt to the omnichannel customer?

If brands and stores are omnichannel, it means that the customer is omnichannel! Marketing is the commercial art of knowing how to adapt to your customers. Thus, omnichannel marketing induces a particular expertise and know-how for companies in order to always captivate their customers.

The watchword for omnichannel marketing is fluidity: the purchase path must be smooth from the beginning to the end of the customer journey, creating a seamless experience that encourages consumers to return for repeat shopping trips.

Retailers therefore have a very detail-oriented analysis of their customers' buying paths and habits, which enables them to adapt very precisely to the needs and expectations of potential customers to assist them with their purchase decisions.

It’s the buyer who motivates the changes in marketing and sales strategies: for example, if the target customer starts to consider their purchases directly on social media networks with a specific payment method, the retailer will integrate these elements into their offer to continue to attract customers.

In addition, whether it’s in the marketing for an ecommerce business, the customer relationship, or the commercial offer, the brand must turn to more and more personalization in front of an increasingly demanding clientele. The offer must arrive on the consumer's screen before they’ve even had time to think about their next online purchase. While this type of action is very ambitious, it’s a trend for future ecommerce that must be prepared today: omnichannel marketing is the commercial precision that makes all the difference between you and your competitor.

What is the advantage of an omnichannel sales approach for retailers? Expert advice

Mireya Masclans, an omnichannel ecommerce expert, took part in our ecommerce ebook. She gives us her valuable advice on omnichannel ecommerce.

Today, there's no way around it, omnichannel is here, and it will stay here.

In the race for the best omnichannel strategy of all time, the winner is not the one who is in first place, but the one who does it best.

It's a proven fact that a well-executed omnichannel strategy pays off. As noted by TotalRetail, based on data from an IDC Retail Insights report, omnichannel shoppers spend, on average, 20% more than multichannel shoppers. In addition, a solid omnichannel strategy increases customer loyalty and longevity.

Customers, on the other hand, demand omnichannel, but if you give it to them ineffectively, the shopping experience will be affected, and the customer won’t return.

So my advice is to avoid omnichannel rather than do it badly. Today's consumers are very demanding and rarely tolerate inefficiency. Their loyalty to a brand is tied to the problems that can happen during their shopping experience.

For example, what's the point of having an in-store delivery method if the customer takes forever to locate it, waits in an endless line, and the salesperson at the brick-and-mortar store takes an hour to find the order? Or worse, the salesperson can’t find it? This method of distribution is therefore not adapted.

Moreover, when you take the risk of damaging your brand and losing customers with a poorly adapted omnichannel strategy, you also take a financial risk. When this strategy is poorly implemented, associated costs will be added, which will affect your profits and your revenue.

When I talk about associated costs, I'm talking about inefficiencies such as undefined inventory, not making your inventory visible in real time across all your channels, keeping duplicate inventory due to your lack of flexibility in your supply chain, or not having a system that allows you to assign each order correctly by using, for example, your point of sale as a small warehouse, which requires you to incur additional costs to deliver on the promise of an omnichannel purchase.

Being omnichannel is neither easy nor inexpensive, and it requires a real investment of time and resources. That's why there's nothing wrong with avoiding channels or implementing new strategies if you don't feel ready. It's about identifying and prioritizing some of your channels or strategies that you want to focus on, as well as finding the balance between what your customers want and what you’re able to offer them.

Before launching a new omnichannel strategy, you need to ask yourself:

  • What is your budget?
  • Do you have the technology or know where to find it? Do you have the process in place for this type of strategy, or are you able to make it happen?
  • Do you have trained and experienced people to deal with it?
  • And most importantly, is your organizational culture aligned with omnichannel, your customers, and change? Does your management support and encourage this type of strategy?

It’s highly recommended to take it step by step and perform careful research to apply the channels or strategies little by little in order to see how they’re managed and optimized, how they impact your buyers and thus create a good customer relationship (it’s important to listen to them and get feedback from them constantly), how they interact with the rest of the process your company has in place (especially those concerning logistics), and with which human resources...

In other words, today, meeting customer expectations is not a quick or risk-free process for any business. Therefore, omnichannel is the right choice, yes, but only if you do it right.

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