Competition is at an all-time-high today and marketers are having a difficult time pushing through the clutter to reach customers. Some marketing strategies have become outdated, others ineffective, but for the most part, it is simply the fact that consumers are on to all of those little marketing tricks. Since everything is in a constant state of flux, from how we socialize to how we shop, it is only natural that marketing is also starting to come up with new tactics and approaches. You can’t blame a girl for trying, right?
Social media is a whole new platform for brands to reach consumers. The brands we see standing today are the ones that managed to adapt to the change rapidly and efficiently. Having a brick and mortar store alone simply doesn’t cut it in today’s market. You need an app, a page, a hash-tag, a handle, a board, an online store, and a bunch of other things that are a norm today, but even the words themselves sounded ridiculous a couple of years ago. Doesn’t really matter now, does it? Today, you either adapt, or you perish. Today, marketers are approaching their consumers from all angles and from multiple channels. This is called an omni-channel marketing approach.
Exactly What Is Omni-Channel Marketing?
This is not just another marketing strategy. This is quickly becoming the way marketers need to think. It is how marketers are using multiple channels and devices to reach their customers, and what are they doing to enhance their shopping experience. Omni-channel marketing is a wide-cast net that presents consumers with multiple areas of access to their brand, and vice-versa; it allows brands to communicate with their consumers more directly and more intimately than it has ever been possible before.
Customers want to be able to shop using their smartphones, their tablets, and their laptops. They will soon want to do the same via their smart TVs or smart refrigerators. They want to have the option of calling in and speaking to a real person, or even – and this is a shocker – visiting the physical, brick and mortar store of their favorite brand. What good brands are hell-bent on doing is making sure that all communication and activity, across all these channels, is consistent and seamless.
Today, customers are savvy and research everything before committing to buy. They are comparing your prices to those of your competitors, and sometimes even benchmarking you against your own online store. Smartphones have placed the power in the hands of the consumer so now they can reach out and find huge supply at the end of their fingertips.
Of course, this presents you with a couple of challenges. How to sell to an all-knowing customer? How to provide a consistent shopping experience that will help you win and retain satisfied customers?
A lot can be done with the omni-channel approach that can help you nudge customers in your direction. One of the most basic caveats, however, is to avoid frustrating your customers. So, make sure you have uniform policies and procedures through all your points of sale, whether they are online, via an app, or take place at a physical store. There is nothing more frustrating than getting different information from five different people, all employed by the same company. This brings us to our second point; educate your employees. Help them grow and learn, and teach them how to provide customers with top-notch customer experience. It pays off, trust us.
As we said, there is a lot you can do. Send out emails to customers that left your online store with a full shopping cart. You can even offer them a small discount if they decide to return and buy everything they selected. Or you can make life easier on your customers by allowing them to return items they purchased at your online store to your physical location. Most of the time they will walk out with the same item in a different color, or a different size, and maybe even pick up something else along the way. The possibilities here are endless.
If you are running a business, and are struggling with omni-channel approach, make sure to reach out to us.Contact us for assessment on where you stand, and tips on how to use this new marketing approach to become the ultimate retailer.