Technology

Omnichannel Ecommerce: How to Reach More People Than Ever Before?

 

omnichannel-ecommerce

 

In this dynamic landscape, the role of an ecommerce development firm becomes paramount. Such firms adeptly navigate the evolving customer behavior, creating seamless omni-channel experiences that bridge the gap between online and in-person shopping. By harnessing the power of technology, they enable businesses to cater to the modern consumer who expects convenience and coherence across various touchpoints.

 

Want to integrate omnichannel strategies into your business? Hiring a reliable ecommerce website development services India ensures seamless integration. Professional eCommerce developers help to optimize user experiences across several touchpoints including brick-and-mortar, web, and mobile platforms that significantly reduce shopping-related queries & improve customer satisfaction.

 

In the realm of omnichannel e-commerce, the landscape is evolving rapidly, prompting a corresponding shift in customer demands. This is particularly evident among Gen Z shoppers, who now anticipate a seamless and next-level brand experience regardless of their engagement point – be it social media platforms, online stores, or physical retail outlets. This paradigm shift underscores the need for businesses to harmonize their strategies across these diverse channels to meet the heightened expectations of this tech-savvy generation.

 

Omnichannel marketing is the way that will give your customers what they expect.

Drown in the latest omnichannel trends, you may have found several posts about the omnichannel definition. What does it mean exactly? Omnichannel ecommerce solutions in retail describes the efforts of retailers who offer a fully coordinated and consistent customer experience across all possible channels, using universal and consistent data.

Get confused? Relax! This blog will take you to the new world of omnichannel ecommerce.  Let’s dive in.

What is an omnichannel strategy?

omnichannel-strategy

 

An omnichannel strategy is an extremely powerful marketing approach that delivers a completely integrated shopping experience to the customers. It significantly unites user experiences across several touchpoints such as brick-and-mortar, mobile, and web platforms. A well-optimized omnichannel strategy effectively eliminates shopping-related confusion that disrupts customer experience.

 

However, before making a strong omnichannel strategy, it’s essential to understand every element and component of this strategy that will help you understand what your customers want from your ecommerce business. Here are the top four pillars of a successful omnichannel marketing approach:

1. Sales channels:

For such retailers who sell only on their ecommerce website, adding on an online marketplace can boost revenue up to 38% – research says. No doubt, the sales channel is one of the important pillars that directly influences the entire omnichannel strategy. It helps to significantly prioritize channels and makes sense for the target audience.

2. Marketing:

No matter which channel you use for selling products and what kind of products you usually offer, you must have a powerful marketing strategy that will effectively reach your potential customers. A unified and well-executed omnichannel marketing strategy helps your customers strongly connect to your business on every channel – according to an ecommerce development company.

 

Order fulfillment: Shipping expectation is extremely essential for any marketplace. Whether it is a product or a service, order fulfillment is the ultimate way to make customers satisfied. As an integrated part of an omnichannel experience, order fulfillment will help you meet all your customers’ needs.

3. Operations:

To execute an omnichannel strategy properly, you should have a system that will help to join all channels together. Moreover, inventory visibility is important for omnichannel inventory management. So, you should update all your inventory counts automatically based on your warehouse data.

Multichannel Vs omnichannel – Key differences

In today’s overlapping world of digital marketplaces, custom ecommerce software development, physical storefronts & social selling, multichannel and omnichannel both are the most recognized buzzwords. In multichannel marketing, many distribution channels are used to pay attention to the product. On the other hand, in omnichannel marketing, different distribution channels are used to focus on customers.

 

In order to build effective marketing strategies, every business should determine all aspects of both channels through which their potential customers can interact with the products or services. For your convenience, we have shared a complete comparison chart that clearly shows key differences between multichannel and omnichannel marketing.

 

Comparison Parameters

Multichannel

Omnichannel

Definition

Multichannel refers to plenty of channels for selling a specific product across different platforms.

Omnichannel is the application of different marketing channels that offers uninterrupted & seamless shopping experience to the customers

Concept

Division between various channels

Integration of every channel

Channel objective

Only interactive channels

Interactive & mass channels of communication

Scope of the channel

Retail Channels: e-commerce website, store, and mobile app

Retail Channels: Store, website application, mobile app, social media, consumer touch points

View

Multiple customer views for various digital channels

A single customer view across all channels

Channel aim

High customer engagement

High customer experience

Data

Not shared

Shared across all channels

Salespersons

Don’t adapt any selling behavior

Adapt selling behavior with the help of several arguments based on each customer’s needs

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Steps to building an omnichannel strategy

From the customers’ POV, omnichannel offers a top-notch shopping experience that accelerates the customer journey effectively, whereas, from a retailer’s POV, it’s quite difficult to properly manage all strategies and channels.

 

When developing a strategy that will reach your target audience on multiple channels, it’s crucial to prioritize all preferences, desires, and needs of customers. It will also help you create a personalized experience for your customers. Check out the quick steps to build an omnichannel strategy.

Step 1: Customer data analysis

The first step of an omnichannel strategy is to clearly understand which platform and channel your customers prefer & what are their expectations from those channels. This information will help you optimize and focus on customers’ touch points. You can also determine how your customers start interacting with your business & move towards making purchases. For an effective customer data analysis, the following questions you should consider

  • Where do your customer’s shop – online platforms or physical stores?

  • What devices do they prefer to use for shopping?

  • What kind of issues, challenges, and barriers do they face while shopping?

  • How do they communicate with their favorite brands at every touchpoint?

Step 2: Map your omnichannel journey

The next step is to map a proper omnichannel journey that offers convenience and ease. You can use the information you gathered to list all customer touchpoints, including:

  • Explore your products and brand

  • Knowing about your products purchase making

  • Requesting customer support

  • Accessing fellow customers’ communities

Every customer journey is completely unique & needs proper attention. This helps you make designs and content specific to all customer categories. Through proper customer mapping, you can seamlessly spot particular areas where you can improve & implement omnichannel experiences accordingly.

Step 3: Build an omnichannel brand guideline

Next, you have to define a number of omnichannel brand guidelines to establish a consistent look & feel across all channels. For that, you can start by properly reviewing the general guidelines of your business such as brand voice, visual brand identity, mission statement & values, etc. You need to also distribute all omnichannel guidelines to your team & properly train them to execute every brand element at all customer touchpoints.

 

In addition, you must ensure that your messages, offers, promotions, and branding are consistent across all channels. For example, when customers look for assistance through a website or app, the efficiency, and accuracy of the response must be the same.

Step 4: Implement your omnichannel strategy & measure performance

The success of any omnichannel marketing strategy effectively lies in performance measurement and comprehensive tracking. Businesses must use the proper metrics, analytical tools, and behavioral tracking to gather valuable insights into customer feedback and experiences.

 

You can also utilize CRM or customer relationship management data, online search behavior, and social media information to clearly understand how your potential customers behave & implement the right solutions for addressing the challenges.

Moreover, you can also use sales and marketing automation tools to provide customer support, manage customer experience across all channels, optimize efforts, and inspire loyalty to boost results. The three most popular tools include:

  • Hubspot

  • Magento

  • Shopify

 

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Types of omni channel ecommerce platforms

Choosing the right omnichannel commerce platform is important to boost your ecommerce business. Take a look at the three most powerful omni-channel ecommerce management platforms

1. Magento:

Magento is a highly popular open-source e-commerce platform that holds an excellent market share globally. One of the best advantages of using the Magento platform is that it helps store owners personalize the offering & make the ecommerce store very user-friendly. Key features of Magento ecommerce include:

  • Omnichannel ecommerce: With the Magento platform, you can seamlessly coordinate & optimize the customer experience across multiple channels

  • Multishop: Operating several domains and shops on a single interface means enhanced flexibility for worldwide deployment

  • Skalierbare Performance: The cloud software helps to extend functionalities at any time

  • Simple Administration: You can easily control and manage and control several webshops. The neatly optimized dashboard helps to enhance efficiency

  • Optimal UX: Shop content is properly arranged and optimized in the navigation. This improves the UX significantly

2. Shopify:

Shopify is a powerful SaaS-based platform that allows businesses to make an online store. As the most recognized multi-channel CMS (Content Management System) in the world, it is extensively used by small & medium scale businesses.  It also offers a wide spectrum of tools catering to store requirements, such as customer engagement, shipping, marketing, sales, payment, and so on. With Shopify, users get complete access to plenty of pre-built templates to design and develop personalized websites based on their needs. Notable Shopify features include:

  • Shopify POS: Shopify POS or Point Of Sale allows businesses to efficiently sell products in the real world. It can be used to build customized marketing campaigns for in-store customers.

  • Shopify Dropshipping: Dropshipping is a business model that helps ecommerce development companies & entrepreneurs to buy products from third parties & deliver them directly to potential customers.

  • Shopify Analytics: Shopify Analytics feature generates valuable insights associated with customer marketing, activities, and sales. It helps you make strategic decisions to boost your sales. 

  • Abandoned Cart Reminders: The report says that 68% of customers tend to abandon their carts before they make a purchase. This feature enables users to find such customers & remind them to make purchases.

3. BigCommerce:

Just like the Shopify platform, BigCommerce also offers a range of features with unlimited data warehouses and bandwidth. It also offers a number of additional features required for an ecommerce website like a product review, gift cards, tools, etc.

Bigcommerce platform allows you to create an online store easily. Once you’ve customized the entire configuration, you can easily select the source code. However, Shopify’s source code is comparatively easier. Some important features of the BigCommerce omnichannel platform include:

  • Easy and free customizable interfaces

  • Safe shopping cart

  • Integration with several payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, etc

  • Inventory management, return, and shipping systems

  • Multiple currencies support

  • Integrated drop shipping and warehousing

  • Unlimited products, bandwidth, and file storage

  • Single-page checkout and less downtime

  • Coupons and gift certificates

  • Product Videos

  • Ratings and reviews

  • Segmentation and customer groups

  • Abandoned cart saver

  • Persistent cart and B2B edition

Top 5 omnichannel commerce software

Customers get a very smooth purchase experience with omnichannel commerce software as it enables them to properly interact with all channels. It helps to combine and manage customer-facing ecommerce channels and offer functionality for B2C & B2B commerce. The top 5 omni channel ecommerce platforms include:

1. Contalog:

Contalog is an omnichannel software that helps to unify several management tasks like inventory maintenance, inventory management, invoicing, shipping, order processing, & information processing for several sales channels into one control panel. This omnichannel software comes with a feature-packed analytics tool that allows businesses to collect important user info, purchase frequency & preferences to offer personalized recommendations for attracting more customers.

2. SAP Hybris:

Hybris is a cloud-based omnichannel platform having proprietary products and it helps B2B and B2C businesses drive more sales, billing capabilities, and marketing strategies. It also enables ecommerce businesses to deliver a seamless, streamlined, and comprehensive omnichannel experience to their potential customers. Key benefits of SAP Hybris software include:

  • Easy to develop

  • Smooth customization

  • Integration

  • Security and scalability

3. NetSuite:

NetSuite is another top-notch ecommerce software that effectively needs B2B & B2C ecommerce business needs. It also offers an advanced device optimization experience that allows customers to effectively connect with brands. It also helps to control inventory, host e-commerce stores, monitor financials, and manage customer relationship management systems.

4. Intershop:

Just like SAP Hybris, this is also a popular omnichannel trading provider used for large-scale enterprises. It enables businesses to increase brand awareness, build omni channel sales strategies and advertise their products. Intershop is fully tailored to complex business operations and it provides top-notch software & wide service packs that support multichannel sales.

5. Goecart:

Last but not least, Goecart offers the best multichannel ecommerce solution to integrate online & offline sales. It also provides a list of management controls like inventory tools, order processing systems, and CRM to focus on management tasks associated with the Omnichannel approach.

Benefits of an omnichannel strategy

 

An omnichannel strategy helps you build your brand identity across online & offline channels that ensure a cohesive and integrated customer experience. By integrating online & offline channels, businesses can easily deliver compelling and consistent brand messages to customers. From a successful omnichannel strategy, you can expect the following advantages:

1. Increasing traffic:

With a proper omnichannel strategy you can generate more traffic to your ecommerce store. Research shows that omnichannel strategies help to increase store visits by up to 80%. It also enables retailers to meet more availability, increase sales and integrate digital touch points.

2. Improving customer loyalty:

Customer loyalty and retention rate both are essential for every ecommerce business – whether it’s a startup or a large-scale organization. Customers always prefer to buy from the brands they like. An omnichannel marketing strategy offers consistent and next-level customer experience across all platforms. This will help to improve your customer loyalty and boost your retention rate.

3. Enhancing a competitive advantage:

A well-executed omnichannel strategy helps you get a number of sales opportunities. Since customers prefer to use several channels and devices during their shopping journey, it’s important to be properly present on every channel that is relevant to your business. This helps to boost your brand visibility, accelerate your customer experience, & offer a competitive advantage.

4. Improving data collection:

The proper omnichannel strategy usually involves monitoring and tracking customer behaviors over several channels. This helps to personalize the experience for every potential customer. Moreover, the omnichannel marketing approach also allows businesses to collect more valuable insights about their potential customers and make offers & promotions to increase customer engagement.

5. Helping in excellent data analysis:

Not only data collection but omnichannel also helps in proper data analysis that will enable you to make a complete understanding of your customer journey. By collecting and analyzing all behavioral data (online & offline), you can better understand your customer’s intent and interests. For executing the omnichannel marketing strategy effectively, you should accurately track and monitor your individual audience behavior across several omni-channel shopping platforms including:

  • Social media

  • Mobile apps

  • Online shopping cards

  • Email lists

  • Point-of-Sale systems

  • Cookies

  • Device IDs

  • Loyalty programs

  • Offline media

6. Improving inventory management:

Omnichannel strategies help businesses understand inventory. It effectively makes it simpler to perfectly optimize stock levels and enhance inventory management. This means whether the products are sold online, in-store, or through a marketplace, retailers get real-time visibility into all inventory levels. Moreover, it also allows brands to cut costs through access to business insights and stock levels.

2023’s Top email marketing examples

Nowadays, many ecommerce brands are moving towards omnichannel marketing for business growth. However, implementing a properly maintained omnichannel strategy is not easy. Have a look at 2023’s top brands that are implementing omnichannel strategies efficiently.

1. Sephora:

Sephora is one of the top worldwide retailers that turned an omnichannel business concept into action. The omnichannel strategy of this brand not only keeps its audiences informed but also helps to gather data and information through it. Moreover, their marketing approach allows marketers to monitor and manage their customer journeys from in-store interactions to online browsing with ease. The top 7 success factors of Sephora’s omnichannel strategy include

  • Authentic customer experience

  • Exceptional omnichannel approaches

  • Turning data into business growth

  • Data-driven mobile strategy

  • Augmented retail strategy

  • Strong business continuity

  • Crisis management techniques

2. Starbucks:

Starbucks is one of the final examples of omnichannel marketing. Their omnichannel funnel helps to increase customer loyalty over time. The rewards app of Starbucks offers the ultimate omnichannel experience as it eliminates a number of pain points – users can easily find the nearest stores, place orders without hassle, claim rewards, and more. The app also makes customized recommendations based on store inventory or previous orders, for instance.

3. Disney:

Another top example of omnichannel marketing is Disney. This brand has consistently navigated that combines online, in-person & television marketing over decades. The “My Disney Experience” platform enables people to easily plan their trips. Moreover, it also helps to seamlessly buy tickets, reserve restaurants, schedule activities, book hotels, and so on.

Moreover, with the contactless magic band tool, Disney has significantly taken their omnichannel marketing approach one step ahead. From in-person to online, offering a seamless omnichannel experience makes Disney adventures more magical.

4. Warby Parker:

Warby Parker was previously available online only but in recent years they have started leveraging omnichannel marketing to drive more sales. They not only allow their customers to order glasses to try at home but they also have a number of brick-and-mortar stores where customers can visit and explore a variety of trendy glasses. Apart from that, with a well-executed omnichannel strategy, they can also combine data from online interactions and in-person interactions.

Latest trends in omnichannel marketing

 

Exploring the latest and new omnichannel ecommerce trends helps us distinguish them from old and existing ones. It also allows us to execute a predictive analysis to determine the future of omnichannel marketing strategies in retail.

For your convenience, we have made a list of 2023’s top omnichannel trends based on customization, customer experience, and supply chain improvements. The trends include:

1. AR/VR combined shopping with a brick-and-mortar space:

The demand for brick-and-mortar touchpoints is returning with AR/VR. Augmented reality & virtual reality both technologies both are working together to improve the brick-and-mortar and online shopping experience. These technologies in brick-and-mortar storefronts allow customers to seamlessly discover the product they are looking for.

Promising brands like Zara & Chanel are already using this trend to improve their shopping experience.  Key benefits of AR/VR combined shopping include:

  • Improving customer convenience

  • Offering the best shopping experience

  • Allowing customers to find the answer to their product-related queries

  • Enhancing customer satisfaction

2. Virtual fitting rooms:

This is a unique trend used for both in-person and online stores that enable customers to see how a clothing item would look on them without stepping into the trial or fitting room. Be Your Own Model by Walmart and Virtual Try-On by Amazon are the most significant examples of this trend. Today’s retailers get the following benefits from virtual fitting rooms

  • Fewer returns on clothing items

  • Less time spent in clothes re-hanging

  • Low chance of clothing items being damaged or stolen from the fitting rooms

  • Dedicated staff for the dressing room is not required

3. Contactless shopping:

Contactless shopping is a popular retail trend in which RFID technology is used to tag all products in brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon Fresh or Amazon Go is the best example that supports contactless shopping technology. RFID assures customers are charged only for the products they leave with. Common benefits of contactless shopping include:

  • Enables hygiene regulations

  • Minimizes shoplifting

  • Eliminates the necessity for check-out attendants

4. Buy online and pick up in-store:

BOPIS shopping expedites the entire process of shopping & ensures that the products they are searching for are in stock. It allows retailers to connect online and offline experiences and drive in-store foot traffic. Top brands like Shoppers Stop, Nordstrom, Lowes, and Kohl’s use this trend to boost store traffic. Key benefits of this trend include:

  • Improved customer

  • Excellent inventory management

  • Increased in-store foot traffic

  • Reduced shipping costs

5. Buy now & pay later:

Just like BOPIS shopping, Buy now & pay later or BNPL is also a new trend that allows brands to boost customer conversions by offering flexible payment solutions. It usually splits large purchase costs into manageable chunks. Top brands that use the BNPL model include  Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay, etc. From this model, retailers get the following advantages:

  • Encouraging customers to purchase high-quality goods

  • Making products more accessible to a vast range of customers

  • Enabling the auto charging option

6. Same-day delivery:

As the name implies, same-day delivery enables customers to order online & get the product directly delivered to their doorstep on the same day. This is a very popular retail trend that increases customer satisfaction and boosts sales. Amazon and Hannaford are the best examples that follow this trend. Common benefits include: 

  • Increased conversion rates

  • Fewer inventory costs

  • High Customer Satisfaction

  • Less friction in the buying decision

  • Faster and smoother performance

  • Raise your profit margins

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Final words

Unlike the multichannel approach, which only pushes out messages on several channels, omnichannel marketing brings an unparalleled shopping experience that every customer loves. With omni channel selling and marketing strategies, you can deliver a unified and personalized shopping experience to your customers. This kind of effort not only supports seamless user experience but also enhances customer loyalty, boosts brand awareness & increases sales. For more information, get in touch with Sphinx Solutions.

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