Your customers are savvier than ever, hunting for the very best deals across websites, mobile apps and social media — and it pays for you to keep up.
A survey conducted by The CMO Club, a community of senior marketing executives, recently revealed that although most businesses know that customers are moving targets that are increasingly difficult to nail down without an omnichannel approach, only 11 percent claim they’re utilizing multiple marketing channels. A whopping 55 percent of companies haven’t even begun to implement any sort of cross-channel strategy.
Where do you stand? When your customers are out and about, is your store the last thing on their mind because your mobile site’s impossible to use? If your company has yet to consider an omnichannel approach, now is the time.
The Basics of Omnichannel
The reason omnichannel is considered a necessity for online business is simple: it gives your eCommerce shop a way to connect with customers no matter where they happen to be.
Online shoppers are notoriously difficult to advertise to, but they do respond to repetition just like a traditional shopper. So if your website is giving visitors information about a product, the site’s integrated into your social media efforts and you make it easy for people to buy or shop using an app or a mobile-responsive site, you’re hitting your target market everywhere they might be.
Brick and mortar stores are taking advantage of mobile technology by making it possible for shoppers to use their mobile devices to do things like locate products in-store or check inventories simply by scanning bar codes. Online businesses must be able to offer similar reach — for example, by enabling customers to see the same shopping cart across devices and platforms. What stops so many businesses is a lack of resources (64 percent surveyed), or an inability to make sense of (61 percent) or integrate (52 percent) data from multiple sources.
Embracing an Omnichannel Strategy
As vital as it is for physical retail locations to stay connected to their increasingly fractured customers base, it’s even more important for your eCommerce business to do so. As your business is growing, you have to be able to show your customers that you’re serious and you can provide them every bit as much access as any of your competitors. Often, your 3rd party logistics partner can help you move into a multi-channel sales approach.
UPS’s 2015 Pulse of the Online Shopper reported that moderate to heavy online shoppers use their smartphones as much as 65 percent of the time to research a product they’re interested in purchasing — even light online shoppers do it 39 percent of the time. Far fewer, an average of 30 percent, actually made that purchase on their phones.
Imagine all the things that might happen between the time a person researches an item on their mobile device and when they actually follow through with the sale. They might get distracted by more pressing issues and forget about their purchase entirely or see a different, but similar item in a retail shop and pick it up instead of waiting for your package.
An omnichannel approach helps online businesses increase sales and customer satisfaction dramatically. When customers have a chance to access your eCommerce store from anywhere they happen to be they get their orders faster, which makes everybody happy.