The retail experience is changing as omnichannel retailing trends continue to grow. Consumers have more options when shopping and making purchases – comparing products and services across multiple sites and platforms, customizing payment options and even opting for an in-store pickup option over home delivery. Whether you have brick-and-mortar stores, full online stores or a mix of both, your marketing end goals are likely the same: to increase visibility, generate conversions and turn visitors into returning customers.
The purpose of omnichannel marketing is to create a seamless experience for consumers across all channels. Here are four ways retailers can stay ahead of changing consumer shopping habits and maximize engagement.
Walk in your customers’ shoes
Before implementing a new marketing strategy you need to think about who your customers are and what they’re looking for. Determine the market you want to reach – working men and women, young adults in college, families, etc. What do these people like to do? What are their interests? From there, you can figure out what they might be looking for – a consistent stream of information, promotions, constant brand-to-consumer interactions – and then use this information to formulate a working plan.
Add relevant channels
Omnichannel marketing is about keeping information consistent across all channels and making the consumer experience seamless. While your end goal should be to have information everywhere at all times, adding channels that are irrelevant to your target market will only dilute your power. You need to focus on building just a couple channels with high-quality content and then expand to other channels once you’ve earned a presence in the space and gained recognition for your content.
Content and messaging is key to successful omnichannel marketing. It’s smart to create content around a customer’s previous engagement. For example, if a woman buys leather cleaner, content or messaging should be pushed to her suggesting a black leather bag or a new pair of pumps. Customers who receive personalized messages may feel a stronger connection to your store or brand, and therefore be more inclined to shop more. They may also sign up for promotions and deals by connecting their social media profiles, providing your business with even more personal information that can later be used to stimulate greater engagement.
No shopping experience is complete without the payment step, so it’s important to consider different ways that consumers might want to pay. With an omnichannel payment option, customers can receive real-time promotions and discounts on their smartphones, driving more transactions. Some retailers may even offer “cash back rewards” or points when certain credit cards are used to make purchases. This is a great way to increase brand and customer loyalty. A variety of online and mobile payment options helps create a seamless retail experience.
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