As a local retailer, you probably don’t limit yourself to advertising in just one way. You likely combine digital marketing with in-person marketing.
To maximize the effects of your marketing campaign, you want to ensure you create an omnichannel retail experience.
With an omnichannel retail experience, you will find that your branding becomes more effective, as do your marketing efforts. Take a look at creating this type of experience for your customers and reap the rewards of doing so.
What is an omnichannel retail experience?
An omnichannel retail experience is also sometimes called omnichannel retailing. This refers to the practice of delivering consistent messaging across all of the channels you use to interact with customers.
The idea is that consistency across all channels and interactions maximizes the results of your efforts in marketing and customer engagement.
How to craft an omnichannel strategy
Crafting an omnichannel marketing strategy involves thinking about the channels you want to interact with customers on and the type of message you want to send to them.
For mattress and furniture retailers, you will likely want to use your messaging to highlight what sets you apart from solely online retailers. That comes down to being able to try out the product and the value that this adds for customers.
For example, a mattress business can highlight that customers can feel how their spine aligns with a new mattress or how comfortable a mattress is. Neither of these things is possible if you shop online.
So, your omnichannel marketing strategy will likely highlight the importance of buying your products in person at your store. To support this marketing strategy, you can provide educational resources online.
Are you omnichannel ready?
Before you get too far along in the process of creating an omnichannel customer experience, make sure that your business is omnichannel-ready. To be omnichannel-ready, the following should be true for your company:
You have multiple marketing channels
These channels are integrated
Your customer data is stored centrally and not siloed in departments
If any of the above don’t apply to you, you will need to work on them before making the most of omnichannel retailing.
How to create an omnichannel experience for retail customers step-by-step
Step 1 – Understand your customers
When creating an omnichannel customer experience, the first thing to do is to understand your customers. If you aren’t sure what motivates your customers to shop at your store, ask them in a survey. This is the perfect time to think about why they buy mattresses or furniture in stores instead of online.
Step 2 – Pay close attention to pain points
As you work to understand your customers, pay extra attention to their pain points. This way, you can address them in your omnichannel marketing approach.
Step 3 – Diversify where your brand appears
Even if you primarily make in-person sales, it may be worth it to diversify where your brand appears. If you could handle the logistics of it, consider selling your items online if you don’t already do so.
At the very least, make sure your brand has an online presence on your website, social media, and review sites. As you do all of this, make sure that your websites are mobile-optimized. You want customers to be able to find you on a desktop or mobile device.
Step 4 – Integrate all of your channels (online and offline channels)
Once you have multiple channels, you are ready for the most essential part of creating an omnichannel retail experience – creating a seamless and integrated experience across these channels.
Start by using the same branding and logo across all channels and in your physical store. Then, get creative. For example, encourage shoppers to share images of their new furniture in their home on your Instagram or Facebook page. You could also print out reviews of your products and display them next to the relevant items in the showroom of your brick-and-mortar store.
Step 5 – Add in-store wi-fi
Have it installed if you don’t already have Wi-Fi in your physical store. Remember that people will want to look at reviews as they shop, and a WiFi connection will make that possible. You can even combine this with the idea of printing reviews from the previous step.
In addition to or instead of printing reviews, create a QR code that, when scanned, will take shoppers to the relevant reviews or even a more detailed product page on your website.
Step 6 – Maximize your channels with educational content
Delivering the same experience across all channels is the most basic level of omnichannel retailing. Once you have achieved that, it is time to make sure that you give customers what they want in the form of educational content. As a bonus, creating educational blogs or videos will also help your SEO strategy.
Step 7 – Leverage your expertise
Take advantage of the fact that you are a local store and enhance the previous step by leveraging your expertise. For example, offer in-store or online workshops or tutorials. You can also make sure your website offers live chat or other communication forms with your team.
Step 8 – Keep engaging across all channels
In the long run, make sure to continue engaging with your customers across all of your channels. Even if you only sell your mattresses in brick-and-mortar stores, remember that social media and other online interactions are part of the sales funnel.
Step 9 – Always gather data to evaluate
As with any other marketing strategy, your omnichannel approach should constantly evolve. Make sure to gather data through surveys and other online forms to adapt your approach as necessary.
Personalization in omnichannel commerce
Personalization in omnichannel commerce occurs when you rely on data to personalize your customers’ experience on a given channel. Importantly, you use customer data gathered on one channel to personalize messaging on all channels.
The most obvious examples of this come from e-commerce, such as targeting customers with ads for products they looked at but didn’t purchase. Depending on how you integrate your online and in-store experiences, there are still numerous opportunities for this. For example, if a customer scans a QR code in your store to get more information on a product but doesn’t buy it, you could target them with ads for it later.
Benefits of using an omnichannel approach
An omnichannel strategy automatically expands your reach, as you will meet your audience on the platforms that they frequent.
Omnichannel retailing improves customer satisfaction. To start, customers appreciate that you meet them on their preferred channel, which shows that you pay attention to their preferences and interests. Additionally, your branding and messaging will be consistent, so you don’t confuse customers.
You will also typically notice an increase in profits. Part of this comes from the increased contact and customer experience, which enhances the sales funnel. It also comes from the fact that your customers can reach you and get a step closer to buying your products on multiple channels.
Creating a similar customer experience across various channels can be challenging, especially when they are traditionally used differently.
You may have to adjust your internal infrastructures, such as combining your marketing and online marketing teams. This is less of an issue for smaller businesses as those responsibilities may overlap, reducing the challenges of incorporating an omnichannel strategy.
Some retailers may be hesitant to have customers use their phones in stores as part of the shopping experience, as they may find a better deal online and not buy from you. Luckily, you can overcome this with QR codes leading to your website. This prevents customers from just searching for a product and ending up on a competitor’s page.
Is omnichannel the same as multichannel?
Multichannel and omnichannel marketing are closely related but slightly different. Omnichannel marketing generally takes a broader approach. With multichannel strategies, your goal is to increase the number of channels that you use to reach customers. It is not important whether the channels integrate. With omnichannel marketing, you aim to be on all channels that customers use to interact with your business. You rely on data and other factors to deliver the same customer experience holistically across all available channels.
Conclusion: How can I make my business omnichannel?
To make your business omnichannel, start by doing your best to reach your customers across multiple channels and to do so with consistent branding and messaging. You also need to get feedback from customers, so you know what they want from the omnichannel marketing approach.
The good news is that Podium Starter can help with many of these things. You can use the platform to get easy feedback from customers through SMS. Using this feedback, you can continuously optimize omnichannel retail strategies for success.
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