Consumers want brands to support them no matter where they are – in an actual store, online, on social media, or on their mobile device. This new way of shopping has forced retailers and service providers to implement omnichannel strategies so as not to miss out on sales opportunities. Today’s savvy e-commerce companies are integrating online and offline shopping into one seamless experience.
That experience could look something like this: you decide to purchase a new laptop after seeing a commercial for the latest Mac. You use your desktop to browse consumer review websites. Once you have a few laptop options in mind, you stop in to Best Buy to find out which of those they have in the store, so you can see what they look like in person. Without making a purchase, you leave the store and log on to Facebook to find out what your connections think of your top choice. You also check the Apple page to see if anyone’s left comments about the laptop you’ve selected. You order the computer through Amazon’s mobile app. Once you have your new laptop, you take a photo of it and upload it to Instagram with a few sentences about your experience.
The omnichannel system connects traditional stores, mobile apps, social media, and e-commerce. According to ReferralCandy.com, omnichannel customers spend 208% more than customers who only shop in-store. Follow these tips to increase sales.
Audit Current Channels
Take stock of your current channels to begin determining how they can be coalesced. Offline experiences may include in-person shopping or direct mail; online experiences include the Internet, mobile apps, TV, radio, and phone communication. It’s important for brands to be present on a host of channels, including in stores and catalogs, and on websites, apps and social media. This will increase brand awareness and maximize the chance for consumers to find and engage with brands at various points along the shopping journey.
Create Targeted Social Media Content
If you have physical stores, only certain members of your audience should see information about specific shops. For example, if you’re holding an event in a San Francisco shop, create a Facebook or Google ad that only targets San Francisco-based shoppers. Otherwise, your audience will feel that you’re posting information that’s not valuable to them.
Soften the Line Between Online and Offline Marketing
Use ad campaigns that lead people across channels. If you’re having an in-store special, use an online ad to promote it, for example. Dani Fankhauser from Mashable explains that “while it’s most natural for an commerce company to promote via social media, and an offline store to market at local events or through direct mail, more often than not the lines are blurred.”
Maintain Consistency Everywhere
Company and product information, including prices, must be consistent across all channels. However, advantages of certain channels can still be utilized. For example, new mobile users may have access to a one-time, online-only coupon; new mailing list subscribers may get a free downloadable e-book for signing up.
Provide Self-Service Options
Offer solutions that don’t require sales associate or customer service interaction. According to a study by Deloitte, consumers prefer to find shopping information via their smartphones. Today’s shoppers are using their phone for every step of the buying process, from searching for products and price-shopping to contacting customer service and actually making the purchase. Customers also prefer to use self-service kiosks and digital displays in stores. Also, one of the most important omnichannel features to consumers is being able to look up product availably by visiting a store (and to do so without the help of an agent).
Consider Dynamic Pricing
Brands with a solid online presence are adjusting their pricing, sometimes several times a day, similar to how the travel industry has fluctuating prices to meet demand. Product supply and demand are monitored through omnichannel data and real-time technology. Online prices are raised when demand is up and inventory is down. Prices drop when inventory is high or when product has to be moved quickly.