Omnichannel and mobile marketing is a phrase ecommerce brands have been hearing quite a bit lately. The concept of both strategies may sound like an industry buzzword, but in reality the marketing concept demonstrates a very important fundamental shift in brand experience customers have come to expect.
As consumers have the strong desire to interact across multiple channels, it’s become a necessity that retail and ecommerce marketers implement a strategy that will create a unified message for their consumers across every channel. The landscape of consumer demands is constantly changing at a rapid pace. However, if there is one thing that’s for sure, it’s that automation is going to reach mobile in more ways than marketers will be able to imagine in 2017.
Both mobile and omnichannel go hand in hand, as mobile influences today’s shoppers with the omnichannel journey. Marketers in the year to come need to move from simply operating multiple channels into having a truly holistic multimachannel strategy to fit the consumer’s needs in the New Year and beyond. Here’s why…
The Online and Offline Experience
We’ve come a long way from relying on mail advertisements entering our mailboxes to see the latest product that is entering our favorite store. Thanks to the internet, consumers no longer have to physically walk into a store and stand online to purchase something. Regardless of whether a customer comes into a store, shops through a website, uses a mobile app, or browses social media channels, they want the experience to be smooth and consistent, regardless of the channel.
Omnichannel marketing allows consumers to begin their journey on one platform and jump to another.
According to statistics, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. For this reason, marketers must design their processes to be interconnected enough to respond appropriately to a multitude of possible customer journeys. A brand’s mobile app, website, social channels, and even in-store experience are all reflective of one another. If a customer starts a purchase on a brand’s website, the mobile app will recognize that, even days later when the consumer begins to browse for another product. As a result of unification across all channels, the consumer is reminded of their uncompleted transaction from several days prior.
Combining multiple channels across a brand to ensure consistency may sound quite daunting to some marketers, but don’t it should be the opposite. There are great perks the brand will experience when they provide ways to maximize engagement across all channels. For instance, omnichannel marketing processes will allow marketing teams to tailor strategies to target audiences. Creating programs that combine social ads, text messages and email will maximize the marketer’s reach. These factors will help marketers determine the right content that is going out to enhance the customer journey, which will create brand loyalty.
E-commerce and brand marketers must stay ahead of the curve and ask themselves how they should apply and automate Omni-channel strategies to improve their respective customer journeys.
Long Live the King
Mobile is shaping retail industry trends, and will continue in the coming years. As device penetration expands, we will continue to see global mobile usage among consumers intensify. In May of 2016, Deloitte released their annual mobile consumer trends report, which notes that mobile consumers check their phones more than 80 billion times a day! It is evident that for consumers, the most important screens are the ones they are walking around with in their pockets.
As consumer device obsession deepens, brands must quickly become mobile-first strategies to stay connected with the on-the-go consumer. Retail marketers need to continue testing and optimizing their mobile marketing strategies, where they should leverage mobile email, develop mobile apps and notifications to give the consumer a fully tailored shopping experience.
There are four areas where brands can begin capitalization on the power of mobile to enhance the consumer experience and better connect with their customers, such as:
- Simplify the checkout: We’ve all been frustrated by a slow online checkout process. Streamline the process so that you don’t lose sales due to the need of the consumer filling out multiple forms.
- Increase the speed of your site: Similar to the checkout process, slow loading times are how customers quickly abandon their shopping carts. Ensure the site loads quickly to keep the consumer engaged.
- Optimize for tablets: With the growth of smartphones, we’ve seen the growth of tablets. A brand should assure that their mobile site is optimize for both smartphones and tablets to provide the user with an fantastic experience
- Provide appropriate content: 79% of consumers will not revisit a mobile app more than twice if their initial impressions are not up to par. Stand out from your competitors, and deliver a presentation that has a clear value and provides simple presentation.
Customer centricity should be top priority as they are critical to a brand’s success. Retail and ecommerce marketers must make omnichannel marketing and mobile a core element of their strategy in 2017 if they haven’t already started. Brands that fail to make the shopping experience seamless from online to offline for the user will risk keeping consumers engaged. Leveraging both strategies in the New Year will help your brand create awareness, activation, retention, revenue and loyalty. And that’s a win-win situation for both parties.
Sean Brady is President, Americas at Emarsys