How to Deliver the Perfect Crosschannel Experience

Aug 16, 2012 12:00 AM  By

The continuing fragmentation of marketing and transaction channels will challenge etailers this holiday season. Quick definitions: shoppers see a message from you in a marketing channel, such as a paid search ad or an email; shoppers place an order in transactional channels, like a website or retail store.

On an average site, the multichannel funnel inside of Google Analytics shows that 67+% of shoppers experience two or more marketing messages prior to a purchase. And this is understated, because it does not include off-line marketing and misses impressions from online ads and email.

The combination of marketing and transaction channels creates hundreds of ways a shopper can get lost, confused, or frustrated, which means that you lose the sale.

Spend some time preparing a better crosschannel experience and you’ll have happy holiday shoppers this year. Here are some tips to help you help your shoppers successful navigate all these channel possibilities:

Make sure promotions work across your transaction channels
A special offer that you included with that last order shipped to the customer needs to work on the website, mobile site and call center (and retail store if you’ve already dealt with nexus). When a shopper enters a keycode that a site doesn’t recognize, most respond with an “invalid keycode” error message, frustrating the shopper. Change the message to apologize, offer your 800 number, capture the “invalid keycode”. You can then track down holes in the integration between promotions and your website.

Offer click to call everywhere on your smartphone (mobile) site
Your small screen site gets 5-10% of the total traffic on your website, but only 1-2% of sales. Why? Because the screen is too small for a good ecommerce shopping experience. Make it very easy for your shoppers to use the really cool phone technology built into their mobile device.

If you use different offers across marketing channels, repeat the offer prominently on the landing page
The offer is likely what drove the shopper to your site. If you have only a small promotional banner repeating the offer, many shoppers will miss it and bounce. Use 20-25% of the landing page to reassure the shopper that they will get that special deal. Note: I’m seeing more sites move to a consistent offer across all channels to reduce confusion.

Use your web and mobile site to create an “endless aisle”
QR codes on signage make it easy for a shopper to find items online that are out of stock in the store. The future is more integration between retail and online, including placing orders online for same day in-store pickup.

Allow shoppers to login with Facebook
They are probably already logged into their Facebook account when they visit your site. If so, you can populate their email address with a click. And if they have ordered before with the same email address, you can pre-fill their address information in checkout. It’s a one-click cross over between social media and ecommerce.

Recognize a shopper across devices (iPad, cell phone, laptop, desktop)
You can show products previously viewed and a consistent cart, so that visitors can start shopping on one device and finish on another. Encourage the shopper to login so that you can lay down the same cookie id. Given the rapid rise in iPad shopping, cross-device purchasing is likely to be more important than ever this year.

Larry Kavanagh is chief ecommerce strategist at Kalio Commerce.