Omnichannel 101: Your Guide to Managing Cross-Channel Customer Journeys

The e-commerce industry is at an inflection point and omnichannel is poised to become the next stage of its evolution. Omnichannel could soon become vital for many businesses as customer behaviours evolve more rapidly than ever and digital competition continues to heat up. Omnichannel shoppers now represent one in three shopping journeys and more than 60 per cent of shopping journeys have a digital component. In this exciting e-commerce landscape, brands need to understand omnichannel commerce and leverage it to engage with their customers and grow their sales. 

In this guide, we take a deep dive into omnichannel commerce and share with you some tips and tricks to get your omnichannel strategy in motion. Let’s get started!

What is Omnichannel?

Omnichannel is a customer engagement approach where business contact channels are interconnected to provide seamless, effortless and high-quality customer experiences. 

To deliver value to customers, omnichannel brands bridge their presence across e-commerce (e.g. website, app, marketplace), social commerce (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat), push (e.g. email, SMS, WhatsApp), online (e.g. website, app, social media, email, SMS, WhatsApp) and offline (e.g. retail store, events) channels. 

Why is Omnichannel Important?

Today, most brands offer a variety of channels to communicate and attract customers, including email, WhatsApp, social media, video,  and chatbots. However, just because a company offers multiple channels does not mean that it has a comprehensive strategy or view of how customers interact with the brand. There is, thus, a need for brands to unify and coordinate their multi-channel efforts to effectively engage with customers at every touch point. 

Omnichannel is crucial as customers today expect a seamless experience irrespective of their chosen locations, devices and communication channel. This means that they will actively choose brands that invest in their customer journeys. Additionally, when businesses lack integration across their channels, they can cause a fragmented customer journey that can result in churn or lost sales. 

How Can Brands Get Started With Omnichannel?

Kickstarting an omnichannel strategy can be a daunting task for any e-commerce business looking to scale and grow. 

Here are some tips on getting started with an omnichannel marketing strategy:

1. Start With Your E-Commerce Platform

For digital-forward businesses, their e-commerce platforms can serve as a launchpad and home base for their omnichannel strategy. Finding success with an omnichannel approach requires powerful technological infrastructure so that brands can focus on building an engaging and integrated customer journey. E-commerce platforms, thus, have the potential to connect omnichannel functions so that businesses can simply and simultaneously manage all of their channels. 

SHOPLINE’s platform enables brands to manage the various channels in their omnichannel strategy in one place. The platform is natively enabled with omnichannel functionality including eCommerce, Social Commerce, Marketplace Integration, and Point-of-Sales system integration. This means that beyond just building a web store, SHOPLINE’s users are able to build out their entire omnichannel customer journey right out of their e-commerce platform dashboard. 

2. Personalise the Customer Journey

Personalisation across digital and physical channels has become a “must-have” for omnichannel brands. Omnichannel brands invest in creating customer journeys that are personalised at every stage, with targeted recommendations. By keeping track of customer behaviours, brands are also able to tailor their outreach efforts to be relevant to their customers’ needs. Some marketing tactics that can be individualised include email marketing and online advertisements. 

SHOPLINE’s Smart Recommendation feature suggests relevant products to customers in real-time using an algorithm that learns from customer shopping habits. At the same time, Smart Push sends out individualised email and messaging content to offer relevant content and notifications. The Smart Ads System, on the other hand, helps to optimise your ads so that they have a better fit with their target audiences, thus increasing engagement, click-through rates, and conversions.

3. Engage Using Social Commerce

Leveraging social commerce is an effective way for businesses to achieve a consistent, engaging omnichannel experience wherever their customers are. The average user spends 2 hours and 27 minutes daily using social media in 2021 and this number is set to grow as social media adoption continues to increase. By creating seamless paths for customers to purchase products and services within their social media channels, omnichannel brands can take advantage of this time spent on social platforms to engage with customers and convert sales. 

SHOPLINE offers comprehensive social commerce features to help businesses to sell on a wide range of platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Brands can instantly synchronise their e-commerce stores with their Instagram and Facebook stores so that customers can make purchases directly on those platforms. SHOPLINE also offers multi-channel livestreaming tools that help brands to sell products during streams and engage with their customers with interactive keywords and gamification. 

4. Manage the Online and Offline Experience

Bridging the online and offline gap is a key challenge for omnichannel brands. To start, brands need a powerful Point of Sales (POS) system to act as a centralised hub to connect their physical stores with their online sales channels. To create seamlessness between physical and digital realms, brands also need to finetune their fulfilment channels to connect them. Omnichannel fulfilment methods include home delivery, curbside pickup, and letting customers place orders online to pick up in-store. 

SHOPLINE POS helps businesses to integrate their online and offline presence by managing orders and inventory across all their channels. This means that their product inventory, stocks, prices, order status, shipping status, and customer information can all be automatically synced with their  SHOPLINE platform. Additionally, it provides a wide range of flexible fulfilment options so customers can get their goods delivered or picked up regardless of where they initially purchased them. 

Want to jumpstart your brand’s omnichannel strategy? We highly recommend using SHOPLINE to get started. It’s easy to use, perfect for beginners, and incredibly affordable. Sign up for a 7-day free trial to get started! 

Go to the SHOPLINE Academy blog page to find more educational blogs. 

Share

Continue Reading