If you’re looking for a way to take your customer engagement to the next level, omnichannel marketing is key.
Omnichannel marketing is where you pull all your channels together to create a seamless customer experience, from the store on the high street to your e-commerce and social media platforms. So instead of reaching customers in only one place, you can reach them almost everywhere they are – even when they’re not looking to buy. The idea is that by ensuring you have a presence almost anywhere your customer is, you’ll never miss out on a sale.
This is something that’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses, as customer shopping habits are increasingly favouring e-commerce. Research shows that 86% of shoppers regularly hop across multiple channels – sometimes they even buy the product they’re looking for online on their phone even as they’re standing in the queue at a physical shop (Source: CommerceHub).
As the boundaries between different shopping formats continues to blur, it will be crucial for independents to fold this strategy into their businesses so they can keep up with retail trends and stay relevant to their customers.
How omnichannel marketing could help you grow
Setting up an omnichannel marketing strategy is not only much easier than you might think, but it also makes your life a little easier going forwards too.
It’s different to an omnichannel business strategy, where you have multiple channels (which may include a brick-and-mortar shop, a webshop, and other online marketplaces or shoppable social media platforms) that are synced together, acting as one system instead of several. For a deeper dive on that, read our article about how and why you should make your business omnichannel.
Omnichannel marketing describes a similar approach but for engaging your customers: it’s a multi-dimensional way of supporting the customer experience. In simple terms, it means creating one smooth, interconnected sales journey for your customers. You might have heard of multi-channel marketing – where multiple marketing channels are used to engage customers. With omnichannel marketing, these channels are connected to create an integrated shopping experience that turns each social media post or email into one part of a single sales journey.
How omnichannel marketing works
Omnichannel marketing is based in the knowledge you have of your customers and their behaviour. With data you can work out what the best way of communicating to your customers is, targeting them on their preferred channel and pulling them through the rest as part of the journey to purchase.
This encompasses all your sales touchpoints — including between your bricks-and-mortar shop and your e-commerce platforms, even down to events and social media. Omnichannel marketing puts your customer at the heart of the retail experience, offering them a unified experience across all their devices and your channels, and generating more sales by connecting your online and in-store presence.
Let’s say you sell flowers: with omnichannel marketing, a shopper can fall in love with a bouquet on social media, and browse your online selection. When they leave, they could receive an email from you offering a discount code to buy their favourite blooms in your physical shop. And once they get there, who knows what else could catch their eye? And the benefits don’t end there.
Five reasons you should invest in omnichannel marketing
Generate more sales
This kind of strategy can be very effective at generating more sales. When we looked at Zettle users, we found that the average omnichannel merchant processes almost double the payments of the average non-omnichannel merchant*. We also found that the average omnichannel merchant completes 32% more transactions per month than the average non-omnichannel merchant*.
Reach new customers
Our research also found that omnichannel merchants are less reliant on repeat customers: over the past 6 months, 70% of their customers have been new. For non-omnichannel merchants, only 49% of customers were new**.
Lizzie Darby, founder of London shop Made the Edit, spent 2020 investing in online and made e-commerce a priority. “It’s about growing our audience,” Lizzie explained. “If you’re a local business on a high street, you put so much effort and attention into the things that you sell. There’s no reason why a person in Manchester wouldn’t be just as interested in you as the person on your local doorstep.”
Cut down on inventory admin
We know from data that the average Zettle inventory user completes more than 90 inventory actions per week*** – a significant investment of time for a small business owner. With an omnichannel solution, where your channels are all interconnected, you can make updates in just one place and every other channel is automatically updated. Check out our inventory management article for more on how you can improve your processes.
Help futureproof your business
Creating an integrated business that revolves around a digital point-of-sale system means your business can be flexible, allowing you to add more channels at the click of a button. That means you can add new sales or marketing channels as you need them easily without having to rethink your whole setup, allowing you to react to your customers’ behaviours and follow shopping trends as they evolve.
Bridge the online-offline gap
The future of shopping is online – there’s no escaping it. But with an integrated omnichannel marketing campaign, you can help customers keep you top of mind wherever they are shopping, or even when they aren’t. By placing yourself in the channels they live in day to day – whether that’s social media or through a great search strategy – you can remind them of the service and quality that sets your brand apart from the high street giants.
Digital service doesn’t have to be impersonal – and that’s another strength that small businesses can tap into. “For us it’s not just about going online and trying to sell more and more,” said Lizzie. “It’s actually about going online and keeping the richness of the experience people get when they’re in-store.”
How to build an omnichannel marketing campaign
- Perfect the basics. If your website and social media channels are established and working smoothly, you already have great foundations. If you post consistently and engage with users on social media or wherever they are, they’ll notice you.
- Data is your best friend. When it comes to creating your omnichannel campaign, get as much information about your target market as possible – where they shop, where they spend time, their interests and hobbies, what social media they use. Giving out a survey is a great idea – and offering a prize to encourage participation is an even better one.
- The power of an app. Are you talking to Gen Z? For this audience, everything happens on their phone, from ordering food to hailing a cab or booking tables at restaurants. Make your store available in the same way so they can browse and buy on the spot, or find their size in a nearby store.
- Keep your brand strong. Make sure your content is original, relevant and focused on the customer. Keep your brand voice and tone the same so you’re always recognisable.
- Be consistent. Provide good customer support on every channel you use. One-of-a-kind service is your best advantage against the big chains, so keep it consistent through every touchpoint and your customers won’t forget.
- Integrate your technology. A unified view of your inventory and a single source for product information is crucial to avoid mistakes and cut back on extra manual work. With your Point of Sale and e-commerce channels integrated, you can track sales – and therefore customers – as they move through your channels.
Omnichannel marketing in the real world
With the right e-commerce solution, you can expand your physical shop onto digital channels, keeping up with new shopping trends and helping you can reach more customers in more places. With your in-store and digital channels connected, managing multiple channels is easy – so you can help grow your business without sacrificing your sleep.
We’ve made sure that Zettle POS can be integrated with a wide range of different e-commerce platforms – so with our partners, we can help you to streamline your business and sell in more places.
[*] Zettle by PayPal, study commissioned by Zettle by PayPal, 01/09/21 – 30/09/21, using data from 176,998 Zettle merchants in SE, FR, FI, DK, NL, US, MX, NO, SE, IT, GB, ES, BR.
[**] Zettle by PayPal, study commissioned by Zettle by PayPal, 01/04/21 – 30/09/21, using data from 508,884 Zettle merchants in SE, FR, FI, DK, NL, US, MX, NO, SE, IT, GB, ES, BR.
[***]Zettle by PayPal, study commissioned by Zettle by PayPal, 01/07/21 – 30/09/21, using data from 34,923 Zettle merchants in SE, FR, FI, DK, NL, US, MX, NO, SE, IT, GB, ES, BR