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When was the last time you walked into a store on a whim and bought something right off the rack? You know, without first conducting research, reading reviews, or Googling to see whether there are better prices online. Similarly, when was the last time you purchased something from an ecommerce store that wasn’t preempted by an ad, promotional email, or social media post?
It has probably been a while, right? Shoppers have grown accustomed to interacting with brands via multiple touchpoints, and retailers that offer a seamless, consistent experience across their retail locations, digital sites, and social media are winning.
It’s clear: It’s time to transition away from a single approach. Today’s digital landscape warrants an omnichannel marketing strategy. (Not sure what omnichannel marketing means? Check out this 101 guide.)
Connecting your marketing tactics and channels might sound simple in concept, but it’s often easier said than done. That’s why we’re going in-depth with everything you need to know about building an omnichannel marketing strategy.
The key to an omnichannel marketing strategy is ensuring your marketing channels work together. But first, you’ll need to identify your most popular marketing channels.
Make note that an omnichannel marketing strategy doesn’t require a presence on every available channel — it simply means investing in channels that can best help reach your target audience.
To get the necessary data, visit your analytics platform, whether that’s Google Analytics or the AdRoll cross-channel performance dashboard. Then, look at the numbers from the last 90 days and identify the channels most conducive to interactions, engagement, and conversions.
You’ll want to double down on these players as you develop your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Your customer journey is the path customers take from awareness to purchase. It’s typically composed of three phases — awareness, consideration, and purchase — though today’s customer journey is a lot more complex and topsy-turvy than that.
For instance, a shopper might see a Facebook ad, sign up for your email newsletter, click on an Instagram ad, browse your products, add something to their cart, abandon their cart, and receive a cart abandonment email with a coupon code before finally deciding to check out.
Though these complicated customer journeys may seem like budget drainers, there’s good news: Shoppers who interact with three or more touchpoints purchase 250% more frequently compared to shoppers with a single-channel experience.
A significant part of your omnichannel marketing strategy is ensuring there are no channel or messaging gaps as shoppers move through the funnel. Create a chart that visually demonstrates how each marketing channel leads to the next, plus what offers or messaging that channel entails. (Here’s a template to get started.)
It’s no secret how important it is to optimize your ecommerce site to be mobile friendly. Most of us are, unfortunately, tethered to our mobile devices. With mobile shopping accounting for nearly 45% of the total U.S. ecommerce market, mobile optimization within your omnichannel marketing strategy can boost your overall search engine optimization (SEO), conversions, and brand discovery.
The basics of mobile optimization include:
Designing your ecommerce site to be mobile responsive, so it looks good on any device
Checking that font, image, and button sizes are large enough for mobile devices
Using swipeable carousels to shorten the length of key pages
Creating floating headers or menu buttons to make navigation easier
Now that you have a better sense of exactly what marketing channels need the most attention, it’s time to identify your existing and targeted customers. You’ll then create audience segments, which will immediately level up your ads, emails, and other tactics in your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Check out this guide on everything you need to know about audience segmentation.
Something important to remember as you’re developing an omnichannel marketing strategy is that it doesn’t simply involve ads, social media, and your ecommerce store — it also includes customer support.
But providing good customer support, especially one that’s accessible to anyone at any time and spans multiple channels, can seem like an impossible challenge.
Good thing it doesn’t always equal hiring a team of live customer service agents: You can design a comprehensive chatbot that covers common questions and problems and escalates to someone on your team when needed. Then, once you’ve designed your chatbot’s conversation paths and script, you can implement it on both your website and Facebook Messenger. (Here are some customer support resources to help.)
As you embark on your omnichannel marketing journey, you may find yourself suddenly amassing subscriptions to dozens of different solutions, from an email provider to a loyalty program platform and even a social media scheduling software. Though they may all cost less than $30 a month, these costs can quickly add up.
While having a comprehensive marketing stack covering all of your bases deserves a thumbs up, many of these marketing technology platforms provide overlapping capabilities. That’s where a one-and-done solution like AdRoll comes in handy. With AdRoll, you can:
Create and launch ads (retargeting, contextual, dynamic, static, you name it) on Facebook, Google, and hundreds of other places and platforms
Design and launch marketing emails
Build audience segments powered by AI and our treasure trove of data
Add UTMs to all your content to pinpoint exactly how each of your marketing channels contributes to conversions in our cross-channel performance analytics dashboard — it’s the epitome of what omnichannel marketing is all about
While you may currently have a clear idea of exactly what your customer journey looks like, part of building an effective omnichannel marketing strategy is to test, test, and test some more.
Perhaps using Instagram to encourage shoppers to sign up for your marketing emails will do a better job of boosting conversion rates compared to just telling them to visit your site and shop. Or, perhaps your physical flyers should direct shoppers to a particular collection’s page rather than a dedicated landing page. The only way to find out is by A/B testing.
Armed with these tips and the right tools, building out an omnichannel marketing strategy is achievable, even for brands that are strapped for time or money. In fact, omnichannel marketing is a way to rid budget-wasting efforts and operate leaner.
With your omnichannel marketing strategy in place, you’ll want to check out this guide on how to launch your first omnichannel campaign — how exciting. Check out how AdRoll can power your transition towards omnichannel marketing right now.
Originally published on November 12th, 2021, last updated on November 15th, 2021.