Harnessing Omnichannel Experiences
Posted July 20, 2020
In a previous post, we shared ideas on how to utilize social shopping to help drive more foot traffic to your mall-retail space. This got us thinking about other multi-channel marketing opportunities. We all know that having a digital brand identity is essential these days, as online platforms allow you to connect with more shoppers in more places at once.
Having an online presence also helps you boost brand loyalty and exposure. Customers can follow your brand on Instagram or Facebook, where you can keep them updated on new product launches while they share their experiences of your brand with friends and other online communities.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is just what it sounds like. It’s the process of integrating every channel of customer engagement you manage (i.e. brick-and-mortar store, social media, website, email marketing, videos, etc.) into one seamless shopping experience for your customers (Forbes).
In a report by Aberdeen Group, findings revealed that brands with strong omnichannel engagement experienced an 89% customer retention rating. Businesses with less omnichannel engagement were at a lower 33% rating (RetailNext.com). The Harvard Business Review also confirmed that 73% of customers utilize various channels during their shopping journey. What this means is the majority of shoppers are using multiple touchpoints before they make a final purchase:
The omnichannel strategy hinges on the idea that providing a seamless shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores and through a variety of digital channels not only differentiates retailers from their peers, but also gives them a competitive edge over online-only retailers by leveraging their store assets,” (Harvard Business Review).
It’s easy to see the benefits of omnichannel marketing, but how can you harness this type of multi-level engagement to inspire more customers to visit your store?
How Omnichannel Marketing Brings Customers to You
The first step begins with providing your customer with a personalized shopping experience. When a customer is searching for a product online and your brand appears, the following journey takes place.
The customer will:
- Visit your website
- Gather information about your product and brand (this is typically performed using multiple touchpoints—website, social media, customer reviews, etc.)
- Check for online promotions/discounts
- Compare your prices to competitors
- Check availability of the product
The exact same process occurs when your customers are inside your retail space. They see a product they want and immediately grab their smartphones and perform steps 1-5 before making a final purchase.
Next, let’s consider how we can use these same channels to entice shoppers to buy from your in-store brand:
In-Store Pickup: Including this tiny feature on your website or social shopping channels will do wonders for your brick-and-mortar business. The fact is customers don’t want to wait for delivery. They want their products now. And knowing that they can have it in just a short drive will play off their need for instant gratification: “In a recent Fisher study, 90% of online shoppers surveyed stated high shipping fees and home delivery that takes longer than two days will likely prevent them from completing a purchase online,” (Bigcommerce).
*Just remember to update your inventory regularly. The worst thing that can happen is getting your customer inside the store only to discover the product is out of stock, resulting in a poor customer experience.
Loyalty Programs: Rewarding customers for their loyalty is just plain good business. Sending an email newsletter or text alert that they can save up to 20% on their instore purchases is sure to peak their interests. If you also operate an eCommerce platform like Instagram shopping, you might decide to schedule in-store promotions for customers who have items left in their online shopping carts for more than 24 hours. They might need that last incentive to visit your products in store to make a purchase.
Special Promotions: Another way to drive customers to your store is to offer special savings and discounts while they’re already in the store. For instance, you may display the following promotion: “Like us on Facebook and receive 10% off your checkout order.” Your customers can then immediately jump onto Facebook, find your business page, like it, and show the cashier to receive the promotion. This not only helps you complete your sale, but it also means you have another follower on your business page.
There are many ways to enhance the in-store shopping experience. You may decide to invest in a smartphone app, where shoppers can check store availability, compare prices, and get discounts. You may also provide in-store price checkers on tablets within the store, making it even easier and more convenient for shoppers to get the information they need before purchasing (Squareup).
Choosing the Right Channels
Because there are multiple channels at your disposal, choosing the most effective platforms that align with your branding needs to reach your target audience(s) requires some trial and error.
Not every channel is going to benefit your brand and if you have too many, it becomes more difficult to manage them, which in turn, defeats the purpose of creating one seamless shopping experience for your customers. Therefore, you might try the following process:
- Test: Try at least three different channels at first (e.g. Facebook, digital in-store advertising, Google My Business). Be sure to post regularly and keep your content consistent and on brand.
- Analyze: Utilize data available from these platforms (most are free) and see which channels are getting the most engagement. Are customers leaving comments, clicking on posts, sharing information, etc.?
- Evaluate: Review your data after three months. Did you notice an increase in in-store visits? Are more people following your brand? Did one channel provide better goal conversions and more brand exposure than the other two?
Deciding which channels will benefit your marketing efforts takes patience, but by planning out your marketing strategy ahead of time and staying on course, you’ll start seeing hard data to help you make better informed decisions.
At Rosedale Center, we offer many effective channels to help market your business. Options include digital and static advertising, freestanding displays, short-term promotional activations and events, and more! To learn about this exciting offering, contact our leasing team today!
Set Your Business Up for Success at Rosedale
Although choosing which channels will provide the most engagement for your brand is tricky, finding the best retail space to welcome your customers is simple with Rosedale Center! By leasing a space at our shopping center, you’ll be located in the center of all the action and entertainment—not to mention more than 14 million visitors per year.
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, simply fill out our online form. For questions, contact Holly Rome, our executive vice president of leasing, at 651.260.3545, or check out our leasing brochure for more exciting details!