Top 10 Tips For Building an Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy

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In 2020, eCommerce sales reached $794.5 billion in the US alone. This is excellent news for the sector. However, with so many businesses now participating in eCommerce, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the competition and connect with your audience. 

As a business, you should be engaging in omnichannel marketing to improve eCommerce conversions and ensure excellent customer service. This will enable you to provide a seamless online experience that’s tailored to your users’ needs. 

Below, we will discuss 10 tips to build a successful omnichannel eCommerce strategy. 

What is an omnichannel eCommerce strategy? 

Omnichannel marketing is a sales approach that creates a streamlined and integrated experience for users across all channels. It’s a strategy that factors in different devices and mediums that customers engage with day-to-day. 

Importance

Omnichannel marketing allows you to reach your customers by interacting with them on the platforms they use every day. The biggest online companies today started by utilizing omnichannel marketing strategies. Using omnichannel marketing allows you to stand out from your competitors.

Physical locations are now increasingly being used as a stage for customers to test and look at products they will ultimately buy online. However, customers still want to be able to feel a personal connection with the companies they purchase from. Omnichannel marketing provides a platform for businesses to connect with customers they may never interact with in-person. 

Here’s how to get it right.

1. Be mobile friendly 

It’s estimated that, in 2021, over 72% of retail eCommerce will be generated by mobile devices. This means that whatever digital content you develop for your company must be functional and look great on smartphones. 

There are multiple ways you can connect with your customers on mobile. 

I. Applications

More and more eCommerce businesses now have a mobile apps. This can work for your company in multiple ways. It can provide an easy, mobile-friendly platform for customers to buy your products. It can also be a great way for them to use a loyalty program or contact customer support. It keeps you close and engaged with your customers on a device they use all day, every day. 

II. Text messaging

eCommerce instant messaging can be a vital tool for your business. While these instant messages can be automated by cloud call center services, they provide your customer with a more personal connection to your business. You can collect data from short text surveys or inform customers of new products or sales that may interest them. 

2. Segment your audience

Segmenting your audience within your eCommerce business is vital for the customer experience. With such a large audience, you need to be able to deliver marketing material that is targeted. This will allow you to suggest the correct products for individuals and have the widest possible reach. 

Here are ways you can segment your audience as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy. 

  • Segment by referrer or traffic source. Using a ‘refer your friends’ feature or data collected from clicks from a third party, you can calculate the most likely interests and shopping habits of each user. For example, if a user found you on YouTube, you can use further video marketing to boost eCommerce sales
  • Visitor type. An example of this would be segmenting your users into new and returning customers.
  • Customer information. This can be segmented by customer profile or behavior. Behavior-based would look at things like site browsing history. Profile-based segmentation looks at who they are to your business (new, regular, infrequent, etc.). 
  • Time and duration of brand engagement online. When do they browse your platforms, and for how long?
  • Recently viewed products. Collecting this data allows you to show customers products they recently viewed or suggest new products based on this activity. 
  • Platform and device. How do your customers interact with your company?
  • Location. With mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to determine your customers’ location.
  • Social media likes. You can also segment your audience based on what they engage with and like on social media platforms.

3. Craft a recognizable brand voice

Because you are reaching your customers across devices and on multiple platforms, you need to be instantly recognizable. A brand voice is a defined tone, style, and language that is specific to your company. It provides you with a consistent means of communication. 

When you create your brand voice, you need to speak to your intended audience. Who are they, and how do they talk and act? By mirroring your customers, you can make a personal connection with them. From there, you can integrate things like vanity phone numbers and online marketing campaigns that will connect with your audience and set the tone for your brand. 

When you create your brand voice, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition. You don’t want your customers to confuse your brand with your competitors. Also, look to the brands that you partner with or admire. This will help determine what you want your voice to sound like. Pay particular attention to language, style, and brand ambassadors. Choose people and platforms that will highlight your strengths and integrate seamlessly. 

4. Engage with customers on social media

Over 3.6 billion people use social media to connect with the world. Using this in your omnichannel eCommerce strategy is not just affordable and effective but essential. It’s a way for you to connect with your audience and for them to connect with you. 

Here are some ways to use social media in your omnichannel eCommerce strategy.

Number of Active Users on the Top 5 Social Networks(in millions)

Image Sourced from statista.com

I. Use it to deliver excellent customer service

Social media platforms offer a way to answer customer questions and address any concerns. Use the chat function and your feed to do so. You can also use these to connect with your customers in an informal and fun way. 

II. Improve brand awareness

With your omnichannel eCommerce strategy’s brand voice, you can improve your audience’s awareness of your company. Social media is the perfect place to broadcast this voice. You can do this through your feed or by having the support of a social media influencer. 

You can have people like and share posts and products to gain specific offers or discounts on your eCommerce site. 

5. Determine what channels your customers are using 

While you want to use an omnichannel approach, you may wish to divert more resources to the channels your customers use most frequently. First, you must figure out what channels you offer before determining which is the most effective. 

The options are: 

  • Social media
  • Print marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Website 
  • Referrals
  • Search engine optimizations (SEO)
  • Word of mouth 
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) 

Use surveys and data tracking to figure out what customers use and how they prefer to connect. You can even use the more popular channels to introduce them to other ways to get in touch with your brand. For example, you can use social media to direct people to your website or to encourage them to sign up for your email marketing and use system integration software to easily track data and metrics. 

On some of your channels, like your website, email, and social media, you can track customer engagement. You can see what they click on and how long they are engaged with your digital material. On YouTube, you can track views and clicks from your own content and what influencers promote. 

6. Keep customer data safe

There is nothing more valuable than your customers’ data. Data leaks can be detrimental to your company’s reputation. In any omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you need this data to deliver a personalized experience. 

Make sure that wherever you leverage or store customer data has the most up-to-date encryption and security software. You need to assume that hackers are looking for any information they can use to make money from you or your customers. The first step is to make sure you have a frontline defense from people seeking this data. 

Make sure to be in regular communication with your team. The only way to know something is amiss is to have an easy way for team members to alert the IT department of concerns. There are multiple platforms you can use for team chats and data storage. 

Compare Glip vs Facebook Workplace for your communication needs. You don’t want any data leaks to go unnoticed or unaddressed. 

7. Map your customer’s journey

There is nothing more valuable than your customers’ data. Data leaks can be detrimental to your company’s reputation. In any omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you need this data to deliver a personalized experience. 

Make sure that wherever you leverage or store customer data has the most up-to-date encryption and security software. You need to assume that hackers are looking for any information they can use to make money from you or your customers. The first step is to make sure you have a frontline defense from people seeking this data. 

Make sure to be in regular communication with your team. The only way to know something is amiss is to have an easy way for team members to alert the IT department of concerns. There are multiple platforms you can use for team chats and data storage. 

Compare Glip vs Facebook Workplace for your communication needs. You don’t want any data leaks to go unnoticed or unaddressed. 

7. Map your customer’s journey

Mapping your customer’s journey helps you visually represent the process a customer or prospect goes through when interacting with your company. It allows you to achieve a sense of your customers’ motivations along with their needs and pain points. 

When you are developing your omnichannel eCommerce strategy, mapping the customer journey will help you to implement proactive customer service. It acts as a roadmap to the customer experience. You will be better able to serve their needs by being where and when they need you. 

By paying close attention to the customer’s journey, you create a customer-focused mentality in every facet of your company. This can be ingrained into all of your marketing and each of your channels. 

Here’s how to create your customer journey map: 

  1. Set clear objectives
  2. Profile personas and define goals
  3. Highlight targets 
  4. List touchpoints
  5. Identify elements you want to highlight
  6. Determine the required resources
  7. Take the journey yourself
  8. Make necessary changes

8. Make testing a habit

Within your channels, make sure everything is functional and engaging for your customers across different devices. The only way to do this is to test them. Testing your omnichannel marketing strategy allows you to continually improve the customer experience and maintain a standard of excellence. 

Make sure personalization features and automated services are functioning, free of errors, and being directed correctly. For example, if you use VoIP calls routing, have team members make test calls at regular intervals. This ensures the calls your customers make get directed to the correct people. 

Make sure testing is interdepartmental. Don’t rely on your marketing team to catch inaccuracies in content or errors in automation. Have your sales team and IT department get involved in the testing of material. This interdepartmental approach will allow for innovative ideas and proactive solutions to your omnichannel eCommerce strategy. 

9. Optimize the purchase experience 

Make sure all channels lead to your eCommerce cart and order confirmation. Sales forecasting in excel is a great tool for speeding up order processing and tracking. Once your customer is there, you need to provide an excellent purchase experience. Without a pleasant and easy transaction, you might find yourself with low customer retention. 

In a survey of 1,500 consumers, 14% shopped on Amazon specifically for the familiar purchase experience. The cart and payment process are not the places to highlight your company’s creativity. You need a simple and easy-to-use platform to combat shopping cart abandonment. This should be clear and intuitive to use. 

Here are some ways to optimize the purchase experience:

  • Allow purchases with or without online registration
  • Request shipping information before billing 
  • Offer a range of payment options 
  • Make the cart easy to find 
  • Allow easy cart modification
  • Have a clear return policy 

10. Provide cross-channel support

Finally, your omnichannel eCommerce strategy must provide customers with excellent cross-channel support. Let your customers decide what channel they want to contact you through. Some may prefer calling your call center system, while others prefer to contact you through social media or on your website. 

Make sure your company has an easy and effective system for making and receiving calls. You should use different customer service strategies for inbound vs outbound calls. Inbound calls usually occur when your customer needs something, while outbound calls have your brand asking something of the customer. Both are needed in a successful omnichannel eCommerce strategy. 

Conclusion

When you build an omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you need to put your customer first. Brainstorm how you can reach your intended audience, and then use the tips discussed in this article to build your omnichannel brand. Using an omnichannel strategy allows you to have endless routes that lead you to your customers and, most importantly, your customers to you. 

An effective omnichannel strategy will lead to increased traffic and improved customer retention. It is a way for you to build personalized relationships with your customers in a digital world. 

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