Effective marketing and communication strategies are essential for any retail brand looking to attract and retain customers (meaning every retail brand). Personalized omnichannel communications have a successful track record in optimizing the customer experience. And consumers prefer them – 73% of consumers indicated they shop on more than one channel, and even more (85%) begin their purchasing journey in one channel and finish on another.
Once thought to be cutting-edge in retail, an omnichannel customer experience is now table stakes for retailers catering to the high expectations of consumers today. A personalized, omnichannel strategy can provide a seamless and consistent experience across all touchpoints, whether in-store, online or via a mobile device and regardless of the platform, from chatapps to social media to SMS text messaging.
Show me the data
When it comes to personalized communications, it’s all about the data. Leveraging an omnichannel strategy provides valuable data on customer behavior and preferences, which can then be used to improve future campaigns and marketing strategies as well as new products and services.
When customers interact with a brand through multiple channels, such as social media, SMS, chatbots and in-store experiences, each interaction generates valuable data about the customer’s behavior and preferences. An omnichannel communications strategy can gather data, including which channels customers prefer to use, what types of products they are interested in, how often they make purchases and the factors that influence those purchases. This data, in turn, can be fed back into the retailer’s analytics platform to create marketing campaigns that are even more personalized, develop more effective pricing strategies and improve the overall customer experience.
This data can also indicate which channels a retail brand should prioritize. For example, a major beauty retailer found that shoppers who visited a physical store within 24 hours of browsing its website made three times as many purchases, and sales were more than 10% higher than those of other customers.
Personalized content performs better
Today’s customers expect brands to communicate with personalized messages designed just for them. Statistics show they work: emails that contain personalized content are 26% more likely to be opened, while emails with a personalized subject line have a 50% higher open rate than generic blanket emails. And, SMS performs even better: 98% of text messages are opened and 95% are opened and responded to within three minutes of receipt.
Using customer data, preferences, past purchases and other information, retail brands can tailor their communication with offers and other messages that resonate with an individual to make interactions more relevant, engaging and memorable. For example, sending targeted emails based on customer purchase history, browsing behavior or location, such as an email to remind a customer of the sunglasses he placed in his shopping cart or an SMS text asking a shopper if she was still interested in the designer handbag she clicked on, with an offer of a gift with purchase.
Personalized communications grab customers’ attention by making them feel recognized and valued. When a brand understands the customer and tailors its communications to their preferences, it creates a stronger connection between the brand and the consumer.
Choose the right channel for the message
In addition, personalized messages need to be delivered on the customer’s preferred channel. In the example above, the handbag site knows from past behavior that the shopper relies heavily on mobile and reaches her there via text message, while the shopper browsing sunglasses only interacts on the website and has previously reached customer service via email, making that the proper channel to follow up with him.
That’s not to say, however, that brands should limit their communications to a single platform for an individual customer. Coordinating a campaign across multiple channels not only increases its chances of grabbing a customer’s attention but also provides a brand the opportunity to provide various levels of detail – for example, an email with a full visual view of a new product line with links to the product’s page on the website to a TikTok influencer video showing off the product to a quick-hit SMS message with an attention-grabbing headline and shortlink.
In the product launch example, each piece of content provides information in a different format to address customers’ preferences. Coordinating a consistent omnichannel marketing campaign also enables a retail brand to reach a larger audience and increase brand awareness. Including Facebook ads in the campaign can get the message in front of new eyeballs who the social site’s algorithm has identified as likely to be interested in the product based on previous clicks and interactions with other brand content.
According to recent research, companies that employ an omnichannel messaging strategy are:
– 2X more likely to respond to customers in real-time or in less than an hour
– 3X more likely to report extreme revenue growth over the past year
– 4X more likely to deepen customer loyalty
If you’re interested in seeing how your organization can benefit from an omnichannel messaging strategy, Mitto can help.