Omnichannel marketing is a new way to look at retailing, focusing on the customer experience rather than the product or the channel. Today’s customers expect a single, cohesive brand experience regardless of how many touchpoints are engaged; and a significant part of that is ensuring customers transition seamlessly across several different channels, including from online to offline.
Tracking online brand interactions to online purchases is relatively uncomplicated. Retailers can follow a user’s online journey through a variety of touchpoints, including owned websites, third-party marketplaces, reviewer sites, and more from preliminary investigation to eventual purchase.
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However, things get a bit more complicated when a customer moves from the online to the offline world. An omnichannel experience includes in-store interactions, but transitioning between the two types of contact requires strategic planning, and a data-gathering methodology to measure the effectiveness and ROI of O2O tools accurately.
Some O2O strategies that marketers can use in omnichannel strategy execution include:
A smart offer is a secure, non-transferable coupon with an embedded dynamic code that can be used to track an individual offer to an offline purchase. Offer values may also be dynamic, crafted to appeal to different shoppers based on data analytics.
Smart offers can be distributed across a variety of channels, including email, text (SMS), or social media. Search marketing offers can also be advanced to a customer at the beginning of the sales funnel, when the customer first shows interest in a brand by conducting an online search.
A company can connect with customers using smart offers in managed interactions across a variety of channels. Additionally, smart offers bridge the digital divide, connecting the dots between online and offline behaviors.
Buy online, pick-up in store, or BOPIS, is an extraordinarily effective O2O strategy. Combining the anytime, anywhere convenience of online shopping with the tactile experience of in-store pickup is a great way to combine online and offline customer experiences.
Customers enjoy BOPIS because they can avoid shipping costs, pick up their items and have them in-hand quickly, and the possibility for instant returns should products not meet expectations. However, BOPIS benefits retailers as well. One study¹ found that 69% of consumers that selected BOPIS purchased additional items while picking up their order, making BOPIS an organic method of increasing sales and revenue.
Print-at-home (PAH) offers are coupons that can be distributed digitally, then printed and redeemed in-store. PAH offers are easy for retailers to distribute, and easy for customers to redeem. Marketers can drive additional sales by including complementary bonus offers on the printed coupons.
PAH offers support omnichannel strategies by engaging customers online and offline, and a smart PAH offer can also provide a retailer with valuable O2O data.
With affiliate marketing, an organization uses a network of partners to promote its products, paying a commission for traffic or sales generated by referrals. Affiliates extend the online reach of a brand and can be a valuable addition to an omnichannel strategy with accurate tools for O2O attribution.
With offline retargeting, an organization can send a direct mail promotion to website visitors, using offline contact to capitalize on online behaviors. Offline retargeting reminds a shopper of a product they are interested in, reinforce branding, increase sales, and contribute to a robust omnichannel strategy.
Omnichannel is transforming the way that businesses interact with customers, by putting the focus of marketing efforts on the customer experience. However, one of the more complicated aspects of omnichannel marketing is tracking and measuring online to offline sales.
With the correct mix of tools, marketing executive can create a seamless, effective, and measurable O2O experience. Customer requirements have changed, and a strong omnichannel strategy is critical in creating a positive, satisfactory customer experience.
Jonathan Treiber is the CEO & Co-founder of RevTrax