This is supported by our “Consumer Research 2022” report, which surveyed more than 4,000 consumers across Great Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S.
We discovered that a majority of shoppers across all four markets plan to do their shopping both in-store and online — and place a lot of value on excellent digital shelf shopping experiences.
In this environment, it’s essential that brands and retailers build seamless and consistent omnichannel shopping experiences across all digital and physical touch points.
Here are some actionable steps you can take to develop these experiences.
1. Understand Your Customers
Gaining a better understanding of your customers is the first step to any successful marketing or ecommerce initiative.
In particular, building successful omnichannel shopping experiences involves understanding where, when, and how your customers like to shop.
You’ve likely done plenty of customer data collection in the past, but building an omnichannel strategy requires looking at this data through a new lens.
In particular, successful omnichannel ecommerce requires you to have a thorough understanding of what channels your target shoppers use most often and how they interact with them.
- What channels do certain audience segments prefer?
- How do they enter each channel?
- What actions do they take in those channels right before making a purchase?
You should also consider which channels people are most likely to use in conjunction with each other. For example, do consumers view your social media posts right before making a purchase on your website?
Having a solid understanding of how and where your customers shop will help you better cater to their needs.
2. Identify Your Priority Channels
It’s generally a best practice to do a few things really well rather than to stretch yourself too thin.
Start off by prioritizing two or three channels to focus on. This will help you achieve wins sooner while giving you the chance to test and perfect your omnichannel strategy before scaling it.
You can prioritize channels based on the customer data you gathered in step one. For example, it might be best to prioritize the channels your customers spend the most time on or where they make the most purchases.
It’s also helpful to think in terms of what you can most easily knit together for a consistent experience.
Connecting your physical store to your email marketing campaigns may require more effort than using email to send customers to your digital storefront, for example.
3. Create Great Product Content
Great content is essential for any ecommerce initiative, and it takes on a new level of importance in omnichannel shopping.
A key measure of omnichannel success is whether your customer can have the same shopping experience across any channel. Effective, consistent product content helps you achieve this feat.
Product Content Roadblocks
There are certain channels — like social posts — where it isn’t always easy to share thorough product content.
In these cases, directing shoppers to product content on other channels, such as your product pages, can close the gap — helping consumers understand the full details of what they’re looking at and how it fits their needs.
Product content needs to be clear and direct, something people can absorb at a glance. And in a world where people expect to shop across multiple touch points, it needs to be consistent wherever it’s published.
4. Nurture Customer Relationships Across Channels
Omnichannel shopping goes hand-in-hand with omnichannel marketing. Fortunately, omnichannel marketing opens up a lot of great avenues for nurturing customer relationships.
Omnichannel marketing allows you to create a more holistic connection with your loyal customers, giving you opportunities to reinforce your message to shoppers across channels.
Provide Incentives and Exclusive Deals
Incentives and exclusive deals are a great way to connect with shoppers.
For example, you can use data collected on your website to send consumers exclusive targeted promotions, or you can give in-store shoppers incentives to find exciting sales on your online store.
Some companies are giving in-store customers mobile push notifications with exclusive deals on on-shelf products.
One proven omnichannel strategy is to implement a seamless loyalty program that gives shoppers the same rewards regardless of where they buy.
You can use this type of program to send shoppers promos or announcements via email, social, and other channels so loyal customers can feel rewarded wherever they may shop.
5. Measure, Refine, and Grow
Once you’ve launched your initial omnichannel experiences, it’s imperative to measure their success and refine them.
Collect data on how customers interact with your omnichannel initiatives and how those interactions differ from what you originally expected.
Are purchases growing how you expected them to? If not, where do customers get stuck or abandon their carts?
From there, refine your approach until you hit your key performance indicators (KPIs). Once you feel confident in your omnichannel strategy, you can start to expand it to more channels until you’re able to build a truly omnichannel experience that’s consistent across every touch point.
Laying a Strong Foundation for Omnichannel Shopping
Omnichannel shopping experiences are getting more refined, and organizations need to prioritize them to keep up with tomorrow’s ecommerce trends.
Great omnichannel experiences can’t be rushed, though; they have to be built on careful planning and deliberate strategy.
This process starts with a thorough understanding of the customer and which channels are the most important to prioritize.
From there, creating the desired experiences involves great product content, thoughtful customer engagement, and a commitment to continuous improvement.
Ready to start building omnichannel experiences your shoppers will love? It all begins with a top-tier product page. Use our Product Page Toolkit to build one that includes everything you need to capture shoppers’ interest and drive sales.