Customers want outcomes and consistency as they move across their preferred channels. However, many organizations are struggling to transition from multichannel marketing strategies to omnichannel marketing strategies.
What is Multichannel?
A channel is any place where a customer interacts with the company. Most businesses rely on a mix of channels to interact with their customers – emails, brick-and-mortar stores, call centers, websites, text messages, social media, and more. The goal of this multichannel approach is to let customers interact where, when, and how they want to. Multichannel is common with 74% of businesses using more than six channels to reach their customers.
What is Omnichannel?
According to Frost & Sullivan, omnichannel is a seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experience that occurs within and between contact channels. The customer’s journey is one continuous experience, where marketing actions are informed by past interactions and current stage of the buyer’s journey.
Even though omnichannel delivers a better customer experience than multichannel, the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) estimates that only 9% of marketers can engage customers across channels on a consistent basis. This is an issue of great consequence since retailers who fail to meet omnichannel shopping expectations lose between 10% and 30% of sales.
From Multichannel to Omnichannel
Channel silos are the main reasons why it’s so difficult to execute omnichannel marketing. These silos have no inter-connectivity and make it challenging to share information for data analytics. How can you break down these channel silos? Here are five best practices to consider:
#1 Encourage Team Efforts
Omnichannel success depends on a company-wide transformation that encourages interdepartmental collaboration, cooperation and sharing of synchronized customer information. This includes marketing, sales, supply chain and IT, particularly those overseeing or working with channel teams such e-commerce and call center managers.
#2 Leverage a Centralized Cloud Data Platform
You’ll need one place to access, maintain, update, and analyze customer data across all your channels. A modern cloud data platform not only provides standardized data for data analytics, but it also ensures scalability through cloud elasticity, the ability to readily share data across customer touch points and interactions, and consistent management, governance, and compliance controls.
#3 Select a Cloud Data Platform with Built-in Integration
Omnichannel requires the integration of many types of data and information — multi-channel purchasing behaviors, pain points, psychographic data, demographic data, and more. Seamlessly consolidating these data sources is easier and more efficient using a platform with robust, built-in integration capabilities.
#4 Create a Customer 360 View
A 360 view of a customer’s data includes data integration from touch points that a customer uses to purchase products and receive service and support. This view allows organizations to aggregate and unify customer interaction touch points to understand how customers flow from one channel to the next and deliver personalized, consistent customer experiences.
#5 Deliver REAL Real-time Omnichannel Experiences
Analytics solutions vary in their real-time capabilities with many having only “near” real-time analytics. REAL real-time analytics means that you can immediately deliver real-time data that helps you influence customers at just the right place and moment.
Customers should receive the same experience regardless of where they interact. Here’s some additional insight into executing the above recommendations: