The Significance of the Omnichannel Strategy in eCommerce
Omnichannel (or multi-channel sales) is one of the popular terms, next to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and conversion rates, which are very common on various websites devoted to online sales. Many eCommerce experts argue that implementing an omnichannel strategy is one of the main components of an online business success. In this article, we will try to present what omnichannel really is and what the potential benefits of this strategy may be.
What is an omnichannel strategy really?
Multi-channel retail (or omnichannel trading) is an approach to retail sales that focuses on providing consistent and seamless customer service across multiple sales channels. Regardless of whether the customer does online shopping via a mobile device, via the store's website, or in a brick-and-mortar store, efficient and effective handling of orders is possible.
There are 3 approaches to doing a retail sales business:
- Single-channel sales - the entrepreneur uses one channel to reach customers. A classic example may be brick-and-mortar stores.
- Multi-channel sales - this is a strategy in which the store uses different channels, for example, a brick-and-mortar store and an online store or social media channels.
Omnichannel sales - this strategy is similar to regular multichannel sales. Without a multichannel strategy, one cannot talk about omnichannel. The main difference is that all channels are connected, they communicate and cooperate with each other. Thanks to this, the store's activity is optimized, which translates into increased sales.
Statistical research shows that as many as 73% of customers use multiple channels when shopping. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of users learn about a given product from one source (e.g. the main page of the store or Fan Page on Facebook) and continue shopping elsewhere (e.g. by searching for the product on platforms such as Allegro or OLX). Due to this, ensuring the seamless operation of the store's website and its integration with popular websites and websites selling online are an essential step in the development of every online store.
How does the omnichannel strategy affect your business?
Increased profitsFrom the investor's point of view, the most important advantage of introducing the omnichannel strategy to the online store is the increase in revenues. By offering customers more customer journeys tailored to their needs, we are increasing the number of potential customers. Additionally, many customers, despite seeing a given product on one platform, prefer to make a purchase in a place that is easier for them to navigate. A statistical survey of 46,000 shoppers clearly shows that multi-channel customers spend more money on average than customers using only one sales channel.
Easier data analysis
The omnichannel strategy in online stores allows the company to collect and combine data about customers and website traffic from multiple channels. The obtained data gives a full picture of what customers are interested in a given brand, what their behavior and preferences are, and what their customer journey looks like. With this knowledge, you can customize your marketing content more effectively and improve your customer experience.
Higher customer loyalty
Customers of stores that implemented the omnichannel strategy not only spend more on purchases but also have a higher level of loyalty. The Harvard Business Review study shows that stores using an omnichannel strategy registered 23% more repeat purchases compared to other online stores within 6 months from the original one. Customers of these stores also recommended a given brand to their family and friends more often than those who shopped in a store using one channel.
The 3 most important aspects of an omnichannel strategy in an online store
- Increased personalization
A great way to support the omnichannel strategy is to integrate various solutions that improve personalization on the store's website, e.g. recommendation engines. These systems are relatively easy to implement and therefore should be a good starting point for implementing your multi-channel sales strategy. Considering that the average lifetime value of customers using multiple sales channels is 30% higher compared to other buyers, caring for their shopping experience is particularly important.
Optimization of the mobile version of the store's website
An effective implementation of a multi-channel sales strategy cannot take place without taking care of a good-looking and refined mobile version of the store's website. Research shows that approximately 57% of users will not recommend a business to a friend if their mobile site is not well designed. Conversely, 40% of users will shop at a competing store if they have a bad mobile experience.
Integration of analytical data
Every day, the website of an online store collects huge amounts of data regarding website traffic and customer interest in given products. Thanks to combining data available from various sources and sales channels, the store owner can get to know customers much better and adapt the store to their needs.