10 years ago, the average consumer generally used 2 touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than 4. Today consumers use an average of almost 6 touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than 4. (Source)
The swift expansion of communication technologies has considerably escalated the opportunity for consumers to interact with brands whenever and wherever they choose to. Consumers nowadays have a wide array of choices to make in selecting the channels they prefer. This calls for the need for a seamless use of a large number of channels (in-store, online and in-app) when interacting with your audience.
Restaurants and retail alike are undergoing a transformation everywhere. An omnichannel experience is a multichannel approach that refers to providing consumers with a seamless experience by integrating all online and brick-and-mortar platforms into their journey. The focus of omnichannel experience is on the whole customer experience and not just their experience on each channel, individually. This means, no matter what sales channel the consumer uses, be it in-person, app, website or over the call, their experience will remain consistent throughout.
Businesses adopting omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year retention compared to businesses that don’t! It is time, now more than ever, for your business to be present on all fronts.
1. Key benefits of omnichannel communication
- Omnichannel offers customers a highly personalized experience
Consumers want a unique, personalized experience regardless of how loyal they are to the business. Due to the advancement in technology, businesses now have access to large amounts of customer data, making it increasingly possible to offer omnichannel personalization.
According to McKinsey, “Today’s personalization leaders have found proven ways to drive 5 to 15% increase in revenue and 10 to 30 % increase in marketing-spend efficiency—predominantly by deploying product recommendations and triggered communications within channels”.
When customers enjoy connecting with your business, they are more likely to come back time and again.
- Omnichannel to manage customers’ micro-moments
According to Google, “Consumer behavior has changed forever. Today’s battle for hearts, minds, and dollars is won (or lost) in micro-moments—intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.”
Customers have plenty of experiences with a business prior to purchasing from them. This is risky because when a single one of these experiences go bad, they’re less likely to purchase from the business again.
Thus, it becomes crucial to recognize these micro-moments across all customer touchpoints. In this manner, your business can stay ahead of its competitors. This requires the business to be consistent as well as peculiar.
- With an omnichannel strategy, customers gain trust in your business
Trust is a very important factor because when customers know that they can trust you, they’re more likely to purchase from you.
According to KPMG, first-time buyers often research a business across numerous channels to ascertain the kind of company they are and sort out the businesses before opening their wallets.
- Omnichannel helps boost word-of-mouth
Word-of-mouth is one of the quickest and most popular ways to boost a businesses’ bottom-line. Customers like to talk about their positive (and negative) experiences with businesses – online and with their close ones.
According to Big Commerce, when your business provides an indefectible experience to your customers, you can bring about more customers from your existing customers’ extensive network.
- Omnichannel to reach new customer segments
By employing omnichannel strategy, your business can find out how customers prefer to engage with their favorite brands, target the right audience based on their unique tastes and references, what sort of messaging customers resonate with the most and upcoming customer trends. Without these insights, businesses can lose touch with consumers and it’ll be harder to reach specific yet promising customer segments.
- Omnichannel helps improve brand recall
One of the challenges of omnichannel experience is having cross-channel consistency so customers see your business in the same way across all platforms and stores. If the consistency remains, it strengthens brand recall. This incentivizes repeat purchase, boosting business sales to a great extent.
2. Leading companies that use omnichannel communication to boost their customer experience
Disney has a user-friendly and mobile-responsive website where customers can plan their trip, pay in advance and receive their digital ticket instead of waiting in long queues.
The My Disney Experience tool has two sub-options: Fast Pass and Magic Band program. Fast Pass gives the customer access to Disneyworld Map, estimated wait-time and more. While, Magic Band program acts as a room key to the hotel, photo storage device and a tool for ordering food – anywhere, anytime!
Chipotle’s online and mobile ordering system allows the customer to place an order at their convenience, wherever they are. They map their customers’ purchasing history, analyze their buying habits, understand their tastes and preferences, etc. If a person leaves the app without purchasing anything, a targeted digital ad is sent to them and sometimes, invites them back to the app to make a purchase. An email is sent shortly with a special discount to push them even further to make a purchase.
Their app experience is customizable and the customers’ information can be transferred from their app to the online ordering platform, without any hassle. The company prioritized its omnichannel communication and digital engagement strategies during the time of the pandemic, which drove their digital sales up to $2.4 billion.
Starbucks is considered to be one of the top companies to offer the best omnichannel experience out there. Their Rewards app gives their members free rewards when a purchase is made and their credit/debit cards can be reloaded via their phones, online, in-store and app.
If the customer makes any changes in their profile, it automatically gets updated across all channels in real-time. Starbucks is now taking 30% of transactions via mobile payment thanks to its mobile ordering platform that allows customers to order and pay ahead of time to skip the line.
Sephora is also known for their brilliant omnichannel customer experience. Their program, Sephora Beauty Insider, gives customers access to their Beauty Bag (Cart) which can be accessed from their phones, online platform and in-store.
Some of the other benefits offered: Consumers can shop, see the items they have favorited, have access to their past purchases, keep up with the number of points they have accumulated, scan items in-store to see other options (shades, scents, etc.) available online, watch makeup video tutorials, DIY and hacks and eventually locate stores.
3. Our tips to leverage omnichannel communication
With Como, food and beverage businesses and retailers will never miss an opportunity again to engage with their clients through their preferred channel. We give them the possibility to send out sms, emails, push notifications and in-App messages depending on the settings selected by clients and on the content of the communication.
Here are some tips and tricks to design the best customer journey using omnichannel communication
- Create email campaigns to share your business’ latest news and special offers. Emails are great to engage with clients on specific event of the calendar like Valentine’s Day or Chirstmas just to name a few.
- Send out an SMS to let your customer know about their rewards balance and available gifts and encourage them to redeem.
- Generate push notifications to send out personalized deals and gifts to members. For example, a push notification could be perfect to wish a customer a happy birthday and offer them a special discount or present!
- Trigger in-App messages to take advantage of a customer’s presence on your App to push important messages and have them take action. In-App messages could be leveraged to ask clients to give a feedback every time they finish an order for instance!
Omnichannel communication is definitely here to stay because consumers adore it and businesses acquire a lot of benefits from it. Customers have more ways in which they can interact with businesses and businesses can improve the customers’ satisfaction and trust in the brand.
With having an omnichannel communication strategy in place, your business can get better insights through data collection, better brand visibility, improved customer segmentation and higher ROI.
Companies like Disney, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Sephora and Starbucks have developed their unique omnichannel experience for customers and its worked wonders for them.
It is your turn to satisfy your customers with a seamless omnichannel engagement!
To know more about ways to optimize the omnichannel experience for your clients, click here.