Omnichannel: understand what it is and why your company should keep an eye on this strategy

Want to improve your customers’ experience? An omnichannel strategy can be a great way out! Get to know the details of how it works.

Omnichannel is a sales strategy that integrates different communication and dissemination channels, offering customers a unified brand experience so that each one can switch between several channels and still achieve the best quality in the service, services and products they purchase.

The way business is done is constantly changing. One of the main goals of companies is to please their customers more and more. If before having a website to compliment your physical sales channel was a differential, today this is the least that should be done. Now it’s critical to think about an Omnichannel strategy.

The variety of channels that consumers can use to find and interact with your brand is very wide, especially when Blue World City talks about the possibilities with Digital Marketing. Therefore, there must be an integrated communication between them so that your customer truly trusts your product.

It is noteworthy that we understand a channel as any point of interaction between a brand and the public, including some examples such as:

  • site;
  • email marketing;
  • pages on social networks;
  • applications;
  • catalogs;
  • events;
  • tablets in the physical store;
  • online service;
  • personal assistance;
  • between others.

Do you want to understand how making these channels talk can help you gain more and more customers? In this content, you will better understand the Omnichannel strategy, the reasons why this term became popular and the benefits this approach can bring.

What is Omnichannel?

We can define Omnichannel as a multichannel sales approach, which seeks to provide customers with a perfect shopping experience, whether they are shopping through an online platform (using a desktop or mobile devices), over the phone, offline, or through any other channel used by the company.

The most important point is the depth of integration between the multiple channels. This makes your brand create familiarity with the consumer, as you will remain in the focus of constant attention, with a great offer on channels they already trust.

It’s not just about reaching as many people as possible through individual channels, it’s about understanding what your persona is paying attention to and embedding your brand at the intersections between them.

From this point, we summarize that Omnichannel is a multichannel sales strategy that offers the consumer an integrated experience. This integration must exist between the distribution, promotion and communication channels.

Why is the Omnichannel theme so hot?

Competition within the market is stronger than ever. Digital forces are changing the way we shop and consumers’ buying habits have become more cautious. Within this environment, it is necessary to find innovative ways to deal with all these changes.

Providing a differentiated shopping experience, but at the same time easy and without many obstacles, is a great challenge. So Omnichannel came up with the proposal to make this possible.

In this strategy, not only are the channels integrated but the customer experience is integrated into the channels. In other words, the user will be able to browse and interact with your brand through several platforms, which will create proximity with it.

Focusing on this strategy is a great way to show that your brand is trustworthy and ready to meet all the user’s demands, even those he didn’t even think could exist.

What is the difference between Omnichannel, Multichannel, and Cross Channel?

Have you come across these 3 distinct terms? Are their meanings different or do they ultimately represent the same thing?

When talking about Omnichannel, it is common to have confusion with other similar terms, such as Multichannel and Cross Channel. In practice, these three terms are related and consist of evolutionary steps in a customer communication strategy.

Are we going to understand these terms better and leave the confusion behind?

Discover Multichannel

If we translate the term Multichannel, we get the result “multi-channel”. This is exactly what such a strategy consists of: using multiple channels to reach the persona, whether online (such as social networks, blogs, websites, and chats) or offline (in person, events, fairs). The trick is to be available in as many ways as possible so that your customer can find you in the way that is best for him.

And why is a Multichannel strategy adopted by many businesses? Simple: consumers have different preferences.

While some prefer to shop at e-commerce, others prefer to visit stores in person. The same happens in social networks: some prefer to consume written content via blogs, while others may be more visual and prefer to access information via YouTube or Instagram.

omnichannel multichannel

Comparison between Multichannel and Omnichannel (Source: SAN Internet )

Understand Cross Channel

The term Cross Channel, in turn, means “cross channels” and refers to the next step of what would be Multichannel. In such a strategy, two channels combine and communicate to improve the customer’s shopping experience.

A famous example is bookstores, where the virtual store is integrated with the physical store. In these cases, it is common for consumers to search for all the details about the product they want online, buy it virtually, but pick up the product in person at the store.

As the customer can access various information about the goods on the site, including reviews and satisfaction notes from other customers, their security to consume increases.

Omnichannel in practice: meet Disney’s example

After knowing the meaning of the other strategies, it becomes clearer that Omnichannel is the evolution and fusion of the strategies mentioned above. If two channels can intersect and provide a better shopping experience for the customer, imagine what the combination of multiple channels would be able to do?

Everything becomes clearer when we talk about examples, that’s why we bring here a company that uses this strategy like no one else: Disney.

The Disney customer experience starts with their wonderful website. There we get information about all the company’s parks and destinations, accommodation, news, offers, travel planning and much more. It is noteworthy that all the options on the site work as well on cell phones as on the computer, which already draws attention.

After booking a trip, customers can access the My Disney Experience tool to plan their entire trip, from where you’re going to dinner to where you can get tickets so you don’t waste time in queues. Once at the park, you can use the Disney app on your cell phone to find the attractions you’re looking for and find out how much time you’ll spend on each one.

As if that wasn’t enough, the company launched in 2014 a program called Magic Band. It is a digital wristband that works as a gateway to My Disney Experience and has several features, such as:

  • Room key: if you are staying at one of the hotels in the complex;
  • Park Tickets: Since Disney a few years ago abolished paper tickets;
  • Fast Pass: also known as queue-busting;
  • Shopping and Dining: You can link a credit card to your wristband;
  • Memory Maker: a pack of photos taken by the park’s photographers that you’ll be able to access through the website or the app.

disney omnichannel magic band

Magic Band look that gives you access to various Disney actions (Source: DisneyGuia)

This is a true Omnichannel Respect Strategy! No wonder this entertainment giant has a special way of delighting customers, is it?

Nike has doubled its direct connection to consumers using Omnichannel

How about another example of a brand you know and that has already achieved 35% year-over-year digital revenue growth?

Nike has invested $ 1 billion in marketing Omnichannel actions between 2018 and 2019 and has since seen a huge increase in the public’s loyalty to the brand, in addition to expanding its digital sales.

Translating one of the words of CEO Mark Parker: “The intersection of physical and digital will be an increasingly intimate relationship. I think we’re seeing a lot of trial and error, learning from some of the tests we’re doing

The companies’ examples show that Omnichannel supported a successful global strategy, as they are major powers in the world market. But this does not mean that the strategy only works for big players in the market.

Your company, even if it is an SME, can start this work with the digital channels most used by its audience. It is essential to start this work, mainly because of the experience that the public expects to find wherever they are.

Why implement an Omnichannel strategy?

In its 2020 retail report, PWC found that the number of companies investing in the Omnichannel experience jumped from 20% in 2012 surveys to more than 80%.

Looking back at The Experience Impact report, released by Merkle in 2019, 66% of consumers indicated that they care more about the experience than the price of the product or service. In addition, 52% of respondents also reported that they stopped shopping on a branded website due to a poor online experience.

This is really important data to make clear the urgency of implementing a strategy that involves all channels. And if the Omnichannel world presents almost limitless opportunities, it also presents advantages for brands and suppliers in new ways.

Historically, efforts to influence the buying journey have never been as measurable as they are today. Now, companies like Google and Facebook also have an active role in influencing buying behavior, and to achieve good results with them it is necessary to implement actions together.

The barriers between physical and digital space no longer exist

The convergence of the physical sales model with online formats and digital tools allows consumers to browse and buy products anywhere, on any device. Therefore, the notion of a store as a physical space will become less and less relevant. If it is not found in the digital environment first, people are unlikely to know it.

This expands the potential of marketing campaigns, which can take into account the best possible location of the public to promote specific promotions in each area. The measurement of results is done with Marketing Automation or Business Intelligence (BI) tools, which help to personalize communications.

3 Advantages an Omnichannel Strategy Offers

When brands and retailers leverage an Omnichannel marketing strategy to create a seamless experience for consumers, the benefits are significant, even as customer expectations rise.

As more brands and retailers invest to meet these expectations, there is a greater awareness of the advantages that integrated marketing across channels can provide. While there are many benefits, we have selected the top 3 that we list below.

1. Better customer experience to build customer loyalty

Customers tend to use a variety of devices to assess prices, purchase an item or evaluate a service, as well as finding it easier to track their order, receive it, and even return it if necessary. It’s even common to start the process on one device and finish it later on another.

It is in these cases that Omnichannel proves one of its main advantages: delivering the experience that any customer profile needs. How about an example? We can narrate a natural experience that happens today:

  • The customer is looking for an item he needs to buy on his home computer;
  • He finds the product on a brand’s website;
  • Later, access the product page while on break from work, now using his smartphone;
  • Set up an account and put the item in the cart to assess shipping value and delivery time;
  • In the late afternoon, he decides he won’t wait for the shipment and arrives at a unit in the store to make the purchase.

Do you realize that if one of these steps were not available, the customer would already seek the same product with a competitor? The experience delivered needs to be complete, end-to-end. The result of this is customer loyalty, who already know they can count on your brand when they need a new product.

Remembering that customers also believe that service should be part of the experience. In the Omnichannel Benchmark Survey, focused on the retail market, 61% of companies reported that improved customer service led among competitive differentiators.

2. Growing brand awareness and sales outside the physical store

The concept of using a connection across multiple channels simultaneously supports continued growth in brand recognition.

After all, this is a more targeted way to increase brand visibility by combining channels that are accessed and used by your audience. When we think about Inbound Marketing actions, for example, it is natural to combine SEO, Email Marketing, and Paid Media to achieve the same goal.

We know that there is a high percentage of people who use their smartphones in stores just to compare products and prices. But by harnessing the potential of the digital environment to establish an online presence, brands can become more visible when consumers search for keywords that might refer to their products or services.

Best of all, brands are able to reach consumers interested in what they sell without being mentioned by name. For details on how it works and how to improve this placement of channels, it’s worth checking out the Complete SEO Guide.

3. It makes life easier for the consumer by increasing data collection

With the pandemic in 2020, businesses from various segments started to offer different ordering and fulfillment options: home delivery, in-store pickup (where shoppers buy online and pick up their purchases in-store). This is just one example that the more channels a brand use to reach the market, the more access they have to consumer data.

And what benefit does this bring? The unification of these data provides marketers with greater insight into the demographic and behavioral profile of customers.

This information can include everything from your purchase history to information on cookies and activities performed on social media. In practice, they make several uses possible:

  • Personalization: Data allows brands to create a more personalized journey. An example is product suggestions, made with more precision. Having this level of personalization helps the customer make purchasing decisions faster;
  • Trend analysis: As data collection increases, trends in customer behavior can also be identified. The individual profile can help brands target their campaigns more effectively;
  • Marketing Automation: there are variations in buying patterns or even in the time of day people open an email. Therefore, having the data works as an input to use Marketing Automation, automating tasks and communication for the moment when the result will be better.

How to use Omnichannel on a daily basis?

Understanding these advantages and integrations with key channels will encourage organizations to create new ways of working as customer needs change and demands for service in an Omnichannel world become more constant.

Shoppers increasingly demand a consistent level of experience, regardless of the channel or mode in which retail is accessed. Looking at our own shopping experience, we avoid buying from companies that are ill-equipped to deliver a seamless branded experience, whether online or offline, consistently and continuously.

So how can companies use Omnichannel on a daily basis? To answer this, just creating unified planning of your Marketing actions.

Here you can follow a checklist of questions that need to be answered to compose this plan:

  • What communication channels do we already use today?
  • How do we use these channels? Are they integrated?
  • Which channels are not used yet?
  • What message do we want to convey to the audience, no matter where they are?
  • How does our person’s buying journey work? Does it go through more than one channel?
  • Where can we invest more to increase the volume of audience we will reach with Omnichannel?

Each company, each way of managing marketing campaigns, and each team model can follow different paths to integrate channels and apply what is necessary to create a complete experience. But all these points must be part of the planning.

We know this need for a unified omnichannel consumer experience demands near-perfect execution. However, expert use of intelligence tools, coupled with an in-depth understanding of real-time customer needs, can make Omnichannel a realistic day-to-day strategy.

Implement your complete digital strategy with RD Station Marketing

From social networks to Email Marketing, from Landing Pages to Pop-ups, from Automation to Analysis of your results: RD Station Marketing is the ideal tool to make more money with Digital Marketing strategies in all channels!

This solution, which is a leader in Marketing Automation in Latin America, can support any company during the implementation of the Omnichannel strategy. It also provides key points for any Marketing team, such as:

  • More productive Digital Marketing operation: no more using multiple separate tools and losing information along the way! We are what they call an all-in-one tool: we bring together the main Digital Marketing resources in one place for your operation to be more effective;
  • Build custom journeys and generate sales at scale: send the right message at the right time and build custom journeys that generate up to 5x more conversions and guide Leads to purchase. Also, automate your tasks and increase Marketing and Sales productivity.

To make all this happen, you have full functionality:

  • Results Dashboard: create your Marketing and Sales funnel, defining steps and goals for each one of them and monitor your results daily;
  • Landing Pages, Forms and Pop-ups: Easily create responsive pages, Pop-ups and forms to spread offers and convert visitors into Leads. It also has dozens of ready-made templates for different occasions and segments that you can customize according to your campaign;
  • Lead Base: gather all your contact information in one place. Check your history, see pages visited, information captured and engagement in your actions;
  • Email Marketing: Campaign with your identity using drag & drop editor or ready-made email templates. Track performance with engagement reports.

Bonus: everything you need to know about cadence and flows in Omnichannel

The correct use of cadences, that is, sales activities such as emails and follow-up calls in a certain period of time, is gaining more and more traction in the sales areas of different segments, as this increases the conversion rates. This not only happens during the initial contact but also throughout the other phases of the sales funnel, right up to closing.

Not defining a number of cadences on Omnichannel, that is, not being present in all customer interaction channels, both online and offline, prevents companies from identifying the timing (or decision time) of the purchase.

In addition, it is noteworthy that not using the Omnichannel strategy makes it difficult for companies to relate to their customers, as they cannot guarantee a better shopping experience, reducing their chances of sales, loyalty and brand recognition.

But before we talk about optimizing the cadence of each phase of your sales funnel, do you know what cadences are and how they are used?

What are cadences and what is their importance?

In theory, cadenzas follow the development of each stage of the sales cycle that a Lead can go through. Your definition is important for:

  1. That the commercial area fulfills the steps (phone calls, emails, SMS, WhatsApp) in the intensity and in the agreed time interval (in the SLA, or service level agreement, between the marketing and sales areas);
  2. That the performance of activities/tasks of the sellers are synchronized and sufficient until the Lead moves to the next step.

It is noteworthy that we are not talking about a unidirectional flow, where the Lead is simply “transferred” from the marketing area to the commercial area, but rather a bidirectional flow, where the sales area gives feedback to improve the entire process.

Each conversion and phase advance in the funnel (in sales) is monitored by the marketing team through the tools. Due to the fact that Leads are acquired in the most diverse channels with Omnichannel, it is essential that all Leads:

  • are concentrated on a single and intelligent Digital Marketing platform ;
  • as soon as they are qualified, they are transferred as soon as possible to the sales CRM ;
  • generate feedback, through feedback, in the marketing tool. This must be done not only when there is a sale, but mainly in the progress of the intermediate stages, in which the Lead sets up an opportunity (OPP) and then progresses through the sales funnel.

Cadence speed on Omnichannel

As we have already seen, today it is common for a customer to arrive at the store already knowing everything about the product. In this context, it is noteworthy that, while a customer “A” searches online, registers with a certain brand, and only then generates a “hand lift” (an indication that he wants to buy), another customer “B” will be interacting via social network, talking via chatbot or phoning, only to register later and receive nutrition emails, for example.

We could go from A to Z, but even so the result will always be different: when it comes to consumer behavior, each one follows a path that works best for their reality

That’s why companies are adapting their external communication in different journeys and stages to ensure a better shopping experience for the customer.

However, interacting with this customer requires, first, that the company recognize how fast each customer has to reach their particular moment of purchase.

This speed will vary: it is not strange if the same product or service is purchased by some customers with a long process or quickly and quickly by others. In this case, it is necessary to determine different cadences from the different actions of each Lead. For example:

  • Inbound calls: it is necessary to provide immediate service and return as soon as possible. According to data from the commercial team here at RD Station, performing the Leads approach within the first 3 minutes after an action can increase conversion rates by 98%. The Lead must be able to speak or request a return, which must be given by the seller, as soon as possible. Without this, there will be an exponential drop in closing rates;
  • Hand-raised: with the contact request, it is necessary to give an urgent return, otherwise the Lead can be left to the competition. Here, see the importance of welcoming you better, such as the possibility of having a 24-hour service channel, and registering them in the company’s marketing and nutrition tool;
  • Qualified Leads: in this case, the approach must be proactive and scaled according to your Lead Scoring, for example. See the importance of a marketing tool that qualifies better and having a team focused on this audience profile. The company must be proactive and mine these Leads so as not to miss the right moment or wait for hands to be raised.

5 tips on omnichannel cadence and flows

In order to help you in this task – not always so simple to implement in your company’s sales process – we list below 5 tips and strategies on cadences. They will contribute to your business results if implemented and followed up correctly.

  1. Have marketing and sales tools available to your business that meet the needs of the Omnichannel strategy, as carrying out this process without automation or manually is practically impossible. Remember that even aided by software, they are activities that demand time and availability of professionals dedicated to this function.
  2. Add a contact phone to the bottom funnel Landing Pages. So you give a second interaction option to the Leads that are in a hurry to close.
  3. Use different interaction and direct contact channels, such as forms, social media, emails, chats, WhatsApp and phone calls that value the customer and deepen the partnership along the funnel. Each Lead has its preferences and the winning companies are the ones that best fit them.
  4. Use different cadences on different channels, such as emails, WhatsApp and calls. Periodically experiment and have a logical sequence of approaches, always respecting the Lead’s purchase decision time. A flow with a minimum of 9 steps (contact attempts) in the most crucial phases is very common in the SaaS B2B market, to cite an example.
  5. Get to work! Although, as we said above, these processes are carried out automatically with the help of software, it is necessary to invest in qualified professionals to carry out intelligent marketing and sales strategies or rely on specialized partners in certain phases of your funnel.

The time to get started with strategy is now!

Investments in Digital Marketing, aligned and fed back to sales expectations, can help in the results of any company that implements the Omnichannel strategy.

But it’s important to pay attention to your initial settings. So that goals and objectives can be achieved within the organization, the secret lies in planning and structuring each of Omnichannel’s channels, its steps, cadences and evolving traditional methods of doing business into a new context, centered on digital.

Implementing a successful Omnichannel strategy is a challenge and must be very well designed to avoid a reverse effect: that of frustrating the user with possible bugs in the transition from one channel to another. When done right, the result is a good relationship with your customers, who can be so satisfied that they become advocates for your brand.

We came to the conclusion that, from now on, businesses need to start building cross-channel campaigns, using tools that enable this Omnichannel action.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Omnichannel?

Omnichannel is a sales strategy that integrates different communication and dissemination channels, offering customers a unified brand experience so that each one can switch between several channels and still achieve the best quality in the service, services, and products they purchase.

What are the advantages of Omnichannel?

Within the competitive environment of the current market, it is necessary to find innovative ways to deal with all these changes, and Omnichannel is one of them, as it provides a differentiated and easy shopping experience for your customer.

Why make an Omnichannel strategy?

Companies that have invested in this strategy have grown +80% since 2012, in addition, the barriers between physical and digital space no longer exist, so it is necessary that your business also adapts to the moment in which we live.

What should I think when planning an Omnichannel strategy?

To make Omnichannel planning it is necessary to ask some questions, they are: What communication channels do we already use today? How do we use these channels? Are they integrated? What channels are not used yet? What message do we want to convey to the public, no matter where they are? How does our person’s buying journey work? Does it go through more than one channel? Where can we invest more to increase the volume of audience we will reach with Omnichannel?