Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

What is Omnichannel Marketing and How Can It Be Used for E-Commerce

Businesses these days have a multitude of options available to interact with their customers. However, how can E-commerce businesses leverage these channels to their advantage? The answer is omnichannel marketing. 

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multi-Channel Marketing

Don’t confuse omnichannel marketing with multi-channel marketing. They are very different. 

A multi-channel strategy simply means that various disconnected channels are available for customers to use separately. Omnichannel marketing, however, provides for a seamless and integrated shopping experience no matter which channel a customer uses. 

The key differences are as follows.

  • Customer-focused vs. Channel-focused

Multi-channel focuses on using different channels for promotions and distribution to as many customers as possible. They offer customers a variety of channels to use to make a purchase such as through a physical store and online. 

Omni-channel marketing, on the other hand, puts customers in the center in order to meet their needs. It ensures that all channels are integrated so that customers will receive the same experience across different multiple devices and touch points.

  • Consistency vs. Customer Engagement

Multi-channel is mainly concerned with getting as much engagement as possible whereas omnichannel ensures that the brand image and message is presented and received consistently no matter which channel is used. 

Advantages of Omnichannel Marketing

Clearly, it is good for an E-commerce business to use multiple channels. The key, though, is integrating them. Omnichannel marketing, if done right, can provide the many advantages for businesses. 

According to Omnisend’s Annual Report for 2019, the benefits of omnichannel versus single-channel include:

  • More frequent purchases (250% higher when interacting with 3 or more channels)
  • Higher average order value (13% more per order)
  • Higher engagement rate (18.96% vs 5.4%)
  • Higher customer retention rate (90% higher)

How to Use Omnichannel Marketing for E-Commerce

For omnichannel marketing to be a success, planning is crucial. Here are some things to consider.

  • Unify the departments.  

Make sure your entire company focuses on the customer. Centralize customer data and make it available to different departments so that everyone has a clear understanding of the customer at all times.

  • Get to know your customers and processes.

All of your channels generate a huge amount of data that you can use to understand your customers better. However, it’s also important to audit all your processes, even down to the type of invoice generator you use, to see if improvements are needed.

  • Personalize your online marketing campaigns.

Various factors affect buying behavior. Segment your customers and develop campaigns tailor fit to them.  Optimize your website and utilize SEO strategies to ensure your target customers can easily find you.

  • Test and optimize your message.

Test your campaigns at each step. This allows you to improve on them whenever needed.

  • Automate.

Choose a workflow management and automation tool to keep your processes not only integrated but also optimized. 

E-commerce businesses have much to gain by using multiple channels. However, the key is in sending the right message to the right people at the right time. The best way to do that is via omnichannel marketing. 

Author: Rana Tarakji

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