What is it?
Omnichannel literally means “every-channel, all the time.”
In practice, Omnichannel is the mix of all physical and digital marketing channels to create an “always-on” and unified customer experience for a brand or product.
Why does it matter?
Sales per square foot are no longer a measure for retail success.
In fact, your entire marketing needs to be fully operational 24/7—success now means reaching customers via every channel they use. It’s all about reach.
In MIT’s recent report, “Beyond the Checkout Cart,” the Omnichannel consumer is the central force shaping the future of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores alike.
According to the 2014 Oracle Retail Omnichannel Report, 71% of marketers define their retail strategy as Omnichannel. While 24% said “no” to the same question, but “they’re working towards that strategy.”
With mobile technology, in particular, Macy’s is leading the pack in Omnichannel marketing. The company is implementing Apple Pay, Mobile Wallets, shopBeacon and Smart Fitting Rooms that allow shoppers and sales staff to communicate, scan merchandise and locate product info. Talk about reaching customers!
“Our business is rapidly evolving in response to changes in the way customers are shopping across stores, desktops, tablets and smartphones. We must continue to invest in our business to focus on where the customer is headed – to prepare for what’s next,” stated Terry Lundgren, Macy’s CEO in January.
“Macy’s has benefited in recent years by having invested early and aggressively in our [Omnichannel] strategies. This includes talent, technology, Omnichannel infrastructure and fulfillment.”
According to Macy’s annual report, the brand now refers to itself as an “Omnichannel retail organization operating stores and websites.”
- Can customers access your brand and products everywhere they want to find you?
Beyond the obvious traditional media (TV, print, radio, etc.), consider online, social, mobile and retail, all the way to third party marketers such as blogs, review sites, video sites, customer service and public relation.
- Are you underestimating the impact word-of-mouth?
In the best-selling book Contageous by Jonah Berger, he states that “only 7% of word of mouth happens online.
Most word of mouth is actually offline. Influence these face-to-face interactions around the dinner table or water cooler.”
Word-of-mouth on the retail floor is most often spoken loudly by retail sales associates at POS. When you train and influence them effectively, you’ll compete and win at the most powerful word-of-mouth location.
- Is your brand and product presented consistently through all of your media channels?
Your brand promise begins with how you consistently express what your brand stands for. This goes for messaging, imagery and positioning of your product—branding and marketing 101 stuff.
Consistency creates believability, which over time builds loyalty—but only if your products are authentic to your brand promise.
Inconsistency creates confusion. If your brand speaks in one manner through social media and has a different tone in your retail expression, your customers will loose trust in your brand. Solve this by orchestrating your marketing teams to speak in one brand voice.
Omnichannel is your marketing on all fronts—all the time—woven together and with complete orchestration.
Take this seriously and your brand will create a harmonious and trustable position—all-encompassing communication that will lead to customer loyalty, sales and growth.
We can help with that.