Personalized and consistent messaging is essential for effectively guiding and influencing customers through their user journey. When done correctly, omnichannel marketing can help achieve this and significantly benefit businesses.
This article explains how omnichannel marketing works and outlines critical steps for creating a strategy that uses consistent messaging to nurture prospects throughout their buyer's journey. But first, let's explore the omnichannel marketing definition.
Table of Contents
- What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
- Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing: What Is The Difference?
- Five Steps For Creating An Effective Omnichannel Strategy
- 5 Omnichannel Marketing Examples
- 7 Omnichannel Trends for 2023
- What Are The Benefits Of Omni-Channel Marketing?
- What Makes a Great Omni-Channel User Experience?
- Omnichannel Marketing FAQs
What Is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is seamless advertising messaging across different online and offline touchpoints directed at a consumer across the sales funnel. It can be adjusted to the said consumer's behavior to provide a more impactful and personalized customer experience.
This customer-centric marketing approach allows customers to interact with a brand on various channels, from social media to customer service calls, for a consistent buyer experience.
Some examples of omnichannel marketing are:
- Sending an email or SMS about a promotional offer to a customer who is shopping in-store
- Retargeting a customer via a Facebook ad for a product they have abandoned in their online shopping cart
- A customer receiving a WhatsApp message about a promotion along with the physical coupons in their mailbox
Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing: What Is The Difference?
Omnichannel and multichannel are non-interchangeable terms for engaging users across various communication platforms.
While omnichannel is a term used for a user journey that spans across all available channels and devices, multichannel denotes only specific channels and user transition between them.
Omnichannel makes your brand accessible across online and offline platforms and ensures a seamless and integrated UX across all of them.
As your customers move from one platform to another – say, from social media profiles to viewing billboards outside – their transition is seamless and messaging is consistent. It is a customer-centric approach whose priority is an extensive user journey.
Multichannel distributes advertising messaging and makes your brand available to consumers on various channels. The content on each of these channels is siloed and stands for itself, with very little overlap or continuity on other channels. Customers get to choose where they prefer to interact with your business.
- In omnichannel marketing, all departments – marketing, sales, customer success, etc. – are connected and in accord with the messaging. In multichannel marketing, there is not much data sharing and all departments work independently.
- Omnichannel marketing is customer-centric, as it delivers personalized messages based on customers’ preferences, behavior and channels used. Multichannel marketing places your brand at the heart of the strategy and the same messaging is used for all customers across all channels.
- Omnichannel marketing experience connects all channels so that a user can move between them seamlessly. In multichannel marketing, target users access communication channels that are not connected and synchronized.
- Omnichannel marketing provides a consistent user experience across all channels to build a stronger bond between a brand and its customers. The multichannel approach aims to reach prospective customers via the highest number of channels available and achieve the highest number of user engagements.
Five Steps For Creating An Effective Omnichannel Strategy
- Collect & Analyze Customer Data
- Share Customer Data Across Departments
- Segment Your Audience
- Create Responsive & Seamless Website And App Experiences
- Create Consistent And Valuable Content
If you are getting started with your omnichannel marketing efforts and looking for ways to formulate a full-blown omnichannel strategy, begin by following these 5 steps.
1. Collect & Analyze Customer Data
To start implementing a methodical omnichannel strategy, you need to know as much as you can about your target audience. Start by gathering and analyzing their data.
Assess your customers’ user experience: Replicate their buying journey on your website and other channels. Reach out to your own customer service to evaluate the kind of service they are getting. Also, consider getting someone from outside of your company to evaluate this entire experience.
Collect direct feedback: Require feedback from your customers at different stages of their customer journey through surveys, quizzes and incentives. Listen to their feedback to provide more value to them.
Collecting and analyzing customer data should allow you to understand their needs, preferences and objectives and formulate buyer personas to identify your ideal customers.
After identifying your exact target audience, decide on the tools that you will use to connect with them. These may include:
- Marketing Automation Software (for example, Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, etc.)
- Customer Data Platform (Oracle, TreasureData, Listrak, etc.)
- Customer Relationship Management (Salesforce, Zendesk, Pipedrive, etc.)
- Social Media Management (Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.)
2. Share Customer Data Across Departments
At this step, you lay the foundations for the implementation of an omnichannel strategy by onboarding your team members with the customer data you collected.
Since an omnichannel strategy is essentially customer-centric, all members of your team will be using customer data to improve customer operations and experience.
In practice, this means data will be used to:
- Pinpoint the customers’ pain points and help them find the solution. (Sales)
- Create and deliver relevant personalized messaging to customers, at each stage of their journey. (Marketing)
- Understand the customers’ most pressing needs and improves or adjust your product/services accordingly. (Product/Service)
- Make sure your clients are satisfied with your products and services and turn them into repeat buyers and, ideally, brand advocates. (
Placing customer data at the center of your omnichannel strategy and sharing it across your organization will enable your teams to provide excellent service and improve interaction with your customers.
At this stage, it is advisable to break down any organizational divisions that do not share information with each other. In omnichannel marketing, your teams and divisions should be working together and communicating openly.
Making customer data available at any time via Customer Relationship Management tools and encouraging cooperation between different departments are two foolproof ways to achieve this.
3. Segment Your Audience
Targeting your audience with highly personalized messaging is the essence of omnichannel marketing. The best way to deliver highly targeted marketing campaigns is through target audience segmentation.
Your audience’s segments can be based on their:
- Buying behavior: Shopping frequency, when was the last time they bought something from you, where they are in their customer journey
- User data: Their demographics, age, location, gender, preferences, monthly income and other information you have acquired from them over time
- Ways of engagement: How they interact with your brand and on which channels, devices and platforms
After segmenting the audiences to target different channels, set up automated marketing messages that trigger when a customer carries out a specific action. This will allow them to receive the appropriate message at any stage of their journey.
Delivering personalized content across all channels creates brand consistency and improves your customer’s user experience and promotes loyalty.
4. Create Responsive & Seamless Website And App Experiences
Responsiveness in web and mobile app design is imperative in this day and age. More people are using smartphones and tablets to consume content and engage with brands, so the experiences need to be seamless and engaging.
People don't want to interact with websites that take too long to load or don't display well on their phones. And once they do, customers already bounced and found another place to shop.
Therefore, it's up to you and your UX design team to create web and app designs that amaze, inspire and enlighten.
The more engaging, the better. The more digestible information, the better. The brighter the colors, the cooler the typography and the easier to navigate. You guessed it, it's better.
Responsive designs have been a growing trend for years now with online usage moving to mobile devices. And when it comes to creating an omnichannel marketing strategy, this is even more important.
All platforms and mediums need designs that flow effortlessly. Consumers don't have time to figure out an app's navigation or pick up on their desktop where they left off on their device.
Creating responsive designs can make this process smoother.
5. Create Consistent And Valuable Content
It's important to remember the importance of good content. Don't skimp out on messaging in favor of fluid designs or quality customer service. You still need to inform your readers with valuable information.
Keep track of how audiences are interacting, what questions they're asking and what drives them to your organization to promote the areas of content that solve their pain points.
Give your audience a reason to come back. Create case studies and use cases. Include customer feedback and reviews. Send out updates and notifications about changes and exciting plans.
You want to keep your audience engaged and excited about your brand.
You also want to be consistent - you don't want consumers reading your website in a certain tone, but seeing something completely different when using your app. Stay consistent with your brand, your voice and your message to ensure your audience doesn't feel like they are getting a different experience depending on how they interact with you.
5 Omnichannel Marketing Examples
Let's take a look at some of the most successful omnichannel marketing examples from well-known brands that have used this strategy successfully.
1. Bank of America
Omnichannel marketing isn't just for retailers; it's also critical in financial technology.
Banks and other fintech firms aspire to provide a consistent customer experience, whether through physical bank transactions, online transactions, or ATM withdrawals.
Bank of America provides free Wi-Fi for customers while waiting in a branch and even provides tablets for customers to use while waiting for bank services. Customers can even express their complaints to a machine rather than waiting for a bank employee to become available.
The conversation, problem resolution, and overall experience are all consistent.
Apple has used omnichannel marketing since its first online store launched in 1997.
Using microservices, Apple developed a headless eCommerce platform that can handle hundreds of billions of dollars in sales transactions.
The company focuses on creating a cohesive experience across all channels, including the website, apps, retail stores and social media profiles.
Disney is the perfect example of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
As HubSpot notes, Disney thrives in providing a seamless omnichannel experience that includes even the smallest details. The adventure begins with the website and continues with the My Disney Experience tool, enabling visitors to plan every trip aspect.
Once inside the park, visitors can use the app to access information on rides, attractions and wait times. Additionally, the MagicBand is a wristband that provides several functionalities, such as unlocking hotel room doors, entering the parks, FastPass check-ins and charging food and other purchases to their hotel room.
Starbucks is also among the best examples of omnichannel marketing. Their app offers a free rewards card that customers can use for purchases — customers can check and reload their cards via phone, website, in-store or in-app. Any changes made to the card or profile are updated in real time across all channels.
One of the reasons why the Starbucks app is successful is that a customer's mobile experience is more critical than ever and having a great app can go a long way.
One of the best examples of successful omnichannel marketing is Sephora, a cosmetic retail giant. The brand seamlessly integrates online and in-store experiences, earning it a spot on many lists of top omnichannel retailers.
Sephora provides many benefits to its customers in retail stores — consistent beauty advice, well-trained salespeople and a wide range of products to try at its physical stores.
On the other hand, their online platform allows customers to create accounts, track purchases, scan items while shopping in-store, access tutorials and reviews, maintain a wish list and more.
By providing this comprehensive experience, Sephora has achieved a notable increase of around 100% in mobile orders, becoming the number one beauty retailer.
7 Omnichannel Trends for 2023
- Online Brands Opening Physical Stores
- Customers Using Multiple Channels To Shop
- Selling Through Video Content on Social Media
- Focusing on Building Customer Communities
- Using Customer Data To Improve In-Store Experiences
- Tracking Customer Purchases Across Different Channels
- Touch-Free Transactions
Businesses are trying to adapt to ever-evolving customer preferences and omnichannel marketing supports those efforts. Here are seven critical omnichannel trends for 2023:
1. Online Brands Opening Physical Stores
More “online only” brands are entering physical retail spaces due to rising digital ad costs, making it more expensive to acquire new online customers.
In-person shopping experiences are in high demand and brands are investing in tech to enhance them. Physical stores also give digitally native brands a way to engage with local communities and build loyalty.
Brands can open a physical store or launch a pop-up shop without losing their DTC status and doing so can increase web traffic and customer engagement.
2. Customers Using Multiple Channels To Shop
Digital and physical shopping experiences are no longer separate entities. Consumers now seamlessly blend online and offline shopping, with many starting their shopping journey on their phones before entering a physical store.
Blending online and offline shopping has given rise to trends like buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and buy in-store, ship to home, which offers added convenience for shoppers who cannot find the product they are looking for in-store.
Retailers are also offering the ability to return unwanted items in-store, saving on return shipping costs and helping to balance out inventories. These trends are expected to continue into 2023.
3. Selling Through Video Content on Social Media
Consumers love video content because it is easily understandable and engaging; also, they always want to see more videos from their favorite brands.
Videos heavily influence buying decisions, with 50% of consumers saying videos helped them choose a product or brand. Social selling through video content and live selling is gaining popularity, with influencers' selling impact being more important than ever.
Selling via live stream will continue to grow, and Instagram and TikTok offer new ways for merchants to sell products. Technology allows for monitoring the success of video sales across multiple channels, resulting in more accurate campaign tracking.
4. Focusing on Building Customer Communities
The pandemic has left customers craving a sense of community from their favorite brands.
To solve this pain point, businesses can take an omnichannel approach, such as minimizing the logistical distance between business and consumer or giving customers a role in the production process. An emphasis on community paired with omnichannel technology can help combat isolation and customer disconnect.
Communities vary by country, so businesses should localize their approach by understanding their global audience and cultural differences. For example, western cultures prefer minimalistic designs, while Asian cultures respond better to image-heavy websites.
5. Using Customer Data To Improve In-Store Experiences
Omnichannel marketing can increase conversions, improve product development and strengthen customer relationships. By measuring customers' lifetime value through omnichannel marketing, businesses can better understand customer behavior and preferences across multiple channels.
Customers prefer seamless communication experiences through various channels, which makes omnichannel marketing strategies crucial for business success. Even offline experiences are now influenced by digital habits, with customers researching products online before making in-store purchases.
Tracking and utilizing customer data across various channels can provide valuable business insights and improve the customer experience.
6. Tracking Customer Purchases Across Different Channels
Multichannel attribution refers to tracking how customers interact with your business across different channels, online and offline.
With omnichannel becoming more common, businesses need to know how their online campaigns impact offline sales. By using cross-channel analytics, companies can better understand their customers' journeys and improve their omnichannel performance.
7. Touch-Free Transactions
Retail store owners are increasingly interested in in-store apps.
Nearly half of the consumers value curbside pickup. Brands will use them to provide more contact-free transactions, including local pickup. Brands not providing these safety-focused options may fall short of omnichannel success.
Customers now expect more options and touchpoints when they purchase a product, including delivery, logistics, point of purchase, pickup, social distancing and self-checkout. According to surveys, retailers must adapt to this new reality as customers are already preparing for it.
What Are The Benefits Of Omni-Channel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing ensures a consistent, identifiable brand voice and personalized messaging based on specific interests through content informed by customers’ past interactions and their current stage of the buyer’s journey.
Personalization based on shopping history and interests makes customers likely to interact with branded content across different channels.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy into your digital marketing efforts provides numerous benefits, such as:
- Cohesive brand strategy and identity: A seamless multichannel marketing strategy requires and results in a more identifiable brand tone and brand presence. Targeting the audience’s needs, pain points and values inform this brand image. Developing an omnichannel marketing strategy within your company’s brand guidelines will result in a comprehensive brand strategy that translates to more laser-focused messaging.
- Better UX: Omnichannel marketing is focused on the individual experience across multiple channels and devices. This unifies the customer’s user experience and makes it more coherent across the board.
- Boost in revenue: As a result of better overall UX, companies start to generate higher sales and retention rates. Additionally, customers that engage with multiple touchpoints are 30% more valuable. Therefore, as omnichannel marketing encourages customers’ interaction across different touchpoints, the increase in engagements at each stage of the buyer’s journey results in greater revenue. Highly targeted messaging also results in better customer loyalty, which translates to more purchases over time: repeat customers contribute to 40% of revenue.
Omnichannel marketing can also boost your ROI, owing to:
- Consistent messaging: Primarily, this means personalizing content at every stage of the user journey and training marketing, sales and customer support staff to address the customers’ needs the right way.
- Continuous communication: Continuity in communication across all channels ensures that your prospects are guided the proper way throughout different brand touchpoints.
- Consistent experience: Consistent experience throughout a buyer’s journey helps boost the customer's lifetime value. The way to achieve this is to train your staff to respond consistently to different ways the customers interact with your brand.
What Makes a Great Omni-Channel User Experience?
A winning omnichannel marketing experience consists of these five key factors:
- Consistency: Creating user experiences based on a unified brand presence is a cornerstone of customers’ trust and is vital when building an omnichannel marketing strategy that will grow your business.
- Relevance: Highly personalized communication, real-time offers, localized interactions and tailored messaging based on their behavior, pain points and customer journey are what today’s customers expect their UX to reflect.
- Convenience: A key requirement for a good UX, considering that today’s customers are strapped for time and have shorter attention spans. The simpler and more convenient UX, the greater the chances of conversion.
- Agility: Capturing today’s customers across different touchpoints will depend on your readiness to adopt an agile approach by using tools and analytics that can track changes in buyer behavior and market and are scalable so they can help you be prepared when opportunities for growth arrive.
- Empowerment: Informing and empowering customers to make knowledgeable purchase decisions through your omnichannel marketing efforts will create loyal, trusting customers with high lifetime value that generate better ROI.
The vital step in creating an ideal omnichannel experience is understanding your target audience. This means knowing their:
- Exact pain points
- Frequently used platforms and devices
- Purchasing habits and transaction history with your brand
- Challenges they face during the buying process
- How they interact with your brand on different touchpoints
Understanding the above will help you identify the most common issues your customers face, provide a viable solution and establish the best touchpoints for connecting with your audience to create a seamless, tailored experience for them. Professional digital marketing agencies are your best ally when it comes to crafting a strategy
Omnichannel Marketing FAQs
1. What is omnichannel attribution?
Omnichannel attribution is the process of identifying and measuring the impact of all marketing touchpoints that a customer interacts with before making a purchase.
It helps businesses understand which channels and tactics are driving sales and how to optimize their marketing strategies to improve ROI.
Simply put, it's a way to credit all the marketing efforts that led to a sale rather than just attributing it to the last touchpoint.
2. Why do businesses need to use the omnichannel approach?
The omnichannel approach provides seamless and consistent customer experience across multiple channels, increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty, traffic and sales.
To better understand why omnichannel marketing is important for business purposes, let's look at some omnichannel marketing statistics:
- Companies with strong omnichannel campaigns retain over 89% of their customers.
- Buying frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single-channel marketing.
- Customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel.
- Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
3. How to be successful with omnichannel marketing?
These omnichannel marketing best practices will help you develop and implement a strategy that drives desired results:
- Collect and analyze customer data.
- Share customer data with all departments to provide personalized communication.
- Segment your audience to solve their pain points quickly.
- Create a seamless and responsive website and mobile app experience.
- Provide consistent messaging through all communication channels you offer.
4. What's an example of an omnichannel goal?
One of the most common omnichannel goals is to solve customers' problems, whether in-person or through digital channels; another is to provide a seamless customer experience through online and in-store sales, or a combination of the two — order online, pick up in-store.