There are plenty of reasons to say that omnichannel marketing is the future. While you need to have cohesion between multiple channels to ensure a seamless shopping experience, you also get to offer personalization as a bonus.
According to research, one-third of marketers spend 50% or more of their marketing budgets on personalization.
Together with automation, data analysis, and testing, omnichannel personalization transforms both digital and traditional shopping experiences of customers.
With every passing day, more and more customers are shifting to online channels. Retailers that use highly functional and immersive websites do have an edge, but nothing takes you further than a personalized experience.
Creating a tailored experience makes every website visitor feel special, improving engagement and increasing brand loyalty.
This blog breaks down everything you need to know about omnichannel personalization and how it can help you improve customer relationships. We also mention benefits and omnichannel personalization examples from noteworthy brands.
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What is Omnichannel Personalization?
Omnichannel marketing has got the retail industry buzzing with its effects on customer engagement, sales, and revenue. In order to stay ahead of the competition, retailers are looking for ways to offer their customers a highly personalized experience across mobile, web, social, and in-store touchpoints.
Bringing together customer data from all channels requires a combination of loyalty programs, customer reviews, and omnichannel personalization solutions. With the help of this information, retailers can offer recommendations tailored for each individual customer.
Not only do you create a clear picture of customers shopping behaviours and preferences, but also make better decisions for reaching out to them.
That said, your omnichannel personalization approach will not work unless you have a perfectly connected system where data from different channels is constantly coming in. With the help of AI-based omnichannel solutions, you can analyze customer data to design personalized offers, recommendations, and advertisements.
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What are the Benefits of Omnichannel Personalization?
When it comes to shopping, your customers clearly have a lot of options to choose from.
So how do you make them shop from your brand?
You definitely have better chances with omnichannel personalization. Not only because it allows you to capture their attention and keep them engaged for longer, but also because it helps you create accurate buyer personas.
Knowing what your customers actually like enables you to formulate a highly personalized website structure, which helps improve customer satisfaction and makes way for a higher number of sales.
In times where customer experience differentiates one brand from another, our pick for the best marketing strategy is omnichannel personalization.
Here are some of its main benefits:
Improved Customer Experience
According to studies, 75% of consumers expect personalization to improve navigation both in-store and online. With personalization, customers get to see and experience what is relevant to them first and then everything the brand has to offer.
This makes it much easier for customers to choose products they want to buy and proceed to payments. Moreover, brands that track and analyze customer journeys can use their preferences and shopping habits to send personalized messages and recommendations through all channels and touch points.
What you get is improved customer engagement and higher conversion rates.
The great thing about personalization is that you can send promotional messages with similar products and services to what the customer has previously purchased or added to cart. From the customer’s perspective, they are looking at relevant content.
As for your brand, its highly likely that you will generate more sales.
Moving on, you can also improve customer experience by personalizing your landing pages and other content-based marketing campaigns.
While most brands focus on improving the online journey of customers, the omnichannel strategy brings together information from offline channels as well. The seamless integration of channels allows you to eliminate hurdles in customer journeys.
For instance, if a customer has seen a product online, they should be able to know whether it will be available in-store. What’s even better is to send personalized recommendations of items your customers can buy in-store as per their convenience.
All in all, omnichannel personalization proves to be a major factor in improving customer satisfaction, and over a longer period of time, customer lifetime value (CLV).
Utilizing multiple interlinked channels allows e-Commerce businesses to improve brand visibility and therefore benefit from higher revenue.
With omnichannel personalization, you can significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by directing them at channels and touchpoints that get the highest traffic.
AI-driven omnichannel retail solutions allow you to synchronize and analyze information in real-time to understand what your customers want.
Making customers feel valued and understood improves the chances of sales. According to a recent study, more than 69% of customers want a consistent, personalized experience across physical and online channels.
Retailers that offer personalized content across the board experience a higher number of sales annually.
Let’s say you run an advertisement campaign of a few selected products rather than running one for all your offerings. You have a significant cost reduction right there.
An omnichannel personalization strategy cuts down on costs linked to different online and in-store channels. When you have customer data coming in from all channels in real-time, you can use it to target specific areas and optimize your marketing efforts.
As a result, you can make customer acquisition a less costly process. By offering personalized experiences that address customers’ real expectations, your brand can build loyalty and improve customer retention rates.
Not to forget, retaining existing customers increases the chances of creating brand advocates. Omnichannel personalization puts you in control of your marketing budget, meaning you know who to target and when.
Only when you truly know and understand your target audience, you can create a personalized experience that will keep them engaged for longer.
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Why Omnichannel Personalization is the Future of Marketing?
The rising popularity of mobile-based shopping along with connected devices has empowered retailers with detailed customer insights. This information not only helps provide a frictionless experience across all channels, but also helps understand weaknesses in your system.
So how does omnichannel personalization help build brand loyalty as well as enhancing customer experience?
Omnichannel personalization demonstrates 90% higher customer retention as compared to single channel marketing. Therefore, it contributes to business success that lasts. Moreover, brands can effectively strategize based on customers’ shopping habits as personalization helps them sell relevant products and show similar product offerings as part of promotions.
Omnichannel personalization is also found to be helpful in improving average order value with more and more items added to cart. With the help of personalized recommendations, you can be sure to engage customers for longer periods of time.
Enhancing the customer experience
Data-driven marketing strategies like omnichannel personalization enable brands to enhance their customers’ shopping experience. The process, which is automated with the help of omnichannel retail solutions, involves tracking, engaging, and ensuring a consistent experience for customers across all channels.
For instance, customers who search and browse products through online platforms but do not make a purchase can be retargeted through different touchpoints like social media, email, and SMS.
Retartgeting comes along with discounted prices for products that the customer like and offers that they simply cannot refuse. The key to improving customer experience is knowing their habits and preferences, and shaping your strategies around them.
Leverage Omnichannel Personalization to Grow Your Business
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Challenges of Omnichannel Personalization
Now that we have looked at the benefits of omnichannel personalization, it would be fair to address some of challenges faced by brands adopting this approach.
According to studies, only 3% of retailers have actually adopted omnichannel personalization as of yet. One of the reasons can be that it is a relatively new concept that still hasn’t reached all of the brands out there.
Another survey was sent out to brands asking them to rate the challenges of omnichannel marketing, where they identified budget constraints, data extraction and analysis, and company silos.
The assumption that the technology is too expensive
Right from the starts, brands begin to assume that omnichannel personalization is a very costly strategy. However, the major processes like developing customer journeys and personas, as well as monitoring website traffic can all be handled using free tools like Google Analytics.
Apart from tools for individual tasks, you also have XStak’s next-gen retail solution that manages all your tasks for you, with a unified dashboard to show you all the numbers you need to know.
Since you have a lot of integration requirements like third-party software, apps, and payments, you may assume that it will all add up to an expensive marketing strategy.
However, XStak comes fully-loaded with integrations and handles everything from order taking to delivery, all while synchronizing information from all relevant channels and touchpoints.
Lack of personnel or expertise to deliver personalized experience
Let’s assume that some of the brands get around the budget issue and make the leap to adopt an omnichannel personalization approach. The next challenge is to successfully execute the personalization strategy and offer a cohesive experience to customers.
This requires expertise in the niche of omnichannel marketing. Brands that lack personnel with the necessary expertise may not be able to get it right. Also, not all businesses can take out the time to organize training sessions for their marketing teams.
For businesses that are predominantly being run from brick and mortar stores and teams that interact directly with customers, the omnichannel approach is a real challenge.
Complex organizational and cultural shifts
If you’re a startup and have yet to establish a business hierarchy, the omnichannel model may help connect new channels. However, at the enterprise level, especially in traditional businesses, omnichannel personalization can seem very complex.
To put it simply, the bigger the team, the more communication will be required between different channels. In order to offer a personalized experience to customers, these channels must be in sync at all times.
In some cases, companies need to restructure their hierarchy in order to extract the maximum capabilities of omnichannel personalization. This is only possible when all operations of online and physical channels are in cohesion.
Before omnichannel marketing was a thing, businesses took a multi-channel approach where online and physical channels operated independent of each other. However, that approach limits the visibility of your channels and does not allow you to deliver personalized content.
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Examples of Omnichannel Personalization
Marks & Spencer
The renowned global retailer Marks & Spencer uses an omnichannel personalization strategy to allow up to 5 billion interactions between customers and its touchpoints throughout the year.
Marks & Spencer’s omnichannel personalization model comprises a three-layer structure, where customer data, intelligence, and an orchestration layer work in sync to make the magic happen.
Customers get personalized recommendations based on items placed in shopping cart and current location.
Timerland is a clothing and outdoor accessories brand that utiltizes omnichannel personalization to improve customer experience. With a combination of screens and interactive touchpoints, it allows customers to get detailed information about products.
Timberland’s personalized platform within its store brings together information from all channels and even allows customers to shop in-store and pay online.
The omnichannel personalization strategy also helps align the brand with customer journeys and has proven to improve customer retention rates.
Crate & Barrel
When it comes to enhancing the customer experience, Crate & Barrel is in a league of its own. The brand offers customers a tablet to add products to their shopping carts. Following that, they can checkout directly in-store.
Customers also have the option to avail their online wish list or ‘favorite items’ for future shopping endeavors. That’s personalization on another level.
But that’s not all, Crate & Barrel has a feature that allows customers to schedule online and in-person consultations with interior designers. CrateDesignStudio is an amazing example of omnichannel personalization that helps the brand create new touchpoints for its huge customer bank of 22 million.
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Omnichannel Personalization made easy with XStak
Considering the challenges associated with omnichannel personalization discussed in this blog, you need to adopt an all in-one cost effective solution to connect multiple channels. XStak’s omnichannel cloud-based point of sale allows you to sync online and offline channels in real time and get actionable insights into customer journeys.
Leveraging business intelligence, XStak helps you improve your decision making process to put your business on the right track towards success. Our AI-powered recommendation engine automates the process of delivering personalized product offers to your customers.
Scale Your Business with Omnichannel Personalization
To summarize, today’s eCommerce brands have thousands of digital touchpoints that play a part in customer journeys. In order to provide a consistent brand experience, they need to personalize their content, offers, and recommendations.
Not only does this help make better decisions about business growth, but also improves customer satisfaction, leading to higher revenues.
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