Best Practices for Establishing Meaningful Omnichannel Connections
In the device-centric world of today, shoppers are far more aware of technology, as well as the user experience possibilities it allows for. As they browse and buy, they appreciate a synergistic approach—an effort by brands to simplify and streamline their experience across multiple channels.
The proliferation of touch points, in concert with the rising expectations of the average consumer, demands the creation of personalised, optimised shopper experiences that are consistent across platforms, resulting in an interaction with the brand that’s as continuous as it is enjoyable.
In order to effectively plan and execute strategies to that end, brands should focus on a few key, actionable insights. To aid the process, here are some best practices to get the creative wheels turning.
Best Practice #1: Take advantage of “always on” devices
We can now say it with confidence—not all devices are created equal. In fact, certain electronics can provide rich insight into a customers’ real intent and purchasing journey. Using this data, you can personalise and curate experiences for individual shoppers.
Mobile searches also automatically append location information, making them an opportunity to boost your own search results against Amazon via local inventory information.
Best Practice #2: Optimise your site for mobile devices
Mobile load times matter more than many brands realise. In fact, 49 percent of smartphone shoppers abandon sites that take more than 10 seconds to load. And who can blame them? In 2016, 10 seconds is an eternity. That makes investment in mobile optimisation and load speed absolutely vital. The alternative is losing massive potential revenue, and when the problem is so easy to fix, it’s a no-brainer.
Best Practice #3: Break free from the grid by creating rich experiences that convert
By blending images and conversion opportunities into one rich experience, you’re effectively skipping the middle man. Seventy-seven percent of consumers agree that shoppable hotspots make navigation easier. By reducing the time and number of clicks between a customer seeing a product and adding it to the cart, you give yourself a better chance of conversion, and less risk of drop offs.
Best Practice #4: Incorporate video into your experiences
Shoppers who view all or part of a video are twice as likely to convert. Given the ease with which marketers can embed high-quality video across channels (particularly social) and devices, this is an opportunity that’s as easy to implement as it is effective, and with a little injection of personality, can yield as much in brand affinity as hard sales.
Best Practice #5: With choice, less is more
When presented with too many choices or too much information, shoppers are 1/10th as likely to buy. Through actively curating assortment and content for your audience’s needs, you can present them with fewer options, and in doing so, make each more likely to succeed. Think of the shopper’s mind like a circuit board—too much choice can overload it. Again, data mining wherever possible allows you to personalise and tailor to each shopper’s preferences.
Best Practice #6: Break down your data silos
A leading French retailer integrated omnichannel data exposing key insights into shopper behaviours. Using these insights, they altered their store planning and merchandising strategy. The key takeaway? Start using digital insights across all channels. The ready availability of digital data makes it a great opportunity to gather detailed information on your audience, then use it to optimise and make your brand’s messaging consistent across the board.
Best Practice #7: Test and refine, continuously
While the average conversion rate is 2.6 percent, the top 20 percent of companies sit proudly above 4.5 percent. Part of the reason is their perpetual testing and refinement of theories, hypotheses, and consequent messaging. The more you experiment, the deeper and broader your insights become, and the more readily you can pivot your brand’s presentation across channels and devices.
Best Practice #8: Make innovation systematic and continuous
By analysing the world’s leading disruptors, we see an adherence to systematic approaches to innovation. In making a continuous search for better methods, more efficient communication, and optimised experiences the status quo, you’ll leave the status quo far behind, and the competition with it. The wheel of analysis, ideation, and implementation allows for a constant pursuit of more, a pursuit that’s absolutely essential for growth, be it monetary, or in the relationship between you and your customers.
Modern interactions between brands and consumers happen across many channels, many touch points, and many journeys. In order to keep stride with an increasingly tech-savvy shopping population, companies must ensure they provide one continuous, contextual brand experience across the board. That’s how top companies turn floating shoppers into loyal evangelists, and that’s what we’re all looking for, right?