In 2010, research company IDC's Retail Insights group published a report called "Guide to Enabling Immersive Shopping Experiences". In that report IDC described the rise of what it calls the omni-channel shopper. The company explained what retailers should do with their physical and virtual stores and how they should enrich the shopping experience because customers must identify and always connect with your brand. IDC concluded that omni-channel shopping requires providing an immersive and superior customer experience regardless of channel.
What goes for retail, goes for the customer's buying journey in general. Whether we call it omni-channel, multi-channel or cross-channel: people increasingly control the buying process using more online and offline sources than ever before.
New challenges for e-commerce and marketing
Gathering information, seeking peer opinions, the actual purchase and even after-sales service and cross-selling and up-selling are happening more online and via a multitude of interactions.
The lengthening of sales cycles, the increase of communication channels and the empowerment of people in a digital and social age, confront e-commerce companies and marketers with new challenges. How do you engage prospects and customers via valuable interactions, how do you avoid marketing fatigue in a competitive communication landscape and how do you convert visitors to customers?
These challenges come on top of the identification of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, increasing word-of-mouth, the multi-channel reality and enhancing customer loyalty to generate more revenue and shorten the sales cycles.
Putting the customer in the centre of the universe
The answer to all these challenges lies in an integrated interactive marketing approach that puts the customer in the centre of our business universe.
Interaction channels such as e-mail, social media mobile or call center should be tightly integrated with online and offline contact moments on our websites and other online properties.
Using a scenario-driven and triggered marketing automation process, that combines all stages in the customer life cycle and integrating them with offline touch points and CRM data, is the way to create valuable and personalized customer interactions.
A holistic approach with a closed loop of data, contact moments and transactions, combined with personalized content and promotions, enables e-commerce companies to improve lead nurturing processes and customer satisfaction. This results in more sales and an improved customer loyalty.
The integration of offline and online data, buying signals and customer-centric communication, encompassing web forms, predefined marketing scenarios, triggered interactions and smart targeting of offers and promotions, is exactly what Selligent Interactive Marketing stands for.
To learn more about these topics, I invite you to download our white papers on " Integrated interactive marketing" and " Avoiding marketing fatigue".
To discover Selligent's multi-channel solutions you can click here.