More and more businesses realize that delivering seamless customer experiences across channels is crucial for their long-term success. In 2019, more than 90 percent of retailers and brands have defined an omnichannel strategy or will soon make the investment. But only 8 percent said they have mastered omnichannel.
When it comes to mastering omnichannel, the most important element, according to 46 percent of marketers worldwide, is providing ‘fully integrated channels of engagement’. Brands with integrated omnichannel touch points can let customers start researching a product on their laptop, receive related advertising on social, ask questions on chat, make the purchase on their phone and pick up the product at their nearest store.
Combining these touchpoints harmoniously – and supported by targeted, personalized marketing communications – requires integration on the following three levels:
- Integration of experiences. How can you provide a consistent experience for customers across the channels you provide? Where will you need channel-specific images, messages and CTAs? What will you need for mobile users? Are you using individual channels for specific tasks, like push messages for real time marketing experiences?
- Integration of MarTech solutions. Do you have a single technology solution to address all of your channels? If not, can individual technology solutions integrate or ‘talk’ to one another via open architectures and APIs? Are all your data points plugged into a customer data platform (CDP)?
- Integration at the business level. Are you working and communicating with other departments that play a part in your omnichannel marketing experience? Can you control marketing pressure across channels to avoid over-communicating? Are your marketing data points, consumer behavior and insights accessible to in-store staff, customer support, ecommerce teams?
Marketers need to achieve integration on all three levels to meet the demands of today’s channel-agnostic customers. According to recent surveys, 95 percent of customers use three or more channels and 62 percent use more than one device to connect with a company in a single service interaction. Retail purchasing habits are equally diversified: 73 percent of U.S. shoppers use multiple channels to complete a purchase and ‘omnichannel customers’ are avid users of brand-owned touchpoints.
How Brands Make Omnichannel Integration Happen
Showing is better than telling. Here are some examples of excellent customer experiences, founded on omnichannel integration:
It’s not just home to the Happiest Place on Earth, but Disney also provides one of the world’s most integrated omnichannel experiences: Customers begin their journey to a Disney resort on a mobile-friendly website. After booking their trip, the My Disney Experience mobile app lets travelers plan and preview the attractions awaiting them, while integrating flight and reservation data for a single view. Arrived at the Disney venue, the Magic Band wrist bracelet acts as hotel key, payment, entry ticket and even storage for digital vacation photos for an end-to-end omnichannel experience.
Leading UK grocery retailer ASDA landed a viral hit with a fun Easter campaign using the Selligent platforms’ omnichannel capabilities. Based on data-driven insights on preferred channels, shoppers received personalized updates via push or text message whenever ASDA’s Giant Hen mascot was headed to their local store for a promo visit. The #GiantHen campaign incorporated social channels to reach 6 million customers and generate 4.2 million campaign views. Selligent’s behavioral retargeting and insights was also responsible for the fact that 40 percent of views came from previously disengaged customers wowed by the winning MarTech integration.
International language training provider ABA English used Selligent Marketing Cloud to implement a new, mobile-focused marketing strategy. With over 75 percent of ABA English’s new users accessing coursework on mobile devices, the brand updated its marketing technology and data architecture. Behind the scenes, the Selligent platform uses behavior data from ABA English's mobile app for journey map automation and smart audience segmentation features. Insights from interactions provide the basis to send retention emails or requests for communication opt-ins. This omnichannel integration at the business level has allowed ABA English to boost engagement by sending personalized offers at the right time and on their preferred devices.
The brands leading the way with customer-centric omnichannel experiences are not here by accident. They have made a strategic decision to get serious about serving customers across channels (also read our white paper on Getting Started with True Omnichannel Marketing). Inspired by a growing list of successful examples, more and more brands are increasing their omnichannel commitment.
In 2018, 43 percent of U.S. marketers wanted to spend more on omnichannel services and capabilities than the previous year, while 5 percent were ready to double their investment. The main goal, for 58 percent of respondents, is better integration of existing technology systems. By integrating experiences, MarTech solutions and business strategies, these brands will be ready to serve the right message on the right channel, right when the customer needs it.