What Omnichannel Is, Who Needs It and How to Implement It

What Omnichannel Is

You can’t grow your business without implementing new technologies. Here’s how omnichannel is different from multichannel, where to start implementing it and how to calculate the effectiveness of integrating omnichannel into your business.

What Is Omnichannel?

Omnichannel is a strategy that integrates all brand communication channels with the customer into one logical system.

In this way, communication with the brand from the customer side appears barrier-free and can be done from any available device. The goal of omnichannel isn’t the maximum number of communication channels, but the final potential consumer.

For example, a customer selects a sport for betting on 22Bets in the app on his smartphone, gets distracted by a colleague, remembers it only when he gets home, and resumes the selection already from his laptop. When the customer opens it on the site from his laptop, the sports that he added to his favorites at work from his smartphone are saved.

How Is Omnichannel Different From Multichannel?

Multichannel is when a business uses multiple communication channels without mutual integration between them.

For example, a brand is present on Instagram, has a main website and sends out emails. If a customer wants to email the brand on social media, the operator will require something to identify the user. Let’s say the user’s Instagram account, his email and device IDs (smartphone or computer) will be different, respectively, for the operators at the other end of the communication this one person will be three different customers.

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If a brand has implemented omnichannel, a customer with three different communication channels will remain the same customer, no matter which way the user chooses to communicate.

Who Needs Omnichannel?

E-commerce

If we’re talking about large online stores, their benefit from implementing omnichannel is customer retention, increased customer lifecycle and repeat sales. It’s also about a seamless user experience and easy interaction. In commerce, sales can’t neglect the emotional benefits.

Omnichannel more often than not produces a wow effect on the user. And also this way of communication is much easier for the user. For example, a customer can see news about a promotion from a store on Instagram, and then go to the store’s app from his phone and read more information. A couple of days later he gets an email with a discount on that product, and he clicks on the link in the email from his laptop or computer and buys it.

B2B

For companies specializing in services for other companies, it’s hard to say unequivocally about the need for omnichannel. Depending on the business area, its specifics and goals, the answer can be either positive or negative. In any case, the benefits for the B2B segment are the same as for e-commerce: higher customer loyalty, higher retention rates, and repeat sales.

B2C

For B2C companies, omnichannel is a necessity.

For example, a girl periodically goes to the same salon for a manicure, pedicure, and hair coloring. The salon can easily calculate the frequency of these procedures and a convenient time to visit. A couple of days before the anticipated appointment date, the manager calls or writes to inform her about the windows that are convenient for her.

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How to Implement Omnichannel

Set a Goal

The process should begin with updating your business goals. It’s worth highlighting one main, long-term and several short-term goals, to make it easier to measure the interim results during implementation phases.

For example, the long-term goal of the omnichannel implementation could be the increase of the life cycle of the client by N percent. And the short-term ones – increasing the share of repeat sales and the customer retention rate.

Analyze the Current Situation

Examine all the existing promotion and communication channels, isolate the strengths and weaknesses and clarify the effectiveness of each. Some channels may need to be rejected or new ones may need to be added.

Integrate Channels With Each Other

Omnichannel is a key vector of marketing and communication strategy. If a company decides to implement omnichannel, it’s necessary to integrate all existing channels so that the user receives barrier-free communication.

Services

Introducing omnichannel requires a number of supporting services. Some of them, such as CRM and end-to-end analytics, are more familiar and understandable. Others, like user tracking, seem complicated at first glance.

For each business, the set of services will be different and unique, just like the sales funnel for the client after the implementation of omnichannel.

In any case, the basic set consists of:

  • An end-to-end analytics tool with a U-shape type attribution model.
  • CRM tools.
  • A call tracking tool.

Team

Implementation and support of omnichannel will require human resources. At the start, you will need a sales manager, who will supervise the maintenance of the CRM system. Without detailed information about customers, you can’t build an omnichannel.

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The team must also include a marketer or marketing analyst. The end-to-end analytics service will help to adjust and optimize the part of the omnichannel strategy that relates to promotion channels.  

If you have implemented a completely new service as part of your omnichannel strategy, the team will need training. It makes sense to put human resources behind that, too.

Content

When we talk about the unitization principle, communicating vessels are a good example. Fluid flows from one to the other and stays at the same level in both.

The same principle should be applied to content marketing. The message you broadcast on one site should not be different from that of social media.

To structure your content marketing department in this way, you need to analyze your current situation:

  • Find all possible touch points with the brand, online and offline.
  • Formulate core values, spell out positioning.
  • Conduct several interviews with potential audiences and formulate several key offers based on them.

After that decompose the ideas and offers into specific messages, and they have to be added to texts and other formats.

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