For the past few years, conversations regarding the increase in eCommerce sales have dominated industry news sites and headlines. With the steady incline of sales attributed to this online buying method, it should come as no surprise that there has been so much attention around the eCommerce boom. In 2019, eCommerce sales increased by nearly 15% year-over-year, reaching $601.75 billion in the United States.
When we entered 2020, experts predicted this number would continue to increase even more. However, when making this prediction, they didn’t account for the coronavirus pandemic and how much that would propel eCommerce sales. When comparing Q3 of 2019 and 2020, eCommerce sales increased by more than 37%. Ecommerce companies have yet to report sales for the final quarter of this year, but as the holiday shopping falls in these last months of 2020, the dominance of eCommerce sales has yet to reach its maximum impact.
In conjunction with the conversations about increasing eCommerce sales has been the importance of touchpoints. Touchpoints are ways a consumer interacts with your brand, whether in-person, online, via social media, yelp reviews, etc. The boom of eCommerce sales has flooded the marketplace with vendors and options, so the competition for consumers’ attention, or touchpoints, is stiff.
Experts have varying options on how many touchpoints it takes to make a sale. Some estimate anywhere from 28-62 touchpoints is required, while others state this number may be upwards of 500 touchpoints. Many factors go into how many interactions with your brand a consumer will have before making the purchase: sales cycle, price, brand perception, brand loyalty, consumer demographics. For example, one cannot exclusively compare the number of touchpoints required before a consumer purchases new shampoo versus a new car. A shampoo company might only need 5 or 7 quality touchpoints with a consumer to persuade them to try their product, whereas a car brand might need 50 or 200 touchpoints throughout a year-long buying process. That does not mean one brand s working better than the other. The number of touchpoints required for your brand to make a sale is essential; however, no matter the product or price, the importance of quality touchpoints greatly outweighs the focus on quantity. And this is where omnichannel applications come into place.
What omnichannel applications should I use to improve touchpoints?
Do you solely shop online? In-store? The answer is most likely no, as Harvard Business Review research found that only 7% of participants shopped exclusively online, while only 20% shopped solely in a retail store. Gone are the days of solely browsing in-store for products. People will see an ad for your product while watching a Youtube video, go to the store, see it in-person, price compare on their phone while still in-store shopping, decide not to purchase it in person, go home and buy the product online. Knowing the consumers will interact with your brand in various ways means that you must have a presence on these channels and ensure that you don’t get overlooked during the buying journey.
So you may be thinking, between programmatic display, video, audio, CTV, OTT, social, search, email, and all the other aspects of omnichannel marketing, where can I get the most out of different touchpoints to improve my conversions? Below we’ve outlined five critical omnichannel applications that you can use to improve your customer journey experience and, in turn, your conversions.
Social media is no longer just a place to connect with friends and family; consumers now browse for products, follow brands, read peer reviews, follow social influencers, and buy products on some networks. In April of 2020, over one-third of consumers ages 18-24 purchased a product directly off social media.
For brands, it is one of the most beneficial platforms for brand awareness and customer acquisition. You can promote your products, sales, offers, and brand values while also directly interacting with customers, answering their questions, and responding to feedback. The touchpoints available to brands via social media are not only multitudinous but also tactical.
2. Paid Search
This omnichannel application is beneficial at the higher stages of the sales funnel (awareness stage) as consumers browse for products to purchase. Consumers may not know which brand they are going to buy, but seeing a specific ad at the top of a google search or the top of the Google shopping lists may be the persuading touchpoint in having a consumer choose one brand rather than the competitor.
Knowing which search results are most likely to convert a consumer to click on an ad and purchase the product is another example of using touchpoints that work smarter, as opposed to harder. An omnichannel digital advertising company can work with you to ensure the content you promote in these paid search ads is strategic, on-brand, and appeals to your consumer base.
3. Amazon Advertising
It would be difficult to discuss the world of e-commerce without mentioning Amazon. In 2018, Amazon accounted for 49% of all e-commerce sales (5% of all retail) in the United States. Beyond being a powerhouse for purchasing goods, many consumers also take to Amazon to browse and price check products. CNBC reported that 9 out of 10 consumers price check an item on Amazon before making a purchase.
Whether you list your products on Amazon will have to be decided by your internal team. However, one of the vital onimicahnnel applications that should be implemented into your digital advertising playbook to increase quality touchpoints is Amazon Advertising. Utilizing their first-party proprietary data, advertisers can target consumers through audience segments based on categories such as lifestyle, contextual, in-market, and lookalike. And, you can target these audiences with ads across Amazon and third-party websites.
Amazon is an eCommerce powerhouse; digital advertisers that can tap into their consumer data have a huge benefit to better understand, target, and reach your consumers as they move through the buying process.
4. Upsell and Cross-Sell Emails
With omnichannel applications incorporated into your business, you will track consumers’ journeys, including which products they have looked at, clicked on, and purchased. This customer journey information will allow for strategic, timely cross-selling and upselling emails. If you know someone has clicked on a dining room table a few times, offer suggestions for an area rug or a sitting chair to complete the room. Emails like this keep your brand top of mind, showcases more of your product offerings, and meets your consumer where they are already at in the buying journey.
Consumers prioritize brands that put them at the forefront of the customer journey. Knowing which products they are interested in will help make your ads more timely and personal to the consumers. Again, as mentioned above, it’s not about how many touch points you have with consumers, but how valuable these touchpoints are to the relationship you form with these potential customers.
5. Chatbots & Artificial Intelligence
In March of this year, 88.05% of online shoppers abandoned their carts, and on average, this number sits around 70%. Consumers report a variety of reasons why they abandon their carts, some of which are not finding a coupon code, creating a new user account, unexpected shipping cost, or a long and confusing checkout process.
No matter the reason as to why they abandon their cart, eCommerce companies need to work to figure out a solution to combat this problem. Offering an artificial intelligence solution or chatbox on your checkout page will give consumers the ability to ask any questions that may be preventing them from taking that final step. Like a sales representative that a customer would work with in-store, adding this feature will combat any purchase woes. Even though consumers are leaning towards online shopping, they are still looking for that personal, human touch when shopping. Although they know it is a machine working with them, it still adds another level of voice and personalization to the consumer’s shopping experience – a “human” touchpoint.
Next Steps: Applying these Omnichannel Applications to your e-commerce playbook
You may already be using some of these omnichannel applications in your digital advertising plan. However, if you are wondering how best to get started with incorporating these tactics into your company, consider partnering with an omnichannel digital advertising partner. Omnichannel digital advertising companies understand the in-and-outs, the constant changes, and the different regulations required to create a robust and successful digital advertising strategy.
At Digilant, we always start with a deep dive into your consumer base. Our team of planning and insight specialists analyzes your audience’s different aspects – their likes, dislikes, demographics, channel preferences, and more. This information will be the backbone in creating a strategic omnichannel marketing strategy to reach these consumers on the right channels with the most optimal touchpoints to ensure we achieve your desired KPIs.
Our team of campaign analysts works alongside our machine learning technology to monitor and optimize your campaigns in real-time. Our omnichannel marketing solutions span across programmatic, video, audio, social, search, TV, and more, ensuring that there are no gaps in reaching your audience and taking advantage of varying touchpoints. Having a digital advertising partner working across all channels also ensures that you are not just fostering touchpoints with consumers on these channels, but, campaigns are optimized toward the best quality touchpoints possible to reach your ultimate goal: improving conversions.
Interested in learning more about how Digilant implements omnichannel applications to improve your conversions with quality touchpoings? Let’s talk.