As consumer multi-channel and multi-device usage continue to rise, so too does the importance of a streamlined omnichannel user experience. Brands can no longer rely on segmented experiences as consumers navigate through different channels (even if they are individually positive experiences). These experiences need to blend and work together to create a seamless, integrated, user-centric experience.
An omnichannel user experience is no longer just preferred; the absence of them now directly impacts sales. A survey carried out by the Harvard Business Review found that on average omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online when compared to single-channel users. As more consumers continue to browse online and shop on emerging channels, such as Instagram and Youtube, the positive impact an omnichannel user experience has on sales and company growth is projected to rise even more.
So, you may be asking yourself, “I understand the importance of an omnichannel user experience, but how do I get started?” We’re here to help. Below we’ve outlined five steps to get you started to ensure that your future clients have a seamless, enjoyable experience with your brand, no matter which device or channel they are on.
What is omnichannel marketing?
In the simplest of terms, omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses each channel’s customer experience – desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others you might use – and how customers transition through channels they make purchases.
5 Steps to Creating a Seamless Omnichannel User Experience
1.Understand your Audience
This phrase sometimes feels like the solution to many of our digital advertising questions. That’s because as you grow your understanding of your consumers, you gain valuable insights that transform and direct your advertising strategy. Before you take any steps towards an omnichannel user experience, you need to attain ample information about your consumers and how they interact with your company. To help you get started, here is a list of questions to ask yourself about your consumers:
- Who is my consumer? Age? Gender? Place of origin? Etc. (knowing this information might give you insight into the answers to the following questions if you don’t have concrete data)
- Where do my consumers browse?
- Where do my consumers buy?
- Do they prefer online or offline shopping?
- What do my consumers buy the most?
- Where do consumers want to interact with my brand?
- Are my consumers loyal (or repeat) customers?
Knowing the answers to these questions will determine where you prioritize your resources throughout the next steps.
2. Map the Path to Purchase
Put yourself in the shoes of the consumers. Look at how your consumers are entering your website and what their experiences entail. As you begin to look through these different customer journeys, you will (most likely) start to notice different patterns – which stages consumers leave your site, which channels lead to cart abandonment most often, and which channels yield the most purchase fulfillments.
Both the positive and negative trends will direct where you should invest your resources and areas of opportunity to attract even more customers. For example, if you find that the highest sales percentage comes from Instagram ads, you will know to invest more budget into and prioritize this channel.
On the other hand, if you find that many people are shopping in the morning and then abandoning their cart before they complete their purchase, you’ll want to brainstorm and consult with your digital advertising company about solutions to combat this problem. Maybe you want to introduce retargeting ads into your campaign or add a virtual assistant on the checkout page to answer any questions consumers may have that prevent them from making the final purchase. No matter what the solution is, it’s essential to identify the problem and know that that is a priority for your company to rectify.
3. Optimize your creative & brand assets
Now that you understand your consumers and how they interact with your brand, you should have a pretty good idea of the next steps you need to take to optimize what is working and fix what is not. Some of the changes may entail any combination of the following: website improvements, advertisement creative iterations (different sizes to fulfill different ad placements), investments in new features (virtual assistant, email marketing), creating new ad formats (maybe programmatic video is an area of opportunity).
The research you gained from steps one and two will guide and inform the next steps you take to improve your omnichannel user experience.
However, (excluding any extenuating circumstances in which your audience is not heavy mobile users) one area that we always recommend is the prioritization of mobile. Omnichannel marketing blends the offline and online experience, and mobile is integral to that online portion. In 2019, smartphone users in the US adult spend over 3 hours on their phone every day – and as the age of consumers skews younger, the time spent on a mobile device skews higher. Consumers aren’t just browsing on their phones, last year, 79% of smartphone users made a purchase online using their mobile device. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile, and your ad formats are sized and optimized for mobile placements.
4. Prioritize Data Organization and Implementation
As you continue to improve your omnichannel user experience, your team will begin to gather varying data sets from different sources. (You can find some tips for creating a data-driven mindset within your company, including data organization and optimization strategies here.) This will include both customer journey data (similar to the data you analyzed in steps one and two) and consumers’ personal data, such as names, email addresses, mailing addresses, etc. Ensure that the data is being stored in an effort to integrate it and optimize it in your content.
In an era where consumer privacy and data-sharing is at the forefront of people’s mind, it is essential that you use this data effectively. 80% of consumers expect, want, and prioritize brands that put them at the forefront of their shopping experience. If consumers are sharing their data with you, they want you to use it to enhance their user experience.
To successfully meet consumer expectations, will require a throughout data onboarding and integration that bridges the gaps between the offline and online experience. Knowing where consumers are in their purchase journey, what products they have browsed in the past, if they looked at something online but bought it in person are all data points that create a better user experience. And, should all be captured, analyzed, and utilized throughout your advertising campaigns if your data processes are set up effectively.
With thousands, if not millions, of data points, this step can seem daunting. However, it cannot be overlooked. Learn more about effective data onboarding, integration, and marketing analytics here.
5. Continue to Evolve and Adapt
The steps outlined above is not a one and done process. Consumer shopping and browsing preferences are constantly changing and so too will your omnichannel user experience. You may need to test new email campaigns, re-align your focus to programmatic audio advertisements, or test new buy online pick-up in-store features, the way.
It’s essential that you constantly research your consumer base and what their buying journey looks like so that you can align your solutions and services to best meet their needs. Start from step one when necessary and move through the entire process as you see areas of opportunities or potential areas of improvement emerge within your business.
It’s time to get started, where do I begin?
Now that you understand the steps required to create a seamless omnichannel user experience, you may be wondering how best to get started. For many companies, finding an omnichannel marketing company is the best solution. Partnering with a team of experts that understands the ins-and-outs of the industry, changes on the horizon, and best practices for a successful omnichannel user experience brings great value to your brand.
At Digilant, our full-service omnichannel marketing services span across programmatic, social, influencer, affiliate, TV, radio, podcast, and more. Our team of data analysts, biddable-media platform experts, and ad tech specialists, planners, and strategists understand what a digital media strategy requires – radical transparency and a team of experts who are agile and flexible.
We understand that no omnichannel strategy is alike, which is why we start from the beginning with all of our clients, with consumer research to define the target audience. This leads to the development of an integrated media strategy and sets the stage for campaign analysis and measurable performance.
Interested in learning more about the audience insights the Digilant team can uncover for your brand in an effort to establish a seamless and successful omnichannel user experience? Let’s talk.