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Creating an omnichannel experience for ecommerce: Up to 90% higher customer retention

There’s a horror movie trope where the killer seems almost magical: Running from him out the front door? Nope. There he is. How about up the stairs? Oh wait, he’s now in the closet. Advertising on the internet can, sadly, feel a lot like an axe-wielding movie killer, with the same irrelevant ads popping up on social, websites, and inboxes until messaging starts to feel more like stalking.

That’s probably because when ecommerce marketers first began to realize they needed a seamless customer experience across channels, the first instinct was to put the brand at the center of the messaging. That led to most ecommerce brands sending the same message to every customer, over and over, until the customer either learned to tune it out, or worse, enabled an ad blocker to stop the constant barrage of messaging.

In order to get out of the adblock zone, savvy ecommerce marketers are now moving to an omnichannel strategy, which puts customers at the center of the messaging.

According to a recent study by Omnisend, ecommerce customers who had an omnichannel experience spent 13% more on average than those who engaged with ecommerce brands in a single channel. What’s more, those customers stuck around.

And ecommerce companies offering an omnichannel experience enjoyed 90% higher customer retention than those that those simply offering single channel experiences.

Customers don’t hate advertising; they hate irrelevant advertising.

Content produced in collaboration with Omnisend.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your omnichannel strategy will invite engagement, rather than send customers running:  

Centralize your customer data

Pretty much everyone knows that marketers need customer data. But what about customer support? Or the sales team? Each of your organization’s teams need to understand the customer in order to provide a seamlessly excellent experience no matter where they are in the buying process.

However, different teams need access to different data. For example, while the marketing team needs access to demographic data and customer histories in order to send the right message, the customer support team also needs to know which products potential buyers have browsed in order to best answer any questions they might have. By giving all your teams access to customer data gathered in a centralized place, you’re empowering your teams to create better customer experiences.

Examine your customer experience under a microscope

But before you can begin to improve customer experience, it’s probably best to closely examine all the interactions a customer might have with your company. Most of us do a pretty good job of auditing the user experience on our websites, but the customer experience extends beyond that, from the discovery phase right up through the post-sale follow-up.

Start your audit in the discovery stage. How easy is it for a new customer to find you through search engines on desktop? On mobile? Examine social media platforms and other ways a curious customer might just stumble upon your brand. From there, make sure your site is easy to navigate. Put some items in your shopping cart. Then, abandon them. How long did it take to get a follow-up? Finally, make a purchase and note how long shipping took, the unboxing experience, and the special touches that make customers want to buy again.

Gather critical customer feedback

Most customer experience surveys focus on post-sale evaluation, which is great information to have. However, going beyond “How was your experience?” can provide helpful insights to all touchpoints of your customer journey.

There are myriad ways to glean insights from customers at all stages of their journey. Ask buyers questions focused on how they feel about products prior to launch via social media. Offer surveys about the in-store experience. And make sure to incentivize post-sale surveys by offering discounts or other rewards. After all, no matter what feedback they give, your customers are doing you a favor.

Segment and target your messages

Using customer data to portion them into smaller groups is a critical part of sending the right message to the right buyer at the right time. Demographic groups based on age, gender, location, income, and marital status are one common way to segment. But you can also create groups based on behavior: last click, engagement, or activity. Shopping behavior, such as cart abandonment, bounced customers, and product recommendations is another interesting opportunity for segmentation.

Measure your success, and evolve

Measuring your success with each customer segment along with thoughtful evaluation of customer feedback should provide a roadmap for future campaigns. A/B testing each element of your campaigns is also a crucial part of evaluating your omnichannel success. Remember, it’s not so much about finding the “perfect” message, but instead finding out what resonates with your customers.

For more information about how you can adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy, check out Omnisend’s white paper, “The Complete Guide to Omnichannel Marketing Automation for Ecommerce.” 

The post Creating an omnichannel experience for ecommerce: Up to 90% higher customer retention appeared first on ClickZ.

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