Omni-Channel Marketing – An Overview

Once upon a time there used to be a small store at the center of the town where customers used to shop for all their necessities. Then came along local supermarkets and malls; they grew into huge organizations with a nationwide presence. As days passed by, shopping underwent a major revolution, entering the web space.

With every turn of the shopping revolution, retailers have had to adapt themselves to keep pace with the changes in the marketing scenario. These days, customers are not just looking to buy things at a lesser cost, but they want to have a great shopping experience as well. The modern-day customer is looking for a “personalized service”.

To cater to the new needs and expectations of today’s customer, retailers slowly shifted to what is now called “Omni-channel” marketing. To explain in simple terms “omni-channel” is a strategy that brings together different modes of marketing techniques to create a seamless channel that makes shopping a breeze. The retailer tries to bridge both online and offline marketing techniques, and uses various media such as mobile, television, social media, e-commerce sites and even brick-and-mortar stores to reach out to the customer.

This marketing strategy doesn’t just create different blocks of marketing channels, but a network that will allow the customer to move from one mode to another. For example, some stores let the customer order online and pick up the purchase from the local store. Other retailers offer options when the consumer can call up the store or text a message to avail a service or purchase a product.

This strategy tries to create a system that collaborates and synchronizes data over different channels to deliver a customized shopping experience. This system brings together different customer touch points to enhance customer engagement and encourage brand following.

So, how can retailers go “omni?” They should first create a system, which will help them integrate and consolidate all their customer’s data. They should analyze the data to identify the customer’s preferences, likes, dislikes and more to create a strategy to suit their needs.

Research has shown that omni-channel strategy has become a very important aspect in any marketing plan. It reinforces the concept of “The Customer is the King” and underlines the importance of “customer insights” and “customer visibility”.

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