There’s not really one single secret to drive omnichannel e-commerce success. It is just hard to accomplish, but not for the reasons you think. No e-commerce organization will be able to drive revenue and deliver a great customer experience without understanding who their buyers are, how they want to buy, and where they buy. Understanding these three areas is really the key to success in an omnichannel world.
Omnichannel retail is defined as, “a modern approach to commerce that focuses on designing a cohesive user experience for customers at every touchpoint.” This is a vastly different than traditional marketing when specific channels were used to reach specific buyers, without a focus on a continuous customer experience.
Today’s most successful e-commerce organizations understand the value that omnichannel provides and focus on optimizing their engagement at every opportunity.
3 tips to achieve omnichannel success:
Identify Who Your Buyers Are
Sounds like an easy question to answer, but it is one of the areas in which marketers often struggle with. Building an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is critical to every sales and marketing organization. Anyone can sell a few products here and there, but once you understand who your ideal buyer is, the world is your oyster.
Benefits of building an IPC include a building a deeper understanding of who you ideal buyer is so that you can find more of them. It’s an exercise to narrow down the prospective buyer pool that will help identify more of the kinds of buyers that are likely to purchase your solution. Why spend time and resources driving demand for buyer that will never buy from you?
There are many areas to focus on when building out an ICP, but a great start includes key verticals, size of company, department, and job title. For example, when identifying verticals for your ICP, don’t go too deep, especially if you are just starting out. Pick one or two verticals (retail and branded manufacturing are our top two verticals at inRiver) where you know your buyers are and there is a clear fit. Focus on those and then expand into other verticals or industries as you learn more about your buyers and their needs.
Learn How Your Buyers Buy
The majority of browsing happens on mobile devices, but buying still happens on a desktop. That is not shock. However, most e-commerce sites are still not optimized for search, limiting a buyer’s ability to find your organization and your products. Make sure to reduce load times. Fast load times not only improve customer experience, but also impact search rankings in a big way.
Ensure your site is mobile-optimized as well. If a buyer goes to your site as part of their process and it’s not mobile-friendly, they’ll leave before the first page renders to fit the screen. And they probably won’t return if they have a poor experience.
Discover Where Your Buyers Buy
Although this post is about omnichannel e-commerce, it’s about knowing your buyers inside and out. It’s essential to understand every channel your buyers use to purchase because “online” just isn’t enough.
“96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase at some point in their lives, and four in five (80%) have done so in the last month alone,” from The Complete Omni-Channel Retail Report. This ties into understanding your ICP as well, but knowing what channels your buyers prefer will help you optimize content and offers to engage them.
Delivering omnichannel e-commerce means providing content in a consistent and seamless way to help guide and assist the buyer in their purchase, anytime and anyplace they seek it.
To be successful in e-commerce today, marketers need to understand their buyers before they try to market to them. Begin by identifying who the buyer is, how they like to buy and where they buy to build the strategies to engage them. Being “online” isn’t enough, it’s about being the best solution available online that matters.
To learn more about omnichannel e-commerce, listen how L’Oreal drives results for their organization.