Nowadays, cross-channel communication and shopping options are part of a sophisticated marketing strategy for successful retailing and will become even more relevant in the future. Customers want to be able to shop exactly where they are, whether in a retail store, in an online store, or on social media platforms.
Especially in fashion retail, this flexibility is demanded by customers. For example, a study shows that 25 % of people who shop in stores have previously researched and compared prices online. Just under half take the opposite approach and order items online that they have previously viewed in the retail store. This phenomenon is also found in many other industries and makes it clear: a well thought-out omnichannel strategy can be the recipe for success for more sales in the company.
That's why we'd like to start this post by explaining what omnichannel actually means, and then reveal a few tips for the omnichannel strategy in your Shopify store.
You are a Shopify or Shopify Plus merchant, would like to develop an omnichannel strategy for your company and could still use professional support? Then feel free to contact us and we will be happy to provide you with advice and support.
What is omnichannel?
Omnichannel is a sales approach that reaches customers across all touchpoints, providing them with a consistent and, most importantly, seamless shopping experience. Common channels in omnichannel sales, also called omnichannel commerce, include, for example:
Online marketplaces (like Amazon)
Social media platforms (like Instagram)
The key to success here lies in the perfect synchronization of all channels.
Reading tip: Here we discuss the opportunities and risks of Online-Marketplaces.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel: The most important differences
Perhaps you are already familiar with the term multichannel and are wondering what the differences between the two approaches are. In this case, we compare multi- and omnichannel commerce below.
|Main target||The multichannel approach is primarily about maximizing the performance of each channel separately. This provides greater market coverage, more presence, and reduces the risk of a single channel.||The omnichannel strategy, on the other hand, focuses primarily on the customer. It aims to deliver a consistent shopping experience across all channels used and to target potential prospects exactly where they want to shop. This approach strengthens customer relationships and increases sales.|
|Implementation||In multichannel sales, each channel has its own goals and its own team to implement certain measures. The clientele is thus offered a wide range of shopping options, but they do not work in sync with each other.||The data from the various sales channels is linked and synchronized in the omnichannel. Ideally, there is perfect dovetailing so that the various platforms do not compete with each other but create a harmonious overall picture.|
Reading tip: Learn how to build a successful multichannel strategy with Shopify.
Omnichannel example: How Omnichannel Sales and Marketing Interact in Practice
After all the theory, we would like to explain the omnichannel approach to you below using a somewhat more tangible practical example:
Let's assume a customer wants to buy a winter coat and has already browsed several online stores for the right item. A short time later, she receives an ad on Facebook from one of the stores with a selection of parkas that she had already looked at. When she clicks on the ad, it takes her back to the web store and she puts one of the coats on her watch list. As she does so, she sees a banner on the e-commerce website that draws her attention to the associated App and promises a 20% discount on download. The woman is of course thrilled, downloads the app, finds the winter coat on her watch list, redeems the code and can specify in the checkout whether the order should be delivered to her home or to the store.
Based on the example, you can see how a well-implemented omnichannel solution allows customers to move from one channel to another and to delve deeper and deeper into the brand experience.
Reading tip: What is cross-selling, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy and how to apply it in your online store.
Omnichannel marketing and the difference to omnichannel commerce
While omnichannel sales is about using different channels to reach customers and generate sales, the goal of omnichannel marketing is rather to create a consistent, cross-channel experience for customers. All channels are aligned to create a perfect online presence that potential customers perceive as consistent throughout the customer journey.
This concept has become one of the most important disciplines in online marketing, because only when all channels are connected and it is easy to switch between them, does this result in a coherent and positive customer experience.
The basis of omnichannel marketing is the consistent collection and constant evaluation of data, as well as the automation of various tasks. For this purpose, you will find a whole range of useful tools in the Shopify App Store, among which you will hopefully also find a perfect omnichannel app for you. We present a small selection below:
Klaviyo: This is marketing automation software specifically for online retailers. With Klaviyo, automated emails and text messages can be sent from a customer database. By linking the database to social ads, Custom or Lookalike Audiences are retargeted on Facebook.
JivoChat Live Chat & Chatbot: This is an all-in-one business messenger that allows employees to talk to customers anywhere: Live chat, phone, email and social media. The features aim to increase the efficiency and communication capabilities of your support team.
Google Amazon eBay by Codisto: This app allows you to create and manage listings on Amazon and eBay directly from your web store. In addition, Codisto allows you to fully synchronize your product data, prices and inventory with all sales channels in real time, as well as receive and manage omnichannel orders from online marketplaces directly with full tracking data.
Which Shopify apps can support or optimize your omnichannel commerce and omnichannel marketing depends heavily on your individual business model. You're sure to find a suitable solution for every concern in the Shopify App Store. Also, remember that an omnichannel marketing strategy is never final, but at best always adapts to changing circumstances.
Reading tip: In the article, we reveal how to develop a successful social media marketing strategy, achieve higher conversions and generate more sales in just 6 steps.
Just 4 steps to an omnichannel strategy with Shopify
If this article has convinced you and you would now also like to build an omnichannel strategy for your company, then we have compiled the most important steps for you here.
1. Define your goals
As with all decisions that affect your business, you should also define your goals for an omnichannel strategy in the first step. Always make sure that these can also be measured and evaluated later.
2. Determine your target group
If you've been running your business for a while, you'll probably already have gathered some information about your target audience. As we know by now, the omnichannel approach is about reaching and picking up potential customers in the right places. So it's important to know where those places are. Based on this, personas can be created and a customer journey can be worked out.
3. Select your channels
Once you know your goals and target group, the third step is to set up the appropriate channels. In professional circles, this process of listing products and services on various digital platforms is known as multichannel listing. It is considered a key element of any successful omnichannel strategy. The Shopify e-commerce platform is ideally suited for omnichannel sales due to its many interfaces. In addition to Shopify's own store, below we present three channels that work particularly well.
Social media platforms: With Shopify, you can easily create your own stores on Facebook and Instagram. This gives your customers the opportunity to get inspired on Instagram, for example, and then buy the product of their choice within a few clicks. Interfaces to other social media platforms such as TikTok or Pinterest also exist and can be used for shopping experiences.
Online marketplaces: For many online shoppers, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are the first port of call when they want to buy something online. Perfect, then, that these two sites are available to you within Shopify and that you can add them as sales channels directly in your Shopify backend.
Stationary commerce: thanks to Shopify POS, merchants can sell their products in brick-and-mortar stores while centrally collecting user information. This simplifies subsequent outreach to customers on other channels and also allows payments to be accepted through any channel.
4. Evaluate your results
If you have realized all the steps so far, the biggest part is done, but that doesn't mean you don't need to keep the ball rolling. You should always keep your goals in mind and evaluate results so that you can optimize your actions in the future. In addition to your set goals, you should also monitor the market and your target group to identify important developments early on and react to them.
Reading tip Learn how to open your own online store in just 11 steps and how much it might cost.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy is no child's play; there are a number of factors to consider. You should be aware that new sales channels also mean a significant additional expense and may require higher warehouse capacities and more staff. However, this should not deter you, after all, selling through different channels offers your company countless opportunities, you show presence in different places and can tap into new market segments and target groups. So what are you waiting for?
If you would like to have professional support for the conception and implementation of your Shopify omnichannel strategy, please do not hesitate and contact us.
Frequently asked questions about Shopify Omnichannel
What is omnichannel e-commerce?
Omnichannel e-commerce is an approach that uses multiple online sales channels. Unlike multichannel sales, the channels are not operated separately here, but work together synchronously. This provides customers with a consistent shopping experience across all channels.
What is omnichannel marketing?
In omnichannel marketing, all communication channels are used equally and synchronously. In contrast to multichannel marketing, the various channels here thus tie together seamlessly and create a trustworthy and well-thought-out online presence.
Which store system is suitable for omnichannel sales?
Shopify is ideally designed for omnichannel commerce. Social media, online marketplaces, and other channels can be easily connected to the e-commerce platform so that nothing stands in the way of selling on multiple channels. Shopify also has a huge app store that contains numerous useful omnichannel apps, and various interfaces that simplify or even automate work processes.
What is the difference between multi- and omnichannel?
In multichannel commerce, the individual channels operate separately. The aim is to fully exploit their potential separately. Omnichannel sales, on the other hand, focus on the interaction of the channels, enabling a seamless customer journey and strengthening the customer relationship. Read more about the differences between omnichannel and multichannel here.