To begin to understand the meaning of an omnichannel experience, we need first to learn what it means to be Omni in the marketing space. The first time you heard of the prefix Omni, you might have been researching dinosaurs... you have your classic herbivores and carnivores, but you also have omnivores - those were the dinosaurs eat both plants and meat.
In the marketing context, we see the omnichannel design as one that uses various channels to reach customers with our products, services, and more. Should your customer decide to shop for your brand in-store, on the phone, or to browse their laptop in bed... the shopping experience should be both smooth and easy.
That sounds fantastic, but what might an omnichannel shopping experience look like? It's not all that complicated... look at it this way: imagine you were shopping for sporting goods online and you wanted to simply add the item to your cart, purchase it in advance, and pick up your goods in person at a physical store. The well-equipped and perfect omnichannel experience lets you accomplish this without any hiccups.
Sound amazing? Here's How you can Build an Omnichannel Product:
1. Research Your Market: Who are you selling to?
First and foremost, you need to know who you're selling to. Are your consumers online? What websites do they shop for your goods at? Are these websites considered your competitors? What keywords are these competitors using to lead their consumers to them? These are several questions you should be asking yourself when enhancing your consumer's experience.
2. Bridge the Gap: From Offline to Online:
I want you to hold up your hands in front of you... now ball up your fists and raise your pointer fingers to the ceiling. To your left, I want you to imagine this finger as your offline experience: this is where your customers shop for your goods in-store. Now to your right, this finger encapsulates all that is online - where your consumers find you on social media, shop on your website, and more.
Now! Bring these two fingers together... this is what you need to accomplish. As you move your customer across channels, you need to ensure that this experience is seamless and easy. You don't want your customers to have to navigate an unexplored jungle and build a metaphorical raft to shop on your website... you wish for things to be easy.
3. Make Shopping Effortless:
If your customer is shopping for products online, make the 'buy now' button prevalent! If your customer is shopping in-store and wants to purchase the product later via an online website, put a code next to the product in-store for them to scan with their phone! For this step, imagine that you are your customers... what do you think would make shopping for your products more comfortable and more efficient? Incorporate these ideas.
Building an omnichannel product isn't difficult, and it isn't too expensive. In fact, by providing your consumers with an omnichannel experience, you are developing a more positive brand experience. In turn, this will lead to more loyal customers and increased brand value. Remember, how customers perceive your business is often something of the short term. Still, the value you deliver them will be carried well off into the long-term valuation of your business.