Create an Omnichannel Strategy in 7 Easy Steps

6 minute read

Ecommerce’s share of total retail sales has grown immensely in the past decade and will only keep growing. Omnichannel marketing helps businesses meet customers where they are — both online and in stores. To capture audiences’ attention in today’s distraction-filled world, brands must adopt an omnichannel strategy. This means implementing data-backed promotional and shopping campaigns across a variety of platforms.

We’ve devised a set of clear, simple steps for creating an omnichannel strategy for your business.

Seven steps for creating an effective omnichannel strategy

1. Define your ideal customer

The first step in creating an omnichannel marketing strategy is identifying and defining your ideal customer. While multichannel strategies are broad and channel-centered, omnichannel strategies are specific and customer-centered. The more specific you are about your target audience, the better. Ask these questions about your ideal customer:

  • What do they care about? 
  • Where do they shop?
  • Where do they get information?
  • What annoys them?

There are many more questions to explore when getting to know your ideal customer, but these are a good place to start.

2. Find your ideal customer

Once you’ve outlined your ideal customer and target audience, you need to know where they spend time. This isn’t just where they physically live but also where they hang out online. Answering these questions can help you find your ideal customer:

  • Do they primarily shop online, in stores, or both?
  • When do they shop?
  • Do they shop with your competitors?
  • How much do they spend?

To answer these questions, use whatever data you can access — website analytics, social listening tools, surveys, social media, and more. If you can get your hands on customer transaction data, you’ll receive valuable insights into spending habits and trends.

3. Choose your channels

Based on the insights you’ve gathered, select which marketing channels and platforms you’ll use for marketing to your customers. A successful omnichannel strategy should have a mix of digital and traditional channels. Examples of potential marketing channels include:

  • Social media
  • Brand website
  • Mobile app
  • Email
  • Broadcast — radio and TV
  • Digital ads
  • Paid search
  • Print materials
  • In-store ads and promos

An effective omnichannel strategy needs to integrate multiple marketing channels seamlessly and give customers multiple options for where to make purchases. An example of this is a loyalty rewards program customers can use via website, mobile app, and in-store.

4. Enhance your online presence

Your online presence is extremely important, even if your brand primarily operates as a brick-and-mortar business. You must ensure your digital efforts align with in-store branding and messaging.

Make sure your brand image is cohesive, and the user experience is pain-free across all channels and platforms. When consumers interact positively with your brand across multiple channels, your reputation grows, and you stay at the top of their minds. Here are a few things to look for as you audit your online presence:

  • Consistent imagery and messaging across social media platforms
  • Mobile-friendly website with simple UX and clear CTAs
  • Frictionless experience within your app
  • Seamless integration with relevant third parties, such as delivery apps for restaurants

5. Map the customer journey

As you build your omnichannel campaign, you’ll find many moving parts across the various channels. Create a map of your customer’s journey, highlighting which channels customers will encounter along the way. Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes will bring clarity to your omnichannel efforts and help you shape your messaging to speak to the right audience at the right moment.

Mapping the customer journey also helps you find potential pain points and inconveniences that could deter customers from engaging with you. As you create your map, look for ways to encourage crossover between online and offline experiences — offering in-store pickup for online orders is one example.

6. Prioritize customer support

A customer’s journey doesn’t end when they make a purchase. Customer support is an important part of the customer experience. A strong customer support strategy can turn casual shoppers into loyal customers — and a poor customer support experience could turn someone away forever. Provide support through multiple channels, and create a personalized experience through warm, friendly support specialists.

7. Collect and protect customer data

As you implement your omnichannel marketing strategy, you’ll undoubtedly need to tweak your targeting, messaging, or other elements of your strategy. Rather than basing changes on trends or assumptions, make data-driven changes based on the results you’ve seen so far. 

In addition to your own customer data, investigate solutions like Cardlytics Purchase Intelligence™ to gain powerful insights based on real customer transactions and purchase habits.

What a successful omnichannel marketing strategy looks like

Once you’ve implemented your omnichannel strategy, how do you measure success? Since your campaign spans multiple channels and marketing platforms, cross-channel or aggregate, metrics are important. Some KPIs to consider when evaluating your omnichannel efforts include:

  • Cross-channel pageviews
  • Social media engagement metrics
  • Cross-channel conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Churn rate

Your KPIs will differ depending on your overall campaign goals and which stage of the customer journey you’re looking at. Additionally, an effective omnichannel strategy may look different depending on your industry vertical — travel brands will craft a different customer journey than restaurant brands, for example.

Make Cardlytics part of your omnichannel marketing strategy

A successful omnichannel marketing strategy is key to reaching your target audience where they’re at. Cardlytics can provide marketing insights based on over 179 million consumers’ actual transaction data — all while protecting customers’ identification and personal information. Reach out today to learn more about how Cardlytics can enhance your omnichannel efforts.

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