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Omnichannel Marketing Explained

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Modern audiences demand the flexibility to interact with businesses anytime and through any medium they like. Omnichannel marketing satisfies this demand and empowers companies to engage more effectively with customers by ensuring consistency in branding, messaging and customer experience, whether the interaction happens on an app or in a store.

Omnichannel marketing is a holistic strategy that helps companies maintain a unified presence across various online and offline channels. It’s a great way to prioritize customer satisfaction by delivering coherent, synchronized messages to consumers wherever they engage for a seamless brand experience at every interaction point.

Critical elements of any successful omnichannel strategy include:

  • A recognizable, consistent brand tone and visuals
  • Personalized messaging tailored to individual consumer needs and preferences
  • Content informed by past behaviors and the current stage of the buyer’s journey
  • The technical ability to send users to the right place when they interact with a message, providing a solid User Experience (UX)
  • Coordination of communication channels based on user behavior and/or user channel preference
  • Seamless connection of the digital experience with the in-store experience

Marketers have widely adopted the omnichannel approach and have seen great success. Here are some stats that might convince you to embrace it in your strategy if you haven’t already.

  • According to McKinsey & Company:
    • Over a third of consumers have developed omnichannel shopping habits since COVID-19
    • Up to 70% do their shopping and research both in-store and online
  • Gitnux’s 2024 MarketData Report found that:
    • 86% of senior marketers agree that a cohesive omnichannel strategy is critical to the customer journey
    • 70% of businesses say omnichannel strategies are important 
    • 90% of customers expect consistency across a business’s channels
  • Marketers see engagement rates up to 250% higher with omnichannel marketing than single-channel marketing

Considering how present consumers are across channels and how many competitors are already taking advantage of this opportunity, businesses can’t afford not to adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy. This convergence across channels heightens customer satisfaction and loyalty and drives competitive advantage in a digitally driven market.

Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing 

Omnichannel marketing can be transformative for businesses wanting to improve customer interactions across platforms. Let’s explore some of the specific benefits of an omnichannel strategy, like how it can meet consumers’ expectations and drive business growth.

Enhanced Customer Engagement

Omnichannel marketing heightens engagement by permitting consumers to interact with a brand the way they want on their favorite channels. Whether shopping online, browsing on a mobile app or visiting a physical store, omnichannel marketing ensures the messaging, offers and general experience are uniform and connected. This consistency makes the customer journey smoother and more personalized, leading to higher satisfaction, increased loyalty, repeat business and more frequent interactions with the brand. In short, omnichannel marketing meets consumers where they are and in ways they prefer, which enhances their engagement.

Improved Consumer Loyalty and Retention

Did you know that companies using omnichannel marketing strategies turn 89% of first-time buyers into loyal customers, while companies with weak or nonexistent omnichannel marketing only retain 33%? Omnichannel strategies are essential for building consumer loyalty, as they help businesses deliver the exceptional customer experience consumers expect through the personalization, consistency, convenience and accessibility that lead to loyalty and retention.

Increased Sales and Revenue

Omnichannel customer engagement throughout the buyer’s journey can go a long way in boosting revenue. Businesses striving to engage audiences across various channels see 14.6% more revenue annually while also generating 80% more in-store visits than those not utilizing omnichannel strategies. Moreover, research has shown that multichannel customers spend 4 times as much as in-store customers and 10 times more than digital only customers.

With the targeted messaging of omnichannel marketing, you can potentially build loyalty with consumers and make them more likely to purchase from you again in the future. Even though repeat customers only comprise around 8% of a company’s average customer base, they can generate as much as 40% of the revenue!

Great Customer Reach

When a brand has a presence across multiple channels, it can increase its visibility and amplify brand messaging, which increases the likelihood of consumer engagement. Being active through email, mobile apps, websites, physical stores and social media lets companies reach different audience segments where they prefer to spend their time so they can ensure broad coverage and reach.

Implementing an Effective Omnichannel Strategy

If you haven’t already started planning your omnichannel marketing strategy, it’s time to start. These strategies align with the rising expectations of today’s consumers who want a fully integrated and connected shopping experience. Here are some steps to take as you make your plan.

1. Pinpoint Your Target Audience

Your omnichannel strategy should center around your ideal customer — a persona you must understand in depth. What do they care about, and where do they look for information? What are the pain points of their demographic? Where do they shop? Market research, segmentation and customer data analysis can help you find answers to these questions.

2. Set Clear and Measurable Goals

Any omnichannel marketing strategy must begin with objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) that make your goals measurable. Whether you want to boost sales, increase customer engagement, or improve retention, you need to set specific goals for each channel revolving around factors like conversion rates and customer lifetime value.

3. Invest in the Tools You’ll Need

Your goals will help you determine which technologies you need to support your omnichannel efforts. Determine if there are gaps in your capabilities that a new technology could supplement, such as a customer engagement platform (CEP), marketing automation tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data analytics platforms, content management systems or customer support software.

4. Find Out Where Your Audience Spends Time

Knowing where your audience spends time entails more than their physical location; it also includes where they tend to browse and shop online. It’s helpful to find out when and where your audience shops and how much they spend. This data can be obtained through surveys, social listening, website analytics and more.

5. Choose Channels That Make Sense For Them

Once you have sufficient customer information, you can select the channels you want to use and allocate marketing dollars accordingly. Any omnichannel marketing strategy needs a mix of traditional and digital channels, such as push notifications, in-app messages, email, print materials, in-store ads and a brand website. Just be sure not to waste your money on channels where your customers don’t spend time.

6. Optimize Your Presence Across Channels

Despite having a physical business location, you need to invest some time and budget to make sure your online presence aligns with your physical branding. Your brand image must be cohesive across every channel you invest in if you want to provide the best customer experience and ensure trust and brand recognition wherever consumers engage.

Optimizations of your online presence should include consistent messaging and visuals across your website and social platforms, an intuitive mobile app, a mobile-friendly website that’s easy to use, and hassle-free integration with third parties when necessary. You should design campaigns to utilize the strengths of every channel so each one works together toward your campaign goals. Where relevant, channels should be connected seamlessly. For example, a customer who has your app installed should be sent to your app when they click on an email on their phone, not your website. A customer with your loyalty card in their mobile wallet should be able to easily scan this in-store.

7. Ensure Compliance With Regulations

Your omnichannel practices must comply with all laws and regulations that apply to your area and industry, potentially including HIPAA, GDPR and CCPA. Make sure you have strong data security measures to protect your consumers across every channel you use.

8. Train Your Teams

Team members across all departments should be trained on the tools and strategy of your company’s omnichannel approach. Cross-functional training and ongoing learning will help support your strategy and ensure its effectiveness.

9. Improve Customer Support

Customer service can make or break a consumer relationship. Make sure you have a solid team of friendly and supportive customer service representatives who can turn one-time buyers into loyal, lifelong customers and support them on their journey long after purchasing. Consider whether your customers prefer talking to your support team by email, on the phone, or via live chat, and which is more cost effective for you.

10. Make Data-Driven Decisions

Your omnichannel strategy is bound to need adjustments along the way. Instead of making those changes based on guesswork, use data to monitor and optimize campaigns in real-time and refine the customer experience. Optimize which channels you use for engaging your customers based on their preferences and the effectiveness of each channel in driving actions. A/B testing one channel against another or using control groups when adding in a new channel are great ways to measure and improve effectiveness.

GetPlus: An Omnichannel Marketing Success Story

The problem: GetPlus, a multi-brand loyalty program based in Jakarta, was struggling to retain users post-sign-up. They lacked personalized engagement strategies that would drive conversions.

The goal: The company recognized the need for better mobile engagement to drive growth and wanted to double membership year over year, improving the customer experience with personalized, relevant content.

The solution: GetPlus partnered with Airship so they could:

  • Oversee customer engagement from our centralized platform
  • Automate omnichannel engagement, transitioning messages from SMS/email to in-app messaging to reduce customer service tickets and improve the user experience
  • Integrate data-driven messaging for personalized onboarding and activation journeys using email, in-app messaging and push notifications to keep people engaged
  • Draw on user data to provide personalized offers and drive traffic through sale updates and new product announcements

The results: Airship’s platform helped GetPlus achieve:

  • A 62% increase in monthly active users
  • A 50% increase in offer redemption
  • A 35% increase in transaction frequency
  • A 15% increase in basket size revenue

How to Launch Omnichannel Marketing

Companies wanting to launch an omnichannel campaign successfully should utilize a variety of tools and technologies that facilitate smooth integration and communication across multiple channels. Airship’s App Experience Editor is designed to support and enhance omnichannel marketing efforts through a comprehensive suite of features that streamline and optimize customer interactions across various channels. Here’s how some of our capabilities support marketers’ omnichannel efforts:

  • Journeys: With Journeys, you can visually map, understand and refine customer pathways across multiple channels inside and outside the app. This capability allows you to anticipate needs, deliver value, provide a seamless experience and ensure deeper engagement across touchpoints through each customer lifecycle stage.
  • Segmentation: Airship’s Segmentation tool enables precise, personalized audience targeting across channels. With the Segment Builder, you can create detailed segments based on consumer behaviors, events and attributes captured through interactions across touchpoints. Deep segmentation ensures messages are highly relevant to an audience’s preference and enhances cross-channel engagement.
  • Unified Channel Coordination: Airship’s Unified Channel Coordination centralizes the coordination of messages across multiple channels. Marketers can easily manage multi-channel campaigns and customize strategies to optimize reach and engagement based on customer data. For example, they can choose to target a customer based on their last active channel (did they last use your app or website?), or based on their preferred communication channel (did they choose Sale emails rather than Sale pushes?). This solution supports seamless and consistent customer experiences.
  • Contact Management: Contact Management maintains and updates customer details in a centralized location for various marketing channels. It allows marketers to search for and find customer information and update crucial details like opt-in statuses and channel associations. These capabilities ensure customer data is current and accurate, enabling personalized, compliant communication across touchpoints.
  • Personalization: The Personalization feature helps marketers use first- and zero-party data, custom event properties and external data feeds to deliver highly personalized and relevant messages across various channels. This capability supports the creation of rich, interactive experiences unique to individual customer behaviors, preferences and real-time contexts.
  • A/B Testing: With A/B Testing, you no longer have to guess which campaign variation will perform best on a specific channel. You can test up to 27 message variations to see which messages get the most engagement. Our platform makes it simple to complete rigorous testing so every message and campaign is effective and fueled by data.
  • Performance Analytics: Performance Analytics provide deep, data-driven insights into how, when, where and why customers interact with a brand across channels. Airship’s analytics insights help marketers fine-tune their omnichannel strategies to better meet organizational goals. Having a central place to view all campaign and customer data simplifies performance tracking and optimization across multiple channels so every aspect of an omnichannel strategy is aligned and effective.
  • Integration Partners: The Airship Partner Network includes many of the top Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and engagement platforms. This allows you to easily connect data between systems and, if you have separate platforms for different channels, make decisions in one channel based on what happened in another.

Omnichannel Marketing Best Practices

We’ve covered the benefits of omnichannel marketing and the steps to implementing your own strategy, but we still have a few more tips and best practices for you to keep in mind as you execute and refine your plan:

  1. Prioritize mobile: Data from Statista shows that two-thirds of online shopping was done on smartphones in Q1 of 2024, with phones accounting for 75% of retail site visits. Given the high engagement level on smartphones, businesses need to ensure a pristine mobile experience with a mobile-friendly website, responsive design, social media integration and a streamlined app. Ensure you’re able to reach your app users with in-app messaging and drive them back in with push notifications. Make certain that mobile payments are processed smoothly and that there are no obstacles to mobile shopping.
  2. Solicit and act on customer feedback: Omnichannel marketing makes it easy for customers to provide business feedback through their preferred channels. Capture feedback in the moment while users use your app or are on your website, rather than solely relying on email. While some may offer it up independently, don’t be afraid to ask for customer feedback to learn how well your omnichannel approach works and how it could be better. You can then use this feedback to optimize your strategy and quickly improve the customer experience. Doing so demonstrates your commitment to satisfied customers and can help you earn their loyalty.
  3. For retail, ensure full integration of all systems: Any retail system you use across store locations should function flawlessly across every channel. With a fully integrated system, a customer can check the availability of a product on the company’s website or app, reserve it and pick it up at their local store. In the meantime, the retail system can update the inventory change across platforms to keep their information accurate and their customers happy. ‘Back in stock’ alerts are a great way of increasing revenue as well as creating value for your customers.

Ready to Drive Better Omnichannel Results?

Whether you want to improve your customer experience or grow your bottom line, Airship’s App Experience Platform is designed to support your brand throughout the mobile app lifecycle. With Airship, you can bring the potential of your omnichannel marketing to fruition and drive value by creating impactful app experiences that keep customers engaged.

Partner with us to perfect how you connect with your customers and drive better engagement. Request a demo today to see how Airship could benefit your brand and propel your omnichannel strategies to new heights!

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