To the small business owner the term ‘omnichannel’, loosely meaning all-channels, might cause you to break into a light sweat. Multi-channel marketing (advertising through many different avenues) can be enough of a challenge, and now you’re supposed to use all of them?
It’s okay; relax. Take a breath. Small businesses might have the advantage this time!
Omni does mean all, but think of it less as omnipresence (being everywhere) and more as omniscience (knowing everything).
The modern consumer wants to know everything, and to find information on their own terms. They can choose how and when they engage with your business, and omnichannel marketing allows them to do so in a consistent and authentic manner.
It is not uncommon for a customer to see a sale in a catalogue, browse products on their smartphone, look in-store, then order online at home. Throughout this process they are expecting consistent transitions from one medium to the next, with one informing the other.
So how do small businesses have the advantage? How can you implement this trend into your marketing strategy?
- The key is seamless consistency between platforms. The app must mirror the tone and feel of the store which, in turn, mirrors the website. It has become the marketer’s responsibility to tell a story that continues on each time the consumer engages it, whichever platform they choose.
- Second to consistency is personalisation. Small businesses have a more specific target group, truly know their customer and can create a smooth 1:1 experience. This allows them to cater to the individual’s unique needs and expectations.
- Small businesses also have an advantage through their provision of an excellent level of customer service unattainable by larger companies. Consumers are expecting a user-friendly environment both online and offline.
- You may be unable to become omnipresent across all channels. As always, quality is more valuable than quantity. Choose your channels purposefully, and use them well.
- Make the most of social media. Give your customers the opportunity to speak, and make them feel they’ve been heard. Use their feedback to create a personalised experience that adds to their engagement.
Omnichannel marketing uses consistency and personalisation to help your customers and clients create an environment that they choose to engage with – a great benefit for your business.