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How to Optimize Your Omnichannel Holiday Marketing Strategy

A collection of festively adorned gift boxes on a vibrant red background.

If anything, 2020 has accelerated the trend of traditional retailers embracing digital-first strategies to remain relevant in the eyes (and wallets) of their customers. According to Bluecore’s COVID-19 Retail Trends Report, in the U.S. and Canada, first-time ecommerce sales  from traditional chain stores rose  a massive 119% compared to the previous year.

To get the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s best to identify the places where your customers interact with you. Then you can ensure that all your customer touchpoints create a helpful and consistent experience for your shoppers. This includes your brand tone, attitude, and reliability – so shoppers feel that you’re acting in their best interest at all times. 

It’s Not Omnichannel Marketing, It’s Smart Marketing.

Omnichannel shopping is all about enabling your shoppers to get the product they want, whenever and wherever they want to get it. After all, there are numerous ways that your products can be discovered and purchased through omnichannel marketing. With this in mind, an omnichannel strategy can help you drive your customer lifetime value (CLV), and leverage your physical store and web presence to win in a competitive retail marketplace this holiday season.

Why Omnichannel Customers are Your Most Valuable Customers

1. Omnichannel customers spend more on average.

The opportunity for increasing sales is promising for those brands that create a seamless online and offline shopping experience. Here are a few statistics that demonstrate the shift in consumer’s shopping habits to an omnichannel mindset:

  • Nearly 75% of shoppers say they’ve used multiple channels to compare prices, search for discounts, or use in-store tablets to shop online.
  • According to Harvard Business Review, omnichannel customers spend 4% more on every shopping trip in-store, and 10% more than single-channel customers. 
  • Other research suggests that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared with only 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.

2. Omnichannel marketing increases repeat shopping.

The same Harvard Business study also found that omnichannel shoppers were more loyal. After 6 months of an omnichannel shopping experience, these customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores. They were also more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.

In today’s channel-heavy environment, an omnichannel marketing strategy can drive the engagement of core shoppers to your brand. Ultimately, this will drive customers to your physical store too. By synchronizing the physical and digital worlds, you can provide shoppers with a seamless multi-channel experience that will encourage product discovery and repeat purchases.

3. Gen Z loves omnichannel shopping.

It’s predicted by 2020 that Gen Z will make up 40% of consumers in the USA with over $143 billion of buying power. This is why it’s time to start thinking about how to market to this up and coming generation of young shoppers.

Gen Z strongly uses mobile technology and social media for product discovery. This makes planning a comprehensive omnichannel marketing strategy more important than ever. Marketers must be active on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. They must also optimize landing page messaging for mobile viewing.

By tapping into this demographic of spenders that is embracing omnichannel shopping, you can earn long-lasting customer loyalty to fuel your company growth.

How Omnichannel Marketing Can Help You Drive Conversions

1. Merge online and offline store shopping experiences.

Shopping online lets customers research product options, write reviews, and make comparisons. Shopping in stores lets shoppers see and feel products before buying. This allows customers to take advantage or bring purchased items home immediately.

In an omnichannel experience, these 2 channels aren’t separate. For example, a customer can use their mobile phone to read reviews while in-store, or browse items at home to pick up in store to save valuable time.

For your omnichannel holiday retail strategy to be successful, you need to make experiences consistent, and convenient across all your sales channels, letting customers discover in a convenient way that works best for them.

Here’s what an omnichannel holiday experience might look like:

  • A customer discovers your product on Pinterest, and makes a purchase on your website.
  • They receive a tailored confirmation email that promotes a URL to a collection they have not yet discovered, along with a discount code to use on their next purchase.
  • The URL landing page they click on tracks codes that will later be used to retarget the customer with ads about complementary products to their original purchase on Facebook, Instagram and Google.
  • After the customer makes another purchase, they receive an email about a nearby retail storefront promotion.
  • After the pickup, the customer receives a link invitation with details to a VIP collection launch, with an additional discount code, and an invite to the launch on Tik Tok live.

This omnichannel user journey leverages information from multiple sales channels to engage the customer. These actions feel native to each platform instead of forced. With seamless transitions, your omnichannel marketing strategy should help buyers experience your brand to the fullest degree possible.

2. Consider mobile apps to ease retail pain points.

Advanced ordering, contactless payments, and digital wayfinding all require mobile integration.

Google research tells us that 53% of consumers that plan to shop this season said they would choose to shop at stores that offer contactless shopping. And 47% of planned shoppers said they’ll use options to buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), or use curbside pickup.

Retailers can consider a scan-and-go mobile checkout, or leverage mobile devices to help make home delivery, BOPIS or curbside pickup a reality. Retailers can drive traffic to their stores via mobile ads as well.

For example, PopSocket’s app enables shoppers to create, express and edit PopSockets designs directly from their mobile phone. Here, shoppers can also make a purchase of a PopSocket product directly from the app to be shipped to their home address.

Credit: PopSocket’s app

By providing a mobile touchpoint, PopSockets enables customers who prefer to shop on their phone to conveniently and seamlessly checkout.

3. Embrace shoppable social media channels to drive sales.

Social channels offer brands an added opportunity to strengthen customer relationships, and unlock value by owning the entire customer journey. An effective omnichannel retailer makes it simple to see something on social media and then buy it. This should be able to be completed within a few clicks, either from that profile or from your website.

For example, GymShark has a presence across multiple social media channels including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. Brand content is aligned to meet the interests and values of their customers on each social channel. They recognize that their followers want to interact with the athletic apparel brand in different ways. And they’ve built a quickly growing following that boosts their sales.

Take TikTok for example. The fitness apparel brand uses the app to raise brand awareness through influencer marketing and challenges. The content they share doesn’t promote their products directly, but instead promotes the fitness lifestyle associated with their products.

For Gymshark, using TikTok as a marketing channel is helping the brand reach Gen Z and Millenials shoppers, the most engaged demographic on the app. Since home workouts are in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating content to inspire viewers to get fit is a way the brand is able to engage with shoppers.

Rather than selling products directly, viewers see Gymshark’s athletic clothes being worn in action. If inspired by the content they view, consumers can click a link to make a purchase directly from Gymshark’s Shopify ecommerce website.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals Are Evolving with Omnichannel Technology

To leverage omnichannel fulfillment, consider using the following promotions to boost your Black Friday 2020 and Cyber Monday sales:

  • Free shipping – Shoppers always prefer free or fast when it comes to shipping. Offering free shipping can help your brand compete with retail giants like Amazon, Best Buy and Target. You can also incentivize more sales by offering free shipping with a minimum purchase amount.

  • Free pickup in-store – If you offer curbside pickup or pickup in-store, be sure to let your customers know this on all your marketing channels. Also be sure to prepare your in-store teams with the right training on pick-up processes so you can create a standout BOPIS customer experience.
  • Discounted pick-up in store – This is an incentive to get shoppers to come into your physical storefront, and deepen their relationship with your brand. It also incentivizes browsing and add-on purchases. For example, Walmart uses this strategy to eliminate operational costs from shipping, and to give customers even more ways to save.
  • Free “gifts” to incentivize online shopping –  Shoppers love deals, discounts and promotions! You can pilot giving free gifts with a purchase before Black Friday to see if it increases your sales. Offering free gifts can incentivize a customer to make a purchase they may not have otherwise completed.

Get Ready for An Omnichannel Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday Shopping Season!

In the weeks ahead, we will be looking out for trends on how retailers and brands are using omnichannel strategies to gear up for their holiday sales. Stay posted by subscribing to the Diff blog, and read more holiday tips here:

10 Tips to Boost Holiday Sales with Customer Service

Tis’ the Season to Sell: 4 Tips You Can’t Afford to Ignore

6 D2C Growth Marketing Tactics for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020

This article originally appeared by our friends at Diff Agency.

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