Integrity, quality, class, honesty, and innovation are what come to mind when we think about the world’s top brands. Of course, high product/service cost may be a consideration, but that is secondary compared to the value those brands bring to our lives.
"A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories, and relationships of one brand over the alternatives." - Seth Godin (Author and public speaker)
Your brand is meant to be timeless, authentic to your mission, values, and services or products – what makes your business unique. Since the beginning of the digital era, a major challenge brands have encountered is how to bring the same high-end experiences they offer in-store to the digital space. While some of the biggest brands including Amazon and Samsung have grown, others have fallen abruptly.
With today’s rapid technology change, companies rise and fall faster than ever before.
Now even more than having a digital presence, brands are being faced with the challenge of adapting to an increasingly omnichannel world. All brands, from luxury, big box chains to the smaller retailers are feeling the effects. Omnichannel commerce means bridging a gap in experiences across devices and physical touch points to offer a unified brand experience. It’s high time to invest towards omnichannel commerce and start avoiding these common mistakes:
1) Device Recognition: Getting consumers to your website is one major task, but recognizing how they are accessing it is equally difficult. It's important the site’s design is agile enough to convert well on a variety of devices from tablets, mobile phones, and desktop computers. By utilizing the technology of each channel and by considering how different channels might be better suited to different interactions, omnichannel can take the user experience to a whole new level.
2) Retail Evolution: Just as how the digital world is evolving, in-store experience is changing too. Consumers want to be educated and connect with your brand on a personal level. Technology has opened the omnichannel door for even the most hesitant retailers. Helping retailers sell more effectively would increase sustainability in the fulfillment chain. This means personalization is the key and brick-and-mortar stores still offer a better way of a personalized shopping experience.
3) Mobile, Mobile, Mobile: “2016 State of Marketing” report by SalesForce Marketing Cloud
- 77% marketers say mobile generates ROI - 79% consider mobile core to their business
An Omnichannel approach looks at mobile as a touchstone in the consumer journey. A mobile-optimized website is not just a new thing; it is an essential part of the story! Conversions might be lower, that doesn't negate mobile’s tremendous power as research tool. Those who continue to ignore mobile do so at their own peril.
4) Social Media: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, plus a social media overreaction”. By 2018, there will 2.67 billion social network users around the world. It’s essential for brands to create an omnichannel social media strategy. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn platforms serve a distinct purpose and audience. The easiest thing to recommend as a start is to be on as many as possible and using analytics tools, determine which networks are most optimal for your audience and goals.
5) Integrated Data: Data, or specifically consumer data, is one of the most important tools to maximize growth and revenue. Different touch points mean an armory of consumer data, gathered through social media, mobile and/or brick-and-mortar stores. Leveraging these insights to get a deeper understanding on how consumers interact with your brand and make purchases would help in building valued relationships and loyalty. Therefore, data mining and analytics become necessary to shape the unshaped bulk of information.
6) Selecting Channels: Omnichannel does not mean blindly focusing on being everywhere. Sell on what makes sense to your business or on channels that are relevant to your consumer segment. Channel distribution is important and plays a vital role in achieving marketing objectives. A good amount of effort is required while searching for buyers and sellers to ensure the proper distribution of your products or services and consider other factors such as price, competition, consumer convenience, etc.
7) Consumer Experience: Everything boils down to the one and only thing: consumer experience. The omnichannel consumer experience includes tracking your consumers’ needs to find the correct time to reach out to them with offers in order to create a seamless omnichannel experience. This means that brands have to identify the opportunity and act proactively to leverage it. For the consumer, the shopping experience should feel cohesive, rich and rewarding.
In today’s environment relying on growth from a single channel is unsustainable. Successful brands understand the value of omnichannel commerce and technology that has finally caught up, now able to address demands of both buyers and sellers in an omnichannel world.