Omnichannel eCommerce Marketing: How to Drive Customer Acquisition from Different Channels
by Ron Dod
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An omnichannel eCommerce effort is one that supplies customers with a variety of touchpoints and opportunities to interact with a brand by providing a fully integrated shopping experience across platforms and devices.
HubSpot defines omnichannel eCommerce as “the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels, while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business.”
“Our study’s results are revealing. They show that the retailer’s omnichannel customers are more valuable on multiple counts. After controlling for shopping experience, they spent an average of 4 percent more on every shopping occasion in the store and 10 percent more online than single-channel customers. Even more compelling, with every additional channel they used, the shoppers spent more money… In addition to having bigger shopping baskets, omnichannel shoppers were also more loyal. Within six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, these customers had logged 23 percent more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.”
In today’s era, consumers demand more than the ability to buy from online shops. Current customers want the opportunity to connect with a company in a variety of ways, so as to have an option that suits them best for the moment. However, with such an abundance of digital communication channels available, it can be challenging for retailers to manage them all individually.
On the merchant side of things, online sellers are heavily investing in their omnichannel eCommerce efforts for a variety of reasons. Among these include procedural and financial efficiencies, increased acquisition and customer retention effectiveness, gaining a competitive edge, enhanced customer service, bolstered sales numbers and a plethora of other motivations.
Here, Visiture aims to cover how retailers can utilize an omnichannel eCommerce blueprint to drive customer acquisition from different channels.
Let’s get started.
Find Out Where Your Customers Live
The first step in developing an omnichannel eCommerce strategy that successfully creates new customers is to figure out which platforms prospects are using.
If a brand doesn’t know where their audience lives, a good tactic in figuring out how to find a target audience is to start with a buyer persona. This representation of the ideal customer uses market research and existing data about current customers. Using this tool, retailers can better identify customer needs as they relate to omnichannel eCommerce efforts.
For instance, if a brand realizes that their ideal customer does not shop on eBay, there is no point in establishing different tactics for selling on Amazon versus eBay as the latter is irrelevant.
Similarly, if a retailer sees that a significant amount of traffic coming to their site is derived from Instagram, it is likely a wise and profitable strategy to invest efforts in creating Shoppable posts for Instagram. This would probably be effective for the brand’s customer acquisition efforts given that Instagram has stated that “75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend.”
To obtain useful data on existing customers for analyzation, look at the Acquisition Report on Google Analytics. Here, sellers can see the specific destinations that are driving traffic to their online store. Moreover, if retailers want to dive even deeper, it is wise to analyze different attribution channels with the Multi-Channel Funnels feature to see the different steps users take before converting. Doing this will enable sellers to accurately identify which channels are pushing customers to their site.
With this information procured, retailers should have a fair understanding of which channels and platforms to optimize their omnichannel eCommerce strategy around.
Create an Omnichannel eCommerce Marketing Strategy
At the heart of all marketing efforts lies content. Therefore, to create a genuinely robust omnichannel eCommerce marketing strategy, it is vital to develop relevant content for the appropriate channels.
Therefore, retailers must not only establish the most prosperous channels for their brand, but they must also craft content that fits with a given platform.
For instance, as mentioned earlier, employing tactics like Shoppable Instagram posts could prove to be a boon for that specific platform. Alternatively, given that 54 percent of consumers wish to see more video content, YouTube is also a likely candidate for a profitable omnichannel strategy.
Seller can capitalize on this platform by crafting a video marketing campaign that consists of “how-to” or “explainer” videos that show consumers how a product works to improve their lives.
However, when looking at platforms like Facebook, retailers might take a different approach to video, leveraging live streams and shorter video clips.
Nonetheless, what remains true across platforms is that most customers want to complete their transactions with as few steps as possible. Merchants that make it more difficult to purchase something by only offering products through specific channels are sure to lose untold amounts of sales.
Therefore, sellers should integrate buying systems throughout their omnichannel eCommerce ecosystem by setting up a Facebook Shop, adding the appropriate products links in YouTube video descriptions, using Shoppable posts on Instagram and employing other methods to ensure that consumers are never more than a couple clicks away from a conversions.
That said, social platforms should not be the only destinations that retailers cater to as Amazon, eBay, Walmart and tons of other global marketplaces are available for retailers to set up shop and drive sales locally and internationally.
After all, much of the idea of omnichannel eCommerce is to have a solid presence on all the online destinations where customers hang out and shop.
However, it is also important to remember that omnichannel efforts do not live and die online exclusively, which leads us to our next point.
Utilizing Geolocation for Omnichannel eCommerce
One of the best and most personalized ways to leverage technology for omnichannel eCommerce marketing is to employ geolocation.
Through this methodology, retailers can increase their customer acquisition efforts and boost their audience size. In fact, as OptinMonster reports on location-based popups, “a recent study of location data use by Factual found that more than 80 percent of marketers use location-based data to personalize the customer experience and have gotten excellent results”–with 85 percent of those individuals reporting growth in their customer base.
Therefore, utilizing location targeting with Google Ads–which enables ads to only surface in certain geographic areas–allows brands to deliver highly-personalized omnichannel eCommerce experiences to those either in close proximity to a physical store or to those who live in the desired area to be targeted. Either way, the result is likely to be increased customer acquisition and a higher advertising ROI.
SEO Is an Omnichannel eCommerce Marketing Must
While it is critical for today’s retailers to be present on a variety of platforms and reach consumers through a myriad of channels, if shoppers don’t know that a merchant exists, their online presence is inconsequential.
Therefore, eCommerce SEO is pivotal to online store success as this discipline is what enables retailers to get their omnichannel eCommerce content, product pages and platform profiles in front of consumers at the moment they are looking for the type of solutions that sellers offer.
We cannot stress strongly enough how important this tactic is for customer acquisition efforts.
Illustrating this point, when BarkShop sought to enhance its SEO performance, than brand used contemporary search optimization tactics to increase the company’s total keywords by 172 percent and get BarkShop in the number one rank for “Dog Toys”–which has over 45,000 monthly searches.
Few things can drive customer acquisition efforts like this level of visibility.
Honestly, there is a lot that goes into enhancing a brand’s visibility in the SERPs. Not only must merchants do their due diligence with keyword research efforts, but it is also necessary to craft superior content, earn authoritative backlinks and conduct technical SEO audits, in addition to a myriad of other tasks.
However, for brands that are willing to put forth the time and energy to master this complex tactic as it relates to their omnichannel eCommerce strategy, the rewards are substantial.
That said, we understand that not all sellers have the resources to handle such efforts on their own. Therefore, for those who want to make the most out of their omnichannel efforts, connect with Visiture’s eCommerce SEO specialists for a free consultation to see how we can help your brand enhance its customer acquisition with greater SERP visibility.
Drive Omnichannel eCommerce with UGC
Social media is a prime component of any omnichannel eCommerce marketing strategy. Moreover, when it comes to customer acquisition, trust is a must.
Unfortunately, the online age has brought with it a low-trust society.
Effectively, this means that one of the most powerful endorsements that a brand can receive comes by way of user-generated content (UGC). Not only does UGC elevate SEO efforts, but it also is nearly unparalleled in lending companies credence, a prime component for customer acquisition.
Therefore, retailers should employ social media tools in their omnichannel eCommerce marketing blueprints to help drive and showcase user-generated content. For instance, services like Yotpo are a powerful UGC curation tool that enables brands to harvest such content and then redistribute it back to social users.
Using tools like Yotpo, retailers can generate high-intent traffic through UGCas a means of enhancing omnichannel eCommerce customer acquisition efforts.
For example, Yotpo client ThirdLove used the service to drive a referral program, ultimately boosting account creation by a whopping 400 percent in a mere three months.
Don’t Let Mobile Kill Your Omnichannel eCommerce Efforts
“According to data from Google Analytics from June to September 2017, over 40 percent of online transactions were made on mobile devices. Further, 46 percent of respondents in a December 2017 study from Google and consulting firm Heart+Mind Strategies said they prefer to use their smartphones for the entire purchase process.”
When it comes to omnichannel eCommerce strategies, retailers cannot afford to neglect the mobile experience. In fact, much of omnichannel eCommerce is driven by mobile interactions.
However, there is a downside to this: 57 percent of consumers will not recommend a brand to a friend if it does not provide a great customer experience via mobile. Moreover, 40 percent of consumers will head to a competing company’s website if the first site’s mobile experience is bad.
One of the greatest hindrances that retailers face in the mobile arena–particularly those who tout a sizable product catalog–is speed.
This is a massive problem, particularly when one considers that “53 percent of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load,” as the Google report states. As the company goes on to report, “[Google] found that as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123 percent.”
“42% of those who haven’t downloaded their favorite brand’s app have never considered downloading it…and 63% of people say that when a brand forces them to download an app to access a deal, they will typically delete it shortly thereafter.”
However, for those who are serious about ensuring that mobile serves their omnichannel eCommerce efforts instead of hindering them, progressive web apps (PWAs) are a fantastic ally.
In many ways, progressive web apps are the future of eCommerce. This technology takes the best elements of mobile websites and native applications to create a novel framework that looks and feels like a regular app, while still maintaining the discoverability and accessibility of a standard website.
With PWAs, consumers can find a store’s offerings through the SERPs and access a lightning-fast user experience, while sidestepping the need to download anything to their mobile devices. Through this approach, retailers can enhance their omnichannel eCommerce marketing strategy to new heights and gain a competitive edge over retailers who deploy slow-loading mobile sites or apps that users do not want to seek out and download.
Omnichannel marketing is not a tactic and it is not a trend. It is an evolution in eCommerce that is here to stay.
This transition in the eCommerce landscape integrates the totality of a brand’s online existence and pushes forward the altering expectations of how consumers shop online.
While omnichannel eCommerce marketing is not the easiest to execute in a competent and seamless manner, putting forth the added effort to build a unified approach brings massive rewards to retailers who successfully implement such a design.
Use the tips outlined above to enhance your omnichannel eCommerce customer acquisition strategy and gain a competitive edge over sellers who still wield a divided and singularly focused approach to online awareness and sales.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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