What was our biggest takeaway from IRCE 2018? Easy: while we’ve always discussed omnichannel retail strategies, it’s finally the most pressing topic discussed among industry experts, marketers, and sales professionals. Customers are demanding to have options in stores, on their computers, and most of all, on their mobile phones.
The most successful omnichannel retailers have figured out the solution to this intimidating challenge: you must bridge the gap between channels. Whether they’re creating pop-up shops you can purchase from with your phone, accepting the most modern and recognizable forms of digital payment, or providing seriously advanced services like 3D-printing to order on their website, you can bet top retailers are exploring the easiest ways to connect all of their channels to create one cohesive marketing strategy.
Of course, the obvious Shopgate solution here is to use a mobile app to connect the dots between your channels. Despite our never-ending enthusiasm for apps, we recognize there are other steps you have to take to fully construct and execute an omnichannel strategy. In the spirit of assisting our clients and partners in marketing, we wanted to share the two steps to a successful omnichannel experience we learned at IRCE 2018.
Step #1: Solidify a team that can envision, craft, and execute an omnichannel strategy. What this team looks like will vary wildly from company to company, but we highly recommend finding team members with the following traits:
- Initiative to find innovative connections between channels
- The ability to structure a community that involves all channel teams—offline, online, and in developing business objectives
- An attitude that doesn’t allow for teams to fight over channel attribution
- Excitement to improve customer experiences across all channels
- Eagerness to set and meet KPI goals that are based on business objectives before channel objectives
Step #2: Eat, sleep, breathe, and live the technology required for multiple channels. Buy and partner with the best channel deployment tech you can afford. Take advantage of the customer data you have, and find out how to mine more. Use this data to segment your customers so you can send them both personalized and automated messaging. Analyze customer responses to messaging, and use that to inform your next steps as you start establishing new channels and reaching across channels.
How do you translate customer behavior into an omnichannel marketing strategy? Consider the following:
- Which channels are bringing in the most and the least revenue?
- Are you using a content management system to keep track of all of your written work, designs, and webpages?
- Do you have the resources to continue to support your worst-performing channels?
- How does it all knit together? Examples: Do your social media campaigns directly drive app downloads? Does your email marketing drive traffic to your pop-up stores? Do digital tools in your brick-and-mortar stores draw in shoppers who are already app loyalists, or do they encourage more downloads?
- What are your next channels you eventually want to tackle? Do you want to employ artificial intelligence and voice-powered technology to attract your trendiest and most up-to-date customers? When can you work toward that?
We’ll be perfectly honest—we didn’t expect to leave Texas to learn a new two-step dance in Chicago! But we found the knowledge presented at IRCE to be invaluable—and we cannot wait to share more with you as we help you grow as a retailer and an omnichannel marketer.
Want to know how a mobile app can connect the dots in your omnichannel strategy?
Request a demo today!
Author: Casey Gannon
Vice President of Marketing | Casey is an experienced tech marketer, driven to develop marketing strategies that blend traditional techniques with emerging technology. With over ten years of experience in mobile, she believes that mobile apps are the modern solution in helping retailers directly connect with and impact consumers. When she's not looking ahead to the next opportunity, Casey is a busy mom, soccer player and adjunct professor at her alma mater, St. Edward's University.