The Omnichannel Retailing Revolution: Building Digital Connections in a Physical World
One of the main goals of marketing is to understand customers better and predict their actions. This is even more important in omnichannel retail, where the digital connections blend with the brick-and-mortar experience.
To create a unified experience across digital media and the physical world, it’s crucial to structure anonymous traffic and create a “whole-person view.” Having connected all identifiers to a person, you can then make informed decisions regarding targeting, personalization, and ultimately the physical shopping experience.
This guide will explore the practical steps you can take to turn these insights into action.
Essential KPIs for an Omnichannel Marketing Approach
What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing?
What are the most important KPIs in omnichannel marketing for retailers?
You may be wondering, what is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing, and how do we measure these processes?
Multichannel marketing implies the ability to use multiple channels to reach your target audience. Omnichannel marketing takes this a step further, by creating a strategy and linking individual processes together in order to bridge online and offline marketing channels.
Omnichannel (and to some degree multichannel) marketing introduces several new challenges. The number of channels and contexts in which we communicate nowadays has grown to the point where it’s become increasingly difficult for retailers to keep a consistent image, personalize content, and integrate sales with marketing.
Nevertheless, the omnichannel paradigm shift is driven by three key concepts and their benefits: Consistency, Personalization, and Integration.
The ability to maintain a consistent customer experience, regardless of channel, platform, time, location, device, etc.
Delivering relevant content, on the right channels, at the right moment.
Coordinating campaigns across online marketing channels and physical locations to avoid a messy database and efficiently translate customer information into sales results.
Hence the rise of tools to systematize marketing efforts - marketing automation software, customer relationship management software, and customer data platforms. Many of these solutions focus on understanding customer behavior.
This is achieved by gathering information across online channels and the physical world and tying it to persistent records. It’s no easy challenge, especially in a hybrid digital-physical approach, as customer data is transient, and much of what we gather is difficult to attribute to identifiable customers.
Effective Ad Targeting for Omnichannel Shopping
Improving the quality of your data
Good targeting is always based on precise and structured information. In our experience, one of the significant challenges online retailers face is consolidating their datasets from across online channels and physical locations into a coherent and actionable source of information. If you have lots of low-quality data, it won’t be enough to target ads accurately.
Effective Ad Targeting is a Game of Scale
While the quality of part of the data gathered online is uncertain, monitoring traffic and interactions is a game of scale. You can further improve the quality o your data by collecting and integrating information collected from customers in physical locations, such as names and addresses from your loyalty program.
Improving Your Data Quality for Ad Targeting
Generally, the more control you have over the data, the higher the quality. And the best way to control the quality of your data is to gather it on physical and digital properties you own, e.g., your shop and your website. This way, it’s possible to create persistent IDs across multiple conversion points, fully control how visitors interact with your content, and access live insights beyond what 3rd party platforms have to offer.
Ad Networks and Targeting Options
Digital marketing platforms such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, use tracking cookies to monitor users’ actions, create anonymized profiles that link to their web browser or mobile ad ID, and make it possible to serve dynamic content. In almost every major advertising platform, you can target users based on:
Sociodemographic characteristics - age, gender, nationality, birthday, marital status, etc.
Location - determined based on IP addresses, location-based services, or data from mobile apps with location access. An excellent way to use location-based targeting is to recommend relevant businesses to people browsing products on their phones.
Behavior - user activity and interests. When someone visits your page, you can track what they interact with and how long they spend viewing pages. As you gather more information about each visitor, it becomes easier to serve them dynamic content on your website.
Customer lists - this is done by connecting your aggregated customer data like customer databases, email lists, etc., with the advertising network to take advantage of their online distribution and targeting.
When it comes to the performance of your omnichannel campaigns, it is influenced by several factors that are often tied to the specific advertising network. For example, Google automatically evaluates ad quality based on its expected click-through rate, the quality of the landing page, geographic performance, and the use of relevant keywords.
Some general advice to ensure good results is to:
Write relevant, specific, value-focused copy.
Research keywords and use only those that closely match your ad.
Compel viewers to act with a CTA.
What Can Be Tracked and Where?
Physical world interactions
Automatic on-site targeting - marketing automation systems can monitor how visitors respond to content and use this data to build a profile. This data can either be used to adapt the site live or later using CRM features e,g, to send personalized emails, offers, or abandoned carts.
Advertising networks - they display ads across many partner sites, giving them access to larger data sets that can be analyzed statistically.
Social media and app targeting - based on the behavior of users, likes, shares, and time spent viewing content, it is possible to create large-scale, highly targeted audiences. The advantage here is that social media and in-app accounts often last for years, unlike cookies.
Search engine targeting - most search engines track user activity and send this information (crucially, search queries and location) to power their parent company’s display networks. Famous examples include Alphabet’s Google Display Network and Microsoft’s Display Network for Bing and LinkedIn. One way to use this in practice is Remarketing Campaigns, which serve ads specific to the user who has previously been on a website, e.g., when searching for keywords related to a product or service. These ads “follow” users across the web, showing them relevant items to the ones they have looked at before, for example, accessories.
Suppose you leverage both online and offline spaces to sell and deliver goods. In that case, you may also utilize your brick-and-mortar network to collect data and enhance the information gathered from your online channels. This data can include names and email addresses of your customers, frequency of store visits, preferred physical shopping locations, and more. These data are easy to obtain from a loyalty program, and then use them to enrich the data gathered from your online properties.
Last but not least, you may be able to collect and associate online and real-world data by running specific marketing campaigns, for example, an online promotion that can be redeemed at a physical store with a QR code or mobile app.
Landing Page and Lead Form Personalization for Generating Leads
How to collect sales leads effectively
The role of dynamic personalization
As we see more and more high-value sales moving online, obtaining e-commerce sales, leads becomes of increasing importance. To run a successful lead generation campaign, you need good quality audience data for targeting and personalized forms for collecting your leads.
An effective way to collect leads is to use lead forms built into your advertising platforms, such as Linkedin or Facebook ads. These tools are easier to use and provide a more frictionless experience to prospects. However, these 3rd party lead gen forms give you less control over format, personalization, and tracking.
Bringing people to your site with ads and content is one thing though. You also need to convert visits into sales. While targeting ensures ads are relevant, you must still ensure the best possible user experience once visitors arrive. Modern perspectives in web design emphasize the need to optimize search experience. Your page should immediately provide what incoming visitors are looking for. If a step of your customers’ journey is confusing, bounce rates increase.
Be consistent between channels. Make sure your page follows the ad’s promise and keeps the same visual style and tone.
Use dynamic personalization. Many platforms utilize machine learning to enable reliable customer recognition and insights, giving you the tools to serve content that fits personal preferences. This solves the issue of fragmented or unattributable customer information we discussed before.
Make your website easy to use. Is your page structure intuitive? Are pages interconnected with internal links and tags? Is it mobile-friendly? Is your copy strict and to the point? Does your page raise privacy or safety concerns?
Create great content. Everyone knows it, but still, many businesses prioritize quantity over quality. Don’t waste your time and budget on average content because it doesn’t get noticed. Look at your competition and ask yourself how you can stand out in the visual presentation, communication, user experience. Find thought leaders in your audience and ask them for insights - what content would they like to see?
By creating a whole-person view, you can more easily identify customers and enhance your targeting and personalization efforts. Once your ads reach a well-targeted audience, your brand will become more visible, and marketing ROI will improve. The ultimate goal is to create the best possible customer experience while relying on precise, ethically sourced data.
Ready to take your omnichannel digital
marketing efforts to the next level?
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