A Full Guide to Ecommerce Multichannel Marketing
As an eCommerce business, it's important to understand that your customers are not loyal to any channel. In fact, 73% of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey so having a strong presence on all the major channels is essential to reaching your target market.
One of the most effective methods to do this is to adopt a multichannel strategy. Not quite sure what that is? Don’t fret. We're giving you the 411 on all things multichannel marketing, from the basics to real-world examples.
So grab yourself a cup of coffee, and let's get started!
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing is the process of using multiple channels to reach your target market. This could include online channels like your website and social media to offline channels like print ads and direct mail. The important thing to remember is that each channel should work together to create a cohesive customer experience.
Let's say you're an eCommerce business selling premium coffee from around the world. You might use a combination of the following channels to reach your target market:
- Your website: This is where customers can learn more about your product and make a purchase.
- Search engine marketing (SEM): You can use SEM to drive traffic to your website through paid ads on Google and other search engines.
- Social media: You can use social media marketing to build relationships with potential and current customers and promote your product.
- Email marketing: You can use email marketing to stay in touch with potential and current customers and drive traffic to your website.
As you can see, each channel plays a different but important role in the customer journey. And when used together, they can create a seamless and cohesive experience. Combined with other areas of your business such as customer service, sales, and inventory management planning, you will ultimately be able to make more sales for your business.
Why should you adapt multichannel marketing in your eCommerce strategy?
There are a number of reasons why you should consider implementing an eCommerce multichannel marketing strategy, including:
It helps establish the brand in different channels with different target markets and interests
Different audiences have different needs, so it only makes sense to use different channels to reach them. For example, if you're trying to reach millennials, you'll probably want to use social media as your primary channel. On the other hand, if you're trying to reach baby boomers, you might want to focus on offline channels like direct mail or print ads.
It offers the consumers the freedom to choose where to shop
In today's digital world, consumers have more choices than ever before. They can research products online, buy them in-store, or even purchase them through a mobile app. This means that you need to be present on all the channels that your target market is using since this is how consumers view advertising. Otherwise, you risk losing potential sales.
It provides side-by-side channel insight on what to improve and what to avoid
By using multiple channels, you can get a better understanding of what's working and what's not. For example, if you see that your social media campaign is driving more traffic to your website but not resulting in many sales, you might want to rethink your strategy. On the other hand, if you see that your email marketing campaign is driving a lot of sales, you'll know that it's worth investing more time and resources.
The Proven Effects of Multichannel Marketing
We've talked about what multichannel marketing is and why you should use it, but what about the results? Is it really worth the effort?
The answer is a resounding yes! But don't just take our word for it. Let's take a look at some statistics that prove the effectiveness of multichannel marketing.
Companies that use multichannel marketing experience a 3x higher effectiveness rate than those that do not. And it's not just businesses that are seeing results.
Consumers are also benefiting from multichannel marketing. In fact, 72% of consumers say they prefer to connect with businesses through various marketing channels.
How to achieve the same results on your multichannel marketing strategy
So now that you know the definition of multichannel marketing and its benefits, how can you make sure you're using it effectively? Here are a few tips:
Prioritize your customer experience
No matter what channels you're using, always keep the customer experience in mind. This means making sure that your website is easy to navigate, your social media posts are engaging, and your emails are relevant and timely.
Consider including personalization in your email marketing as these details can make all the difference. In fact, 52% of consumers say that this improves their opinion of a brand, encouraging them to engage with your products or services.
Make sure your website is fast to load as this can have a huge impact on your customer experience. If it takes longer than three seconds your bounce rate could reach as high as 90%, as customers feel frustrated and potentially move to your competitors.
Also, limit the number of unnecessary clicks on your website and simplify the checkout process. The aim is to make your website as clear and easy-to-use as possible.
Ensure consistency in all your efforts
One of the most important aspects of multichannel marketing is consistency. This means making sure that your brand's message and voice are consistent across all channels. If your customers see one thing on your website and another on your social media, they're going to get confused and may not purchase from you.
Before launching your multichannel marketing campaign layout clear guidelines including the color palette you’re going to use, your brand’s tone and personality, the type of graphics you want to include, and fonts you aim to use. This will help your team maintain consistency when developing content.
Another way to help with this is to create templates for your different channels. This will not only help you present a uniform image but will also speed up the content creation process.
Always evaluate how your content is being received by your prospects so you can identify what is working and what isn’t. A social listening tool could be useful here as it allows you to understand whether you’re truly delivering a consistent experience.
Create a workflow or buyer's journey
Depending on your business, you might want to consider creating a workflow or buyer's journey. This is basically a map that outlines the steps a customer takes from being aware of your product to purchasing it. By having a clear understanding of this process, you'll be able to create a more seamless and effective multichannel marketing strategy.
If you can map out your customer’s journey you can create targeted marketing content for each of the different stages, guiding your buyer through your sales funnel.
For potential buyers in the awareness stage of their journey you could create SEO optimized blog posts that answer questions they may have. Reviews on your website or video testimonials on social media could be great approaches for the consideration stage. And, for the decision stage, promoting a free trial or sample could make all the difference when it comes to convincing buyers to make a purchase.
Use CRM software to target prospects
CRM (customer relationship management) software can be incredibly helpful when it comes to targeting prospects. This type of software allows you to track customer interactions and behavior, so you can better understand their needs and wants. Additionally, it can help you segment your customers so you can target them more effectively with your marketing efforts.
Develop a campaign or email series
When you're first getting started with multichannel marketing, it's important to develop a campaign or email series. This will help you get your feet wet and see what works and what doesn't. Additionally, it'll allow you to gauge customer reaction and make necessary adjustments before you launch a full-scale campaign.
How to measure the effectiveness of your Multichannel marketing efforts
Your metrics will differ depending on your business goals. However, there are a few key metrics you should always keep in mind, such as:
Identify your channels
The first step is to identify which channels are bringing you the most traffic and conversion. You can do this by looking at your eCommerce website analytics and social media insights. Once you know which channels are performing well, you can focus your efforts on these platforms. The average company uses 3 or 4 different marketing channels.
Identifying the right marketing channels and measuring their performance might be a challenge without proper skills and tools. An eCommerce marketing data platform can keep you updated about metrics across all channels in real-time mode and display them on a holistic dashboard.
Tools such as Improvado integrate with over 300+ marketing and sales channels to automatically extract performance data, normalize it, and present it in an easily-digestible way.
Determine conversion rate
Your conversion rate will give you a good idea of how effective your multichannel marketing strategy is. If you're not seeing a high conversion rate, it's likely that you're not using the right mix of channels or you're not targeting your audience effectively. The average conversion rate for eCommerce businesses is 2.63%, so if you're not meeting this benchmark, there's room for improvement.
Determine customer retention rate
Believe it or not, retention rate is more important than conversion rate. Why? Because it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
If you're not retaining your customers, you're going to have to constantly be spending money on acquiring new ones, which is not sustainable in the long run. Companies that enable multichannel marketing experience report 3 times higher effectiveness rate than those that do not.
Keeping an eye on customer retention rate, churn rate, monthly recurring revenue, and other metrics might be a time suck. That’s why we’ve prepared 12 marketing dashboard templates that will help you track eCommerce marketing metrics across different channels, whether you’re selling on your own website, Amazon, social media, or any other platform.
Determine abandonment rate
Why are customers abandoning their carts? This is an important question to ask because it can help you pinpoint where there are issues in your sales funnel. If you have a high abandonment rate, it's likely that you're not providing enough value, or you're not making the purchase process easy enough. The average cart abandonment rate for eCommerce businesses is 69.81%.
Determine channel attribution
In order to properly attribute your sales, you need to have a clear understanding of your customer's journey. Channel attribution will help you understand which channels are most effective at driving conversions.
The most common attribution model is the last-click model, which gives 100% of the credit to the last channel the customer interacted with before converting. However, this model is not always accurate, which is why it's important to experiment with different attribution models to see what works best for your business.
Plus, you have to keep in mind that cookie-based analytics is going away. New privacy policies from governments and tech companies restrict access to third-party data and significantly reduce cookies’ capabilities.
That’s why cookieless attribution is gaining momentum with each day. Instead of using third-party cookies, proficient marketers tend to use first-party data and switch to privacy-first tracking solutions such as FingerprintJS.
Since Google has announced that it will block all third-party cookies by the end of 2023, marketers need to think of cookieless attribution beforehand, so as not to redesign it later.
👣 Learn more about cookieless tracking in our guide featuring senior digital marketing analytics expert.👣
A deeper look into the Ecommerce multichannel reporting
As touched on earlier, e-commerce multichannel reporting is the process of combining data analysis from multiple sources or channels into a single location. This is done in order to get a more holistic view of the customer journey and to understand how customers interact with your brand.
There are a few different ways you can go about doing this, but the most common method is to use a data warehouse. A data warehouse is a centralized repository of all your data from your eCommerce platform, CRM, marketing automation software, and more.
For example, let's say you have an online store and a brick-and-mortar location. You can use data from your eCommerce platform to track online sales and data from your POS system to track in-store sales. By combining this data, you can get a complete picture of your sales.
Once you have all your data in one place, you can start generating reports that will give you insights into your customers' behavior. For example, you can see which channels are driving the most traffic and which ones are resulting in the most sales. You can also track customer lifetime value and calculate your customer acquisition costs.
Multichannel marketing in real-world situations to inspire you
Want to see how other businesses are using multichannel marketing to drive results? Here are a few examples of multichannel marketing.
Sephora is a great example of a company that's using multichannel marketing to drive results. The beauty giant has an omnichannel approach that includes a loyalty program, mobile app, and in-store experience.
By offering a loyalty program, Sephora is able to track customer behavior and preferences. This data is then used to personalize the customer experience, both in-store and online. For example, if a customer frequently buys eyeliner through the mobile app, they might see targeted ads for mascara or eye cream.
Sephora is also using their mobile app to drive results. The app is an OMS software which allows customers to checkout and pay for their beauty products without even entering a store. This also provides another channel to promote new products and make recommendations.
Finally, Sephora has worked hard to develop their in-store experience. They offer a wide variety of different services and regularly hold events, combining the experience of a shop with that of a beauty spa.
Another great multichannel marketing example is Amazon. The eCommerce giant has a platform that includes a marketplace, Prime membership, and physical stores.
Amazon uses its marketplace to reach customers on multiple channels. In addition to the website, there's also an app and even a TV streaming service. This allows Amazon to reach customers where they are, whether they're at home on the couch or on the go.
Its Prime membership program provides exclusive benefits to members. These benefits include free shipping, streaming services, and more. This program helps to keep customers coming back to Amazon, as well as drives new sign-ups.
Finally, Amazon has physical stores in select cities. These stores allow customers to try out products before they buy them. They can also pick up items that they've ordered online. This helps to drive sales and provides a more convenient experience for customers.
Nike is another great example of a company using multichannel marketing to reach customers. The athletic apparel giant has a platform that includes a website, mobile app, and physical stores.
The brand uses its website to reach customers on multiple channels. In addition to the website, there's also an app and even a TV streaming service. This allows Nike to reach customers where they are, whether they're at home on the couch or on the go.
They also created a loyalty program that provides exclusive benefits to members. These benefits include free shipping, discounts, and more. This program helps to keep customers coming back to Nike, as well as driving new sign-ups.
Finally, Nike has physical stores in select cities. These stores allow customers to try on products before they buy them. They can also pick up items that they've ordered online. This helps to drive sales and provides a more convenient experience for customers.
The right multichannel marketing strategy accelerates your growth in the long run
By now, you should have a good understanding of what it is, how it works, and how you can use it to drive results for your business.
Remember, an eCommerce multichannel marketing approach is essential for any business that wants to succeed in the modern world. Customers expect to be able to interact with businesses through multiple channels, and if you're not meeting their expectations, they will take their business elsewhere.
Good luck and happy marketing!