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Omnichannel eCommerce explained in 5 minutes

Marketing
Olena Teselko

In recent years, omnichannel has become a buzzword in marketing and commerce, a trend many want to follow, but only a few know how to do right. 

This article covers everything you need, from the omnichannel eCommerce definition to tips on implementing it into your strategy.

What is omnichannel eCommerce?

Omnichannel eCommerce is an approach to delivering a seamless shopping experience across many online and offline channels such as websites, mobile apps, AR, VR, chatbots, brick-and-mortar stores, and so on.

Omnichannel vs multichannel: what is the difference? 

These approaches are frequently confused, as they appear similar at first glance. Let us dig deeper into their meaning and use cases. 

Multichannel eCommerce

A multichannel approach aims to provide customers with various channels to interact with the brand. For example, you can buy on the website, in the store, or via Instagram. However, each channel operates separately, and no consumer behavior data is shared between them. Typically, brands select a few best-performing channels for specific audiences and tailor their offers to each group and channel.

Omnichannel eCommerce

The omnichannel strategy, on the other hand, links all channels to offer a consistent brand experience. Customers can explore products on the website, see targeted ads on Google or social media, click on them, and purchase via a mobile device. The main idea is that all experiences would be tailored based on the user's activity.

Why is everyone so concerned about the omnichannel approach? 

The simple answer is it is helpful for everyone. Consumers benefit from a flawless buying experience at every step of the customer journey. Retailers get more chances to grasp consumers' attention at each step, device, or channel and, as a result, increase their profits. 

According to research by Klarna, most consumers (89%) use multiple channels to search and purchase. In addition to shopping online, some people browse products online and then visit brick-and-mortar stores to buy them. With this, it's crucial to maintain the same experience across all the possible touchpoints to satisfy client's needs and meet their expectations. 

However, while users easily switch between search engines, retailers' websites, apps, or physical stores, most retailers struggle to provide consistency across all channels. 

Explanation of how omnichannel ecommerce works.

3 benefits of omnichannel eCommerce

Here are three things that you will get after embracing the omnichannel commerce:

  1. Increased revenues. Being able to buy where it's more comfortable, customers spend more. 
  2. Better retention. Clients are more inclined to buy from the same seller again after a successful purchase.
  3. Improved customer service. The more online and offline channels consumers can use to connect with the brand, the more comfortable and delighted they feel.

3 steps to a working omnichannel eCommerce strategy

So, how exactly can you achieve all the improvements this approach offers? There are three main things to consider:

1. Running omnichannel marketing

Modern consumers are overwhelmed by the wide choice of brands and products, making the market highly competitive. This forces brands to invent new approaches to stay ahead of the competition.

In omnichannel marketing, the main point, as you might guess, is using all the possible channels a company possesses to create and deliver a consistent consumer experience at each marketing funnel stage.

2. Delivering personalized content

According to Deloitte, consumers expect brands to create consistent, memorable, and customized experiences. It should include personalized content delivered across all the touchpoints and matching the brand promise. 

Retailers can customize the content delivered to various audiences based on their previous behavior and preferences. For example, to create a personalized experience, you can suggest similar items to what consumers viewed but did not purchase. Or you can generate customized offers based on demographics, purchase history, registration date, and other customer interactions.

By creating content that resonates with the audiences, brands are more likely to build an emotional connection with them. 

3. Picking the proper channels

Choosing the right channels is also important. Depending on the audience and its preferences, companies typically select only those platforms where consumers spend more time and engage with brand communication. 

On the other hand, to remain competitive, retailers should also pay attention to new rising channels that might not be so popular yet. For example, they can set up VR and AR campaigns or provide the option to buy using a voice assistant like Amazon's Alexa. That will add a unique twist to your omnichannel marketing strategy and help you grab consumers' attention and claim the niche.

CASE STUDY:

Read how CHRONEXT built and developed their mobile application prototype in just 7 weeks. Now they are able to deliver omnichannel user experience and build customized user journeys.

How can a headless CMS help deliver an omnichannel experience?

A headless CMS is a content management system with decoupled front and back ends communicating via APIs. Marketers benefit from the headless approach since they can now easily plan and develop omnichannel marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, content management becomes simplified, too – you no longer have to deal with multiple isolated content silos as everything is stored in a central content hub.

hint:

You can find more details about headless CMS here.

Post content wherever you want

Content management has traditionally been a struggle for retailers, as they must handle and deliver massive amounts of content daily. 

Meanwhile, the omnichannel eCommerce strategy also requires repurposing this content across multiple channels, making it even more time- and resource-consuming. Typically, marketers or content teams have to manually post each content item and adjust it according to various frontends. Often, that requires help from the developers. 

However, using a headless CMS such as Storyblok makes this process easier and faster. How? Sounds like magic, but you can publish any content across multiple channels (frontends) simultaneously. In other words, it goes omnichannel.

omnichannel eCommerce content management explained from the technical side.

Tech side of the eCommerce content management

Localize content

Apart from simultaneously publishing content on different platforms, there is one more critical aspect of the omnichannel experience – the possibility to localize content, which is essential for global retail. 

According to Shopify's global purchasing statistics, approximately 65 percent of customers prefer content in their native language, even if the translation is imperfect. At the same time, 40% of consumers will not purchase if there is no information in their language at all.

Storyblok supports both multi-language and multi-country content, allowing brands to scale in new markets flawlessly. In other words, companies can not only easily translate content, but also repurpose it on their international platforms. 

Sync multiple tools via API 

Since CMS itself is not enough to create a storefront, you need to connect it to an eCommerce system. Usually, this process is rather long and as you need to make sure that all technologies will work together. Thanks to its API-first approach, Storyblok makes it relatively easy to sync various tools to get all the functionality needed for each project, no matter if you build a website or a mobile app.

Here is a list of the omnichannel eCommerce platforms compatible with Storyblok:

Users can also set up integrations with various tools and platforms, including CRM or DMP systems, messaging apps, etc. 

There are no limitations on how many tools you want to integrate into your project. With that, you can build an efficient and collaborative omnichannel system without worries.

How to expand the omnichannel capabilities of your eCommerce project?

If you plan to scale your eCommerce store, it's crucial to pick the technology stack that will meet the following requirements:

  • increase the performance of the project
  • be easy to maintain or upgrade over time
  • can be used by multiple teams within the organization

As a headless CMS, Storyblok meets all these requirements and allows you to create an omnichannel experience for your customers through the API-first approach. 

Feel interested but think it's time-consuming? You might be surprised, but it took Marc O'Polo only 2 days to build a prototype using Storyblok!