Omnichannel eCommerce explained in 5 minutes
In recent years, omnichannel has become a buzzword in marketing and commerce overall, a trend that many want to follow but only a few know how to do right. We'll get through the basics and move to tips on how to implement an omnichannel strategy into your business.
What is omnichannel eCommerce?
Omnichannel eCommerce is an approach to online sales that assumes delivering a seamless shopping experience across multiple online channels such as websites, mobile apps, wearables, AR, VR, chatbots, 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.
The goal of a multichannel approach is to provide customers with a variety of channels via which they can interact with the brand. You can, for example, buy on the website, in the actual store, or via Instagram. However, each of these channels operates independently, and no data about consumer behavior is shared between them. Typically, brands select a few channels that perform best for specific audiences and tailor their offers to each group and channel.
The omnichannel strategy, on the other hand, links all channels to offer a consistent experience. Customers can explore products on the website, then they are shown targeted ads on Google or social media, they click on them and end up purchasing via the mobile app. 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?
Customers benefit primarily from a flawless buying experience at every stage of their buyer journey. Retailers, on the other hand, can get more chances to grasp consumers' attention at each stage, device, or channel and as a result, increase their profits.
According to research by Klarna, the majority of consumers (89%) use multiple channels to search and purchase. In addition to online shopping, some people browse products online and then visit brick-and-mortar shops to buy them. Hereby, it's crucial to maintain the same experience across all the possible touchpoints to satisfy client's needs and meet their expectations.
Users now easily switch between search engines, retailers' websites, apps, or physical stores. Meanwhile, only a few retailers can provide a seamless experience and consistency across all the channels.
In a nutshell, the benefits of the omnichannel strategy are:
Increased revenues. Being able to buy where it's more comfortable, customers spend more.
Better retention. Clients are more inclined to buy from the same seller again after a successful purchase.
Improved customer service. The more channels consumers can use to get in touch with the brand, the more comfortable and delighted they feel.
What is omnichannel marketing for eCommerce?
Since modern consumers are overwhelmed by the wide choice of brands and products, the market has become highly competitive, forcing marketers to invent new approaches to stay ahead of the competition.
Talking about omnichannel marketing, the main point here, as you might guess, is using all the possible channels that a company possesses to create and deliver a consistent consumer experience at each stage of the marketing funnel.
According to Deloitte, consumers expect that brands would create consistent, memorable, and relevant experiences. It should include personalized content delivered across all the touchpoints and matching the brand promise. By creating content that resonates with the audiences, brands are more likely to build an emotional connection with them.
Another crucial thing to consider is choosing the channels where your eCommerce store should be present. Depending on the audience and its preferences, brands typically select only those platforms where their consumers spend more time and engage with brand communication. On the other hand, to win the competition, retailers should also pay attention to new channels, especially those that are still not that popular but promising. Setting up campaigns that use VR and AR, or providing the option to buy using a voice assistant like Amazon's Alexa, will not only add a unique twist to your marketing mix but will also help you grab consumers' attention and claim the niche.
Storyblok helps marketers easily manage content and be sure the communication is unified and consistent across all digital channels. They 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 personalized offers based on demographics, purchase history, registration date, and so on.
How can a headless CMS help deliver an omnichannel experience?
A headless CMS refers to a content management system with decoupled front and back ends that communicate via APIs. Marketers benefit from the headless approach since they can now easily plan and develop omnichannel 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.
You can find more details on what headless CMS is in our dedicated article.
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. When you submit any kind of content, it will be published across multiple channels (frontends) all at once, or in other words, it goes omnichannel.
Apart from simultaneously publishing content on different platforms, there is one more important 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 it is not perfectly translated. 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 requires a lot of attention in terms of compatibility between all the technologies involved. 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 eCommerce providers compatible with Storyblok:
Apart from that users can set up integrations with various tools and platforms including CRM or DMP systems, messaging apps, and so on. You can find a list of ready-to-use integrations following the link, or ask your dev team to sync any other solutions via API.
There are no limitations on how many tools you want to integrate into your project that allows you to 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 increase the performance of the project, be easy to maintain or upgrade over time, and can be used by multiple teams within the organization. As a headless CMS, Storyblok meets all these requirements and allows you to create a truly omnichannel experience for your customers due to 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!