Multi-Channel Marketing: How To Create a Winning Plan To Be Everywhere at Once
Is it really worth it for your company to adopt multi-channel marketing? Do companies benefit from providing multiple marketing and sales channels?
The short answer to all these questions is YES. Read on to find out why you should be there where your customers are.
I. What is Multi-Channel Marketing?
What does multichannel mean? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like. It is marketing to customers across multiple channels.
Companies use social media now more than ever to reach customers in a way that is convenient for them. This can include a number of channels:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Direct marketing
- Television marketing
- Push notifications
With the rise of technology, marketing strategies have had to shift over the past couple of decades. Customers are on the go and want to consume information where they are and through the channel of their choice. This has opened up more places that companies can advertise to their potential customers.
Expanding your marketing efforts to new channels is not only beneficial for you but for your customers as well. Take JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores, for instance. They utilize direct marketing to send out their coupons, as well as email marketing and push notifications via their app.
The customer has the option to save the coupon on their app as well as using the coupon that was mailed to them. When they are in the store, they have access to both coupons.
In addition, if they forget the physical coupon, they have the digital coupon to use.
If they are making an online purchase on the app, they can automatically have the coupon applied to their purchase.
The customer also has the option to pick up the item in-store or have it shipped to their home.
The app will remind them through push notifications that their coupon is about to expire, giving the customer incentive to go in-store or online to make a purchase.
The strategy used by the JOANN Fabric and Craft can be equally implemented by any eCommerce business powered by X-Cart. From sending in-app push notifications to using email marketing, the shopping platform will help you warm up your leads using various marketing channels and deal with the technical stuff.
II. Pros and Cons of Multi-Channel Marketing
You may be on the fence about whether to embark on a multi-channel marketing strategy. However, as with anything, there are always benefits and challenges. Let’s look into both:
Benefits of multi-channel retailing
ZoomInfo compiled a list of 57 Essential Multichannel Marketing Statistics that is worth checking out in whole.
- 50% of multi-channel marketers say they usually or always hit their financial targets.
- 13% more is spent by consumers who research purchases in advance.
- Customer satisfaction is 23x higher in companies with omni-channel engagement strategies.
- Customers on the receiving end of multi-channel campaigns spend 10% more than those who aren’t.
- 89% of customers are retained by companies with omni-channel engagement strategies.
There are a few more advantages of launching a multi-channel eCommerce business. Among them are:
- Reaching customers that would not normally have access to your products.
- Customers can have the convenience of shopping where and when they want.
- BOPIS customers are more likely to make additional sales when in-store to pick up their items.
- More channels for increased revenue.
Challenges of multi-channel retailing
Of course, there are some disadvantages of multi-channel marketing.
- 45% of marketers feel they lack the necessary talent, technology, and processes to master omni-channel brand marketing.
- 11% of marketers say it’s difficult to roll out multichannel campaigns.
- 45% of consumers believe retailers don’t deliver multi-channel experiences fast enough.
- 61% of customers have not been able to easily switch from one channel to another when interacting with customer service.
- 23% of marketers cite lack of time and resources as a major barrier to implementing multi-channel marketing.
Among the biggest challenges of multi-channel retailing are:
- Creating and maintaining an online store.
- Shipping and purchasing shipping supplies.
- Extra time with bookkeeping.
One of the most important aspects of a retail business is to keep up with inventory management. This is why an integrated marketing system that automates your orders, inventory, product, shipping, and customer data in real-time is key to make sure your multi-channel strategy works as needed.
To make the process easier for retailers, we teamed up with nChannel so you can connect X-Cart with your ERP and accounting systems. So, really X-Cart takes out the challenges that come with multi-channel retail.
III. What is a Multi-Channel Business and Why Should You Care?
Multi-channel businesses have been around longer than you probably even realize.
Do you remember ordering out of a JCPenney or Sears catalog if they didn’t have what you were looking for in-store? Well, my friend, that is a multichannel business utilizing multiple sales channels. With the advancement in technology and smartphones, we browse, compare, shop, and purchase across multiple channels of shopping on a regular basis these days.
Adapting to the change from single-channel to multi-channel shopping is going to be key for the survival and growth of retail, and our solution advisors have your back.
With X-Cart, selling on multiple sales channels is a piece of cake. A whole library of native integrations with Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and other marketplaces will let you sync inventory and orders across multiple platforms.
If you are looking to focus on the Amazon side of things, Seller Labs can help you with that.
Why Use Multi-Channel Marketing?
Marketing Sherpa conducted a survey in 2015 asking customers what their preferred channel of communication is to be marketed to.
They not only found that email was the preferred communication preference by most, but that the preferred method of contact varied depending on age range.
Customers today are looking for unique shopping and marketing experiences that are tailored to their specific preferences.
Companies that use multi-channel marketing and sales are more likely to have repeat customers that spend more in their stores. So really, it is a win-win scenario for you and your customers.
IV. How Does Multi-Channel Marketing Differ From Omni-Channel Marketing?
Like multi-channel marketing, the holy grail of multi-channel businesses is omni-channel, and the two go hand in hand.
The whole experience centers around the customer experience.
The key thing to keep in mind, though, is that what works for some may not work well for your business.
Each company that wants to take on an omni-channel experience for its customers is going to have to really take a look at what their customers want and then implement those strategies for their marketing and sales. It may take a few tries before you find the right fit, but in the long run, it is worth it.
What is Omnichannel Marketing? Definition, Myths & Examples
V. How to Start a Multi-Channel eCommerce Store With X-Cart
With the increase in people shopping in multiple channels, it is important now more than ever for retailers to provide an eCommerce platform for customers to shop on. X-Cart enterprise-level solution gives you all the right tools and resources to create a high-performing online store that fits your unique business needs.
You can easily choose from one of the existing templates or have X-Cart experts custom build your online store for you.
How to Create a Multi-Channel Online Store In A Few Steps
Here are some basic steps to get your multi-channel store online:
- I suggest that you start your journey to eCommerce success with this definitive guide. It will walk you through the very first steps to opening an online store.
- Then, schedule a personal demo with one of X-Cart’s solution advisors and have all your questions answered.
- Install apps that are applicable to your business on your site.
- When the store is live, make sure you include amazing pictures of your products and create detailed descriptions, as that’s what online shoppers are looking for in the first place.
As you expand your business to multiple channels, your processes will become more complicated. You may also want to take advantage of a workflow management software that will help you and your team manage recurring workflows and eliminate errors.
Ready to Tap Into Multi-Channel Way of Selling?
Schedule a personal demo with one of our experts to discuss all the ins and outs of your eCommerce business and get a detailed plan for becoming a multi-channel hero.
VI. Will Customers Want to Contact Me on Multiple Channels?
The answer to this is yes.
Adopting a multi-channel communication strategy is a great way to provide superior customer experiences for people who shop with you in-store and online.
Customers want to feel like they can have a personalized experience with you, whether it is in the actual shopping experience or if they have questions that need to be answered.
This is especially important if the customer is having a less than ideal experience with your store.
Making it easier for the customer to contact you may mean a little more leg work on your end, but you can also use this to your advantage by offering ways of communication that you prefer as well.
Here are some examples of different channels of communication you can offer to your customers:
Depending on where your customer base is located, other communication platforms might be good options to offer your customers.
For example, according to a survey done in 2018 by The Market Intelligence Blog, Line Messenger is the preferred method of communication in Thailand and Japan, while WeChat is number 1 in China.
It is important to not only offer multi-channel communications to your customers but make sure they are lines of communication that not only works well for them but for you as well.
This also goes for how customers want to be marketed to.
So Where Do I Go From Here?
Giving customers multiple channels on all levels of your business, including marketing, is the ideal consumer experience that customers are starting to expect.
If you are looking to branch out your business and increase your return on investment, the next step would be to evaluate ways you can move your business from single-channel to multi-channel.
Having a hard time going multi-channel? Let us know in the comments below.
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Christina Frey is a Marketing Associate with Kliken based out of Tampa Bay, Florida. When she isn’t helping Kliken Unleash the Marketing, you can find her enjoying a great movie or in the kitchen trying a new recipe.