What Does the Future of Omnichannel Marketing Look Like?

The future of omnichannel marketing is an emphasis on personalization, immersion, and flexibility, no matter where the interaction begins. 

What Does the Future of Omnichannel Marketing Look Like?
Katie Metz // Adriana Lacy Consulting

The term omni-channel marketing might sound like a buzzword, but it has pervaded the way we do business and shows no sign of slowing down. If your business is not reaching your audience through multiple channels with a consistent experience, you are missing out on the potential to provide a personalized approach to marketing that consumers want. 

Take note, there is a difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing. Both take advantage of multiple channels, however, omnichannel refers to the use of consistent messaging across channels. This is important because your goal should be to provide a seamless, personalized experience. 

Whether on a website, in-store, through social media, apps, or email, providing a seamless experience is at the forefront of omnichannel marketing. 

What are some omnichannel trends and what can we look forward to in the future?

With rising costs of advertising, some predict that a return to brick and mortar storefronts are on the horizon. This includes both traditional storefronts and pop-ups. According to Google’s online survey, about 80% of consumers will shop in-store if there is an item they want or need and 94% of customers are still shopping in physical stores. 

The future of retail sees a convergence of online and offline channels. This means that retailers will continue to incorporate methods to encourage customers to purchase online and pick-up in store, or place in-store orders to be shipped to home.   

Look for an increase in showrooming. While over 218 million consumers shop online, the desire to handle a product, test it, and get an in-person experience, is strong. Shoppers want to feel engaged in their community.  

What’s different about today’s showroom is the opportunity to provide an immersive experience. Take IKEA, for example. Two showrooms, one in Shanghai and one in Vienna, offer places to relax with friends and a cafe for refreshment. In addition, customers can visit the “Maker’s Hub” and receive help fixing broken products or making new ones. 

Sensory branding is another example of an in-store immersive experience. While some stores, like Abercrombie and Fitch, have been using this method to entice its customers for years, other retailers are catching on and using personalized scents and sound when visitors enter the store. 

Augmented and virtual reality are next in line. For those who shop online, being able to physically examine an item before purchase is off the table. But with AR, customers can use an app to “try on” an item to see what it will look like. Using computer generated elements brands can superimpose an item using AR software and a mobile device. One example is Adidas, where it is possible to virtually “try on” a pair of shoes to see what they look like on your feet.

If the thought of providing a seamless experience across all channels sounds intimidating, consider utilizing a service provider. Check out the ratings of multiple omnichannel customer support startups here.  By controlling your customer interactions from mobile, social media, and email, to name a few, a user might begin on social media, transfer to text, then complete the communication by phone. 

Above all, your audience wants to be met where they are, whether that’s in-store, online, through email, or social media. If they receive an email about an in-store sale with personalized recommendations, they want the option to purchase online and pick-up in store, or vice versa, all the while, every channel is in sync with their wants and needs. 

The future of omnichannel marketing is an emphasis on personalization, immersion, and flexibility, no matter where the interaction begins. 

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