By Chris on Mar 15, 2018 6:54:51 PM
Multichannel marketing allows your customers to check your products and services using their most preferred ways of shopping, whenever, and wherever they feel like buying from your store. Although it's a complicated and lengthy process to implement this marketing strategy, its primary goal is defying: to have your clients just a click away from your business.
Mostly, this tricky process takes time because it implies a full understanding of your buyer personas, the networks they’re using, and how they operate. Here’s a brief guide on what is multi-channel marketing, and how you can make it work for your business!
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing is the implementation of a single marketing strategy, by which companies interact with customers via multiple channels, both direct and indirect, to sell them goods and services. It’s the complexity of managing multiple marketing channels aligned with the intricacy of each business requirements and client’s ambitions make a Multichannel strategy quite challenging.
A channel might take online and offline forms. They can be organized in different sets of materials that can integrate your communication strategy: emails, print ads, retail locations, websites, promotional events, mobile apps, SMS messaging, a product’s package, word-of-mouth, among others. We’ll categorize this further on.
Types of E-commerce Channels
As seen above, there are a few categories of retailing and e-commerce channels that can be pointed out, monitored, and measured. Some guarantee fast results, others have less efficiency but are free of charge, and others take some time and investment to implement accurately, but compensate in the long-term. Let’s take a look at these categories:
1. Direct Traffic
It refers to customers that visited your website by clicking on a direct link to it. You can use this tool in many ways:
Collect your customer’s contacts, organize target-oriented databases, and use them to keep your customers updated of your services. Here you can add a direct link to one or more links that invite your customer to your website.
How to start: establish your goals, create mail lists, and don’t forget to measure your results. Software apps like MailChimp, ConstantContact, or ActiveCampaign might help.
Affiliate marketing happens when you click to buy an item, and the website redirects to another seller. These are entirely legal agreements you can establish as many times you want with companies that can offer you better visibility. However, this will cost you a commission.
How to start: select platforms where your customers might be and prepare a proposal. Compare offers and decide what suits best your business.
Direct URL Navigation
Wherever you are on the internet, make sure to leave your official website and social media links. You will make it easier for search engines algorithms to index your brand, which makes it more popular and visible to your customers. Besides, these are your customer’s windows to access your products and services.
How to start: ask your partners to add your company logo on their website and make it clickable. Fulfill your company’s description in every social network. Check if every link is working correctly.
NOTE: In case you have a physical store, there’s a different “direct traffic” strategy to be developed, which will involve offline marketing tools.
2. Paid Search
Search engines such as Google and Yahoo allow you to pay to get more traffic in whatever link you would like to advertise.
How to start: select which search engines will be more frequently used by your buyer personas. Check your budget, decide which of these platforms might be more profitable, and start a test campaign. Take note that Google offers a 50 USD ads coupon to new companies indexed on Google Maps indicators.
Major sites, such as eBay or Amazon, or others, smaller and more specialized, that allow you to sell your goods online and provide you a wider audience. There are endless stores that completely developed their business through these platforms and saved time and money on building brand concepts and design that would take ages. Get to know the differences:
Generic Marketplaces vs. Specialized Marketplaces:
You can go straight to generic marketplaces that guarantee outstanding client reach and a great interface, or, if you’re selling to a specific target, like fashion, you might want to go deeper in your search and select niche marketplaces.
How to start: simply open account in the marketplaces you find more suitable to your field of business, and start selling, with commitment and responsibility. Make sure your first sales are particularly wonderful and flawless because you will get reviews and that will define the quality of your business and products to upcoming visitors.
4. Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs)
Comparison Shopping Engines is a software that can help you track the success of each campaign developed in multiple online platforms. It take some time to implement, and cost money, but ROI will most-likely compensate since it will give you a clearer view of which stores are providing the best service, visibility, logistics, quality, and sales' success to your brand.
Examples of CSEs:
How to start: you should seriously think about it when you have more than two working accounts in consigned stores. Read recent reviews on each comparison shopping engine you might find interesting. Take into account your company’s goals in a long-term view.
Nowadays, mobile is the preferred platform for worldwide users since 2016, primarily for millennials (people born between 1982 and 2002). These people will represent 73 million people in the world by 2019 - so be sure to take some notes.
Types of Mobile Marketing:
App-based: create apps and invite your clients to have your store in their pocket at any time. 45% of US mobile marketing employ app downloads.
Mobile Search Ads: 59% of people find mobile search ads useful
Mobile Image Ads: Consumers look at native ads 25% more often than banner ads.
SMS: SMS coupons are redeemed 8 times more than email offers
QR Codes: 40% of people purchase an item after scanning a QR code
How to start: analyze the type of buyer persona you’re aiming at - their age, social status or preferred gadgets are the most important indicators to build a successful mobile marketing strategy.
Social networks was once a connection between like-minded people or those who have a personal relationship. Now, these are massive platforms used by multi-million users that are eager to communicate, react, and share their aspirations and needs publicly. It allows brands to take advantage of this information and advertise strategically.
Here’s a list of the main advantages you can find on the most popular networks for e-commerce:
- Great audience.
- Facebook stores are created in a few clicks.
- Great source of testimonials.
- Highly targeted advertising.
- Smart customer tracking through analytics.
- Built-in tools for event promotions and call to actions.
- Great for customer service.
- Targeted and effective advertising.
- Excellent visual appeal.
- Great source of referral traffic.
- Targeted demographics.
- Growing ad platform.
- Integrates a Buyable Pins button.
- Preferred app for Millennials.
- Strong focus on high-quality visual content.
- Offers Facebook advertising options.
- Offers compelling call-to-actions.
- Better efficiency using an integrated IG sales app.
- Very popular with teens and millennials.
- Attracts great content creators.
- One of the fastest growing apps on the market.
Here's a graphic where you can compare each social network popularity:
Last, but not least - if you wish to start a full social marketing strategy for e-commerce, take into account the following notes:
- Followers are your strongest marketing assets
- Community management is critical to avoid lousy advertising of your brand
- Cross-market your social networks for a better customer engagement
- Understand your target demographic fully
- Consider investing in Influencer Marketing
- Real-time tracking is essential to achieve an efficient social strategy
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
As the name refers – this is an omnipotent, almighty, marketing strategy, in which your business gets to be everywhere a possible customer may come out. Think of social, physical, digital and mobile channels altogether, based on the amount, interests, and placement of your customers. It also interconnects channels and offers customers different options to suit their shopping preferences. It sounds great, but its completion requires considerable effort and dedication. When properly implemented, it promises an advertising edge over single-channel retailing that can differentiate your store miles away from your competitors.
Simply cataloging your products is insufficient. There must be an active management of your inventory, listed and fully described in multiple market channels, to achieve an audience that can grow your sales exponentially.
Keys to a Successful Multichannel Marketing Strategy
- This subject applies to your design, communication, and strategy. Produce a brand manual that can serve to all your designs and verify that your materials are well matched, and memorable. Have a copywriter that fully understands the theme, message and tone of your posts. Think of your business in space and time - let your customers know when and where to find you - accessibility and timing is key.
- Value proposition is vital to ensure your brand is well-positioned in your market. Have a marketing plan that covers benchmarking, a full analysis of your competition, and benefits that your product will add to the existing demand. Both your communication and sales strategy must reflect these aspects.
Don’t be intrusive.
- Be careful with the amount of information you’re sending to your customer on a weekly basis. Younger adults will tolerate higher levels of marketing posts since they use online channels more frequently. However, too much additional news from your brand loading on a customer’s feed might make him get bored of you and unfollow one or all of your social networks. Again - align your strategy with specific audiences, and make sure the information you’re sharing will be of use!
- Managing orders, delivering in a timely manner, fulfilling all customer’s specs, and report everything to optimize processes, is no easy task. Our first advice is to organize your team and delegate responsibilities profoundly. Secondly, get help from management software, or professional advisory in the inventory management business that can cover some or all of these processes, to fully manage the complexity of your business.
Empower your brand by increasing your marketing channels, but never over-plan a strategy that you’re not capable of completing. Manage your resources and hire new ones, in order to achieve successful solutions and a competitive strategy.
If you're still struggling with building a Multichannel Marketing strategy, we highly recommend ChannelAdvisor - an online platform that sends a product to an internal system where it’s transformed and optimized to sync with dozens of marketplaces and hundreds of digital marketing channels. As orders and performance information flow back through the ChannelAdvisor system, results are measured and broken down to help you make better decisions about your e-commerce strategies.
If you’d like to know more about E-commerce solutions and how to implement them, we’re happy to guide you through the process. Please click below: