As the technological world continues to develop invaluable tools for retailers to further understand their customers, tech for shoppers is moving at an even faster pace. Technology has made it possible for customers to research, browse, and purchase items from almost anywhere whether it be at home, the office, or in between stores while at the mall using their smart phone, tablet, or computer. Omnichannel does not just mean digital, it encompasses all channels of communication between the business and the customer (i.e. email, social media, print, radio, tv, etc.). Each medium is seen as an opportunity to reach the company’s target audience.
Depending on your industry, reaching your target audience could include any or all of the aforementioned channels. Discovering which channels best fit your audience requires some research, but has boundless benefits. Each industry has its own unique style of using omnichannel marketing, and each style has its own impact on the business’ audience.
For example, Hubspot points to Disney for its fantastic utilization of this type of marketing. The entertainment veteran has mastered the internet, making both their original website and trip-planning website mobile-responsive for ease of use. The experience doesn’t stop there; users can also use the Disney mobile app during their trip to locate attractions and their estimated wait times. Finally, and most interestingly, Disney launched its “Magic Band” program, which acts as a hotel room key, photo storage for pictures you and your family take during the visit, and even functions as a food-ordering tool. In creating these tools (which doesn’t feel like tools to the users!), Disney has designed a massively effective multi-channel method to connect and keep their customers engaged.
UK-based fashion retailer Oasis has also jumped into the omnichannel frey. According to Multi Channel Merchant, the brand has an ecommerce site, a mobile app and several brick-and-mortar stores, all of which it blends together seamlessly. In-store employees carry iPads for quick check-ups on product availability and to easily answer customer questions. iPads are also used to order out-of-stock items for the customer, which are later delivered right to their home. Further, when it comes to returns, the brand not only receives items at one of their branches, but has applied Collect+, which gives the customers the option to return the item to one of 5,500 “drop-off points” in local stores such as convenience and grocery stores, making it possible to return items outside the typical 9 to 5 hours. Oasis’ understanding of their customers and how they interact with retailers has spawned a ridiculously efficient way of communicating, obtaining, and maintaining their shoppers.
In both industries, the goal is to not only keep people coming through the door (or, in Disney’s case, through the castle), but to determine which channels connect best with the consumer. That is, does a mobile app have the same impact on someone shopping at Macy’s as it would on someone wandering around Best Buy? Google says it’s vital that any business using multiple channels to market themselves study their audience trends, whether in-store or online, to discover which channels are used the most. Only then will strategy become clear and open the path for effective messaging and engagement.
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), there are a variety of tools that brick-and-mortar retailers can use to gather information on shopper behavior. For brands looking to find which offers their customers frequently flock to in-store, applying the SoleSensor (intelligent floor sensor) is a great option. It allows you to not only monitor how many people visit a display or store department, but how long they spend there determining at a high-level the interest consumers have with that product. Whether using it to analyze a specific area, or to grid out your store floor for the entire path-to-purchase experience, the SoleSensors gather 100% of foot traffic and deliver granular insights that help optimize any offline space.
In short, whether you call it omnichannel, multichannel, or something completely different, the fact of the matter is, this style of reaching consumers is growing in popularity and necessity. Shoppers have an endless regimen of options when it comes to finding the best offers, and have increasingly desired a unique and meaningful experience with the brands they enjoy. Brands can keep pace with their swiftly-moving shoppers by analyzing their behavior, and applying those insights to their marketing efforts. This is easier said than done, but with practice and determination, effective omnichannel marketing is completely achievable.
Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing “Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.
With over 10 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.