You’ve no doubt heard the word, and read that it is the next big thing, but none of us has any idea if omnichannel is it the leap forward for email marketing that some have suggested or just another catch-phrase destined for oblivion. The jury is still out it seems but given the results of those who have taken it up, you need to give it consideration now.
The first thing to accept is that it is not a modification of multi-channel marketing, the system where you use a multimedia approach in a campaign. Posters, Facebook, printed ads, counter promotions and more all give out the same message. Omnichannel is different in its approach at a fundamental level.
Like most innovations it is not entirely new and similarly, in these early stages, many commentators describe it differently. What most agree on is that it should be treated in the same manner as any email marketing system: test, collect data and then modify. Data is, as always for us, vital.
Omnichannel is targeted at improving the user experience but in a different way to that which we are accustomed. One way of thinking of it is as a waiter, offering a menu and then providing their choice. Each of your customers will have a favoured platform and omnichannel responds to their preference not by encouraging them along the line that we favour, but a route which they are happy with.
I’ve recently used my mobile phone as a method to show that I am the person entitled to a specific reduction in the price of a product after returning a faulty item. It was rather crude omnichannel as I had to nominate my preferred method. I would assume that soon it will be the default option for me. I first viewed the marketing email on a phone, bought on desktop, contacted them by mobile when I found a fault, and then obtained a code via text.
By focusing on platforms that users favour, the whole purchasing process becomes is seamless from receiving the marketing email to the end.
There will be more on how omnichannel can be used in email marketing in the future.