In recent years, omni-channel marketing is an emerging concept that is catching on among businesses and consumers alike. The rise of omni-channels was attributed by a 2013 Huffington Post article to the increased usage of smartphones. With smartphones, consumers are able to have a one-stop access to information on multiple digital platforms such as emails, text messages, mobile applications and ecommerce sites while physically remaining in a retail space. To stay competitive, businesses are beginning to see the necessity of adopting a cross-channel content strategy to improve consumer engagement.
What is an Omni-channel Framework?
An omni-channel extends beyond a multi-channel-based approach to provide a wholesome consumer experience across online and offline touchpoints. Consumers can switch seamlessly between traditional brick-and-mortar locations to social media and online storefronts. Rather than working in isolation, communication channels are integrated such that a consumer’s experience when engaging across the different channels is more pleasant. Ultimately, omni-channel marketing aims to encourage greater interaction between businesses and their customers to boost brand awareness.
An omni-channel strategy entails the interconnection of various communication channels to provide a comprehensive consumer experience. (Photo Credit: Shopify.com)
Why should you use an Omni-channel Strategy for your brand?
Omni-channel is not just a business buzzword but it is one strategy that your brand, especially if you are operating in Singapore, should adopt. Besides it being a great way to provide a unified experience to your audience, there are other practical reasons to consider when deciding to make the shift from a multi-channel marketing approach to omni-channel marketing.
1) Resourceful Consumers
“Singaporean consumers, are mainly “omni-channel buyers”. They use smartphones, tablets and laptops to
explore and compare products 24/7, connecting with brands through every conceivable channel:
websites, physical stores, call centres, you name it.”
Mike Ghasemi, research director, IDC Retail Insights Asia Pacific
According to Singapore Business Review, mobile phones and smartphones are the most used devices by Singaporeans to browse the internet. In fact, statistics in 2018 show that 76 percent of the Singapore population used a smartphone. On average, Singaporeans are on the internet for seven hours and nine minutes every day and spend two hours and six minutes on average for social media. With such a high mobile usage and social media penetration, it is no wonder that Singaporeans are some of the most resourceful consumers around.
Singaporeans have access to brand information from a variety of digital sources at their fingertips. In this overwhelming media landscape, brands need to build a sense of familiarity and consistency within their target market. To deepen their relationship with existing customers and create connections with new ones, it is imperative that brands implement omni-channel practices to develop their digital presence.
2) Alleviate Costs
“The high costs of retail space and labour influence the need for an omni-channel approach, and encourage
more use of digital channels for businesses in Singapore”
Tamanna Dahiya, director, DHL Asia Pacific Innovation Center.
As today’s consumers are increasingly demanding and fickle, sales returns occur more frequently and retailers in Singapore face mounting pressure on their inventory spaces. With the rising retail rents and labour costs, businesses are driven to seek out omni-channel solutions to manage their inventories and market their products.
Some companies in the United States, like b8ta, are making use of interactive technology in their stores to allow consumers to try out the latest products prior to buying. Technology manufacturers who display their innovative products in b8ta’s stores will receive marketing, messaging and even price points for each product, through the b8ta dashboard. This will enable technology makers to gauge consumer response for their products and adjust their inventories accordingly.
B8ta rents out floor space to brands with innovative products. Customers can try them out in-store before buying them. (Photo Credit: PYMNTS.com)
This omni-channel strategy helps to maximise customer satisfaction before a purchase and reduce the possibility of sales returns. Retailers in Singapore can consider embracing such methods to deal with the challenges to the retail industry.
3) Increase Consumer Spending
“Customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel.”
A report by IDC Retail Insights found that retailers using omni-channel marketing strategies saw a 15-35% increase in average transaction size, along with a 5-10% increase in loyal customers’ profitability, and 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.
Another study by Aberdeen Group noted that companies with omni-channel engagement strategies enjoy an average 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared with 3.4% for those that do not.
Embark on a journey of Omni-channel Marketing today
Boundless opportunities lie in omni-channel marketing. Organisations have to start looking into omni-channel marketing to unlock the potential to grow their business. The increasing proliferation of mobile devices and networks will continue to bridge the space between real-life and digital interactions, so businesses will have to adapt to maximise their engagement with their valued customers.