Since the introduction of e-commerce, the needs and expectations of modern consumers have evolved consistently. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a major shift in the consumers’ shopping patterns and their expectations from the brands.
With physical stores shut for several months during the lockdowns, consumers went online to shop for products and services, encouraging brands to implement a digital-first strategy. Moreover, it is expected that the online shopping trend will continue well into the future and help the Indian e-commerce industry reach a new pedestal.
According to a report on Business Standard, the e-commerce industry in the country is expected to grow 84% and reach a market size of $111 billion by 2024.
But now that the lockdown is mostly lifted across the country, brands should focus on building an omnichannel presence to stay competitive and succeed.
Why an Omnichannel Presence Over Multichannel Presence?
With consumers now using multiple online and offline channels to interact with brands, businesses must have a healthy presence across all the popular channels. In short, this is what a multichannel strategy is all about.
But a significant problem with this strategy is that businesses generally manage these channels individually, resulting in an inconsistent consumer experience. On the other hand, an omnichannel strategy unifies all the online and offline channels to provide a seamless consumer experience across platforms and devices.
Benefits of Building an Omnichannel Presence
Here are some of the top advantages of having an omnichannel presence-
- Be Hypercompetitive
24×7 customer service, personalized communication, and ease of navigation across channels are some of the things that bigger brands like Amazon have made people used to, especially during the pandemic. They now expect a similar level of service from smaller brands too.
According to a report on CXToday, 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience. With the help of an omnichannel strategy, brands can be present across the channels and fulfil these newly-developed consumer expectations.
- Boost Sales and Turnover
The “customer-first” approach of an omnichannel strategy also strikes a chord with the consumers. Needless to say, every customer would prefer brands that allow them to be in the driver’s seat. This can help a business reach new customers and turn the existing ones into loyal brand advocates.
Once a brand starts turning into a consumer favourite, improved sales and turnover will mostly follow. In fact, omnichannel customers spend 10% more online and 4% more offline than single-channel customers, according to a study by Harvard Business Review.
- Increased Recommendation and References
No matter how good or expensive your marketing initiative is, it will mostly never be able to match the word-of-mouth publicity. According to Talk Triggers’ “Chatter Matter” report, 83% of the consumers agree that word of mouth recommendations they receive from family and friends makes them more likely to purchase a product or service.
The Harvard Business Review research mentioned above also suggests that omnichannel customers are more likely to recommend the brand to their family and friends than single-channel customers.
The Future of Marketing is Omnichannel
The omnichannel shopping experience is redefining the way consumers shop online and offline. It is also providing brands with intuitive ways in which they can engage with the customers. This post-pandemic period is an excellent opportunity for brands to reimagine customer touchpoints and work on creative strategies that can fulfil the updated needs and expectations of the consumers.
While major brands like Amazon continue to raise the omnichannel marketing bar, smaller businesses can rely on digital marketing experts to continue evolving and growing.