In a super-connected world, buying and selling can happen anywhere, anytime. The ubiquity of mobile devices, social media platforms, and trustworthy online payment services means that virtually anyone is a potential customer for e-commerce companies.
Mass consumer adoption of these platforms has created a marketing landscape where smart online retailers can thrive. By making use of all the available communication channels, these companies simultaneously broaden and optimize their sales funnels.
Online retailers, with their marketing efforts across these channels, are setting themselves up for success. These companies know that their customers are everywhere and that they need to be in all those places as well. Soon, this won’t be just a way to gain an edge over competitors, but a fundamental approach to marketing that no retailer can survive without.
In this post, we’ll discuss some actionable strategies that e-commerce companies can use to best leverage multichannel communication to increase their revenue.
Identify the Channels that Work
Just because multichannel communication is a successful approach to marketing doesn’t mean it has to be adopted outright. It’s possible to succeed here without making use of every single channel available to you.
The 80/20 principle says that the majority of a company’s marketing success will come from the minority of their marketing efforts. Essentially, casting your net too widely here will likely result in diminishing returns.
Regardless of how much you automate, the more communication channels you expose your customers to, the more touch-points you create. Your marketing and sales teams should have the capacity to deal with these multiple touch-points. Along with that, you need to maintain the quality and consistency of your marketing messages.
To solve this problem, make sure that you’re not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t adopt a new communication channel for marketing purposes before your existing ones have been optimized.
Scale intelligently here. By launching a marketing campaign on a brand new social media platform before your sales team is ready, you will compromise your general effectiveness, even in channels that seem like they’ve already been mastered.
Secondly, some channels are simply more suited to your target audience than others. Look at Bay Alarm Medical as an example. How many home pages do you see nowadays that display a call center number as prominently as they do? In fact, most companies nowadays actively avoid directing communication to such a high-touch channel.
image source: bayalarmmedical.com
However, Bay Alarm Medical understands their target market. Their product is mostly used by the elderly, a customer base known to appreciate in-person contact prior to making a purchase. While Bay Alarm does have other sales channels, they have poured resources into maintaining one that is highly appropriate to their product.
Does this mean that your company should do the same? Does your WordPress theme marketplace need a call center? Probably not.
Bear this principle in mind when deciding where to invest your time and money when opening up a new communication channel. Always ask yourself how appropriate it is for your product and target market.
Capitalize on High-Value Content
No matter how many channels your marketing team utilizes, content generation will always be a major concern. And not all content topics are born equal.
Showing the message and campaign consistency across multiple channels is an excellent approach. However, bombarding users with the same message every time they encounter your brand online will likely just desensitize them.
Writing a blog post about your company’s annual Thanksgiving party may be a nice way to “humanize” your brand, but it may not be appropriate to share the link on your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
A testimonial from a high-profile customer, on the other hand, is worth its weight in digital gold, and there is no reason on earth why you shouldn’t be broadcasting this on every single channel available.
On that note, a company that relies heavily on its high-profile customer base for content is Zoma. One of this company’s primary marketing strategies is to create a sense of real credibility for the various products in their online store. They do this by displaying relatable, candid testimonials from professional athletes who use their mattresses. Not only are these testimonials displayed prominently on their website, but they are also shared on each of the company’s social media platforms.
image source: zomasleep.com
The high value of these messages means that potential customers won’t suffer from the “fatigue” that may accompany less unique content. Non-celebrity testimonials and product reviews also take up important space on Zoma’s home page, but the company has wisely opted not to make this a part of their social media content strategy.
Recognize what content your potential customers will find valuable enough to encounter frequently before you click the “share with all” button.
Keep a Record of Customer Interactions
Logging interactions with the same person becomes doubly challenging when you’re interacting with them on multiple channels.
Most marketing and sales professionals understand the importance of having a single view of a lead and how they move through the sales funnel. If they enable unified sales funnel across different communication channels, they can use a CRM tool that integrates each of these channels. These tools create a single profile for each customer and record their interactions with your marketing messages.
The value of having a unified view of a customer’s journey allows your sales software to fire off highly personalized, automated messaging to gently nudge them towards the next step in the sales funnel.
It also allows e-commerce companies that are comfortable with a high-touch approach to communicate with potential customers manually. This becomes even more valuable with B2C products, where a sales cycle could be quite prolonged, but the lifetime value of the customer warrants some extra effort.
Multichannel communication in the e-commerce space is on the brink of becoming a necessity rather than a differentiator. Acknowledging that everyone online is a potential customer and that most of them spend their time on different platforms and devices is critical to maximizing your reach.
You need to go where your customers are. Tell them what they need to know about you, and offer them numerous ways to get in touch with you – ways that are convenient for their lifestyles.
Understand your target market. Build buyer personas. Few best practices will give you a better foundation for leveraging multichannel communication for e-commerce success.