With the eCommerce industry growing at a breakneck pace and customers’ expectations rapidly evolving, businesses must constantly innovate to increase conversion rates and ultimately maximise sales. As a Shopify store owner, how do you go about that? Omnichannel marketing is one way to immerse your customers in a highly personalised experience across various touchpoints to guide them to make purchases seamlessly. This article dives into leveraging omnichannel experience to drive conversions in your Shopify-powered store.
Let’s begin with a simple mental exercise. Out of the “millions” of prescription eyewear users in the world, how many or what percentage do you believe bought theirs online?
According to a Forbes article, only 4.2% of the total prescription eyewear bought in 2017 was purchased online. Although this figure has increased over the years, particularly since the pandemic, what does this tell us?
It tells us that while online shopping has been the talk of the industry in recent times, it hasn’t taken over brick and mortar. Conventional in-person experience is still relevant, in this case, for the other 95.8% of prescription eyewear transactions.
A few years ago, a mentor and a few colleagues founded a prescription eyewear company. Their goal was to make these products accessible to their target audience, and they knew this would only be possible if they sold directly to the end-users. So, they started with an online strategy. It went relatively OK for a startup. But after some time, they needed an office. They got one, and at its opening party, they realised that many people knew about them but didn’t trust a purely online experience.
Why are we sharing this story? It shows that the convergence of offline and online channels is the key to increasing your conversion rate on Shopify. At Zyber, we want to guide you through it and explain why providing an omnichannel experience is important today.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not just changed the world; it also changed how customers interact with their preferred brands: From brick and mortar storefronts to a culmination of digital and physical touchpoints.
Due to lockdown restrictions during the pandemic, consumers couldn’t visit their preferred malls, restaurants, bars, etc. However, this did not reduce the value of brick and mortar stores. Instead, it indicated that they must adapt to the change in buying patterns. This includes providing a customised experience that fluidly merges various digital touchpoints with a brick and mortar setting.
A good example is the now popular “ship to store” and curbside pickup, which blew up during the pandemic and has remained so ever since. According to a study by Accenture Strategy, “65% of retailers now offer either “buy-online-pickup-in-store” or curbside pickup.”
A perfect success story here is Walgreens, the second-largest pharmacy store chain operator in the US. They acted swiftly during the pandemic to merge digital touch points with their physical store by making their products accessible to their customers online. Customers making an online purchase either through the website or mobile app can easily claim their items at the store, curbside, or via the drive-thru.
Having said all that, offering an omnichannel experience will continue to drive sales long after the pandemic. However, it must be implemented correctly. This begins with understanding what constitutes an omnichannel.
For many, running an omnichannel strategy means little more than operating on offline and online channels. However, it’s so much more than that. Omnichannel involves integrating various channels with the sole purpose of building meaningful customer relationships by seamlessly guiding them to exactly what they need. This includes experience orchestrations across multiple touchpoints and aligning engagement and communication strategies around the customer journey. Here, channels work together, share with each other, and enhance each other, creating the synergy needed to achieve a superior overall result.
The term omnichannel is often confused with multi-channel. On one hand, a multi-channel approach is when a company is present in an array of various touchpoints. For example, websites, social media, physical locations, etc. These channels are often isolated and rarely coordinated.
On the other hand, omnichannel is about coordinating activities across different channels to provide a highly personalised experience to customers wherever they choose to engage with your brand. Omnichannel distinguishes your Shopify store from others by reducing customer frustration through avoiding conflicting information from different channels. In a nutshell, it’s about engaging your customers and forming effective customer-brand relationships using the best possible channels, skills, and technology.
Imagine you work a 9 to 5 job and are practically swamped all day. You need a new cosmetics set from your preferred cosmetics store ASAP. It’s late at night, so you use your home computer to go through available packages. Because this brand uses Gorgias for customer support, a window appears in the process of your research, asking if you’d like to connect with a live agent. You select “voice call” from the chat options, and you’re immediately connected.
The Gorgias cloud-based setup and technology already tracks and stores terabytes of customer data. Therefore, the live agent already has your details on their screen by the time they welcome you to the call. They then guide you through your needs and provide the right recommendations for your skin and hair type.
You add all you need to your cart and head to the checkout page. But before you can move forward, your toddler distracts you, and you end up going to bed without completing your order.
The next day, you scroll through your Instagram feed and an ad from your preferred cosmetics brand appears with the content of your cart. You suddenly remember you need to complete your order. Due to your brand’s social media integrations using Shopify, you’re directed to complete your order directly from your Instagram.
Let’s assume you get distracted again, and can’t complete your order. This brand’s Klaviyo powered cart abandonment email series kicks off. You receive an email just as you get home from work. But this time, you head straight for your home computer to complete your order.
This is a perfect example of humans and technology working in tandem across different channels to provide a seamless, personalised customer experience. The same applies to your Shopify-powered eCommerce brand. You can leverage Shopify omnichannel technologies to provide a highly personalised experience for your customers.
At Zyber, we believe that when a Shopify brand enhances its digital connection to a more humane connection, it creates a more suitable platform for you to build and maintain meaningful long-term customer-brand relationships. In this case, we believe this is where the opportunity lies.
Omnichannel represents a strategy for businesses to keep up with evolving customer expectations. Consumers today expect to interact with their preferred brand through any channel. In fact, we’re seeing customers switching between various touchpoints before completing a purchase. For example, from an eCommerce website to search engines and a physical store.
Creating a successful omnichannel strategy involves the combination of the right technology and a friendly employee base. As a Shopify store owner, you have luxurious access to omnichannel technologies. Let’s explore some of these opportunities:
Shopify offers multiple omnichannel solutions that can easily be integrated with your various touchpoints: digital and physical, to provide a unified customer experience. Here are a few:
When it comes to providing great customer experience, collecting, analysing, and utilising user data is of utmost importance. Many retailers are in the dark about how their visitors interact with their physical store, making it difficult to inform their omnichannel strategy. This is where Dor comes in. Dor is an easy-to-use analytics solution for physical spaces. With this solution, you track how your in-store experience engages your customers. You can analyse this data and use your results to improve your customer experience.
Endear is a CRM solution designed specifically for retail. Here, you can:
Other top integrations you can use with Shopify include:
Hero: A virtual shopping platform
Smile.io: A loyalty and rewards platform
Stocky: Inventory management and reporting solution
Deputy: Staff management and scheduling platform
Zapiet: Flexible store pickup and local delivery solution
Marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart are increasingly dominating the eCommerce space by setting the bar for omnichannel marketing. However, the good news is, with Shopify marketplace integrations, you can benefit from the success of these eCommerce giants. By listing your products on these platforms, not only do you expose your brand to the millions of shoppers that visit them daily, you provide a unified shopping experience for your customers.
Let’s face it, meeting customers’ expectations is the key to increasing conversion rate. A working omnichannel strategy helps you meet your customers exactly where they are to provide a seamless experience that’ll guide them to check out.
Here’s an example of a brand perfectly utilising this opportunity:
Allbirds, a Shopify-powered eCommerce fashion brand. Once an online-only brand, Allbirds decided to test the real world with a retail pop-up a few months after launch. They needed to incorporate omnichannel capabilities to build customer relationships, most importantly, to help convert in-person customers whose desired products are not in-stock at the locations they visit.
Allbirds leveraged the Shopify POS to enable buy in-store, ship to customer technology. For instance, a customer could enquire about an uncommon product, and although the product isn’t at the location of inquiry, an Allbird personnel will process the transaction there and then communicate with the warehouse to ship to the customer.
Furthermore, if this customer had completed a purchase online, at any point, Allbirds would have access to their shipping information to speed up the process and ultimately improve the customer experience.
With this strategy, Allbirds enjoys the following results:
As mentioned earlier, customers today interact with various channels, and meeting them where they are is key to increasing conversions. An excellent omnichannel strategy involves making your customers the center of your world. This means considering your consumer’s position in your customer journey and delivering the right message at the right time. It also involves maximising sales opportunities at each touch point.
Fortunately, Shopify presents us with real opportunities to do this, using different tools to connect various channels, sharing, analysing, and utilising data. Shopify lets you integrate all your channels, including offline channels. You can add social media channels to marketplaces, e.g., Amazon, messaging channels, etc. This way, your customers can easily view and feel your products at any stage in the customer journey. Look at it as extending your showroom across various customer touch points.
Shopify also helps you take your marketing campaign to the next level through integrations with marketing apps like Klaviyo and Google Shopping. With these Shopify options and others, you can create a colony of channels that guides your customers to your desired goal. For example, with a colony of your website and Instagram, you can direct your traffic to explore how other customers use your product on Instagram and then check out from there.
It’s important to understand that omnichannel marketing is about creating an integrated shopping experience to build customer relationships by providing a highly personalised user experience across all of your touch points.
Personalisation and customer experience significantly affect conversion rates. Hence why leading businesses are those investing in providing a personalised customer experience together with Shopify’s omnichannel technologies.