Traditionally, businesses could achieve significant conversion rates by having just one competitive edge. However, the problem arises when the market begins to shift and that competitive edge is no longer sufficient as customers evolve and demand more. Therefore, businesses must continuously innovate and adapt to maintain or increase their conversion rates.
A real-world scenario of the need to adapt is the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its insurgence has significantly impacted the way customers interact with their preferred brands. As the line between digital and brick and mortar experiences grows thinner, shoppers expect to be met where and when they want to be met. They go through different touch points before making a purchase decision, and this can include both digital and physical channels.
So, if you’re looking to increase your eCommerce conversion rate, you should be answering questions like: What are my customers’ preferred channels? How should my messaging across each touchpoint be communicated? How can I seamlessly guide consumers from their preferred touchpoints through the buyer journey? etc. This is where omnichannel plays a crucial role.
Omnichannel marketing is one way to immerse your customers in a highly personalised experience across various touchpoints and guide them seamlessly through these touchpoints up to where they make a purchase and even afterwards. However, on the flip side, offering this unified customer experience through multiple digital and physical channels is not easy. That’s why we’ve created this guide to walk you through how you can leverage the omnichannel experience to increase your conversion rate.
So you’ve implemented a working omnichannel strategy: you’ve successfully integrated your offline channels with your various online channels, and you’ve educated your employees on the new approach. What next?
As with every marketing strategy, you shouldn’t expect overnight success. However, you should define a clear process to track conversions and optimise your strategy over time.
A starting point here is selecting an attribution model. The model assigns credit to the various touchpoints associated with their customers’ conversion paths. Some of these channels include paid search, organic search, social, direct and more.
It’s also important to track the right metrics. Here are some key performance metrics to consider when tracking conversion:
The foundation for a successful omnichannel strategy is high-quality data and customer analytics across all possible channels. You need to identify how consumers discover your brand, the consideration process, how they make purchasing decisions, how they ultimately become repeat customers, and what their preferred channels are (your top conversion paths).
Ultimately, this begins with understanding who your customers are. Once you’ve gained significant visibility into your customer personas, you can start by mapping your customer journey.
It is no secret that the modern customer journey can get a bit complicated – with consumers hopping between different touchpoints before making a purchasing decision. However, designing robust customer journeys across digital and physical channels will help you understand customer data. These journeys should account for customers transitioning between channels to ensure seamless handoffs.
One way to approach this is by taking a holistic view of your customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase stages. According to research, 87% of buying decisions begin with product research, usually on Amazon or Google. So, it is important to be present at the pre-purchase channels like search engines and customer review sites.
According to GetCRM, a traditional customer journey consists of five stages:
By understanding your customer behaviour at each stage of the buyer journey, you can gain insights into who your customers are and what messaging to implement at each stage.
With that being said, mapping traditional customer journeys involves making assumptions. But, to get a greater sense of your customers and how they behave across various touchpoints, you need a more hands-on approach.
You can gather more detailed data on who’s using your brand or product by tracking their interaction with your touch points. This way, you can learn more about your customer behaviour and how to target them at each stage of your buyer journey.
A good starting point is tracking unique conversion touch points. In a broader sense, conversions start right from the first point of contact between you and your customer. Knowing where your customers are coming from or what led to the conversion at any stage of your customer journey is critical for a successful omnichannel strategy.
As an eCommerce store, you can leverage the “Top Conversion Path” report in Google Analytics to identify conversion paths. Under the “Conversions” tab, click on the “Top Conversions Path” button to see where your customers are coming from and/or the various channels they interact with that led to conversions. For example, here you can see that the top conversion path is organic search, followed by a direct interaction.
You can analyse this data and look out for patterns that can help you identify the top conversion touch points. This way, you can streamline your marketing efforts to gain high-quality customers.
Read our blog article, Comparing the 8 attribution models to find out more.
Moving forward, now that you understand your customers, you must put this insight to good use. Let’s see how you can do that in the next step.
Providing omnichannel experience is about seamlessly enabling commerce where your customers are: Considering their stage in the customer journey and delivering the right messaging at the right time. To an omnichannel marketer, every significant channel in the buyer journey is a storefront. In other words, you must look to maximise every conversion opportunity at every touchpoint. This involves making each channel shoppable.
This is remarkably achievable for Shopify and Shopify Plus users because of the limitless opportunities to extend your storefront to various channels and marketplaces. You can also integrate with useful omnichannel technologies that will take your campaign to the next level.
If your customer adds some items to their cart and abandons the cart, you should be able to re-target them on any social media channel they land on. This is where “understanding your customers” pays off. Shopify allows you to integrate directly with any social channel: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the 200 million active users on Pinterest, you can easily extend your Shopify store to your Pinterest users. You can also leverage some P-interesting features to maximise sales. Here’s how:
On your Pinterest business account, under “Business” options, select “Business Hub” and claim your domain to get your HTML tag. Then head on to your Shopify website to add the tag and link your store. You can leverage Pinterest features to make your products more shoppable and interactive. For example, Rich Pins and Promoted Pins – rich pins extract useful information from your website to display alongside normal pin items like photos, titles, etc.,
On the other hand, promoted pins are paid ads on Pinterest. However, they look like organic content with hero visuals; this way, you can potentially drive conversions through direct impressions.
A great omnichannel success story with Pinterest is Target. They wanted to provide a seamless experience so that customers who see a real-life product they want to buy can quickly confirm whether or not Target has the same or similar item available. So, they partnered with Pinterest to integrate Pinterest’s Lens functionality with their mobile app. This way, customers can take a picture of what they like, and Target can provide similar items available.
Similarly, for Facebook and Instagram, Shopify allows you to easily add and customise your product collections for your Facebook shop from your Shopify admin. The opportunities are endless when it comes to Shopify and social channels. However, providing the omnichannel experience doesn’t mean you must be everywhere. You only have to be where your customers are.
It is no secret that product research for most customers begins on dominant marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, TradeMe, TheMarket, etc. In essence, these marketplaces represent an avenue for you to get your brand in your consumers’ faces. Here’s why Amazon alone has over 300 million active customer accounts. So, if your customers visit any marketplaces at any stage in your buyer journey, extending your storefront to those marketplaces can increase your conversion rate.
With Shopify, you can easily open up Amazon sales channels to take advantage of its large audience. Amazon has in-features that can help you maximise sales. For instance, you can leverage listing optimisation to expose your brand to a global audience and ultimately unlock a new conversion stream. Also, In-Amazon promotions can help you scale through the noise and set you atop the competition.
Similarly, Shopify provides native omnichannel solutions for integrations with TradeRunner by TradeMe. You can leverage native Shopify apps like Omnivore to extend your storefront to TradeMe users – which is almost all of New Zealand. TradeMe has some valuable features that can help you increase sales and drive traffic to your eCommerce store. Its “make an offer” feature can help you improve customer experience and increase sales as it reduces time to sell by 17%. Additionally, you can leverage TradeMe’s “Book a courier” service to reduce shipping costs for your customers.
There are numerous features you can leverage to increase sales via TradeMe. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that the end goal is to provide a unified customer experience across your various channels, offline inclusive.
Providing an omnichannel experience can help you broaden your customer reach and form meaningful long term relationships that’ll ultimately increase conversion rate. Also, it’s an approach that’s a natural fit for small, medium, and large businesses, as the tools to execute a winning strategy are scalable.