It’s an Omni-Channel World: Rethinking the CPG Customer Journey.
In the age of digital transformation, mastering omni-channel marketing has gone from cutting-edge to table stakes. If you’re not working to provide a seamless, unified shopping experience across all consumer touchpoints, your brand could be in danger of being overlooked in today’s crowded digital marketplace, or even worse, viewed as obsolete.
The way consumers shop has changed. The adoption of a more “phygital” approach (the combination of digital and brick-and-mortar shopping model) is having a profound impact on the way brands interact with their customers. As a result, brands must remain hyper vigilant for anything that threatens to interrupt or complicate the customer journey and develop strategies to keep up with the ever-changing needs of today’s channel agnostic consumer.
What is omni-channel marketing?
For those of you who aren’t fluent in marketing-speak, Omni-channel marketing is the use of multiple channels — such as mobile, email, web, and social media — to deliver a consistent customer experience across the entire spectrum of the buyer’s journey.
Omni-channel marketing has been around since the emergence of the internet in the 1990s, but the adoption of a digital-first purchase approach by consumers, brought on by the pandemic, has exponentially increased the urgency at which brands need to accelerate their digital transformation efforts.
The mainstreaming of omnichannel strategies is being driven by two main factors. First, changes in consumer behavior have made it necessary for brands to prioritize the creation of seamless, integrated experiences, and second, increasing competition is forcing brands to hone existing resources in an effort to gain a competitive advantage.
BOPIS, CX, and the other acronyms driving the CPG shopping cart.
Changes in the customer experience (CX) are being driven from both ends. Digital-first shoppers are forcing brands to rethink tried and true strategies. At the same time, the adoption of an omni-channel mindset by brands is driving customers to rethink how they purchase products. The result is a constantly evolving feedback loop that strains marketing efforts and sometimes causes friction at the point of sale.
Buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) is a perfect example. This phygital approach was nearly unheard of just a few short years ago. But nearly ubiquitous at the retail level today. And it is this type of nimble, creative approach to problem-solving in real time that will be the hallmark of tomorrow’s successful CPG brands.
The growing complexity of the CX journey highlights how critical it is to get each stage right.
Throughout each of the stages, the customer has a variety of needs, including information and entertainment, convenience, product discovery and selection, and advice and recommendations. The more technology-enabled customers become, the more they will demand a consistent cross-channel experience. As a result, brands websites are increasingly becoming a place, not just to research products, but to make the purchase as well – forcing brands to rethink and evolve their web presences to keep up with customer expectations.
Developing an omni-channel mindset
An omni-channel approach is not a quick fix. Successful implementation takes time, money, and a lot of effort. One of the areas many brands struggle with is the cultural shift required across your organization. If your brand hasn’t fully developed best practices for online marketing, lingering skepticism and a “we’ve always done it this way” mindset can hamper success.
Organizations must commit to investments in digital technology and staff training to successfully modernize the customer journey, so education, patience, and gentle persistence are keys to organizational success.
The Prize at the End of the CX Rainbow
The road may be long. The path, at times, painful, but in today’s adapt or die marketing world, there’s only one right time to evolve your consumer journey – right now. But buck up, the rewards are well worth the effort.
- Brand loyalty – Omni-channel marketing helps brands build customer loyalty by creating a consistent experience across channels and delivering value to customers.
- Customer retention – Strong customer relationships are the best way to ensure that customers stay loyal to your brand. Omni-channel marketing helps brands create and strengthen relationships with customers.
- Increased customer spend – Customers who feel valued tend to spend more with your brand. Omni-channel marketing helps brands increase the value they provide to customers, which leads to higher customer spend.
- Revenue growth – By increasing customer spend, brands can increase their overall revenue.
- Achieving wider reach – Omnichannel marketing helps brands reach a wider set of customers. Your customers are using multiple channels to shop. That’s just a fact. Perfecting an omni-channel approach helps you reach customers within the channels they prefer.
Persistence is a Marketing Virtue
We hope we haven’t painted too gloomy a picture, because the tremendous upside in committing to change is well worth the effort. D6 has literally helped dozens upon dozens of brands, just like yours, create positive, meaningful, and profitable change in the way they interact with consumers. As we said earlier, the best time to being a digital transformation was yesterday. The second-best time is today. And if you’re looking for expert guidance or just want to pick someone’s brain who has been there before, all of our expertise is just a click away.