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How to take your business from stagnant to omnichannel

Scale your business from stagnant to omnichannel with SFG by your side.

Technology advancements are rampant across every generation. The trick is to continuously upgrade and scale to keep up. While some industries have emerged as a result of these technologies, such as software as a service (SaaS) businesses or social media as a whole, that doesn't mean you need to throw out all of your marketing strategies. In fact, you can enhance some of them with the support of an omnichannel initiative.

Curious about how? Let's dive in!

A finger touching a screen in the centre of  icons representing different stages in ecommerce.Scale your business from stagnant to omnichannel with SFG by your side.

What is an omnichannel business model?

Omnichannel is a term that means your marketing and business strategies appear across multiple mediums. Its goal is to increase customer engagement and awareness while supporting your products, offers, and services on all channels, platforms, or devices.

Instead of thinking of a singular strategy separate for each platform or channel, you'll need to look at moving to omnichannel marketing as a holistic approach. Imagine being a customer who doesn't use their computer often and is constantly on the go. They'll need a way to purchase items online as well as in the store such as through Facebook Messenger, live chat on your website, or email.

McKinsey states that one-third of American shoppers have made online purchases for in-store pickup as a standard since 2020. The growing popularity of omnichannel shopping and providing multiple payment options means that ignoring the trend could render your business obsolete. 

However, before you go and fire your call center representatives, or direct mail strategies to align with omnichannel trends, consider your customers.

You don't need to throw out your traditional marketing strategies

If it's been a while since you assessed your consumer base, this should be your first step. While omnichannel strategies are everywhere, consider where your customers are shopping. No matter what changes are made in the marketing sphere, customer care should always be top of mind — and that means making the purchasing experience easy, satisfying, and reliable.

Customer satisfaction is a major element in reducing customer churn and saving marketing dollars. The omnichannel experience is the act of creating multiple access points for your customers to interact with your brand, and ensuring these interactions are consistent throughout. An omnichannel experience is part of a consumer-centric supply chain experience.

For example, you may get a notification that a customer has started a chat on your website with a chatbot. Once the basic questions are answered, the customer is then referred to a real-life customer service representative who can walk them through the sales process, or direct them to the company's app where the customer can purchase items directly from there. A few days pass, and the same customer has questions about sizing, so another customer representative is able to answer their questions on the app now as well.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to omnichannel strategies. Unlike sending bulk emails or direct mail to all of your customers, you want to curate each experience specifically for each customer.

The four pillars of omnichannel success

Are you wondering where to begin?

McKinsey notes that an unfocused marketing plan can only make matters worse for your business. Without proper research on your customers, you could spend money all on the wrong channel. The four pillars of omnichannel success are meant to connect this approach, rather than thinking of it in a linear fashion, for a consistent and seamless experience.

To understand more about what an omnichannel commerce approach entails, let's take a look at the four pillars that make up the strategy.

1. Sales channels

This is where you begin to think about where your customers shop. For example, while baby boomers used to exclusively shop in stores, 92% now shop and conduct research online before purchasing, according to The Shelf. All the while, they do prefer to make their purchases in person if the store is nearby to experience in-person customer service.

This is not the same as Generation X or millennial shoppers, though. Understanding where and how customers shop can help you channel your efforts in the right direction.

2. Marketing

Once you've connected with where your customers are shopping, your next move is to capitalize on your efforts in these areas. A 2020 Forbes article found that 20% of consumers have visited a website based on a marketing email. This means on top of knowing where your customers shop, you'll need to know how to communicate with them.

For example, you may offer fun, kitschy ads on Instagram, products available on Amazon, or personalized emails all with the intention of driving traffic to your website.

3. Operations

Once you've formulated a plan for driving traffic to the right people on the right channels, consider how you will meet their needs. A seamless experience doesn't stop when they make it to the website. Customers want to know what's in stock, how long their order will take to get to their house, and how easy returns or exchanges can be. Your order management system should enhance the purchasing experience, and work alongside distribution and customer care.

4. Fulfillment

Finally, how will you get the orders out to customers and keep them informed about delivery dates? Even if a customer came to the store and asked for a few items to be delivered to their home because you were out of stock, you should keep them up to date about delivery expectations.

SFG is your scaling partner

From order management to customer care to fulfillment, SFG's omnichannel support has you covered. We not only ship with all major carriers, but we can also optimize your call center and collect customer data along the way.

When it comes to scaling your business from stagnant to omnichannel, SFG is your all-in-one solution. Reach out to a representative today to learn more!

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