Let’s face it; today’s shopping journey is fragmented — consumers might purchase products directly from Instagram shopping pages or see an ad on a publisher’s website and want to learn more. Regardless of the path to purchase, people aren’t searching for products or buying them from the same place every single time. A GWI study found people use multiple mediums including search engines (52%), social media (43%) and other customer reviews (37%) to research products they want to buy. Since consumers can discover products through multiple avenues, it makes it difficult for ecommerce marketers to understand their behaviors and meet them at times when they’re most likely to make a purchase.
Ecommerce brands need a full-funnel view of their customers during this buying journey to enable smarter digital media strategies and a better, more personalized experience. Since data is so fragmented, brands need to buy more channels to recapture consumer attention.
The first step when planning a strong ecommerce marketing strategy is learning what your target customers want — and reaching them where they spend most of their time. Why choose to connect with a customer in one place at one time when you can build engagement across multiple platforms? A multichannel marketing strategy not only can help you create a continual seamless experience for your target audience but also foster greater brand recognition and trust.
Understanding Multichannel Marketing
As the name suggests, multichannel marketing is a communication strategy that combines multiple promotional channels. This approach can include both online and offline touch points such as email, direct mail, display, social, search, connected TV (CTV) and more to interact with consumers when and where they’re most engaged — drawing a connection to your brand across each platform.
Adopting a multichannel marketing approach has proven to be integral to a brand’s success. According to SAS, multichannel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do.
Determining Your Channel Mix
The sky’s the limit when choosing which channels to use for your multichannel approach — a wealth of options exists! But before you dive in headfirst, make sure to evaluate and understand your target audience. Whom are you trying to reach? A children’s toy company might only want to target parents. What region(s) do you want to target? A jewelry brand based in the U.S. may only want to target major U.S. cities to avoid international shipping costs. Where’s your audience spending most of their time? These questions are important to answer as you get started because they’ll ultimately determine which channels you choose.
Understanding your audience’s preferences can also play an integral role in the success of your ecommerce multichannel strategy. Did your target consumers cut the cord, and do they now only stream their favorite movies and shows? Or do they watch traditional television? This may affect whether you add CTV, traditional commercial broadcasts or both to the mix. What social media platforms do they use, and how much time do they spend on each? This could affect the budget you set aside for social media advertising and influencer marketing.
Social media advertising has become a huge asset to ecommerce brands’ multichannel strategies as we see an increase in user-generated content and a growth in social media app usage — especially TikTok. According to GWI, the number of users who log into TikTok daily has increased by 54%. While social media has remained a viable channel option for ecommerce brands, a YouGov study found 46% of consumers still find print and television advertising to be trustworthy while only 19% think social media advertising is reliable. To account for these differences in opinion, multichannel marketing allows you to capture the attention of more people based on their preferred media consumption method.
Ensuring Your Success
Consistency is key with multichannel marketing. By delivering a similar strategy and branding across each channel, ecommerce companies can curate a cohesive experience that promotes brand recall and customer loyalty. As you optimize your strategy, it’s important to remember not every audience is the same, and each channel has its purpose within the purchase funnel. You might use display ads for brand awareness and turn to Instagram’s shopping ads to reach consumers who are in the consideration phase of making a purchase. Although each of these channels serves a different purpose or reaches a distinct consumer type, all come together for a common end goal: to drive more purchases.
A multichannel marketing strategy should evolve. You may start with a certain channel mix, but that doesn’t mean you should continue with those same channels for every campaign. Just as the customer journey constantly changes, so too should your marketing strategy. As technology progresses and new platforms emerge, your customers will have myriad ways to discover new products. Meet them where they are to ensure your brand remains top of mind.
Developing a multichannel marketing strategy might be complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Partner with Goodway Group, and we can help you formulate a strategy for multichannel marketing success. Schedule a chat for a free consultation.