Digital Strategy as the Heart of the Brand's Omnichannel Presence
In today's digital environment, brands face the challenge of maintaining a consistent presence at different touchpoints with their customers, which can become very complicated when the brand has grown without a clear omnichannel strategy.
While the need for a strong strategic approach may seem obvious to any brand looking to grow its omnichannel presence, it is very common for us to minimize this process to go straight to implementing workarounds that may seem quick but end up costing the company a lot over the long term.
When we ask ourselves what a brand needs to be able to face its user experience challenges at an omnichannel level, sometimes we tend to look for answers in the commercial, technological, financial and even sales areas; however, in the vast majority of cases, these areas will not have the transversal vision that is needed to be able to establish an adequate omnichannel strategy that allows reaching the medium-, short- and long-term goals of the business.
Let’s remember that the search for omnichannel means integrating all the brand's touchpoints in such a way that the user or potential client can begin their interaction in one channel and end it in a different one in a consistent, uninterrupted, and integrated way. These interactions we talk about can be purchases of products or services, issues related to customer service, questions, or any other brand information the customer may need.
Omnichannel is the new relationship model between brands and customers that allows for a transition from linear interaction in single, isolated, and occasional touchpoints, to a truly customer-focused ecosystem, improving and expanding the experience through digital, ensuring a seamless and continuous connection with the brand.
So, how should we approach the pursuit of omnichannel?
A successful omnichannel ecosystem is based on two key pillars: functional performance on interconnected touchpoints and emotional journeys able to build brand intimacy.
The omnichannel presence also requires a vision and understanding of the brand’s funnel contrasted with the user experience, big data and analytics, as well as governance and innovation models — elements that are mostly connected through the digital ecosystem and digital journey — which allows these areas to have the necessary dimension to be able to generate a more heterogeneous and competitive strategic approach.
An omnichannel company develops strategies that produce positive experiences, seeking to exceed customer’s expectations and offer added value to the product or service. It’s not only about serving or selling but about impressing and making an impact through the integration of the available channels, which today are mostly focused on the digital world.
Digital allows companies to interact directly with their customers and manage their experience in an innovative and effective way in all its phases, providing the opportunity to add offline channels to the strategic framework in a natural and integrated way; in other words, the digital strategy is a flexible and open framework that gives space to external elements if needed, such as TV, radio or out of home.
On the other hand, the remarkable volume of data produced at various digital touchpoints and advanced analytics technologies, allow companies to extract increasingly relevant information to optimize business decisions that impact different brand touchpoints.
Omnichannel optimization, as a result of a digital strategy, often leads to budgets being better directed and more adjusted, also allowing greater control according to the brand’s needs.
The personalization of interactions is another important element that must be considered in an omnichannel process, given that our audience is increasingly interested in having unique experiences that allow them to develop a stronger bond that helps us keep them captive in a crowded environment of competitors.
Such customization can be achieved more easily by using the digital ecosystem thanks to its properties, flexibility, innovation and speed, which adds to the reasons why a digital framework could be used as the main strategic framework of a brand, even including non-digital touchpoints as part of the planning as a whole.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy from a digital framework can lead to funneling optimization in different ways; for example, driving digital traffic to retail and converting in the physical store, creating retail visitor retargeting strategies to increase sales in digital channels, taking advantage of the digital re-visit rate to promote customer engagement, etc.
By keeping in mind the digital strategy as the heart of the brand's omnichannel presence, we will have the opportunity to increase our sales, increase customer retention, increase lifetime value and encourage repurchase, all this with the aim to build trust in our audience, providing a better experience and optimizing our workflows.
Having an omnichannel strategy is no longer just an advantage over the market or the competition, but rather a necessity in today's digital environment, especially for businesses with a strong need to relate to their consumer on every channel they manage. We must begin to think strategically about how we impact people's lives, and the added value that we have to offer to our users, beyond clean interfaces or innovative designs. We must think about how we make them always want to come back to us.