As the internet continues to grow, the ways in which customers and consumers can interact with business will continue to diversify. This isn't just limited to customer service or digital marketing either, as the sheer range of online marketplaces available continues to expand.

The simple fact of the matter is that omni channel is no longer an exceptional eCommerce strategy – instead, it's quickly becoming the industry standard for all kinds of online retailer. But what does omni-channel actually mean, and why is it so important to brands and businesses all over the world?

What Is Omni-Channel eCommerce And Marketing?

Otherwise known as multi-channel, or cross-channel, this strategy involves engaging with your customers and potential customers on every conceivable level and across all kinds of possible social sites. It is also performed by companies offering their products for sale through every possible avenue of interaction.

As part of the same strategy, both of these techniques are absolutely essential for modern online retail, marketing and more. Simply, that is because customers and potential customers are using more channels than ever before. These strategies are absolutely essential for modern businesses. The major challenge facing these businesses is that it can be incredibly difficult to market these particular, individual strategies across all relevant channels.

The more channels you offer your products or interactions through, the more difficult they can be to manage. However, the more avenues you use, the greater the potential rewards for your strategies are.

What Are The Benefits Of Omni-Channel eCommerce?

  • Omni-Channel Consumers Spend More Money – More than 2/3rds of all shoppers are to be considered as omni-channel customers, as they use a variety of different avenues of interaction. As many as 90% of those consumers expect that their interaction with a particular brand will be consistent across all possible channels and devices.

    As these customers engage with brands at multiple touch points, they also have more opportunities to shop with your business across the internet – which is particularly true if you offer a range of different product types. If your brand identity isn't present and completely consistent across both online and offline avenues of interaction, then you could really lose a great deal of traction.

    Whilst this would be a bad thing with any customer, when it comes to omni-channel customers, the risk can be much greater. Losing or alienating these customers can really prove damaging across all of your eCommerce avenues.

  • More Engagement = More Data = Better Customer Insights – When you can understand where your target customers are buying your products, you will be able to understand where your marketing budget is best spent. For example, if more of your products are disappearing from physical shelves than from your online store, you might be best aiming your marketing strategies towards the brick-and-mortar stores.

    Similarly, for the digital world, you will be able to understand how your customers react to different kinds of digital marketing. For example, is your target audience more likely to leap into action following email marketing or display advertising? Do your customers only buy during promotions?

    The kinds of information that you can obtain from omni-channel marketing tactics can reveal these trends and help your brand to streamline all future efforts for the most rewarding results. This kind of extremely in-depth, specific and thorough research can be used to identify the target audience on each channel and allow you to understand their marketing preferences. This can really offer fantastic rewards when it comes to lead generation on a business-wide scale.

  • Brand Exposure And Awareness – Thanks to multichannel eCommerce, you'll be able to drive customers between your various avenues. This is nowhere more visible than when it comes to moving potential consumers from a third-party marketplace presence, like your Amazon or eBay account, to your primary eCommerce solution.

    When you make your brand present on all channels, you'll be able to improve the customer experience and your brand's reputation. Omni-channel customers expect options and they want to be able to interact with your business in the way that they are most familiar.

    Some people are even encouraged by the added security that a multichannel eCommerce strategy can provide. This is particularly true if a customer has never bought from you before, and is hesitant with regards to your trustworthiness.

Cross-Channel eCommerce And Your Business Management System

One thing that is obvious is that retailers are certainly able to reap the great benefits associated with omni-channel eCommerce, but only if they know how to attract and connect with these customers. In order to provide this great service that your customers are on the lookout for, you need to ensure that your company is structured in the right way. One of the most important things to consider when it comes to omni-channel, however, is practicality. You need to ensure that your eCommerce solution is designed in such a way that allows you to quickly and easily make the most of this exciting customer base.

Omni-Channel eCommerce Development

It is important that your business' online system has the ability to make the most of cross-channel retail as a real feature. The strategy offers a range of advantages, of course, but the major problem is that few organisations actually have the technology in place to make it feasible.

Offering your products across a range of online marketplaces can be extremely difficult in terms of order management and logistics. You need a contentmanagement and eCommerce system which is capable of controlling every aspect of your business and can easily be integrated with a range of different online platforms.

These integrations will allow you to manage stock, orders, delivery and product information including price, description, image and more. All of this will be done from a single interface, allowing you to save a great deal of time and ensure that your online presence remains up-to-date across all marketplaces.

Amazon Integration

As the largest online retailer, there are hundreds of thousands of customers who will always check Amazon before going on to Google to look for specific products. The eCommerce giant has a fantastic reputation in terms of user-friendliness, reliability and efficiency and is definitely a necessary addition to your overall content marketing strategy.

Thanks to the very best in Amazon integration services, you will be able to create an easy platform which allows you to keep all information up to date and ensure that your customer enjoys a fantastic online interaction.

Just some of the features of Amazon integration include:

  • Merchant Account Setup;
  • Detailed Product Setup;
  • Order Management;
  • Amazon Adjustments And Settlements Feeds;
  • Up-To-Date Order Information;

eBay Integration

Trading on eBay is extremely popular for businesses of all shapes and sizes. With more than 15 million active customers, it's no surprise that the online marketplace/auction site is a great option. If you're looking to expose your products to a new audience, then integrating your eCommerce platform with eBay can be a great decision.

As part of our online development services, we can also help to create a bespoke, branded eBay store design to ensure that your business really sticks in your customers' minds. An eBay store is essential to your eCommerce success and with eBay integration you can make the entire system much easier to control, monitor and fulfil than ever before.

Bespoke eCommerce Solutions

Of course, you need to ensure that the centre point of your business' online presence – your website – offers the very best in terms of customer service and reliability. Our eCommerce Management Systems are capable of handling a huge volume of traffic and transactions and can offer businesses of all kinds the ability to easily control, respond and close deals of all kinds, from across multiple online marketplaces.

Your central website needs to be your major converter, presenting information about your products, your brand and your business as a whole. Whilst Amazon and eBay both provide users with the opportunity to purchase your products, they rarely work when it comes to convincing customers to purchase your products.

Most online users are tech-savvy, and they won't purchase a product without first undertaking some research – your website needs to be offer detailed information, as well as the opportunity to purchase the products directly.

Great Ways For Retailers Can Improve Their Omnipresence!

1. Offer A Range Of Delivery Options – Remember that not all customers are going to be happy with standard delivery – some might want their deliveries early, whilst others will appreciate other features, such as in-store pickup or courier services.

Amazon has gained a great deal of public goodwill for offering almost unbeatable delivery timescales, including same-day delivery, with some customers receiving their products in less than an hour. Now, we're not suggesting that you try to match that, but offering a more diverse variety of delivery options can be absolutely essential.

Sometimes it's worth it to lose a little profit on the delivery than it is to lose the goodwill of a customer.

2. A Brick-And-Mortar Presence – Now, a lot of online businesses ignore the advantages that a real store can provide, particularly a high-street store. Not only can this be a sign of your organisation's legitimacy, but it can be a great way to attract customers to engage with your business.

Many customers like to be able to see, touch and feel items before purchasing, particularly for clothes and portable/wearable tech. More than 87% of consumers live within 5-miles of their local high-street, and these locations can often be a great way to offer pick-up service.

This is a service that will hugely appeal to all kinds of consumers, but particularly those who work a full-time, 9-5 job who might otherwise be unable to wait at home to collect a delivery.

3. Mobile Friendliness – Mobile devices are the most powerful eCommerce weapons in your arsenal. They can allow customers to shop, review and research products on the move and can even help to direct them to your physical store. Whether you make the most of the best in responsive website design or have a dedicated mobile app, you need to ensure that your business is available for mCommerce.

4. Personalised Communication – No matter where customers come from, where they are ordering or how much they spend, they like to be kept up to date and informed. Confirmation emails, text messages and unique customer support via social media or email can all be great ways to improve your business' reputation.

More than 94% of all companies tend to agree that personalisation is absolutely crucial when it comes to customer interaction; fewer than half of them are actually following their own advice. Remember, there is no better time to implement the best customer service and omni-channel eCommerce strategies than right now!

Of course, make sure that you ask every customers, whether online or in-store, which is the best communication for them. Some will prefer text messages or even phone calls, whilst most will prefer emails.

Omni-Channel eCommerce – The Future Of Online Retail?

Brands and businesses all need to understand their customers' unique journeys and do their best to provide the most personal, unique service for every consumer. Offering your products through a variety of online channels can hugely increase your sales and awareness of your brand, but don't underestimate the advantages that a brick-and-mortar store can provide as well.

For more information on the complete multi-channel eCommerce solutions and omni-channel marketing that we are able to provide here at Advansys, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our professional team today on 0845 838 2700. Alternatively, you can email any questions or concerns that you might have to sales@advansys.com.

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