Updated: Sep 26, 2022
“Wait, how do they know I was just checking this product out sometime back?”
This was my first experience with omnichannel marketing automation as a customer. One Saturday morning, I was happily scrolling through festive wears on a shopping website.
As an impulsive shopper that I am, I added a dress to my cart as soon as I liked it and exactly when I was about to make payment, bam!
My phone started ringing. It was a call from my dad. I spoke to him and later forgot about the dress.
Since it was a lazy Saturday, I continued scrolling through my phone, opened Facebook this time and saw the same dress pop up on my screen with a price drop.
The description said, “Great choice! But what is it doing in your cart when you should be slaying in it? Get it now!”
Such a personalised, rightly timed message actually made me go back to the shopping app and complete my purchase.
But I was totally unaware of the fact that it wasn’t a goodbye with omnichannel marketing.
I met omnichannel marketing automation again and this time, as a digital marketer.
Retargeting Website Visitors on Facebook
It was 2017 and I’d joined my first startup as a Digital Marketing Executive. For 2 weeks straight, I’d been running targeted Facebook ads.
I wanted to learn more and when my manager told me he’d teach me how to set up retargeting ads on Facebook, I couldn’t be more excited.
So on a Monday morning, we mixed some marketing spirit into our morning cup of tea and opened up Facebook Business Manager.
Next, we made a custom audience list of those who’d added an item to cart, visited the check out page but not placed an order.
After this, we set up a personalised ad with a discount to the potential customers in the list and bagged close to 30% conversion rate.
Now as much as I’d love to show you how the ad looked, I don’t really have access anymore.
So instead, I’m going to share this nice retargeting ad I came across from Baba Souk, an online boutique for creative cool cats, indie design and craft lovers.
Digging Into Omnichannel Marketing Automation
So far, I’d been on the receiving end of omnichannel marketing automation both as a customer and a digital marketer.
But it was only recently when I decided to get into its basics as a marketer who’s been exploring best ways to boost customer retention and thereby, customer loyalty.
Here’s everything that I’ve learned and tried to put in a simpler manner.
What is Omnichannel Marketing Automation?
Gone are the days when customers used to stick to just brick and mortar stores or websites or apps.
Today, customers can start their journey on one platform, jump to another and complete it on the third.
Omnichannel marketing unifies such customer experience of a brand regardless of channel. Omnichannel marketing automation is basically automating such efforts.
In simple words, it focuses on providing a customer, personalised brand experience in real time based on what actions the customer has already taken.
Take Spotify for example. It uses customer’s listening habits to create personalised playlists.
Spotify first observes the music you’re listening to.
Then based on what you listen to most, it makes an understanding of your taste in music.
Next, it uses this data to create playlists such as Daily Mix and Discover Weekly
At last, it communicates the same to a customer by saying
“We made something just for you. Check out your Daily Mix on the Home Tab.”
You know how Spotify made it possible? By using customer personalization.
How Spotify Used Personalisation to Retain Customers
Spotify reached 172 million premium subscribers worldwide in Q2 of 2021, double their subscriber base since 2017.
How? In addition to offering excellent customer onboarding and service, Spotify makes their experience personalised - a crucial element of omnichannel marketing automation.
This makes users keep coming back to the app, boosting customer loyalty and thereby, customer retention.
Power of Omnichannel Marketing Automation
The road to understanding the power of omnichannel marketing passes through its benefits.
But before I speak about that, I’ve to say that omnichannel marketing is not the same as multichannel marketing.
Initially, I had a vague idea about it but it was only after understanding the core difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing that I had my “Woah!” moment.
Omnichannel Marketing is NOT Multichannel
Let me explain this with a simple scenario. We all know about online food ordering and delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato.
I recently came across one of the awesome Zomato ads on my Instagram(left). Then another ad from Zomato popped on Facebook (right).
Now, if we take a closer look, we can see that Zomato in this case is communicating cool but different offers on 2 channels. The messaging is brand oriented and channel-independent.
This is how a multi-channel marketing automation looks like. While it uses more than one platform with the same core message, the channels don’t really work cohesively.
On the other hand, omnichannel marketing automation is focussed on customers. The core message changes as per customer actions and all channels broadcast it together.
At this point, I’d like you to recall my shopping experience. I was looking for traditional wear, went to a shopping site, saw it, got busy and bought it because it showed me the same later.
Hence, omnichannel marketing automation gives customers exactly what they were looking for.
Why Invest in Omnichannel Marketing Automation?
We now arrive at the most important question - should a brand use omnichannel marketing automation? If so, why?
I’d rather say, why not? That's why I've put 4 reasons a brand must use omnichannel marketing automation, in a nutshell.
Omnichannel marketing automation provides better -
1. Customer experience According to Google customer insights, shoppers are 40% more likely to spend more than planned when the shopping experience is highly personalised. Like I mentioned in the case of Spotify, personalisation is the key to providing the best customer experience. Omnichannel marketing automation makes this possible. Moreover, since the content isn’t pushy but customised as per customers behaviour, it makes them feel connected.
Omnichannel marketing automation has also shown that personalisation leads to better engagement.
Lenskart, for example, achieved 68% higher engagement with push notifications personalised based on each user’s first name, location, and purchase history.
2. Customer loyalty Without a doubt, omnichannel marketing automation is the most suitable way of retaining customers. Why? Because it speaks to the customer directly. How?
By keeping a track of the customer's previous interaction. Okay, let’s look at it by considering apps like Instagram, YouTube, Netflix. Why are we so addicted to it?
Because the algorithm shows us content based on what we’ve liked or viewed most. Similarly, omnichannel marketing lets brands create user segments and offer something similar or necessary.
Look at this classic recommendation email for instance. Now, if I as a customer start seeing this across my notifications, SMS, social media and emails, I’d definitely want to check it out.
This way, customers are tempted to come to the app and engage, increasing customer retention and loyalty.
3. Brand visibility As a brand, being where your customers are is crucial. Omnichannel marketing automation makes this possible by showing the right content, to the right customer at the right time.
This in turn boosts your brand visibility. Going back to my shopping experience, if it wasn’t for the abandoned cart notification, I’d have totally forgotten about my dress in the cart and switched to another brand.
4. Business analytics
When omnichannel marketing is automated, it lets your brand understand customer journey and touch points so that you can create a better customer experience.
You can learn which product a customer previously engaged with, left in the cart, what is viewed or purchased most, which product is most popular in which location or age, etc.
Take Facebook for example. If you’re a brand that sells customised gifts, you can target your ads to people with an upcoming anniversary.
Similar is the case with omnichannel marketing automation tools.
Statistics also show that omnichannel delivers 90% higher customer retention than buying through a single channel.
Do More with Omnichannel Marketing Automation
With omnichannel marketing automation, you deliver relevant content to customers in real-time. What next? How do you ensure that your customer doesn’t fall out of your brand offerings, voice, content?
By motivating customers and what better way of doing so than rewarding them?
This way, you could not only show them what they missed but also attach a reward for claiming it, enhancing their retention rate.
According to Harvard Business Review, a rewards program can accelerate customer loyalty life cycle, encouraging 1st-or 2nd-year customers to behave like a company’s most profitable 10th-year customers.
But only if it is planned and implemented as part of a larger loyalty-management strategy.
This is where Flyy - a loyalty reward solution comes into picture.
Businesses like StuCred have increased customer retention by 94% by using a loyalty rewards solution like Flyy. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a demo here.