An FMCG sales and marketing strategy is going through a retail metamorphosis today. While leading FMCG manufacturers combine their offline GTM strategies with Digital capabilities, creating a winning Omni-channel combination is the difference that sets one apart from the other. In other words, Omni-Channel is an approach that enable marketers to synergise their strategies in a single solution and propagate it across multiple channels. It helps sell better, reduce costs and enhance customer base.
In the retail context, Omni-Channel marketing strategy is one of the best strategies to improve customer journey. But the pertinent question remains that why is it important to align and integrate digital channels and route-to-market strategies? To put it simply, why does offline and online strategies need to converge? And how does it improve the overall customer experience?
In this context, it is important to understand that there’s been a major shift in the digital buying patterns of FMCG consumers. Today, the purchasing power of fast moving goods is determined not just by millennials or affluent consumers but by the rural segment alike. While digital buyers have multiplied in the past decade or so, the in-store shopper continues to play an equally important role in determining ideal buying behaviour. Therefore, the offline buying experience is not immune from digital. Rather, the grocery store is going through a digital transformation.
Omni-Channel Marketing is the answer to several questions faced by the Indian retail industry today. Merging an organization’s virtual contact approach with the in-store retail execution strategy improves the overall brand health while driving incremental growth. Marketers have gradually evolved from operating on multiple channels to developing a holistic “Omni-Channel strategy”.
Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy
It essentially integrates all marketing strategies and run them on a single platform. Creating and combining marketing programs such as first Welcome notification followed by complex multi-step initiatives. These include social ads, website, email, messaging bursts and other online + offline channels. What this strategy does in the process is to maximize a marketer’s reach to a wider target audience. However, marketers must ensure that while each channel communicate a unique message but types into the overall brand strategy. Each message must reflect the nature of the channel they are on thus simplifying a marketer’s job to ensure effectiveness of marketing campaigns promising improved customer journey.
How does Omni-Channel Marketing improve Customer Journey?
Omni Channel marketing must consider the fact that a customer can begin their journey on one channel, jump on to the other and finally gets converted on the third channel. Hence, what they see in an email should equally reflect in social media, website or any other marketing channel. It is this consistent piece of communication that creates a unified brand experience regardless of the medium.
Why do retailers adopt Omni-Channel Marketing strategy today?
It has now become imperative for brands to integrate unique messaging across all communication mediums to simplify buying experience for their potential customers. More and more retail brands are moving towards integrating their offline and online channel experience.
A recent report suggests that nearly 74% respondents said that they find it fairly important to have a cohesive Omni-channel experience. According to Google, about 85% online buyers start a purchase on one device and finish on another. It is therefore important for retailers to make the most of this trend and create a seamless Omni-Channel experience for the customer. Some of the key advantages of Omni-Channel Retail include:
- Greater efficiency
- Improved Data Collection
- Increased margins
- Integrated communication and data analysis
One of the key highlights of this strategy is that it builds cross channel capability which implies that customer data can be accessed at any point of generation.
While it may seem like the best targeted strategy, research also shows that marketers face some of the biggest challenges to implement Omni-Channel strategy:
- Lack of cross platform data
- Limited Budget
- Lack of a skilled resource to implement omni channel strategy
- Transparency of information across channels
- Accessing data across channels
Reaching the right audience, engaging with them on an impactful level and ensuring that the customer interaction is consistent and complimentary are crucial in business today. Digital transformation that retailers and brands are seeing today has prompted marketers to shift focus on building an effective Omni-Channel Marketing Program.