As you are aware, the organizational planning and implementation is essential for controlling a multichannel strategy. The strategy is important to know that the shoppers, irrespective of the sales channel they are using, should get quality and consistent services. In this blog we are discussing the importance of pricing, promotion, analytics, and technology to become a successful multi-channel retailer.
Let’s track each and every step with an example. Let’s say any shopper decides to buy a smartphone. The first thing to consider is the price, what are the best options in that budget? Should you buy it directly from your favorite website? Should you buy from the store? Should you compare prices? Should you check the reviews? And many other questions. This customer journey will help the retailers with many touch points. Let’s contemplate the factors on multichannel marketing.
Considering our imaginary product, the shopper is navigating through multiple popular e-commerce websites. What is the person looking for? The lowest price possible. It can be in the form of cashback or loyalty points. If the shopper can find a cheaper price at other websites what would that mean for you? And if you cannot reduce the price at your end, what other things can you add in the projected prices which may include additional warranties, discounts on further purchases and some freebies. If organizations can manage and invest in Product Information Management (PIM), these systems can help them by managing product information. This information is released on different media outlets, websites, and catalogs. Your company has to manage a uniform price across all the channels to provide uniformity.
As we referred to the hypersensitivity of prices, organizations have to take care of the promotions they are dispersing across different channels. We can go back to the smartphone example. Imagine if the smartphone offer was different on one website and drastically changes on the other one. How would that impact the shopper? And what brand image that can establish on the mass shoppers. Your marketing budget can be finite and the sales channels are growing by the day, so without a clear understanding of the purchase path and the role of sales channels in each step, there are plenty of uninformed promotional investments. If you get a hold of the correct data, you can target the right promotional strategy to help the customer throughout the shopping journey.
Let’s take one step further in our imaginary journey of a smartphone, for instance, you have already purchased a smartphone online. The organization selling it is continuously investing in search engine optimization to ensure that it is easily found on the internet. This organization is making sure that its search results respond to the ‘latest’ + ‘smartphone’ + ‘best price’ and other important keywords. This organization is also maintaining its Facebook and other social media platforms with happy stories from its happy customers. Even though it is complicated, it is important to refer to the analytics, because it will help you understand the shopper, and decide the where and how of the investment. This will help you understand how each of the channels is performing and how to optimize the shopper experience.
Technology will be playing such an important role in a multichannel marketing strategy. As mentioned previously a PIM system manages all the information that has to be shared on other media channels. In the same manner, the inventory management systems can help in adding transparency in the product inventory control and distribution. Technology is also helping in understanding what type of engagement is each channel drawing. By using these, the organizations can make sure that the services provided are even and uniform across all the channels.
To strategize, you have to understand the journey of the customer. The current shoppers are researching on multiple platforms before making a purchase. It is not a linear process anymore, there are multiple activities, technology and channels involved. Thinking about the shoppers’ journey will help you to add more context.