Omnichannel is sometimes viewed as an “aspirational” content strategy, though retailers would be wise to go ahead and aim high.
Developing good content for multiple shopping platforms is only becoming more critical. With rising mobile use and a growing comfort with online shopping, more sophisticated approaches are necessary to reach today’s (and tomorrow’s) shoppers.
We’ve gathered some links to help you discover the how and why of omnichannel, along with some ways you can make it work for your brand.
From Multi- to Omnichannel
Both multichannel and ommichannel strategies aim to bring content to as many platforms as possible. But omnichannel steps it up by attempting to unify content across all channels, from digital to in-person purchases.
A successful omnichannel retailer assumes shoppers will bounce from channel to channel, gathering product info and comparison shopping before making a purchase. They strive to make each shift as smooth as possible by creating and publishing the most appropriate content at each stop along the buying journey.
Content must fit each retail channel’s requirements while existing in harmony with other selling platforms, including the brand’s site, brick and mortar stores, and social media. Most importantly, the omnichannel approach puts consumer behavior at the center of content creation.
Consumer Behavior at the Center
What are customers doing to necessitate a change in strategy? Read on for some key points.
Shoppers are dictating new content criteria, demanding “social validation, accurate product information, real-time accurate inventory information, competitive pricing, convenient fulfillment and convenient returns.”
Our multi-screen world, of course, has directly influenced modern shopping habits. Over 50% of respondents to a recent Nielsen study reported mobile as their most important product research tool.
This means showrooming and webrooming are on the rise. Shoppers expect the product and availability information they encounter to be aligned online and in-store.
Omnichannel: What You Need to Know for 2015 – Retailing Today
More Than 30% of Consumers “Mobile Only” – Marketing Land
How Will Webrooming and Showrooming Evolve This Year? – Smart Insight
Brands are smart to consider consumer engagement when building a content strategy. For example, millennials’ digital dexterity and social media involvement have a direct influence on consumer behavior.
Striving for a Seamless Experience
No single retailer is nailing omnichannel 100% of the time, but a few key brands are lighting the way. Consider these approaches to craft a more seamless shopping experience for your customers.
- Customize your content to every channel, while maintaining your brand’s overall identity.
- Optimize your content for mobile devices; these purchases are on the rise.
- Maintain consistency across your brand’s apps, mobile, desktop, and in-store sites.
- Harness the power of personalization.
- Produce online content that supports in-store purchases.
Marketing to the Omnichannel Consumer – Huffington Post
Mobile Now the Primary Way Consumers Shop Online – Internet Retailer
5 Excellent Examples of Omnichannel Retailing Done Right – Multichannel Merchant
Downright Personal – National Retail Federation
Take Sony, for example: their teams have established four stops along their customers’ shopping journey: discovery, research and decision, buy and get, and use and own. Each phase requires content tailored to support those actions.
Welcome to Omnichannel Content Strategy – Content Science
One last key point: You can’t create consistently high-quality content without accurate, thorough product info and assets. Start by adopting an asset management system for your brand.
How to Manage Product Content for an Omnichannel Advantage – CMO by Adobe
Customers aren’t the only ones to benefit from an omnichannel approach. Just as this strategy creates seamless experiences for shoppers, implementing it requires the same unification within the silos of your brand.
Content must be supported by the right technology and flow through the creation, publishing, management, marketing, and sales processes efficiently. Not an easy feat. But if you manage to move toward an omnichannel approach, you can foster the kind of brand loyalty that makes a difference to your bottom line. And, you can make life easier behind the digital curtain.
Want more good information? Check out our link roundup on the benefits of product information. Because the value of good product content can never be overstated.