Over the last couple of decades, we have experienced significant technological development, from the invention of the internet and the release of the first smartphone at the turn of the century to an explosion of eCommerce in recent years. New communication channels have also led to a shift in the marketing strategy of today’s businesses – both for online and brick-and-mortar commerce. Instead of using only one or two channels to introduce customers to their brand and products, a multichannel strategy can reach a wider audience and significantly increase your branding and sales.
In this blogpost, we’ll discuss what the different channels are and how state-of-the-art technology is crucial for your multichannel strategy.
Main pillars of the multichannel approach
It may sound obvious, but customer trust is the core of any successful business. Simply put, if a customer doesn’t trust you or the services you provide, they’ll probably opt for an alternative to your business.
One effective way of achieving this trust is through social selling or social commerce, as it is also called. A huge part of online shoppers uses social media platforms on a day-to-day basis. As a result that they are more likely to stumble upon a product or an online shop if it has a good social media presence and they are even more likely to buy the product if they have the possibility to buy it directly on the site on which they found it. By using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, companies can not only gain more visibility among their target audience and make it easier to reach their product, but they also give their clients the possibility to become involved in the marketing process themselves. With features like product rating on the actual website of a shop or the commenting section on social media, you give your potential customers the opportunity to get their information about your product from a firsthand source. It is more likely for them to trust the review or recommendation of a fellow customer who was in the same position as they are and who is, therefore, more relatable than the ads of the actual company.
Social selling also includes posting the company’s latest news on social media, following, and sharing important accounts, liking customer posts, and reviews, and studying LinkedIn search for new target markets. The more trusted relationships you build on social media, the more B2B buyers will want to work with you, and the more consumers will want to purchase your products.
Another way to leverage social media for your business is live selling. Although this selling technique is not a new thing, its use has increased significantly with the number of influencers and their impact on social media. With the help of an influencer or a shop associate, a company can showcase its products live on different platforms and explain the materials, functions, utility, and costs to its target audience. The audience then has the possibility to ask questions and interact directly with the host of the presentation. This improves the interaction between buyer and seller and generates trust.
This sales strategy is especially appropriate for eCommerce businesses since customers cannot simply walk into a store and try the products themselves. Think about shopping for clothes or electronic devices online. Seeing the product in action with all the necessary information will encourage consumers to purchase them without much hesitation.
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores can also profit from live selling to a certain degree, if influencers provide an additional marketing channel for their commerce, thereby increasing visibility and sales. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your business through live selling – add it to your multichannel marketing strategy!
Today, a marketplace is any platform where vendors can offer their products and services to a target customer base. With increased eCommerce, different online marketplaces are on the rise, for example, Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, but also smaller niche platforms like Runnics for sportswear or Zalando for fashion and shoes.
The advantages of online marketplaces are numerous and may be very attractive for your own business, especially if you’ve just started and don’t have a broad customer base yet. A marketplace can boost the amount of traffic to your website and products in no time. Usually, they are managed by a marketplace manager who will provide you with the right tools to get your products to the right audience at the right time. Often, such marketplace services go beyond the mere matching of vendors and sellers and offer additional packing, shipping, and warehouse services to facilitate your sales even more.
And last but not least, online marketplaces typically have an enormous consumer base, which makes it easier for consumers to purchase and for vendors to sell their products. In many cases, consumers head directly to marketplaces like Amazon to look for products instead of checking single online stores.
More ways to connect with prospects
More recent channels and applications to boost your business branding include in-car commerce, voice search, augmented reality, and multichannel customer support. In-car commerce is slowly but steadily beginning to hit the scene: car drivers may soon be able to pay for fuel, parking, and tolls by clicking on a screen in their car; even ordering a pizza may soon be possible. Although in-car commerce is not fully established yet, it is expected to become a highly effective channel for brand advertising.
For search commands inside and outside the car, many people now use voice search instead of keyword typing to save time. With the help of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, a wide range of different search commands can be done on your phone, laptop, or tablet. Businesses can take advantage of these voice search systems by improving their online and local SEO. By providing the voice search systems with the right information to read aloud to the consumers, business owners can boost their marketing.
Another application of advanced technology for marketing purposes is augmented reality (AR). This may be used to provide customers with unique experiences such as virtually trying on clothes, make-up, and other products before buying them. This is particularly relevant for products that are hard to picture based on a description or image and can therefore help consumers when making their purchase decisions.
Finally, multichannel customer support may seem rather obvious, but can make all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction. Being available and providing high-quality support is key for a trusted relationship with your customers. Multichannel customer support makes communication as easy and convenient as possible and may include phone, email, live chat, social media, FAQs, forums, and many more.
Headless technology and multichannel management
When integrating multiple channels into your business and marketing strategy, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and respond quickly to changes on all channels. The solution lies in headless approach. Based on the independent functioning of front and back end, headless technology enables businesses to store, manage, and send content and product information via an API to any channel, such as smartphones, tablets, and voice assistants.
Instead of adopting the predefined user experience offered by traditional eCommerce platforms, headless technology allows you to customize your platform, payment systems, and content delivery on all applications and devices. Improving your multichannel management with headless technology creates a more personalized user experience, makes marketing more efficient, and helps your business to create a tech stack that is agile and future-proof.
The importance of technology
After reading about the different channels that can be used to improve business branding and sales, it becomes clear that technology is indispensable. Many, if not all channels, are based on advanced technologies offering new and unique user experiences. Business owners can take advantage of the differences in every one of these new technological developments and be among the first to use it for their marketing purposes. Each platform or technological approach offers very unique opportunities to reach your audience and allows you therefore to increase the different groups of new potential target audiences.
Integrating the right technology into your business – for marketing or otherwise – helps your business become more efficient, create valuable relationships, and attract more customers, which results in increased sales. Learn about the latest technologies and how to integrate them in your marketing strategy to improve your business.
Advanced technology in the 21st century continues to grow quickly. Although new technological inventions cause a lot of change in business operations, they also offer a chance for a more efficient and effective marketing strategy. Technology enables businesses to precisely align their strategy with their target market and optimize every step of the process: marketing, product presentation, payment, and customer support. Check out different channels today and create a multichannel strategy that fits your business and helps you grow.