Do you have a continuous “conversation” with you customers regardless of what channel or device they’re using to interact with your beauty brand? Or are you simply selling products through multiple channels and calling it omnichannel? In a true omnichannel experience, the salesperson knows what products the customer bought online yesterday and uses that information to make recommendations today. Even more importantly, your e-commerce engine knows that the local store didn’t have a specific dress in the customer’s size last week and notifies them when it’s in stock online.
Building an Omnichannel Experience
One of the biggest challenges with omnichannel marketing is determining that a customer browsing the website today is the same person who bought a moisturizer through Instagram yesterday. When you can connect the two, you can tailor communication, including education and commerce, across multiple channels. For example, you might provide information on using the moisturizer or recommend additional products through an SMS message, even though they purchased through Instagram.
Once you can identify the person on multiple channels, the next step is obtaining contact information to provide a personal experience that’s as close as possible to the in-store experience. Many brands assume that the only (or best) way to get a phone number is to offer a discount. However, discounts can negatively impact the brand reputation and hurt your profit margins. Instead, by using interactive content on your website, you can gather information through engaging questions and then ask for the customer’s SMS number to send their results. In this way, you connect their online interactions with their mobile device and pave the way for true omnichannel experiences.
Here are three ideas for building engagement into your omnichannel experience.
1. Create Novelty
Gabe Wolf, director of growth at Live Polish, says that, with beauty products, novelty is everything when it comes to engaging new customers. Omnichannel makes it easier to create an engaging experience because you can use different types of interactivity and content in unique ways. Wolf says that his brand creates novelty by using money previously earmarked for marketing to develop new products, which means the brand continually has something new to talk about. Live Polish also recently partnered with SpongeBob SquarePants to expand its target audience from their traditional customer to a smaller demographic previously at the fringe of their customer base.
“We’ve found it very useful to change our marketing strategy from a price-based company to a brand that provides novelty,” says Wolf.
2. Localize content for individual visitors and customers
Each country, language, and even region of the same country uses different terms and often has a unique shared culture. Once you determine the user’s profile and location, segments allow you to localize all content, such as ad copy, on-site signage, social media posts, and website flows. Mehdi Samadi, CEO of Intellipse, explains that it has been very fruitful for the company to understand customers’ differences based on their location. For example, someone in the Middle East and someone in Europe may each need a different customer experience or journey even if they both came through an English ad, he says.
3. Use social selling platforms
Brands embracing a true omnichannel experience offer multiple ways of purchasing products, in addition to the website, such as shoppable posts on Facebook or Instagram. Twitter recently announced that they are adding shopping to their platform as well. However, you need to connect the experiences so interactions on different channels connect to each other. For example, if a customer adds a product to their cart on Instagram and then moves to the website, you want the product to automatically show up in their cart on the website. You can use the browsing history on social media shoppable posts and purchases to help drive recommendations on the website, and vice versa.
Once your brand creates the overall omnichannel strategy, you must use the data gathered on all channels to further develop the omnichannel experience. For example, if your customers tend to buy many products on social and a new social media channel offering shoppable posts becomes popular, you should strongly consider being active on the new channel.
Creating the omnichannel infrastructure is the first step, and brands that continually evolve the experience based on customer needs and preferences are the ones likely to see the highest long-term success with revenue and customer loyalty.