The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and retailers everywhere are thinking about their Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies. But if you’re not thinking about your shopping experience from an omnichannel perspective, you may be missing out.
While most people consider Black Friday to be an in-person shopping holiday and Cyber Monday its online counterpart, the modern customer journey isn’t so black and white. Some customers may research online, then go to a physical store to make a purchase, while others browse a physical store, then go home to complete their purchase online after thinking it over. An omnichannel marketing strategy makes it possible to connect these experiences and gather customer data from every touchpoint.
In this blog, we discuss five winning retail customer experience strategies for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as how Syniverse’s Hyperscale Communications Platform is helping retailers unify their e-commerce and in-store shopping experiences to deliver increased sales and customer satisfaction.
Omnichannel Marketing Strategies for Retail Success
Today’s consumers can make purchases from anywhere, so businesses have had to adapt to meet their changing needs and expectations. Omnichannel marketing, in particular, is a strategy for selling products and services that takes into account the customer’s entire buying journey across multiple channels, from initial contact all the way through to purchase. It’s a strategy that is quickly becoming the standard approach for retailers.
Omnichannel marketing strategies work so well because they give businesses more opportunities to interact with their customers and collect data about what those customers want. In addition, successfully implemented omnichannel strategies lead to increased customer satisfaction, as customers enjoy the benefits and simplicity of a frictionless buying experience. Here are five strategies that we have identified for how omnichannel marketing can improve your Cyber Monday and Black Friday customer experience:
1. Provide Seamless Customer Service
The rise of omnichannel contact services has been a game-changer for retailers in providing a seamless customer experience.
The last thing a customer wants to do on their holiday is spend hours on hold with customer support. When customer service channels—such as phone, email, and chatbots—are connected, customer service agents can see a customer’s entire interaction history, allowing them to get to the root of the problem and provide a solution more efficiently. By being present on multiple channels, you also eliminate the need for customers to go through multiple steps before finding the right person or department within your organization who can help them answer their questions.
2. Personalize the Shopping Experience
There’s more to a great retail shopping experience than just providing better customer service. Omnichannel marketing tools can also be used to create a unique digital fingerprint of each customer across platforms. This means companies can use that information to their advantage by tailoring products and experiences to each customer.
For example, imagine you’re a clothing retailer. Customers can take a style quiz on your website to find their perfect winter wardrobe, identifying what size they wear, as well as color and style preferences.
When submitting their results, the customer provides you with their email address or phone number, enabling you to use their data to send them personalized offers. To encourage in-person shopping, you could also give them the option to put the items from their personalized style quiz on hold.
An omnichannel marketing tool allows you to merge all data points and create a custom shopping experience for each customer no matter where they shop or when they shop. This personalization is becoming the norm among winning retailers, and customers are now even beginning to expect it from their favorite retailers.
3. Use Omnichannel Data to Drive New Sales
There are countless ways that effective marketers can leverage this data to gain insights, power new experiences, and increase sales. This cohesive view of the data also can help customers feel valued when you offer them personalized items based on their purchase history or loyalty program membership status (e.g., “We noticed this is your 5th pair of shoes in the past year—how about we throw in free socks?”)
It also allows marketers to use cross-platform data to target users who are not even aware that they’re looking for something until they see it promoted at just the right time through an ad on social media or via push notifications from a shopping app.
4. Deliver Timely Shipping Notifications
Shipments are a critical part of the customer experience in retail, and your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies must include planning around how you interact with customers at this pivotal phase.
Customers want to know that they will receive what they ordered when they expect it, and they want to be able to track their shipments throughout. Good communication by retailers (especially around the holidays) can help avoid increased cancellations and returns, to ensure customer satisfaction.
- SMS: Sending out shipping notifications through text messaging is one way that you can keep customers informed about the status of their shipments. You can even use this method to send promotional messages related to specific products or services that customers have ordered from your site.
- Email: You can also use email notifications as another way to communicate with customers about incoming packages. This option is particularly useful for those who prefer not to receive text messages or find them spammy.
- Push Notifications: Customers can receive instant push notifications on their devices at any time, even if there isn’t an active application running on their device, making this a great way to keep them informed.
5. Give Customers Greater Flexibility
The final strategy is to be flexible. The best way to build an effective omnichannel strategy is to give customers control over the experience. Customers who can choose how they want to interact with your brand are more likely to be satisfied with the end result. That’s why omnichannel strategies should offer a variety of options for customers to choose from—so they can use whichever one works best for them at any given time.
For example, “buy online, pick-up in store” (BOPIS) is one of the most popular methods for making online purchases accessible through physical stores. The goal is to provide an easy way for customers who live near a retail location but don’t have time to wait around for shipping or delivery services to get what they need right away.
This method works particularly well if you’re trying to sell products that are heavy or bulky because it eliminates shipping costs while still allowing customers the option of paying extra fees if they want faster delivery options instead of picking up their items themselves.
Unify Your E-commerce and In-Store Black Friday Shopping Experiences
Omnichannel retail strategies are helping businesses streamline shopping experiences, brand messaging, customer service, and analytics to deliver successful results this holiday season. But how do you implement these strategies to provide a unified e-commerce and in-store shopping experience?
At Syniverse, we believe that a company’s success is tied to its ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience across all channels, and we’re here to help them do it. Using Syniverse’s customized CPaaS solutions, you can quickly integrate and deploy messaging programs and unify your customer communications. With a future-ready digital platform, you’ll be able to leverage both your existing infrastructure and new technologies like IoT devices, AI, voice assistants, and more to create truly personalized experiences for your customers.
Chat with a customer experience expert to learn more about how Syniverse can help you create and deliver a winning Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy this holiday season and beyond.