For successful e-commerce businesses, selling exclusively through an online website is no longer an option. Long-term growth depends on merchants' ability to reach their customers across multiple channels. Customers don't just make purchases 'online' or 'offline', there are a whole host of touchpoints in between where sales can be made. Companies must therefore adapt their strategy
Multichannel marketing makes it possible to develop contacts with customers through off and online channels. They are distribution channels (stores and websites) as well as relational channels (social media, newsletters) or transactional channels (vendors, vouchers). Multichannel marketing is therefore manifested by a set of marketing, commercial and relational actions, combining several channels: physical point of sale, interactive terminal, face-to-face salesperson, social media, mobile, website. The objective of a multi-channel marketing strategy is to optimize the impact of its actions by selecting the channels most in line with its target. Another objective is to allow the brand to occupy the ground at several levels, relational and transactional, anytime, anywhere and on any medium. For example, a customer might go to an e-commerce website to check the features and price of a product, but then decide to go to a physical store to make sure it's the right color or the right size.
The multichannel marketing strategy concerns not only the relational but also the transactional. People interact with brands online, through social media, mobile apps, emails and text messages. A multi-channel marketing strategy allows the business to offer conversion points through each of these channels, creating a synchronized customer experience that will drive more sales. Businesses that operate multiple sales channels see their revenue increase by 190% compared to businesses that only sell on one platform. A multi-channel approach radically increases the chances of making sales and building lasting relationships with customers. Offering personalized and relevant information to every interaction between the brand and the customer creates an overall more positive customer experience.
A company that decides to build a multi-channel marketing policy must remain vigilant, because the use of this strategy involves several constraints. The problem may be that the individual sales channels are generally not connected, so the experience tends to be different from channel to channel and without a consistent customer journey. The channels chosen should therefore ideally be complementary; it is always necessary to ensure that these different channels used are not directly placed in fierce competition; the message and commercial policy must remain consistent from one channel to another; the history of contacts obtained via the various channels must be centralized; front office staff must be fully trained to all these issues. These constraints mean that an effective multi-channel strategy is not within the reach of all e-tailers and that its use must be the subject of in-depth strategic reflection.
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