Have you heard of omni-channel selling? It’s the hottest trend for businesses in 2018 – and it just may be your key to success.
It’s Easy to Sell Online
If you’re a retailer, it’s time to get online! Open that e-commerce website store you’ve always wanted, because this year – 2018 – is your year for growth!
51% of Americans prefer to shop online in 2018.
That’s right – more American shoppers want to spend money online instead of at a physical location. If you don’t have an online store yet, what are you waiting for?
96% of Americans with Internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.
Again, if you haven’t launched your e-commerce website, the time is now. More and more Americans connected to the Internet have already completed a purchase online.
E-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website.
It’s getting crowded out there. Are you one of the 46% of businesses that isn’t online? If that’s the case, it is in your best interest to explore e-commerce website design and development.
It’s Hard to Be Successful Online
Yes, launching an online website can be done by virtually any business in 2018. And that’s great for both retailers and shoppers. But online retailers aren’t always successful when it comes to selling online.
Why? Why are some e-commerce websites successful and some are not?
What drives success?
Creating an integrated experience, a strategy called Omni-Channel Marketing (or Selling).
Why is omni-channel marketing successful? Because it’s what your shoppers want. And it’s what will drive online website success in 2018.
What E-commerce Shoppers Want
Customers – your target audience – should be your focus, especially when it comes to marketing and selling online. (Not sure who your target audience is? Check out our article, What is a Target Audience?)
That’s why we recommend omni-channel marketing. It’s not simply marketing across several channels; it’s giving your customer an integrated shopping experience. And it’s what your shoppers want.
What is an Omni-Channel Strategy?
The term omni-channel refers to a strategy wherein a brand creates a unified, consistent (and wonderful) experience for its customers. This experience happens on multiple channels, but the experience is always the same (and consistent with your brand).
Think about it. In 2018 your brand is represented on phone calls, in emails, on your website, in your brick-and-mortar location, on Facebook, and on and on and on.
This is one of the amazing aspects about marketing today – it’s more about who you are as a brand, not where you are. It’s true! Modern shoppers expect to encounter your brand across multiple channels, because that’s the new standard. AND they expect to encounter a consistent, professional brand across all channels.
Be an Omni-Channel Seller
The other thing about omni-channel selling is that your strategy must be targeted to your unique customer.
Instead of blasting the same post across every social media platform you can find, use data and stats to identify the best ways to sell to your audience so that you can increase ROI.
Choose wisely; costs and competition are also going up in 2018.
Costs & Competition in 2018
What do you face as an online retailer in 2018? Lots of things, both wonderful and challenging, like:
- Online Growth
- Increased Advertising Costs
- Increased Online Competition
Potential for growth abounds online – as long as you’re willing to pay for it.
How to Compete Online in 2018
Competition is growing online as retailers realize how much potential there is to sell. Plus, online shoppers are savvy and experienced; they want more than an average experience.
It’s getting tricky to be an online success if you’re a retailer. However, there are a few items you should consider.
Here’s how to compete online this year:
- Focus on your customers’ experience
- Focus on your brand identity
- Be strategic in marketing and selling
It’s All About Experience
It’s the experience that’s important to your shoppers. They want to know and connect with your brand.
They want to feel confident about your brand when they make a purchase or call your customer service line.
21% of Americans state that unattractive or hard-to-navigate websites is frustrating when buying online.
Shoppers expect your website to be attractive – yes, that’s right – and easy to use.
49% of cite not being able to touch, feel or try a product as one of their least favorite aspects of online shopping.
The experience of shopping online must be as engaging and attractive as possible. The more enjoyable the shopping experience, the better.
Online shoppers want products to be brought to life with images (78%) and product reviews (69%).
Make the e-commerce experience better for shoppers with professional photography, especially product images.
E-commerce Website Shopping Experience Done Right
For example, the e-commerce website www.GrizzlyGlue.com comes alive with beautiful photography, custom video, and a stunning design.
The product images are vibrant and realistic. The product page and interface design reflect the brand’s tough identity.
What does this mean for you? Before you can move forward, you have to focus on your brand identity.
Make Them Love Your Brand
It’s the age of the Brand. That means today’s consumer expects and wants a strong brand presence from retailers. They want to know what your brand is all about so that they can make a connection (or not).
Let’s look at an example of a strong brand:
Philosophy, the skin care brand owned by American beauty products manufacturer Coty, Inc., has a strong brand identity.
The logo is a visual representation of the brand’s identity. This means that the font and style of the logo brings to mind the ideals philosophy stands for. What can you tell about this brand from its logo?
Let’s take a deeper look.
Philosophy’s logo is very simple and elegant. Using a lowercase letter at the front of the brand name is intentional. It introduces humility. And the logo is clean.
Simple. Gentle. Unpretentious. Clean. Good.
Those are words that come to mind when viewing this logo. The reason that this logo is strong is because it visually represents what the brand is all about.
The website reflects the same aspects – the design is clean, the images are simple and inspirational.
The product design is a perfect reflection of the brand, as are the e-commerce elements on this product page.
The brand’s identity is consistent across multiple channels, including email and social media. Here is an example of a recent Facebook post:
Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of a strong brand and logo. You may be interested in our e-book, Elements of a Strong Brand & Logo.
Once your brand is defined, it’s time to market and sell.
Get Strategic in 2018
Budgets are tight, competition is fierce, and opportunity is huge. What should you do?
As an online retailer, you must be strategic with marketing and selling this year. Know your target audience so you know where your marketing dollars are best spent. Now is not the time to jump on every social media channel available. Instead, find out what channels your audience prefers, and put your focus there.
Millennials and Gen X are twice as likely as older generations (27% vs. 14%) to be influenced by advertising.
The younger generations are more comfortable and receptive to advertising. If your target audience includes millennials and gen x-ers, AdWords may be your best option.
23% of shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations/reviews.
This is a big deal if your target audience is on social media. In most cases, your audience is using social media, you just have to find out which one is best for your brand.
Omni-Channel Selling is the Future
Time to embrace the e-commerce experience and increase ROI for your brand. Get to know your customers. Learn more about their likes and preferences. Define your brand identity. Market with intention. Use data to fuel your choices. And make 2018 your most profitable year ever!
Learn more from this extensive article from BigCommerce:
Need an e-commerce website? Curious how to take advantage of omni-channel selling? Check out Artonic!
Discover what it’s like to work with Artonic on a website design and development project from Sam Wegert, owner of UpLevel Martial Arts:
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