Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The importance of an omnichannel strategy for digital brands (aka.. diversifying income streams)

By Ayo Disu, co-founder of Octillion

Brands should have an omnichannel presence and meet consumers where it is the most convenient for them at any point in their life. While entering physical retail creates some challenges for DTC brands, the risks and opportunity costs of operating exclusively online are far greater.

At Octillion we think there are some threats of consolidators and brands out there that are so fixated on a single platform. There’s a real opportunity here for methodical holding companies and platforms, to help fix these problems and existential threats with the end goal of creating culture-defining brands while offering a curated shopping experience.

Being omnichannel is all about moving beyond your ecommerce website or marketplace listing to explore additional channels. The ultimate customer experience is the channel-less experience.

Let’s get into it:

More Channels = More opportunities

Picture the number of all online stores and the amount of new stores added daily. In the modern age, having an online presence is vital but brands that are able to engage and interact with customers both online and offline are positioning themselves for the most success. 

The concept of having a single-channel-focused brand is not only limiting but detrimental to a brand’s long-term future: 73% of shoppers shop on multiple channels, and diversification is needed to keep up with demand The goal of an omnichannel strategy is all about giving customers choice and options in a convenient manner as you adapt to their way of shopping in the digital age. 

Being omnichannel increases brand frequency and is an important part of being a customer-centric company. This enables brands to collect data from multiple sources which can be turned into actionable insights. For example, the collected data can be used to create more targeted marketing communications or to execute more targeted marketing initiatives focused at increasing engagement, sales volumes or margins from a specific channel. 

In sum, the more reach you have, the more information you can gather and the better the service you can provide.

Being omnichannel increases the rate of customer acquisition

When a brand is able to diversify the channels which customers engage with and purchase products from, it makes the brand more attractive to a wider target market while still serving the existing customer base. Omnichannel brands are able to retain existing customers by making it an easier, more convenient and pleasurable experience as they engage and grow with the brand, while also harnessing the untapped potential of established channels for new customers.

With easier access to information powered by ever-evolving technology, customers are able to access, consume information and make decisions quickly. For digital brands, this could be the deciding factor between converting a sale or not. Consumers can physically go to a store, find the item they want and go online to see if they can purchase that item online at a better price or a better brand. Price matching is shaping the customer relationship with channels, and brands that limit themselves to only one channel risk not getting in front of deal-hunting consumers. Those that embrace digital opportunities can save on overheads or supplement the activities of brick-and-mortar stores with online equivalents.

Brands need to be in as many relevant channels as possible to not only increase their revenue generation but to ensure they are aware of any changes in consumer behaviour and by gathering data from relevant channels brands have accurate insight and can plan accordingly to get as many high-value customers as possible.

Being omnichannel helps drive retention

Good brands sell; great brands engage. 

With the increased competition and limited attention spans, brands must focus on engaging customers. To do this, brands must compete for customer attention on multiple channels: Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, retail, pop-ups etc. Connecting with customers who have made repeat orders and have shown brand loyalty will become more difficult for brands who fail to routinely adapt and improve their content, communication and product offerings. 

Every customer base contains individuals who spend their time on different online and offline channels. A tailored omnichannel strategy is the only way to reach each customer on the channel they interact with most for immediate engagement. This will keep a brand top of mind and build long term customer loyalty and retention.

Tying it together, those who are able to keep pace with the times and embrace multiple online channels create the widest funnel to filter possible success; by opening up to new and established bases, offering customers choice and collecting valuable insights from as many sources as possible, businesses position themselves for far a much stronger offer than competitors who do not