Multichannel marketing refers to the way that a company will interact with their customers, through multiple channels, both direct and indirect.
Direct channels are perhaps the most familiar ones, in which companies proactively reach out to potential customers. These include brick-and-mortar stores, catalogues, and direct mail. Indirect channels involve different approaches such as reaching customers through websites or social media platforms. Multichannel marketing also includes methods such as email, text messaging, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and even GPS tracking to determine a customer’s proximity to goods and services.
73% of Canadians are now using 3 or more channels for their holiday shopping, which represents a huge number of shoppers browsing on their phones, visiting websites, and hitting the pavement to visit malls and physical stores.
Where once shoppers were excited at the amount of choice offered them by new means of shopping such as the internet, many are now feeling overwhelmed by too much choice, and while many once bemoaned having to deal with store employees hovering over them constantly offering help, they are now actively seeking assistance with their shopping needs.
Keep reading to learn more about how to reach out and assist your customers during the crazy, and sometimes stressful, holiday shopping season.
Emerging Shopping Trends
Large numbers of shoppers are now turning to their smartphones to do their shopping, with 48% of shoppers making use of shopping apps last holiday season.
Research has also revealed that 57% of Canadian shoppers were looking toward multiple retailers to meet their shopping needs last season. This year, an even greater number of shoppers are broadening their horizons and looking past their usual favorite retailers in order to try new brands. It is, therefore, crucial to making your business visible and available to them, putting extra emphasis on reaching them via mobile devices.
Video has also become an important tool among holiday shoppers, with more than 90% saying that YouTube has made them aware of new products, and two thirds saying that video has given them ideas for their purchases.
Interestingly, shoppers have become less concerned with specific promotion days. Online shoppers are shopping constantly, with only 13% of them limiting their shopping to the period of Black Friday through Cyber Monday, and 42% of them have already completed their holiday shopping by that time. It cannot be assumed that most shopping will be done during a specific period; your business needs to be available whenever the customer chooses to shop, not just during seasonal events.
The Personal Touch
Customers today are seeking more of a personalized experience during their shopping. With the advent of loyalty programs came an understanding of the shopping habits of individual shoppers, and this is something they are now accustomed to. They desire promotions and deals that are suited to their particular needs and desires, with almost 40% stating a preference for retailers to remember their personal details and shopping histories. Even though the holiday season involves shopping for others, consumers are looking for personalized offers and individualized products. Focusing on the individual is increasingly critical, as generic products lose their appeal.
What They Want, When They Want
Many shoppers do enjoy physically visiting shopping centres to make their purchases, but with the massive crowds and long lines at the cash register that holiday shopping has traditionally presented, more and more shoppers have been turning to technology for a quick, easy shop-at-home experience that will leave them with more time for other activities. Last holiday season, 31% of last-minute shoppers stated that speed of delivery was more important than brand loyalty.
For those who do still wish to do their shopping offline, mobile search still proves to be a valuable tool, with “near me” searches growing over 700% in the past two years.
Give a Helping Hand
Your customers want to shop. They want to find the best deals for them. By providing personalized, relevant products and services, you will stand out among your competition and give your customers the help they need in finding just the right gifts this holiday season and beyond.