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Omnichannel eCommerce Explained. Part II: Crafting Omnichannel Strategy

From our previous article, we’ve got to know what an omnichannel strategy is and why it is important for entrepreneurs in today’s eCommerce. This article delves into the essential steps businesses must take to create a successful omnichannel eCommerce strategy. From defining clear goals and understanding buyer personas to establishing a consistent brand identity and integrating data systems, each element plays a crucial role in delivering the cohesive, personalized experiences that modern consumers demand.

Table of Contents

8 Steps to Create a Successful Omnichannel eCommerce Strategy

Let’s get into the details of how you can actually make this whole omnichannel approach work for your business. To begin with, you need to start with a clear vision.

Shaping an omnichannel strategy is not just about the business side of things. There’s much technical work involved, too. Both sides are interconnected: for instance, you can’t establish outstanding customer service without implementing a CRM system. Let’s break down the strategy into two parts: the business side of things and the technical side of things.

#1 Define your goals and objectives [business side]

Take the example of Jack, an entrepreneur who was engaged in making and selling furniture. When Jack decided to adopt an omnichannel strategy, he first focused on defining his goals. What was he hoping to achieve by going omnichannel? Was it to boost sales? Improve customer loyalty? Gain a deeper understanding of his buyers’ journey?

Whatever your end game may be, it’s crucial that you define your goals and objectives from the get-go. Think of it like developing a comprehensive business plan. You wouldn’t just start implementing new sales and marketing tactics without first assessing your current situation, identifying your target customers, and outlining your key strategies and action steps, would you?

The same goes for the omnichannel strategy—you need a clear roadmap to guide you on your way. Jack took the time to identify his key objectives, such as expanding his customer base, offering a more seamless shopping experience, and gathering better data on his buyers. 

You need a clear roadmap to guide you on your way while adopting the omnichannel strategy.

#2 Understand your buyer personas [business side]

Now that Jack had his goals in place, it was time for him to get to know his audience a little better. After all, an omnichannel strategy is only as good as the people it’s designed to serve.

Jack needed to really understand who his customers were. Where did they live? What were their pain points, their preferences, their purchasing behaviors? The more he could dig into the nitty-gritty details of his buyer personas, the better equipped he’d be to create an omnichannel experience that truly resonated.

Imagine if Jack was pitching his furniture products to a new corporate client. He wouldn’t show up with a generic presentation, would he? Nope, he’d tailor his pitch deck, talking points, and even the samples he brought to address the specific needs and preferences of that particular client. The same goes for his omnichannel strategy—it’s all about catering to the unique requirements of his target audience.

What Jack did: He took the time to really get to know his customers. He studied their industry, their company size, their procurement processes, their communication preferences, and more. Armed with this deep understanding of his buyer personas, Jack was able to design an omnichannel approach that spoke directly to their needs and desires. 

Who are your customers? Where do they live? What are their pain points, their preferences, their purchasing behaviors? An omnichannel strategy—it’s all about catering to the specific needs and preferences of your target audience.

#3 Establish a consistent brand identity [business side]

Now that Jack had his goals and buyer personas dialed in, it was time for him to tackle one of the most critical components of his omnichannel strategy: his brand identity.

You see, in this interconnected, multichannel world, consistency is key for businesses like Jack’s. His customers should be able to recognize his brand no matter where they encounter it—whether it’s his sleek and modern website, his carefully crafted email campaigns, or his personalized sales presentations.

It’s kind of like that reliable vendor you have, the one who always delivers the same high-quality products and services, regardless of the communication channel. The one whose branding and messaging is instantly recognizable and instantly trustworthy. That’s the kind of consistent brand experience Jack was aiming for across all of his omnichannel touchpoints.

What Jack did: By ensuring a cohesive brand identity, Jack knew he could build stronger relationships with his clients. They’d come to associate his furniture products and company with qualities like professionalism, expertise, and dependability. This would not only make him stand out from the competition, but also foster a deeper sense of loyalty and trust among his target customers.

Customers interact with brands on various channels and expect a consistent experience. The omnichannel eCommerce strategy boosts customer engagement and customer retention by ensuring the customer journey is smooth and unified.

#4 Create a seamless customer’s journey [business side]

Now that Jack had the behind-the-scenes things sorted out, it was time for him to focus on the most important part of his omnichannel strategy: the customer experience.

Think about your own experiences as a buyer for a minute. How many times have you hopped between a vendor’s website, email communications, and in-person sales presentations before making a purchase decision?

Well, in the world of omnichannel commerce, Jack’s job was to make sure that the customer journey was as smooth and seamless as possible. No more frustrating roadblocks, no more lost leads, no more missing special promotions.

It was all about creating a cohesive, interconnected experience to create a consistent sales funnel.

What Jack did: Jack knew that by providing his customers with a truly frictionless omnichannel experience, he could build stronger, more loyal relationships. Whether they were browsing his website, engaging with his email campaigns, or meeting with his sales team, they’d enjoy a consistent brand identity and purchasing process. This would not only make Jack’s company stand out, but also foster a deep sense of trust and confidence in his ability to meet their needs.

It’s all about creating a cohesive, interconnected experience that keeps your customers engaged and coming back for more.

#5 Personalize the shopping experience [business side]

In today’s competitive commerce, if Jack’s not serving up a tailor-made customer experience, he’s just leaving money on the table.

When Jack’s clients are evaluating products, don’t they love those personalized product recommendations and special promotions that seem to read their minds? Or when they receive a birthday email, complete with a discount code just for them? That’s the power of personalization in action.

And in the world of omnichannel commerce, it’s an absolute must-have. By leveraging all the customer data he’s so meticulously collected, Jack can create an experience that feels like it was designed just for each one of his clients. Personalized product suggestions, exclusive discounts, even the tone and messaging of his communications—it should all be catered to their unique preferences, pain points, and purchasing behaviors.

What Jack did: Jack’s clients will thank him for this level of personalization, and so will his bottom line. By providing a seamless, tailored omnichannel experience, he can build stronger, more loyal relationships with his target audience. They’ll feel valued, understood, and eager to continue doing business with Jack’s company.

Ultimately, this hyper-personalized approach is what sets successful omnichannel strategies apart. It’s the key to unlocking greater customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue growth.

Personalized experiences tailored to customer behavior enhance satisfaction and loyalty.

#6 Ensure top-tier customer service [business side]

The last (but certainly not least) piece of Jack’s omnichannel puzzle is the customer service.

Imagine one of Jack’s clients calls him up, frantic because they can’t figure out how to use the new furniture system they just purchased. Does Jack make them start from scratch, explaining the whole process all over again? Certainly not. Rather, he promptly intervenes, troubleshoots the issue, and resolves the client’s issue—as one would expect from a capable business partner and exemplary customer service representative.

That’s the kind of omnichannel customer support Jack should be striving for. Knowledgeable, empathetic, and able to pick up right where the customer left off, no matter which channel they’re using. 

What Jack did: Jack knew that by providing his clients with exceptional, seamless customer service, he could turn one-time transactions into long-term relationships. Whether they reached out via phone, email, or live chat, his team would be ready to quickly address their needs and concerns. This level of personalized, responsive support would not only build trust and loyalty, but also set Jack’s company apart from the competition.

Ultimately, world-class customer service is a critical component of any successful omnichannel approach. It’s the key to unlocking greater customer satisfaction, retention, and referrals—all of which contribute directly to Jack’s bottom line.

The customer service should be knowledgeable, empathetic, and able to pick up right where the customer left off, no matter which channel they’re using. 

#7 Keep your strategy agile and adaptive [business side]

We have explored the key steps to building an effective omnichannel strategy. Now, let us discuss another crucial element: maintaining a nimble and adaptive approach.

The world of eCommerce is progressing at a rapid pace, with emerging trends, technologies, and customer preferences surfacing seemingly overnight. Importantly, what proves successful today may not yield the same results tomorrow.

It is therefore crucial to approach your omnichannel strategy with a sense of flexibility and openness to change. One must be willing to experiment, iterate, and pivot as necessary—consistently referencing data and customer feedback to inform strategic decision-making.

This dynamic approach is akin to navigating a winding mountain road. One cannot simply rely on a preset GPS route and expect an optimal outcome. Rather, one must remain alert, maintain a firm grip on the wheel, and be prepared to adjust the course at a moment’s notice.

The same principle applies to your omnichannel eCommerce game plan. In these ever-evolving times, the ability to adapt could very well be the secret ingredient that propels your business to new heights. Embracing an experimental mindset, responsive to data and customer insights, will be key to ensuring the longevity and success of your omnichannel strategy.

You’ve got to be willing to experiment, iterate, and pivot as needed—always keeping a close eye on your data and customer feedback to guide your decision-making.

#8 Integrate your data and systems [tech side]

Let’s talk tech for a minute, because the omnichannel strategy is only as strong as the systems and data that power it.

Imagine trying to manage your client relationships if all their contact information, purchase history, and communication preferences were scattered across different devices and apps. Chaos, right? Well, the same principle applies to Jack’s omnichannel strategy. If his inventory, customer data, and sales channels aren’t seamlessly integrated, he’s just asking for a major headache.

That’s why it’s so important for Jack to invest in the right technology and infrastructure. We’re talking things like centralized customer relationship management (CRM) systems, real-time inventory management tools, and robust order fulfillment capabilities. With these systems in place, Jack can create that oh-so-elusive “single view of the customer” that’s the foundation of any successful omnichannel strategy.

What Jack did: By having a unified, 360-degree understanding of his clients, Jack can provide them with a truly personalized and frictionless experience. He’ll be able to anticipate their needs, deliver the right products and services at the right time, and maintain consistent brand messaging across all touchpoints. This level of integration and data-driven insights is key to creating the kind of omnichannel approach that will delight Jack’s customers and keep them coming back.

Things like centralized customer databases, real-time inventory management, and robust order fulfillment capabilities should be in place so that you have a holistic view of your business.

Wrap up

Building an omnichannel strategy is like constructing a multi-floor cottage. You need a reliable foundation—a tech stack—that will allow you to implement the business steps to build a powerful omnichannel business.

What to Expect from Omnichannel eCommerce

Just imagine—AI-powered personalization that anticipates your every need before you even know you need it. Seamless, frictionless checkout experiences that let you pay with the simple tap of a finger. Augmented reality fittings that let you virtually try on clothes before you buy.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual try-on technology can assist your clients in making more wise purchase decisions. CS-Cart, as all-in-one omnichannel eCommerce platform, allows connecting this feature. Below, is just one example of its successful implementation made by our partners on the basis of CS-Cart platform.

SeeWhatHappens, a CS-Cart based online store, uses virtual try-ons to visualize customer experience when shopping eyewear online.

SeeWhatHappens, a CS-Cart based online store, uses virtual try-ons to visualize customer experience when shopping eyewear online.

Find out if CS-Cart fits your omnichannel eCommerce project

The Role of Headless Commerce in Omnichannel

The Role of Headless Commerce in Omnichannel

We’ve intentionally omitted headless commerce, when we’d talked about using tech in the future. It’s a game-changing technology that needs to be explained in detail.

Benefits of headless commerce for omnichannel

Essentially, headless commerce is all about separating the front-end user experience from the back-end systems that power your eCommerce operations. Instead of being tied to a rigid, one-size-fits-all platform, you’ve got the freedom to build custom, channel-specific experiences that seamlessly integrate with your existing infrastructure.

And when it comes to omnichannel eCommerce, that flexibility is pure gold. Think about it—with a headless approach, you can optimize the shopping journey for each one of your sales channels, whether that’s your sleek and modern website, your engaging social media presence, or your cutting-edge mobile app.

Headless commerce provides the flexibility and agility essential for successful omnichannel eCommerce.

How headless can simplify omnichannel implementation

The advantages of headless commerce extend well beyond the flexibility it provides for omnichannel experiences. It can also be a transformative solution when it comes to the actual implementation of an omnichannel strategy.

One of the most significant roadblocks eCommerce businesses face is the sheer complexity of integrating the myriad of disparate systems and data sources required to power an omnichannel operation. The daunting prospect of navigating these integration challenges is enough to give any business leader a headache.

However, the headless approach offers a remedy to these integration woes. By decoupling the front-end and back-end, businesses gain the freedom to mix and match best-in-class technologies that work seamlessly together to deliver the desired omnichannel experience.

This is akin to the freedom afforded when building a custom home, rather than being confined to a prefabricated blueprint. Just as one can meticulously design each room to suit their unique needs, the headless model allows businesses to curate a flexible, future-proof technology stack that can evolve alongside the organization.

How to Build an Omnichannel eCommerce Website with CS-Cart?

If you are seeking to build a cutting-edge eCommerce store, you’ll need a tech team by your side, familiar with the industry and technologies. The CS-Cart team of experts and our certified custom development partners have the expertise to help you harness the power of a headless eCommerce approach with the trusted CS-Cart platform.

Several providers have demonstrated practical use cases of implementing successful omnichannel headless eCommerce solutions for their clients. Find an example of one of such developer’s practice of building omnichannel headless eCommerce sites here: Headless CMS Development: Future Of eCommerce That Comes Today

By implementing a headless configuration, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Utilize CS-Cart’s robust backend functionality to manage your store’s data, including products, orders, and customers. Meanwhile, you have the freedom to design and develop a custom front-end interface using modern web frameworks like React or Angular, tailoring the shopping experience to your unique business needs.

The result? A one-of-a-kind, tailor-made eCommerce solution that captivates your customers and sets you apart from the competition.

Ask us about a custom omnichannel solution:

Gayane Tamrazyan
Content Marketer at CS-Cart | Website

Gayane is a passionate eCommerce expert with over 10 years in the industry. Her extensive experience includes marketplace management, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis. Dedicated to uncovering the latest eCommerce trends, she ensures her readers are always informed about industry developments. Known for her analytical skills and keen eye for detail, Gayane's articles provide actionable insights that help businesses and consumers navigate the ever-evolving digital commerce landscape.