Consumers today move seamlessly between channels, platforms, and devices. When a customer makes a purchase at one of your locations, the journey to get to that point can span multiple touch points.
Seventy-five percent of consumers expect a consistent, cross-channel experience and 73% are willing to switch brands if they don’t get it, according to a report by Salesforce.
How can merchants deliver a stellar experience across multiple channels without juggling a dozen different apps, tools, and dashboards? Simple. Use an automated customer engagement platform.
An automated customer engagement platform gives you the tools to understand your audience, communicate with customers, and create a cross-channel marketing approach all from one centralized tool.
In this post, we’ll explain how you can crush the cross-channel game.
What is cross-channel marketing?
Before we dive into the cross-channel benefits of customer engagement, let’s define cross-channel marketing first.
In simple terms, cross-channel marketing is using different channels to reach customers. And it’s fairly simple. Merchants that send emails, buy online ads, and post messages on social channels are cross-channel marketing, right? Technically, yes.
However, there’s more to cross-channel marketing than sending a promotional email and a weekly tweet. Think of cross-channel marketing as an orchestra. Multiple instruments work together to play one, unified sound.
It’s the same with cross-channel marketing, different types of marketing including loyalty, email, social, and mobile all have a role to play to create one, integrated experience for customers.
Why is cross-channel marketing important?
Cross-channel marketing isn’t just popular with customers, it’s also a revenue-builder. Take a look at these statistics from a Harvard Business study that shows the financial importance of cross-channel marketing:
- 73% of consumers use more than one channel when shopping.
- Customers that use more than one channel spend 4% more in store compared to single-channel customers.
- Customers that use 4+ channels spend 9% more in store compared to single-channel users.
Cross-channel marketing doesn’t just bring in more revenue, it brings in more repeat revenue. Research shows cross-channel marketing increases loyalty.
- Customers that engaged with a brand’s cross-channel marketing logged 23% more repeat shopping trips and were more likely to refer the business to a friend or family member.
Achieving loyalty through cross-channel marketing
Loyalty is what every merchant is after. The longevity of a business relies on repeat customers, but basic loyalty programs aren’t enough. Earning points for purchases is nice but to earn a customers’ allegiance, you have to understand individual preferences to deliver personalized experiences. To do so, you don’t want a run-of-the-mill loyalty program; you need a modern automated customer engagement platform.
With a customer engagement platform, you can learn about your customers and leverage that data to create an effective cross-channel marketing strategy that drives results.
Features you need to fuel your cross-channel marketing
What should you look for in a customer engagement platform that can inform and propel your cross-channel marketing? Good question. Here’s what to look for:
- Customer data that aids real-time decisions
To market across multiple channels, platforms, and devices, you have to know your customers. A customer engagement platform can show you who your customers are, what they’re spending, how frequently they’re coming in, their lifetime value and even what they are buying down to the SKU level.
You can use customer data to propel your cross-channel marketing.
At Thanx, we use the data to create customer segments. For example, you might have a VIP segment, a Weekend Warrior segment for weekend-only visitors, and a Happy Hour segment for those who indulge in an after-work drink.
The data captured by your customer engagement platform can help you make campaign decisions. For instance, you might create a message that touts your irresistible appetizers. Using testimonials from your VIP customers, you can easily send an email and push notifications that announces your latest and greatest appetizers driving foot traffic into your locations. And revenue to your bottom line.
- Grow loyalty and your email list simultaneously
The right customer engagement platform integrates with your email service provider. Why is this so important? With an integration in place, you can use your loyalty program to collect email addresses and use email marketing to fuel loyalty. It’s a win-win.
A customer engagement platform with an out-of-the-box email integration makes data collection and utilization easy. As you collect email addresses, they should flow seamlessly into your email marketing tool, and right into Thanx where you can automate a series of emails and start reaching out to customers on a regular basis to stay top of mind
The data you collect through your customer engagement platform can segment customers as we’ve discussed. Based on a customer’s buying behavior, they can be segmented according to purchase habits or when they visit most or a myriad of over 40 other customer attributes.
These segments give you an opportunity to craft personalized messages that stand out in a crowded inbox.
- Reach customers via push notifications
Are you sending push notifications? You don’t need a separate tool to send them, just use your customer engagement platform.
A modern customer engagement platform gives you the ability to send customers push notifications with ease.
Look for a platform that not only enables you to send push notifications but one that allows you to personalize these messages through data-driven segmentation.
By segmenting customers into specific groups and sending more targeted messages, response rates will increase 4-7x the average amount, according to Urban Airship.
- A mobile-friendly mindset
The days of punch or plastic loyalty cards are over. Consumers demand a mobile loyalty program that not only allows them to earn and redeem rewards but also gives them payment options and a direct line to provide feedback.
A cross-channel marketing strategy is forward thinking, so your customer engagement platform has to follow suit.
A customer engagement platform bundles many of the tools necessary to create a cross-channel marketing strategy. From one location, you can collect invaluable customer data, reach customers through multiple channels, and make important decisions based on factual evidence that you see as a result of rewarding your customers for their loyalty.
To learn more get our Ultimate Guide to Customer Engagement.