How to build the right omnichannel strategy for your business

Katie Morley

May 10, 2024

How to build the right omnichannel strategy for your business Featured Image
Katie Morley

May 10, 2024

While the term omnichannel marketing is used a lot, few companies actually create consistent brand experiences at scale and across channels. There’s a good reason for that — building and implementing an omnichannel strategy is a difficult process that requires:

  • A clear view and understanding of the entire customer journey across all touchpoints.
  • The ability to reach customers on various channels with contextual content, messaging, and product recommendations.
  • The implementation of new processes and (for some companies) new martech solutions.

In this guide, we’ll cover the process of building a successful omnichannel strategy and putting it into practice. We’ll also explore examples of successful omnichannel strategies and the impact they had on revenue and return on investment (ROI).

Table of Contents
  1. What is an omnichannel strategy?

  2. 4 steps for creating an effective omnichannel strategy

  3. How to succeed in omnichannel marketing: Real-life examples

  4. Explore our omnichannel personalization and customer engagement platform

What is an omnichannel strategy

An omnichannel strategy (also called a cross-channel strategy) outlines how a brand uses different marketing channels to reach customers in a timely, engaging, and relevant way. The channels can be both physical — like brick-and-mortar stores or branch offices — and digital — like social media platforms, email, SMS, or chatbots.

The key to a successful omnichannel marketing strategy is to have all in-person and online channels working together to create a personalized experience. Conversely, with a standard multichannel strategy, different customer touchpoints are working in isolation, resulting in a disjointed brand experience.

Imagine an eCommerce brand that has a website and mobile app, while also using channels like email, SMS, and WhatsApp to reach customers. A solid omnichannel strategy ensures that the brand’s customers will always see timely and relevant product messages and recommendations across each of these touchpoints. 

For example, the email campaigns are personalized based on what customers browsed on the site, the messages across SMS and WhatsApp are based on how customers react to emails, and so on. This allows customer journeys to evolve in real-time, depending on customers’ needs and preferences.

Insider's omnichannel marketing journey

Put simply, an omnichannel approach ensures all channels work together to create a consistent experience. This leads to improvements in key metrics like customer satisfaction, revenue, conversion rates, retention, and more.

4 steps for creating an effective omnichannel strategy

Omnichannel marketing can encompass so many touchpoints and use cases, making it impossible to provide a “one-size-fits-all” strategy for all businesses.

However, there are four key steps that pretty much any marketing team can go through when implementing their omnichannel approach. It all starts with having reliable customer data for segmentation and analysis.

#1 Identify key customer segments

Marketing segmentation is the process of grouping customers together based on shared traits and characteristics. This process is essential for your omnichannel efforts because it ensures they’re targeted at the right audiences.

Fortunately, most digital marketing solutions today offer at least some type of segmentation features. For example, Insider has 120+ segmentation attributes, including traits, behaviors, and preferences. The attributes are spread across three different audience types:

  • Standard, which include characteristics like locations, demographics, devices, and operating systems.
  • Predefined, like leads, cart and browser abandoners, customers who’ve interacted with your brand on a specific channel, and more.
  • Predictive, which are created by our AI algorithms, like customers with a discount affinity, with a high likelihood of buying or engaging on a specific channel. Note: If you haven’t used this type of segmentation, we highly recommend checking our guide to predictive marketing.
Insider's segmentation and analytics

With Insider’s rule engine, you also set segmentation parameters around sessions, exit intent, and even customers’ local weather. You can get more granular by writing custom rules depending on your needs.

Put simply, you have complete control to find the most important customer segments for your business. 

However, we know from experience that many brands struggle in this regard because their customer data is scattered across disconnected systems, like CRMs, CMSs, email and SMS platforms, ad networks, analytics tools, and so on. This makes accurate segmentation extremely difficult and time-consuming.

That’s why Insider also lets you aggregate your data with our customer data platform (CDP). The CDP can unify customer data from any online or offline source into a single convenient database. 

It also creates detailed, 360-degree profiles of all your customers that contain essential insights, like their:

  • Names, demographics, and contact details.
  • Affinity towards certain products and categories.
  • Channel interactions and purchase histories.
  • Channel reachability and preferences.
  • And much more.
Insider's 360-degree customer view

Not only does this make segmentation easier (because all your data is in one place) but these profiles also serve as a perfect foundation for analyzing customer behavior and launching personalization campaigns

For more on this topic, check our guides to:

#2 Find out which channels your customers are using (and how)

One of the biggest benefits of data unification and segmentation is that you can get an accurate view of key characteristics and behaviors, like channel reachability and usage. 

For example, you can use Insider’s analytics capabilities to get real-time insights and performance reports into the performance of individual channels. 

You can start with something as simple as a channel reachability breakdown that shows you what percentage of each segment (VIPs, inactive customers, and so on) is reachable on a specific channel like email, SMS, or push notifications.

Insider's channel reachability analytics

From here, you can dive deeper into how important segments prefer to be contacted on each channel. This is possible with our message frequency analytics which help you determine the optimal frequency per channel.

Insider's message frequency analysis

Finally, you can build detailed reports to track each channel’s performance and how that changes based on the omnichannel campaigns you’re running. These reports can include key metrics for each channel like delivery rates, open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and revenue. 

Insider's omnichannel campaign analytics

In short, Insider’s analytics features let you eliminate guesswork with data-driven insights into the channels customers are using, how they prefer to be contacted on them, and their needs, interests, and pain points.

#3 Engage them on these channels with personalized messaging

Once you know which channels customers are using, it’s time to start reaching out to them with timely and relevant messages.

You can use a collection of single-channel solutions for this — e.g., an email and SMS marketing tool, a push notification solution, a website personalization platform, and so on. However, this approach can drastically bloat your martech stack, which, on top of costing a lot of money, leads to overly complex workflows.

Another option is to use a unified marketing platform like Insider that supports 12+ channels under the same umbrella. For example, here are a few ways Insider can help you reach customers on key channels with personalized content, messaging, and product recommendations:

  • Personalized on-site product recommendations. Our platform’s AI Smart Recommender can automatically deliver relevant product recommendations to each customer on your site. This is crucial for maximizing profitability by increasing conversion rates and revenue. Note: Adidas used our Smart Recommender to drive a 13% increase in homepage conversion rates and a 7% boost in product page conversion rates.
Customer targeting with recommended products
  • Email personalization. With Insider, you can easily tailor each email with targeted product recommendations, cart reminders, and more. You can even use AMP emails to create interactive experiences and let users browse products, answer surveys, and book events without leaving the email. Note: Remix used Insider’s email automation functionality to increase first purchases by 104% compared to the previous quarter.
Insider AMP email interactive product carousel
  • Messaging channels. Channels like SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger can be extremely effective due to their high open and conversion rates. Insider lets you personalize your communications across them based on customers’ interests and preferences by sending targeted price drop alerts, event reminders, and more. Note: Vogacloset used Insider’s WhatsApp marketing capabilities to increase their conversion rates and achieve a 30x ROI.
Insider's messaging channel communications
  • Online ads. Insider lets you target the detailed customer segments you build with relevant ads across Google, Facebook, and TikTok. This is a great way to expand your omnichannel strategy across social media and search ads, while optimizing your ad spend. Note: Pierre Cardin used this strategy to reduce cost per acquisition (CPA) by 67%.
Insider segmentation TikTok ads

#4 Connect all touchpoints into a consistent customer journey

As you can, there’s a lot that goes into creating a successful omnichannel strategy. However, there’s still one element missing — the ability to tie all touchpoints together into a cohesive omnichannel customer experience.

This is where customer journey builders come into play. These solutions enable you to build and automate complex omnichannel campaigns using no-code drag-and-drop editors.

For example, Insider’s Architect is a customer journey builder that can help you deliver personalized, timely, and relevant messages to all users across all touchpoints. This includes the creation of all sorts of automated flows, like:

  • Email welcome sequences.
  • Upsell and cross-sell flows across email and messaging channels.
  • Cart recovery campaigns across your website and push notifications.
  • Complex omnichannel journeys spanning different channels, days, and customer segments.
Insider's customer journey builder

You’re in complete control of each omnichannel journey, including how it starts, which channels it spans, how long Insider should wait between steps and so on. Our platform gives you real-time metrics about each step’s performance, so you can make data-driven decisions quickly and effectively.

Insider's real time metrics for omnichannel campaigns

However, with this versatility also comes complexity, especially when trying to implement an omnichannel strategy at scale. This is where AI and machine learning come in.

Insider comes with various AI-powered capabilities that can take a lot of the work of building and optimizing omnichannel campaigns off your hands. These include:

  • Send-Time Optimization (STO), which automatically sends every message in your campaigns — including emails, push notifications, and messaging channels communications — at the time recipients are most likely to engage with it.
Send Time Optimization d’Insider
  • Next-Best Channel Selection, which analyzes behavior patterns to determine which channels to contact each customer on. It’s a great way to put channel selection on autopilot, especially when you don’t know how to start or continue a campaign after a certain point.
Insider next best channel predictions
  • A/B Test Winner Auto-Selection, which automatically guides users to the winning variant in an A/B test. All you have to do is select a winning metric (e.g., clicks, conversions, or revenue) and a duration for the test to run.
A/B Test Winner-Autoselection
  • Generative segment, content, and journey creation. Insider can save you tons of time and effort by creating customer segments, journey paths, campaign copy, and images. This is possible thanks to our platform’s comprehensive suite of generative AI tools — Sirius AI.
Leverage the combined power of generative, predictive, and conversational AI with Insider

How to succeed in omnichannel marketing: Real-life examples

The variety of channels available to customers today mean that pretty much every business can (and should) build a tailored omnichannel strategy. 

That’s why, in this final section, we’ll explore how five companies did that and the results they saw. All five companies used Insider to achieve their omnichannel goals in different industries, including retail, travel, and financial services.

  1. NA-KD: This fashion brand used Insider to unify their data аnd completely redefine their omnichannel marketing strategy. Using Architect, they started delivering relevant product recommendations and messaging across their website, mobile app, email, SMS, and push notifications. This new online shopping experience helped the brand generate a 25% increase in CLTV and achieve a 72x ROI.
Example of NA-KD using Insider’s CDP

2- Matahari: This large retail company used Insider to personalize their customers’ omnichannel experience across their website, mobile app, and email. First, they unified their data (from both digital and in-store experiences) with Insider’s eCommerce CDP and used that data as the foundation for improving email marketing performance, creating an app push strategy, and automating customer journeys. They generated a 328% increase in email open rates and 356x ROI in just four months.

Matahari used Insider to personalize their customers’ omnichannel experience
Matahari used Insider to personalize their customers’ omnichannel experience

3- Slazenger: This sports brand uses Insider to deliver timely and relevant messages across channels like email, SMS, and push notifications. They run various personalized marketing campaigns for goals like reducing cart abandonment using Insider’s customer journey builder. This new omnichannel retail strategy increases customer acquisition by 700% and achieves a 49x ROI within eight weeks.

Slazenger uses Insider’s email marketing software to personalized emails and achieve 72X ROI

4- Picniq: This UK-based travel brand used Insider to unify their customer data and use that as a foundation to power their omnichannel journeys. Specifically, they were focused on improving the user experience across their website, email, and WhatsApp channels. Their website personalization efforts yielded a 19x ROI, while their omnichannel customer journeys generated a 5x ROI.

Picniq used Insider's onsite personalization capabilities

5- Generali: This large insurance and asset management company used Insider to tackle lead generation and nurture issues created by a poor onsite experience. After aggregating their data, Generali’s team integrated their CRM with our platform and launched targeted exit intent overlays. They also built omnichannel lead validation flows for their sales team. These efforts led to a 3x increase in leads and a 20% reduction in sales cycle length.

Generali integrate their CRM with Insider’s enterprise CDP

If you’re interested, you can find even more examples by browsing the case studies on our website.

Explore our omnichannel personalization and customer engagement platform

Insider’s broad channel access, automation features, and personalization capabilities can help you build and nurture profitable customer relationships at scale and across all touchpoints.

Our platform has been ranked at the top of many categories by customers and industry experts across G2, Gartner, Forrester, and other publications. IDC in particular ranked our solution as the best omnichannel marketing platform for B2C enterprises.

Omnichannel marketing platforms by IDC

If you’re looking for ways to maximize your omnichannel efforts, our enterprise marketing platform can:

  • Aggregate your customer data from all online and offline sources into a central database and create 360-degree customer views. This serves as a foundation for your omnichannel strategy by revealing customers’ behaviors, interests, and preferred touchpoints.
  • Segment your customer base and predict future behaviors, like how much they’re projected to spend and how likely they are to buy or engage with your brand on a specific channel.
  • Give you the tools you need to analyze your target audiences and their behaviors when it comes to interacting on different channels, completing various goals, and more.
  • Use the full power of AI and machine learning to automate tasks around omnichannel campaign creation and management, such as choosing the right channels and moments to engage customers, generating copy and images, and more.
  • Create seamless experiences that drive revenue and customer loyalty across all online and offline channels — from your physical stores to your website, mobile app, emails, push notifications, SMS messages, and more.

Lastly, our global customer support team and plethora of proven templates ensure you can build and launch effective omnichannel campaigns as quickly as possible.

Schedule a demo with our team to learn how Insider can benefit your business specifically.

Katie is an award-winning content marketer with over eight years of experience in content strategy, development, and copywriting. As Global Content Director at Insider, she currently oversees content strategy across 26 regions. Fun fact: Katie read 64 books last year (for which she owes a long commute and two week-long holidays where she spent approximately six hours a day with her nose in a book).