As a marketer, you understand that making every web user’s experience personal and relevant will lead to a stronger affiliation with your brand and increase your chances of making a sale. Personalization makes your customer feel like you truly understand them and massively streamlines your web experience by using big data insights to deliver unique buyer experiences in real time. When you eliminate barriers to purchases and delivering a great web experience through personalization, your site will drive higher conversions and revenue.

What’s the difference between a personalized and non-personalized website?

  • In a non-personalized website, the content presented is the same for all incoming visitors. This is alright for an informative website, but when it comes to eCommerce, making a customer enter all of their personal information (perhaps more than once), scan through items and content that they aren’t at all interested in, and making them spend unnecessary time on your site just adds another cumbersome barriers between your prospective buyer and their purchase.
  • A personalized website, on the other hand, features content that changes based on a customer’s individual preferences and habits. As a customer clicks through your optimized, personalized eCommerce website, they will encounter products and offers based on recorded data such as their browsing history, purchases made, website behavior, lifestyle, and so on. Since the products the customer is most likely to be interested in are featured prominently from the beginning, there are fewer barriers between your buyer and their next hot buy.

Given that an incredible 75% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the final checkout, website personalization can seriously benefit your ROI by reducing the barriers between your customer and their purchases. Personalization also has the added benefit of increasing a customer’s affinity towards your brand, encouraging them to return to your page for future purchases.

What tools can you include on a personalized website?

  1. Personalized Greetings – When a customer clicks through, have a personalized greeting such as, “Welcome back, Mrs. Jones.” When you remind the customer that they have an account with you, they automatically associate it with having information like credit card number, shipping address, and so on saved – meaning fewer barriers between your customer and their purchase.
  2. Personalized Profile – This includes the option to view account information, edit and update the customer’s profile, add a profile picture, and may include one-click features – such as shopping carts – that pull in targeted information.
  3. Visible Browsing History – Let’s say Mrs. Teresa Jones was shopping for workout apparel and had viewed a dozen items like running shoes, compression leggings, and a new strap for her yoga mat. Before making a purchase, she was interrupted and had to step away for a few hours. When she returns later that day to pick up where she left off, giving her a visible browsing history to pull in the items she’s previously viewed will eliminate the hassle of finding them all over again.
  4. Personalized Landing Pages – As a customer clicks through their hyper-personalized landing page, it should remind them of the need that drove them to your website in the first place. If Teresa Jones, from our last example, forgot what she was doing before she left to run her errand, the landing page should remind her why she came to your site and help her find her place. Even if it’s days, weeks, or months after she’s originally visited your site, putting your brand in a position to jog your customers’ memory will increase the likelihood of them shopping with you again and again.

If there’s anything you should take away from the article, it’s that website personalization is an incredible tool for increasing conversions on eCommerce sites because it saves the customer time and removes barriers between browsing for an item and finalizing the purchase.

There’s a power behind these personalization tools comes from the fact that they’re very subtle – you’re not in your customers’ faces yelling about how great your brand is, instead, the responsive and efficient design of your site will speak for itself, and remind your customer why they sought you out in the first place.

This article originally appeared in Business2Community on September 23, 2015.

The term omnichannel has only been around for a few years, but the concept has undergone massive transformation since its conception in 2010. In the past five years, omnichannel has evolved from an unfamiliar concept, to a trendy buzzword, to a marketing must-have. As omnichannel continues to change alongside new digital trends, one thing stays the same – the customer’s desire for the convenience found in a seamless experience across all platforms.

Earlier this year, we wrote a brief history of omnichannel. Now we’re giving you the same in-depth information in a visual form that’s easy to digest. Check out our infographic of the evolution of omnichannel.


Be sure to capitalize on omnichannel marketing to stand out among your competitors or win over the largest purchasing power. Need help getting started? Head over to our omnichannel personalization solution for some guidance.

Over the past decade, faster computers and widespread access to high speed internet have made omnichannel access possible in a way that we’ve never seen before in human history. But despite all of the hype we give to mobile and social channels, the humble email is still one of the most effective and reliable channels for marketers to speak with their customers. Here are a few reasons why.

1) Email is your passport to the rest of the Internet.

Especially for younger generations, email has supplanted direct mail by being faster, cheaper to produce, and more accessible on the go. So by that logic, you would think that mobile and social channels should replace email, right?

Well, not really. The thing about email is that it’s an indispensible “passport” to the Internet. Customers need one to pay for things, subscribe to services, and sign up for websites – social media sites still require one, and so do their apps. Email’s still here, and according to The Direct Marketing Association, has an ROI of about $39 for every $1 spent.

2) Email isn’t just about advertising: it’s about getting information.

Email metrics are more sophisticated than ever, meaning that in addition to being a cost-effective way to market new services and products to your customers, your emails can be a source of valuable information about your brand, market, and channels.

Using an email tracker like Nectar Clickstream can give you a huge amount of actionable data. You can learn when customers are more receptive to emails, what kind of marketing they respond to, and which channels (PC, laptop, mobile? Other?) they’re more likely to use to access your brand.

3) Email is a bridge between new channels.

Continuing from that last point: old-school digital marketers cut their teeth on email by using it as a means of direct advertising.

In the Omnichannel Era, it’s equally as important for email to be used to continue the conversation that customers have with your brand on other channels, such as through your app, ecommerce website, or storefront.


Change“Personalizing” doesn’t have to mean becoming a customer’s best friend: it’s just about being there at the right place at the right time. For some people, you have to understand that there’s just no appropriate time for direct advertising ever – instead, you’ll have to be more creative with what content you deliver, making sure that its context and timing will be received well by the customer.

Though the field of digital marketing is more sophisticated than it did ten years ago, email is still a legitimate, high-ROI tool for advertisers looking to connect with their customers. Make no mistake: though technology will continue to change the face of branding, the creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability required by great marketers will never go out of style.

When it comes to marketing across mobile, companies range in success. From poorly optimized web pages on mobile, to sites that take too long to load, some companies undoubtably struggle when shifting from brick-and-mortars or website to mobile devices.

However, some companies are leading the forefront of omnichannel efforts through their Smartphone applications. Through convenient apps that personalize shopping experiences, today’s strongest marketers are providing an enjoyable mobile shopping experience for customers.

We have evaluated today’s best Smartphone apps from some of today’s top marketers. Read on to learn who we’ve deemed Good, Better and Best in omnichannel marketing.

GoodTaco Bell Location Personalization

Taco Bell: the right idea with questionable execution

Taco Bell is legendary – not just because of its cheap tacos, but because of its world renowned marketing, PR, and advertising strategies.

The most recent addition to Taco Bell’s marketing campaign is its highly publicized smartphone app. The app combines personalization and omnichannel marketing to make ordering a breeze for its patrons.

The app lets users find a Taco Bell closest to them with GPS. Users can order through the app – customizing any part of their meal, of course – and pick up their food in the store or drive-thru. Along with each menu item, a photo of the food is displayed. This gives users that added, necessary dimension to preview what they order before they actually receiving the item.Taco Bell Personalize Order

One of the strongest benefits of the app is that users can place and pick up a customized order on their own time at a location of their choosing. This makes the process convenient.

However, Taco Bell struggles with the “seamless” element of a truly omnichannel approach. When I used the app to order from my neighborhood Taco Bell, it took more than 10 minutes to receive the food I had ordered. At this rate, standing in line and placing my order “traditionally” would have been a faster option. An ideal Taco Bell app experience would eliminate unnecessary wait times.; otherwise, the Smartphone app loses its convenience and becomes pointless.


Neiman Marcus: strong convergence of digital platforms

Neiman Marcus is not only a leader in luxury fashion, but in omnichannel marketing as well. Their new app Snap. Find. Shop. helps users find shoes and handbags with digital imagery. Users can take a photo of an item and use the app to find styles that are similar and available at Neiman Marcus. Photos can be taken of printed or “real-life” images. The app has been compared to a personal stylist, and shoppers love its convenience and efficiency.

Neiman Marcus is the first luxury retailer to use visual search technology. This new technology has helped the retailer drive traffic to physical store locations. The app is also particularly useful in ecommerce and mobile app purchases. When a shopper uses Snap. Find. Shop. on their mobile device, he or she can make their purchase in just a few more taps to their phone screen. These steps shave a significant amount of time off of the traditionally long shopping process. The efficiency that comes paired with Snap. Find. Shop. is memorable and groundbreaking.

BestWalgreens Refills Easy

Walgreens: the unexpected winner of Smartphone apps

Walgreens is not the first company that comes to mind when thinking “omnichannel.” However, a look at their Smartphone app shows that Walgreens is a pro at utilizing multiple platforms seamlessly.

Several different functions in their app fuel a seamless mobile to brick-and-mortar experience. The app lets users refill prescriptions through their mobile, which is done by a quick scan of the prescription’s barcode. Shoppers can then run down to their nearest Walgreens to pick up their meds. App users can also set refill alerts to remind them to refill prescriptions if need be.Walgreens Item Locator

The Walgreens app also has a store locator, showing the user where they can find the nearest Walgreens. Once the customer is inside the store, he or she can use an item locator feature to find the exact location of a product. In the case that a customer does not want to walk about the store, he or she can opt for the web pickup or home delivery options.

With its variety of personalization elements and incorporation of multiple channels, Walgreens has one of the best apps for an omnichannel shopping experience. As consumers steadily depend more on mobile for making purchases, Walgreens is setting itself up for success.

Want to learn more?

Inspired by these innovative omnichannel pros? Learn how to go omnichannel over social media for even more great marketing ideas.

Syncing your mobile and website platforms has always been a smart move for marketers, simply because shoppers prefer the ease and convenience of optimized mobile sites.

However, new updates to Google make this optimization a necessity, rather than option, for today’s eCommerce sites.

Google recently released plans to change its mobile search rankings based on a site’s “mobile friendliness” in the eyes of Google. The search engine giant will implement adjustments to its algorithm starting April 21, 2015 and has provided a tool to check if a site is mobile-friendly.

This is a big game changer for retailers that benefit from showing up high on Google’s search list. If these mobile sites are not properly optimized, they may be knocked down a few pages on Google’s search results lists. Companies around the world have cleverly dubbed these big changes, “Mobilegeddon.

Google’s announcement has caused companies to reevaluate their mobile optimization. In light of this game changing situation, we are determining the best ways to optimize websites via mobile.

What does mobile “unfriendliness” look like?

Tiny links and text that require the user to zoom in are unfriendly, according to Google. Sites that require the user to scroll sideways to see content is also unfriendly. A properly optimized mobile site should be easy for the user to understand and use.

This shouldn’t surprise anybody. Shoppers like seamless experiences that are quick and easy – not an hour-long session that requires time, effort, and lots of extra navigation.

Although Google is practically requiring sites to become more mobile-friendly, retailers should have already be attentive to consumers by offering the best material for them. However, recent studies show that a whopping 91% of small businesses have not optimized their sites. When NectarOM heard this statistic combined with the breaking news of Google’s Mobilegeddon, we decided to take a closer look at optimization and mobile sites.

Types of mobile site configuration

There are a couple different ways companies can configure their sites to mobile:

  1. Responsive: Responsive configuration looks the same across all devices used. It uses the same URL across all platforms. For example, a site will look relatively similar on a laptop and on a mobile device – minus a few formatting changes. Tech experts agree that, traditionally, Google prefers a responsive configuration.
  2. Peets Coffee SiteMobile-specific: Mobile specific configuration can look significantly different from a website viewed on a computer. Oftentimes, these sites utilize less text, larger links, and resizing features to make the mobile commerce experience easy for users. Mobile-specific sites usually use “m” as their subdomain. For example, Peet’s Coffee and Tea
    designs their mobile site to include elements from their website – but with larger buttons and links, and less text.
Effectively optimizing mobile content

Snapshot of the homepage when viewed from my phone

When reconfiguring your mobile site, there are several factors your company should consider for easy site viewing and usage. We’ve determined what we think are the most important factors for effective optimization.

The most im

portant thing to remember when optimizing for mobile is to keep things simple. Don’t overcrowd the user’s mobile screen with text and links – an overabundance of content can get overwhelming and leave the user frustrated. Instead of cramming an information surplus into a home page, use basic links and titles to make a shopping experience easy for your users.

As far as formatting goes, there are several different factors that can strengthen your mobile optimization.

One of my biggest qualms in mobile sites are links that are too small or too close together. When my

Heinz uses links that are way too small for anyone's thumbs
Heinz uses links that are way too small for anyone’s thumbs

thumbs are too large to click a single link on my phone, I oftentimes get so annoyed that I leave the site entirely. When this happens, I might check out a competitor’s site, and use that instead if its easier to use. Be sure that consumers are able to click on your links easily so they don’t leave you for your competition.

Similarly, your site’s text should carry over seamlessly to mobile as well. If you are not designing a site unique to your mobile device, your site should utilize text that is easy to read – even when it’s smaller. Large, cursive fonts that may look pretty on the computer can look like illegible scribbles on a small mobile device.

Companies should also be aware of which outside content they are bringing into their site. In particular, plug-ins like Flash or Java can be an Achilles’ heel for companies implementing them on mobile sites. Both Flash and Java are notorious for failing to be mobile friendly. Ensure that your users are able to experience all content by avoiding these entities.

Going forward

Optimizing mobile in the upcoming weeks will be a necessity for all businesses. And the sooner you get started with optimization, the more time your company can take to effectively optimize your content. Interested in learning about other ways you can utilize mobile? Check out our mobile personalization white paper to learn what personalization can do for your mobile marketing campaign.

The prevalence of social media regarding millennials. Click to enlarge.

Using social media channels to improve marketing over multiple platforms

A massive shift in the marketing power is upon us.

For decades, baby boomers held the most purchasing power in the marketplace. But, as millennials are becoming the driving force in sales, marketers are forced to adjust their strategies to accommodate the younger generation. With the growing emphasis on millennials in the marketplace, understanding how to communicate with this generation through social and mobile channels is imperative for marketing success.

One key variance that sets millennials apart from other generations is social media usage. According to a Pew Research survey, 18 to 29-year-olds are the largest demographic of social media users. Because this group now makes up the largest purchasing power in America, incorporating marketing into social media can pay off big time for companies.

The key to an effective social media campaign lies in omnichannel. Each platform – from Facebook and email to brick-and-mortars – must provide a seamless experience for consumers. Platforms with inconsistencies will frustrate the user and decrease customer traffic.

We’ve taken a look at how today’s top marketers have created an omnichannel experience when marketing to millennials via social media.


Comments or direct messages increase the amount of communication between a company and the public. Companies like Papa John’s Pizza use this tool to quickly answer customer questions or address complaints. Oftentimes, the pizza entity was able to respond to public concerns in just ten minutes.

Over Facebook, Papa John's is able to respond to customer concerns in approximately 10 minutes.
Over Facebook, Papa John’s can respond to customer concerns in approximately 10 minutes.

Noting fast responses is key. A Forrester report found that 45% of shoppers will abandon online transactions if their concerns are not addressed quickly. In contrast, a customer-friendly, quick response can boost a company’s stance in customer service.

With Facebook’s convenience, it’s no wonder that 52% of companies think it is the most effective social channel for customer service. Millennials choose to communicate via Facebook instead of a website because of it often prompts a faster response from a company. Millennials aren’t lazy – they simply prefer convenience and fast service.

In the case that a Facebook comment cannot provide an adequate response to customer concerns, Papa John’s directs its consumers to their website. Their website provides forms for consumers who wish to discuss their experience in detail with the company. The seamless connection between their Facebook social media and company website help buyers communicate with the company effectively.


Instagram’s growing popularity among millennials and young people has attracted retail marketers to the picture-based social media platform.

Large companies have adapted their advertising towards becoming more seamlessly integrated with the Instagram experience. For example, the past year has seen a number of retailers implementing like-to-buy programs for their products.

Like-to-buy is one of the fastest ways a shopper can make a purchase. When an Instagram user sees a photo of a desired product for purchase, he or she can leave contact information via direct message or comment on the post. The retailer later invoices the Instagram user for their product, and the product is available for in-store pickup or home delivery.

Dallas boutique Movida implements their weekly "Thursday Therapy." Shoppers can easily order products before they are even sold in the store.
Movida, a Dallas boutique, implements their weekly “Thursday Therapy.” Shoppers can easily order products before they are sold in the store. Invoices are emailed and products are shipped directly to the buyer. Click image to enlarge.

Again, millennials are all about convenience. An omnichannel approach that lets shoppers purchase products with a few taps on their iPhone screen is just about as convenient as can be – especially with the option of in-store pickup or home delivery.


This fastest growing social media platform opens doors for memorable, creative marketing campaigns. Taco Bell has secured its status as a leader in marketing through its one-of-a-kind Snapchat campaigns.

Taco Bell uses this photography-focused channel to engage with its users. Between challenging users to doodle wars, to designing comical Valentine’s greeting cards, Taco Bell has solidified its reputation as a leader in engaging with consumers.


But Taco Bell focuses on more than an entertaining social media presence. The company’s Snaps often direct consumers to view more items on its app or in brick-and-mortars. Because customers are already engaged, they are more likely to visit Taco Bell’s other channels. Consumers develop stronger trust and loyalty with brands that engage with them, adding to a significant payoff for Taco Bell sales. For this fast-food restaurant, engagement is the glue to an omnichannel approach.

That being said…

Millennials show no signs of slowing their social media usage, so it’s up to marketers to stay relevant to the masses. Incorporating seamless social media campaigns into marketing strategies can ensure that brands are attractive and easily accessible to today’s consumers. Don’t be afraid to incorporate similar social media strategies into your own omnichannel campaign, or learn about more inspirational omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel elements are paying off big time for retailers that know how to use them. We’ve noticed that the most impressive fiscal results come from companies using nontraditional platforms in creative ways. Today’s top omnichannel retailers show that revamping a marketing strategy to reflect changes in the digital sphere can dramatically improve revenue and sales. To get a better feel for how omnichannel pays off for retailers, we’ll examine the marketing strategies of Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Gap Inc.

Macy’s in-store pickup and digital wallet

In the past year, Macy’s has adjusted and revamped its marketing strategy to include omnichannel elements. The omnichannel additions were implemented as a part of Macy’s initiative to improve growth.

Terry J. Lundgren, CEO and chairman of Macy’s, said that the corporation’s focus on omnichannel has gained momentum over the new year. Seamless marketing over various platforms will allow Macy’s to respond to customers’ wants and needs.

“Having now reached such a healthy profitability rate, we are shifting our resources and energies to growing the topline faster while maintaining this high profitability rate level,” he said. “We have now fully aligned our management team to fuel organic growth within our existing omnichannel business as customer shopping patterns evolve.”

Macy's "My Wallet" is a key element to their marketing campaign
Macy’s “My Wallet” is a key element to their marketing campaign

As a part of their omnichannel campaign, Macy’s has begun offering an in-store pickup option for customers. Macy’s has also implemented its digital wallet: a smartphone app that lets shoppers who create a personal profile see special offers and discounts via mobile device. This app also speeds up the purchase process for customers.

And so far, it looks like customers are loving the company’s new omnichannel applications.

Macy’s 2014 revenue was higher than in years past. Macy’s says the improvement are a result of stronger customer relationships, which they attribute to the “support of an omnichannel strategy that is being driven by emerging customer shopping preferences.”

J.C. Penney’s catalog

J.C. Penney’s revenue struggled a couple years ago. However, the company was able to improve sales numbers after making major omnichannel renovations to its marketing strategy.

In 2013, the retailer merged its ecommerce and in-store marketing and sales campaigns. After fusing the two, J.C. Penney saw a 6% increase in ecommerce sales.

Now, two years later, J.C. Penney is still making additions to its omnichannel strategy. Earlier this year, the retailer announced its plans to bring back its catalog, which it had stopped publishing in 2010. Chief Executive Myron “Mike” Ullman said the elimination of J.C. Penney’s catalog was a bad move, and caused the retailer to lose many of its customers.

While a mail-delivered catalog may seem like an old-fashioned marketing tool, J.C. Penney believes that the catalog will bring back and retain a significant portion of their client base. Craig Elbert, Bonobo’s vice president of marketing, said that catalog customers spend more and tend to be a retailer’s most supportive customers overall.

Resurrecting the catalog brings optimism to the company. J.C. Penney spokeswoman Kate Coultas said that the print option will improve sales across multiple platforms.

“This is part of our omnichannel efforts designed to drive traffic to J.C. Penney wherever our customer decides to shop,” she said. “Online, via mobile or tablet, or in store.”

Gap Inc.’s order in store and WiFi

Gap Inc.’s revenue is on the incline – largely due to its focus on omnichannel over the past year.

The company’s fourth quarter and fiscal year results reflect the new focus on omnichannel. 2014 brought new digital capabilities for Gap customers, adding a new Order in Store capability to the shopping experience. This builds upon Gap’s current omnichannel suite, which includes Reserve in Store, Find in Store and Ship from Store.

Over 1,000 Gap stores also provide WiFi to enhance a consumer’s omnichannel shopping experience. This gives shoppers access to mobile apps and sites, encouraging the use of multiple channels throughout a shopping experience.

As Gap looks to improve revenue in 2015, the company will only increase their focus on omnichannel. The company expects to spend approximately $800 million on omnichannel, and names rolling out “omnichannel initiatives” as one of their forward-looking statements.

Convinced by the success from these omnichannel campaigns?

Don’t be afraid to revamp your own omnichannel practices! Get your creative juices flowing by checking out our top picks for omnichannel marketing or learn how to get started with our easy, three step guide to omnichannel.


Over the past couple years, mobile technology advances have drastically changed the way companies make sales.

With the steady increase of smartphone users in the U.S., retailers have experienced more showrooming from customers. Showrooming occurs when an in-store shopper utilizes his or her mobile device or tablet to enhance their shopping experience. Consumers can check product reviews, compare prices, or find out more about a product through their mobile device. Currently, over 70% of consumers are showroom shoppers.

When showrooming became a hot topic in 2013, brick-and-mortars felt the effects. In-store sales suffered, as consumers preferred to purchase online because of lower overhead costs. New mobile technology truly hurt some businesses that were not familiar with the digital world.

However, some companies found ways to utilize digital technology in their marketing efforts. These companies are now leaders and innovators in omnichannel marketing.

This integration of technology in brick-and-mortars adds an extra dimension to a shopping experience. The implementation of a digital element makes a shopping experience easier, more convenient, and rewarding for the shopper. We have determined some entities that are innovators and leaders in today’s omnichannel marketing:


Those who frequent eateries like Chili’s or Red Robin may be familiar with the digital waiter, Ziosk. Ziosk converges customer service and technology via tablet, to create the ultimate dining experience for consumers. Customers can place food orders, request drink refills, play interactive games while waiting, and select a tip amount – all with a quick touch of a tablet on the restaurant’s dining table. Ziosk gives customers a quick, easy dining experience by eliminating unnecessary wait times for waiters and checks.

ziosk digital waiter

Ziosk’s omnichannel practices have led to major success. It serves 25 million guests each month, and has been implemented in eateries across all 50 states. Ziosk eliminates most cases of human error, and gives waiters more opportunities to focus on creating a positive environment for their guests. The innovation also shortens table turnover time, as orders are submitted to kitchens almost instantly through Wi-Fi. Customer satisfaction also increases for Ziosk users. According to Ziosk CEO Austen Mulinder, the average tip amount increases with Ziosk, reflecting a happier customer base.


mobile shopping

With the introduction of showrooming, the smartphone app Shopkick is a brick-and-mortar’s best friend. Shopkick creates an omnichannel experience without the retailer actually having to do much.

The app rewards its shoppers simply for walking in the doors of a participating retailer. Shoppers receive “kicks,” the app’s currency, which can be redeemable for gift cards or donations to charity. If a shopper makes a purchase, he or she receives even more kicks. Shopkick also alerts its users about special in-store promotions.

Shopkick increases store traffic, encourages brick-and-mortar sales, and rewards its users by simply going into retailers. And because in-store purchases account for 90% of the total market, emphasis on entering a brick-and-mortar can majorly improve sales.


beacon tech

McDonald’s is revamping marketing by integrating iBeacon into its dining experiences. This beacon technology comes from the provider Piper. Customers will now receive coupons, timely alerts, information about employment opportunities, and customer surveys when they walk through a franchise’s doors.

Changes to McDonald’s marketing strategy come after noting the growing market of millennials. This omnichannel implementation has been successful thus far, because of the high millennial demographic. Jack Pezold has owned and operated McDonald’s franchises for more than 40 years, and recognizes the importance of adding a digital element to the dining experience.

“Everyone is looking at their phones, millennials especially, and that’s where we’ve decided to engage,” Pezold said. “We know our customers and Piper’s beacon solution allows us to cater to their tastes, preferences and behaviors, making it easy for them to get more value and enjoyment out of their McDonald’s experience.”

The month after McDonald’s integrated new technology into its marketing, the company experienced up to 8% sales increase for some products. Over 18,000 offers have been redeemed through mobile as well.

Whether you’re thinking about implementing a new app, or employing a service like iBeacon, adding a digital element to your marketing strategy can be a huge asset. Become a marketing hero and set your company apart from others, by implementing technology in brick-and-mortars for a digitally enhanced shopping experience.

Omnichannel is a relatively new concept for today’s marketers. Despite its relatively new tenure in the marketing world, the idea of omnichannel has made a strong impact on businesses and consumers alike, and it doesn’t look like omnichannel is going away anytime soon. In a time where consumers constantly accessible through dozens of marketing platforms, marketers must embrace omnichannel now. Consider these three steps when starting omnichannel marketing, if you haven’t already.

Step one: Find Your DMP

With an omnichannel approach, a data management platform is a must-have for retailers. A data management platform (DMP) collects, manages, processes, analyzes, organizes and activates data. There are plenty of DMPs available to marketers, so choosing the right platform is imperative to your omnichannel success.

There are a few important qualities you may want to consider when choosing your DMP. Businesses should consider how the platform integrates 1st and 3rd party data, how the platform can be utilized, the platform’s cross-channel management abilities, and how easy the platform is to use.

Finding the right DMP can help businesses create a much more comprehensive, 360-degree profile of their customers, a key foundation for marketing personalization.

Step two: Develop Content

The key to a seamless, omnichannel experience lies within the content of the marketing messages that customers receive. Although consumers are receiving messages on different platforms, the messages must be unified and consistent with one another. All messages directed to customers must reflect products and ideas of the overarching marketing campaign.

Developing consistent messaging can be a stumbling block for some businesses. When faced with the dilemma of message uniformity and also personalizing content, marketers often decide to just “batch and blast” generic campaigns across the board. However, with carefully planned strategy and new technology, businesses can combine uniformity and 1:1 personalized marketing with much less effort and spend compared with several years ago.

DMPS and automation platforms can help pull in data from customers so that the right bits of content can be used in messaging, whether it be product offers, copy and language, or design.

Erik Schulze, VP at Yes Lifecycle Marketing, expects that personalization will only become more of a necessity in the next years. In a MediaPost article regarding email marketing personalization, Schulze said, “As the number of emails go up, the engagement with those emails goes down…it’s much more important to have a more personalized discussion or address personal needs.”

And email is just one of the channels marketers should be personalizing…

Step three: Consider all Channels

There are a variety of other channels that retailers should be taking advantage of for optimal coverage.

As the millennial generation becomes the primary target for retailers, companies must adjust their omnichannel strategies accordingly. Raised in an era that incorporates technology into everything, milennials are naturally tech-savvy. Their familiarity with technology will likely influence marketing strategies. Almost three-fourths of today’s consumers believe digital technologies will transform the way businesses use their channels to interact with customers.

Therefore, marketers should be able to access these customers through more, nontraditional channels. This opens more doors for businesses willing to market through social media, apps or SMS. Businesses that are unwilling to embrace new technologies will be left behind.

Despite the increase of technology in today’s marketing, marketers should not forget about old, traditional marketing channels.

Brick-and-mortars, the most traditional channel for marketing, are still important to customers. Brick-and-mortar account for over $4 trillion in sales: a majority of the retail market. Providing an enjoyable in-store experience is still vital for success in the marketing world.

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If you’re still looking for more ways to get started with omnichannel, check out some of our favorite omnichannel campaigns.

In less than five years, one marketing strategy has evolved from an unfamiliar concept, to a trendy buzzword, to a crucial component for successful marketing. Omnichannel marketing is one of the fastest-growing concepts for retailers and consumers alike.

Omnichannel is about continuing a consumer’s shopping experience across multiple platforms. Retailers must integrate every available channel to create a seamless shopping experience for customers. Omnichannel aims to encourage evaluation and interaction between a customer and the retailer.

The concept of omnichannel was first introduced to the marketing world in 2010. The term was devised to describe a shopping experience that extends beyond multi-channel retailing. An ideal omnichannel shopping experience would be accessible to customers on all platforms, from traditional brick-and-mortars to the digital world of text message, emails, and online shopping.

In September 2010, a report from IDC Retail Insights predicted a strong reliance on omnichannel for successful marketers in years to come. According to the report, retailers utilizing multichannel strategies in 2010 saw a 15-35% increase in average transaction size, along with a 5-10% increase in loyalty customers’ profitability. IDC cited the growing ecommerce market as the key reason retailers needed to implement omnichannel strategies.

Despite its introduction nearly 5 years ago, omnichannel didn’t receive much attention until a few years later. In 2013, “omnichannel” became a buzzword for marketers and consumers alike.

A 2013 article in Huffington Post attributed the rise of omnichannel to the increase of smartphones. Shoppers with smartphones are showrooming, or using their mobile devices to research competitive pricing while in a store and purchasing a cheaper option later on a laptop or tablet. As Smartphone sales continue to completely overshadow traditional cell phone sales, showrooming continues to increase, promoting more retailers to implement omnichannel practices.

This past year, the concept has further evolved. Omnichannel has morphed from a “buzzword” into a necessity for retailers that want to stay competitive.

In early 2014, Marketing Land called omnichannel a “must” for brands and retailers. Citing a report by MIT, they argued that omnichannel consumers are the “central force shaping the future of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores alike.”

Similar to the IDC and Huffington Post, Marketing Land attributes the rise of omnichannel marketing to the digital age. The MIT report found that $12 billion retail sales were made on Smartphones, and $1.1 trillion store sales were influenced by the web. These findings show that consumers are using multiple platforms to enhance their shopping experiences.

Several articles by Forbes also indicate that omnichannel is more than a fad or trendy phrase. The publication has recently called omnichannel, “More than a digital transformation buzzword,” and have dubbed it the “future of digital commerce.”

Retailers are also proving that omnichannel marketing is imperative for survival in the competitive free market. A look at J.C. Penney’s marketing strategy from 2011-2014 is a prime example of omnichannel’s impact on sales.

Originally hoping to keep online sales strategies separate from in-store sales strategies in 2011, J.C. Penney experienced a massive 32% decline in sales. In 2013, the company evaluated their business strategy, recognizing that separating online from in-store sales was detrimental to their success. Upon implementing an omnichannel strategy merging the two platforms, J.C. Penney saw a 6% increase in e-commerce sales in 2013 and a 26% increase in the beginning of 2014.

Omnichannel marketing is likely to remain relevant in years to come. A Forrester Research report predicts mobile commerce to grow 33% annually for the next three years, fueled by thee rise of Smartphone sales and usage. The report also expects an 89% increase in retailers that integrate mobile technology in-store. As omnichannel has become essential for retailers, it is imperative to understand the concept and its implications. In doing so, businesses will be able to reach their full potential and achieve success in today’s competitive marketing world.