Man in equine retail store

One of the top marketing trends of 2019, omni channel marketing deserves the attention of every equine business owner who is serious about scaling their marketing for success.

I talk with Glenys Cox at Horse Chats about what omni channel marketing is, why it’s important and how you can implement it in your equine business in 2019.

Question: What is omni channel marketing?

Omni channel marketing is the marketing buzzword of 2019, but before getting caught up in the jargon, let’s break down what omni channel marketing actually means. 

The first part of the word, ‘omni’, is defined as ‘combining forms’. It comes from the Latin word, ‘omnis’, which stands for ‘all’ or ‘universally’. 

The second part of the word, ‘channel’, refers to the various ways in which consumers interact with companies. Today, a consumer can engage with a company in a physical store, on a website or mobile app, through a catalogue or via social media. 

Because of this, marketers need to create seamless experiences, regardless of channel or device. Each element of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary. Thus, we enter the era of omni channel marketing.

Question: What type of horse businesses need to consider omni channel marketing?

In short, omni channel marketing is important for every horse business, but none more so than equine retailers. Therefore, I’m going to focus on the retail sector. 

The equine retailers I believe will be most successful are those who have embraced e-commerce, in addition to their brick and mortar store. Using omni channel marketing, these retailers can create a seamless experience and delight their customers wherever they are. 

Question: Why is omni channel marketing so important for equestrian retailers?

The effectiveness of mass, push-based marketing – think print media, television ads and email blasts – is rapidly declining. Now, consumers expect a more personalised, 1-to-1 experience when engaging with a company, and this is particularly true in retail. 

Think of your own experiences… Most of us can recall times when we felt dissatisfied. None of us want to struggle finding the right product, placing an order, adding an item to cart or getting a timely response to our enquiries. Our expectations have made the stakes so high.

Question: What has led to such rapid changes in the retail sector?

I would have to say its a combination of things that are changing our expectations as consumers. We now live in a fast-paced, hyperconnected world, bridged by devices and platforms that have obliterated past constraints of time and space. 

From one mobile phone, we can research, review, place orders and purchase products – anywhere, any time. Consumer loyalty is down, because we have almost endless choices, which means, more than ever, companies have to get it right from the outset. 

Question: How can equestrian retailers implement omni channel marketing?

It begins by evaluating the current experience of your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and walk through the same steps they take when buying from you. 

  • In store, rate the shopping experience: How is the store presented? How do staff greet you? How helpful and knowledgeable are they about products? Do they collect any customer information? 
  • Online, test all the channels a customer can use – phone, email, social media and your website: How easy is it to find what you’re looking for? Are there any roadblocks when adding an item to cart? How responsive are staff to enquiries? Are promotional messages consistent? 

Have several internal and external people go through this process. If they identify any unnecessary barriers, you have reached the first step in fixing them. 

Question: What are the common mistakes equestrian retailers are making? 

I think equine retailers may not be aware that, increasingly, people are using multiple devices during a single transaction – and that’s why an omni channel approach is so important.

I know myself that I frequently change between mobile, tablet and desktop throughout the day. If I add an item to cart on my mobile phone, but don’t checkout, I expect it to be there when I go back to the website on my desktop computer. The same if I were to return using my tablet.

Woman shopping on her mobile phone

Using a mobile device, equestrians can shop anywhere, any time.

Question: What technologies and tactics should equestrian retailers be using? 

For equine retailers interested e-commerce, a robust e-commerce website is essential. At Archer Creative, we recommend WordPress and WooCommerce; for those with different preferences, a solid alternative is Shopify.  

Using marketing automation and customer relationship management software, e-commerce retailers can create personalised, 1-to-1 messages with their customers at every stage of the buying process. 

Customers who have added items to cart, but haven’t yet bought, can be engaged with a personalised offer; while those who have recently made a purchase, can receive communications on related products they may be interested in.

With the right technology in place, these messages are very effective at driving engagement, loyalty and sales, but in a way that makes customers feel personally spoken to.

Question: What do retailers risk if they don’t implement omni channel marketing? 

They risk falling behind – losing customers and, ultimately, business. Equine retailers who want to be successful in 2019 need to embrace omni channel marketing. 

Question: How do retailers gain if they do implement omni channel marketing?

The reward is a more profitable, scalable e-commerce business.

Question: What’s ahead for equestrian retailers in 2019?

An exciting, and challenging, landscape for retail. Those who will thrive are interested in omni channel marketing for the opportunities it presents to understand and speak to consumers. Omni channel marketing reminds us the best form of marketing is personal.

Looking for some outside support? Don’t wait for success, create it — with the experts in equine marketing, Archer Creative. To learn more about how we can help you exceed your growth goals, call us on 1300 077 126 or visit www.archercreative.net.au.

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