The ultimate guide to omnichannel personalization 

9 min
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Omnichannel activities are now synonymous with online customers. People can shop on your website, from their phones, in stores, and even through social media. 

McKinsey & Company found that 81% of customers researched items on multiple channels before buying a single product.

With omnichannel personalization, it always feels like you’re reading a customer’s mind and giving them exactly what they want every time they interact with your brand. And in doing so, you deeply connect with them and create a relationship that goes beyond a simple purchase.  

With that in mind, we’ll cover what this strategy involves and how you can use it to grow your business.

What is omnichannel personalization?

Simply put, omnichannel personalization creates a seamless and consistent customer experience across physical and digital touchpoints. It also involves tailoring interactions to each individual’s preferences and needs. 

With omnichannel, you have a complete view of how customers interact with your business. It lets you give each shopper a hyper-personalized experience and makes it more likely for them to become loyal customers.

Let’s take a clothing store as an example. 

A customer visits the company’s website and adds a few dresses to their shopping cart but needs to complete the purchase. Later that week, the shopper gets an email from the store with a limited-time discount offer. They also see an ad with the dresses while browsing on Facebook. 

A few days later, the customer visits the physical store. After walking into the shop, they get a push notification from the store’s mobile app, reminding them of the dresses they chose online. The app also offers an exclusive in-store discount on those dresses.

While shopping in the store, the customer scans a QR code next to a dress using the app to get more details. At the checkout counter, a sales associate, aware of the customer’s online activity due to an integrated app, helps them find the right size and color based on their previous purchases.

This hyper-personalized approach gives customers a smooth shopping experience and helps them connect better with your brand.

Why you should use omnichannel personalization 

As mentioned, customers have lots of choices when shopping online. That means you have to meet them where they are — whether in person, through SMS or an app, or on social media or a website. 

An omnichannel marketing strategy helps you serve them the same way on all these platforms. But that’s just one benefit. Let’s look at some more advantages of this effective tactic.

It provides the ultimate customer experience

Most customers crave personalized experiences. They want to be treated as unique, not part of a mass audience.

That’s why 59% of customers think businesses should use the information they collect about them to make their experiences more personal. And 62% prefer personalized recommendations.

Omnichannel marketing gives these customers precisely what they want — customized and seamless experiences. 

Whether they interact with your brand through your website, social networks, mobile app, or physical store, they get a consistent experience tailored to their preferences and past interactions.

It improves customer loyalty

A seamless, personalized customer experience eventually leads to loyalty. 

Mastercard’s 2023 Retail Report shows 53% of companies increased customer loyalty and retention with personalization strategies. And 34% saw improved customer acquisition.

It increases revenue

An omnichannel approach directly affects your company’s ROI and bottom line. In fact, 77% of businesses that invest in immersive experiences see a positive ROI.

In an immersive experience, a customer can interact with your brand on one platform — say, your website — and instantly switch to another channel without a problem.

Through omnichannel, you can also tailor your product recommendations to specific customers and encourage them to buy more. For instance, 26% of shoppers bought something else while picking up an online purchase from a brick-and-mortar store. 

How to create an effective omnichannel marketing strategy

Let’s now look at how to unify all your platforms to create an effective omnichannel strategy that boosts customer engagement and grows your business.

Identify your customer touchpoints

The first step is to identify the channels customers use to engage with your brand. 

This may seem straightforward. However, the Mastercard report found that 71% of businesses struggle to maintain real-time consistency across multiple platforms. This difficulty is partly due to the rising number of touchpoints and sales channels.

To address this issue, identify the channels that impact the customer journey the most. Then, optimize and personalize interactions on those channels.

In addition, find out how customers move from one platform to another. For example, a customer can start their journey on Instagram, shift to your website, and finally buy a product in your physical store. Determine these cross-channel interactions and make the transitions seamless.

Invest in the right automation tools

After you determine your customers’ favorite platforms, the next step is to combine them. However, that’s easier said than done. Mastercard’s report shows that 68% of businesses struggle to integrate multiple channels to create a single customer view.

To help with this, invest in a customer data platform. It will help you track customer interactions across various channels to get a complete view of the buyer’s journey.

Then, use a marketing automation platform that seamlessly integrates with your customer data platform and other business systems to automate your workflows. 

For example, an ecommerce business can use a tool like GetResponse MAX to automate its email marketing campaigns. The company can monitor how customers interact with its store and automatically send abandoned cart emails to those who don’t complete their purchases.

Automation workflow for an abandoned cart.

On top of integration and automation, other features to look for in an omnichannel marketing platform include:

  • Personalization and segmentation so you can share the right content with the appropriate audience.
  • Data analytics to help you monitor and optimize your omnichannel marketing campaigns. 
  • Scalability so you can increase your profits as your business grows.
  • User-friendly interface so your team can quickly find what they’re looking for.

Create buyer personas and segment your audience

Buyer personas are detailed illustrations of your ideal customer based on the data you collect. They go beyond the basic demographics and highlight customers’ motivations and what influences their buying decisions.

For example, suppose you have an ecommerce business that sells outdoor adventure gear. In that case, you can create a buyer persona like this:

With such a detailed buyer persona, you can easily create customer segments and tailor your marketing messages to meet their needs on their preferred platforms.

Offer customers valuable content

When visitors land on your website, they want something practical and helpful. And they hope you can give it to them.

Your content should meet your audience’s needs and offer a great user experience (UX). That way, you’ll leave a lasting impression. In fact, 44% of businesses that improve their content’s value and quality succeed in content marketing, according to a 2023 Semrush report.

Use these tactics to create valuable content for your customer base:

  • Adapt your content to suit the needs of each channel. For example, design eye-catching images for Instagram, helpful blog posts for your website, and engaging videos for YouTube.
  • Provide how-to guides that help consumers solve problems and make informed decisions.
  • Encourage customers to share their experiences with your products through reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content. Then, showcase that content across your channels to build trust and credibility.
  • Set up a regular posting schedule that fits with what your audience wants to keep them engaged. Sprout Social’s 2023 Content Benchmarks Report shows that 74% of customers think brands should post on social platforms once or twice a day.

Provide personalized customer support

According to Incisiv’s 2023 Omnichannel Customer Service report, 38% of customers actively seek customer support. And 73% of shoppers will return to a store after a positive interaction.

So, integrate live chat on your website and apps so you can help clients in real-time. Then, use customer data to personalize your conversations and provide relevant solutions based on browsing behavior and past interactions.

The same Incisiv report found over half of customers buy again from businesses that provide a live chat option.

Omnichannel personalization examples

Here are some real-life examples of brands that use omnichannel strategies to boost their sales and increase customer lifetime value (CLV).

McDonald’s

McDonald’s gives customers a personalized experience on its mobile app and digital platforms. Customers can customize their orders, save favorite items, and get promotions based on likes and purchases.

McDonald's mobile app landing page.
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The company also uses location-based data to send consumers push notifications with offers when they’re close to its restaurants. This encourages in-store visits.

In addition, its drive-thru menu boards change based on trending items, time of day, weather, or location. Customers can easily find the items they want and buy more recommended products, leading to higher conversion rates and better customer retention.

Lowe’s

Lowe’s, a home improvement retailer, uses omnichannel strategies to help customers with DIY projects. Users can access their purchase history, wish lists, and project details on its website and app. 

The app also gives customers personalized suggestions based on past purchases. That helps them find products and tools that go well with their projects.

Lowe's mobile app landing page.
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Lowe’s aims to make it easy for buyers to shop wherever they want. As a result, the brand invested in augmented reality (AR) that creates 3-D models of customers’ rooms. Shoppers can try out different flooring options in the app before purchasing.

Apple

Apple offers users an omnichannel experience across its platforms. For instance, if shoppers search for a product on the Apple website, they’ll get a targeted email offer related to that product. 

Moreover, when they use an Apple device, the brand synchronizes their settings, preferences, and recently viewed content across devices. As a result, shoppers get the same experience on all channels.

Apple also uses geotargeting to automatically populate addresses, opening times, and photos of its closest stores when a user searches for a nearby store online. 

Apple webpage with a geotargeting feature.
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The same geotargeting feature follows customers through to product pages, so they can have a seamless shopping experience between physical and digital channels.

Netflix

Netflix is an excellent example of how to use data-driven personalization to make product recommendations

A personalized email from Netflix.
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The streaming platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to analyze what users watch and their preferred genres. 

As a result, it offers each user hyper-personalized movie and TV show recommendations and thumbnails. Viewers also get a seamless experience no matter the device they use.

Sephora

Sephora, a cosmetics retailer, takes personalized omnichannel marketing to a whole new level. The personalized experience starts the minute a new customer visits Sephora’s website. 

The website uses location data to show visitors the nearest shops and available services in each store. That way, they can get what they need without doing a long search.

The brand also has a Color IQ feature and an AR fitting room that scans customers’ skin to match them with the proper foundation. And with Sephora’s app, they can virtually try on the makeup. It’s a fun, interactive way to bridge the gap between online and in-person shopping.

Sephora's Find My Shade page.
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In addition, when beauty advisors do makeovers in physical stores, they scan every item they use. Afterward, Sephora emails customers a product list to make it easy for them to recreate the look.

Take your business to the next level with omnichannel personalization strategies

Personalized omnichannel experiences are now a must-have for all businesses, considering that 1 in 3 customers will switch to a different brand after a single bad experience. 

You must go the extra mile with your personalization efforts to stand out and make customers stick around. And implementing an omnichannel approach is the way to go. 

Using the right tools, you can understand what each customer wants and share personalized content on their favorite channels.