In an ever more complex retail environment, customer engagement is essential but also challenging. Retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model in which there is a two-way mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer. Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing and both one-to-many or one-on-one. The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a wide variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily become creators of their own content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line as research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products in an omni-channel approach.
Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and make up. Consumers are increasingly using the internet to look up product information, compare prices and search for deals and promotions.
A key objective is engaging digital marketing customers and allowing them to interact with the brand through servicing and delivery of digital media. Information is easy to access at a fast rate through the use of digital communications. Users with access to the Internet can use many digital mediums, such as Facebook, YouTube, Forums, and Email etc. Through Digital communications it creates a Multi-communication channel where information can be quickly exchanged around the world by anyone without any regard to whom they are.