Retail Restart

Lesson 5

Let your customers lead the way

It surely is necessary to go beyond Facebook when it comes to social media – for the majority of vendors, at least. But do you really need to go omnichannel, as you’ve probably been advised, already?!

New channels are being born every year. Some become a big hit, at least for a while and with a certain audience, others die in silence or survive as a niche for a very specified, rather small target group. Sometimes even with a reputation that becomes dubious at some point.

Going omnichannel, if done consequently, would mean the need to produce more content each year – always adapted to the channel, but staying true to your brand’s voice. Thought through, this means more efforts, more resources and more sources for errors.

You may think of defining a minimum threshold of subscribed users for a channel. This often makes sense, but it shouldn’t be your only criterion. You need to be careful: the less broad your target audience is, the more sense it makes to be present on a channel that connects you only to those in your scope. Think of young students in Germany, who you can target within a 10 km perimeter, through an app that’s predominantly used by them: Jodel.  

Bottom line: Select, but select carefully, not rigidly. Your (potential) customers may require a video on Youtube to see a product in action one day, get inspired by a clip on TikTok, by a photo on Instagram the next day – and finally go directly to your website for in-depth information.

Let them have it their way. But make the experience a consistent one, and know which channels make sense in each market, for each audience. This depends on your brand, on your products, your audiences in the different regions – but also on the nature of the channel! Each one has its own culture, and consistency takes into account all of the mentioned aspects.

Don’t just follow the buzzword, trying to go “omnichannel”. Choose wisely where to invest your resources – go optichannel. Once you do show up, make it a localized and personalized experience, speaking the audience’s language, in all aspects. Loyal customer relationships will be your reward!

Let’s recap the most important takeaways from this lesson

  • Be careful with buzzwords you follow. Omnichannel is a concept that demands the usage of too many resources – and may even hurt your brand’s reputation.
  • Select carefully, not rigidly. Even a less widely used channel can make sense for you, if your target audience gathers there.
  • Be consistent with your brand’s voice, products and audiences in the different regions, but also with the individual nature of the selected channels.
  • Speaking of buzzwords … optichannel would be one that makes sense: Let your target audience decide where to go.

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