On Day 5 of Engage21, the digital marketing conference organized by Blueshift, Inkit’s CEO, Michael McCarthy, participated in the panel discussion. This day of Engage21 was dedicated to omnichannel customer experience and led by Blueshift integration partners. Four panelists shared their ideas on what is an omnichannel customer experience and how it works. They also named the best ways to interact with customers through offline and digital channels for a seamless experience throughout the customer journey.
We selected the highlights from this panel to let you know how a modern omnichannel customer experience looks. Discover the insights from:
- Inkit’s CEO, Michael McCarthy,
- Nicklaus Salzman, Global Partnerships Lead at OneSignal,
- Erik Nilsen, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Pathwire,
- and Tim Rogers, SVP of Omnichannel & CRM at Criteo.
What is Omnichannel Customer Experience and Why Does it Matter?
Omnichannel customer experience is a marketing, sales, and customer support approach based on personalized customer interactions across multiple touchpoints. It unites brick-and-mortar stores, direct mail, TV, call centers, social media, mobile apps, emails, messengers, and other channels in a single connected network.
In omnichannel campaigns, leads get tailored content and a seamless experience regardless of the channel they use. Besides, omnichannel customer experience is relevant at any stage of the conversion funnel, from customer engagement to loyal customers. Since automated software predicts what customers expect, every customer feels like everything happens at the perfect time. This makes people more likely to convert, boosts customer loyalty, and results in an increased customer satisfaction rate.
An omnichannel experience also gives companies a competitive advantage over the brands that haven’t implemented it. Smooth multi-channel customer service truly matters in the oversaturated e-commerce market.
Michael McCarthy About Omnichannel Customer Experience and Customer Engagement at Blueshift Engage21
At the Engage21 conference, Michael McCarthy represented Inkit as one of the Blueshift integration partners. In his speech, Michael shared his views on omnichannel customer experience and the balance between new customer engagement and loyalty.
The main point to note is that the omnichannel customer experience should never end from the marketer’s perspective. It’s not enough to use it for customer engagement. Marketers should keep targeting existing customers to promote a product or service again and again.
“The journey really begins at the first touchpoint, whether that touchpoint is the first time a potential prospect or customer visits your website, or a call center, or a physical store. But this experience never ends. As a marketer, you want that customer not only to purchase from you once but to repurchase from you time and time again. There are a lot of studies out there from well-known firms such as McKinsey that have found that re-engaging a new prospect or customer is going to cost a company anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than just getting an existing customer to repurchase. When we get back to this omnichannel strategy, nurturing and getting a customer to repeat an order, increase their cart size are all very important concepts.” Michael McCarthy, Founder & CEO at Inkit.
Michael also stressed that the preoccupation of marketers with new customer engagement is the key challenge of omnichannel customer experience. Marketing teams become so obsessed with growing their target audience that they forget about the leads who have already converted and customer retention.
“One of the biggest challenges that we see is that many times marketers get so hooked on the idea of the growth of users that they miss the fact that they can make existing customers repeat purchases.”
He recommended connecting alternative channels for customer engagement and retention. Michael believes that for some customers, touchpoints like TV, direct mail, WhatsApp, or even TikTok can work better than emails.
During the panel discussion, Michael also explained how and when to use Inkit for omnichannel customer experience.
And what we really like to provide is, first and foremost, an API for address verification that helps companies to get the correct data into a system like Blueshift. When a customer is signing up at that shopping cart or entering their address data, we help to standardize it and verify that this is the correct address. This means packages and other mailing are going to the proper location. Speaking of the nurture sequences, that’s when our Send product can get in. A marketer may find that this email isn’t resonating or that text messages aren’t resonating and want to turn them into a paper medium. In this case, Inkit’s API can play a role in the lifecycle.”
Inkit’s Michael McCarthy also shared some predictions about the omnichannel customer experience future and gave handy tips. To watch the entire conference and learn more details about Inkit and Blueshift integration, use this link for free access to the conference recordings.
Other Blueshift Integration Partners About Omnichannel
The moderator of the panel discussion, Jason Shugars, Senior Director of Global Partnerships at Blueshift, asked every speaker what they think about the omnichannel customer experience. Here’s what they said:
“I think omnichannel engagement is probably a term that’s thrown out a lot in the industry. But if you boil it down, it’s sending the right message at the right time to the right user. It’s just figuring out when’s the appropriate time to talk to somebody and what’s the appropriate message that will resonate with them. Having more data basically allows you to access this, and having more channels allows you to hit users in the place they want to be spoken to.” Nicklaus Salzman, Global Partnerships Lead at OneSignal.
“When we have customers coming to us, they are often looking to engage with people that aren’t necessarily using emails. You want to use push notifications or SMS. And that’s when the partnership with Blueshift really comes into play. If someone doesn’t interact with emails, you can have another message sent. It opens up the door to being way more creative with your marketing.” Erik Nilsen, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Pathwire.
“Building a holistic audience strategy, driving all channel outcomes and really educating those multi-channel retailers and omnichannel retailers. […] If you look through a single channel lens, you miss out on a bunch of opportunities.” Tim Rogers, SVP of Omnichannel & CRM at Criteo.
If you’re not exploring different channels and testing that strategy, you’re missing out on revenue and a potential channel to communicate with customers. We see this all the time. We work with tons of e-commerce brands that maybe have never heard of Web Push notifications, for example.” Erik Nilsen, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Pathwire.
A Few Words on Inkit and Blueshift Integration
Inkit has been a reliable tech partner of Blueshift for several years. Companies joined their efforts to implement an integration of two tools and supercharge their functionality.
Through an API, you can easily connect Inkit with Blueshift to run highly automated omnichannel campaigns. Whereas Blueshift integration offers functionality for customer engagement and nurturing through digital channels, Inkit covers offline interactions. Inkit’s reach enablement platform (REP) provides address verification capabilities, document rendering, and automated mail printing plus delivery to target customers indifferent to emails and digital customer engagement.