Books Front Matter

An Omnichannel How-To for 2022

From Contentstack: “When digital experiences aren’t seamless, they quickly become digital inconveniences.”

Understanding omnichannel

Omnichannel is simple in theory but challenging to achieve in practice. It’s digital brand consistency enhanced to provide a consistent customer experience, so every solo interaction with your company leads to the next interaction — and the next — across every digital platform. For publishers, there’s an additional layer of complexity in guiding readers from the digital space to print products.

Omnichannel isn’t multichannel. Multichannel strategies focus on individual channels rather than customers. The omnichannel approach builds on each customer experience for the ultimate outcome: purchase and repeat business. Omnichannel means your customer experiences a unified thread in their brand media consumption no matter where, how, or when they encounter it.

Behind the scenes, data about customer interactions with your products are gathered in a centralized system, but out front, your brand provides a touchpoint throughout the consumer journey. Key to this process are personalized, smart interactions with individual consumers.

When you think of your omnichannel efforts as a continuous cycle of analysis and refinement, it’s easier to define your approach and visualize the benefits.

Three omnichannel moves for 2022

From Quintype: “With an omnichannel content management strategy paired with the right platform for delivering it, brands can build better content driven experiences.”

Integrated content management systems (CMS) help create a consistent flow in the customer experience. Google Chrome is a good example of how these tools can work. Chrome uses history and activity data to sync the user experience across devices, so customers can login on their phone and switch to their tablet or laptop to complete a search or transaction. But most organizations lack this level of digital sophistication.

That doesn’t mean you can’t go omnichannel this year. Start with these three goals:

  • Define the customer experience. Start the omnichannel process by identifying and defining your current customers and target audiences. How do they interact with your products digitally before they open a printed book? What are their wants, needs, and priorities?
  • Create a single repository for customer data in your organization. This is a priority for improving the customer experience. Most organizations have data flooding in from multiple channels, and it’s rarely integrated. To implement strategies for improving customer relationships at every touchpoint, integrate and streamline your data processing approach.
  • Build better payment portals. Have you evaluated your financial transaction processes from your customers’ perspective? Remember, customers rarely go straight for the purchase. Today’s consumer conducts thorough research and comparison shopping. Your brand, products, and payment options must meet or exceed their expectations.

In the past, brand building for recognition meant concentrating on colors, logos, and slogans. Today, you must create a constant, unified thread across every interaction channel to guide your target audience toward a purchase.

Benefits of an omnichannel customer experience

From Oracle NetSuite: “Once the customer is ready to buy, omnichannel allows them to do so on whichever platform they’re currently using, eliminating a detachment point that could make them lose interest or be scooped up by a competitor engaging in retargeting.”

An omnichannel customer experience creates a closer relationship with your readers. Book publishers no longer leave the relationship-building to their distributors. Today, top publishers are enjoying the key benefits of an omnichannel strategy, including:

  • Less stagnant inventory.
  • Increasing sales and profits.
  • More cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
  • Closer relationships with returning customers.

The idea of building an omnichannel customer experience may be overwhelming — until you consider what the latest research reveals. Companies earning $1 billion annually stand to gain $775 million in revenue within three years of improving their omnichannel approach. Even small publishers should note these numbers and take steps to avoid falling behind.

From print to eBooks and eCommerce, Sheridan has your book publishing needs covered.

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