Today’s consumers are increasingly focusing on digital channels. It is therefore essential to adapt in order to allow customers to stay in touch with the company, regardless of the channel used. Physical stores, mobile applications, paper catalogs, mobile web or desktop are all channels on which consumers are present. The cross channel uses these different axes to offer them the best customer experience possible.
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How to implement such a strategy? Focus on the cross channel and its challenges.
Definition of cross channel
The cross channel is a distribution strategy that takes into account the different communication channels used by customers to make their purchases. Unlike the multi-channel strategy where each channel is independent of the others, the cross channel combines all the channels in a complementary manner in order to cover all the stages of the sales process. The cross channel thus puts the customer back at the heart of the brand, the goal being to capture and retain them in order to increase their turnover.
The advantages of a cross-channel strategy
The implementation by a company of a cross-channel strategy offers several advantages, which allow it to be more efficient.
Increase in turnover
Setting up a cross-channel strategy means increasing your sales opportunities. Indeed, by using all available channels, the company supports the consumer during all stages of the sales process. The ambition of the cross channel is not to increase its turnover from online sales, but to use the web to sell more on all available channels.
Using new sales channels also makes it possible to reach more prospects, especially those who do not use traditional channels. By adopting a cross-channel strategy, a company therefore broadens its prospecting market.
Improved customer experience
Each communication channel has its own strengths. By combining these different advantages, it is possible to simplify the purchasing process for the consumer.
The cross-channel enables companies to support their customers on all the communication channels used. They can thus offer them more services in order to influence their online and offline purchasing behavior.
By doing so, the customer relationship can be greatly improved. The customer must always feel listened to: he must not feel any organizational complexity within the cross-channel strategy put in place.
Improved brand image
If information about a business is easy to find and the buying journey is smoother, prospects and customers will feel better about it. Therefore, it will be easier to turn a prospect into a customer.
Each message broadcast must be developed in a coherent manner to provide uniform communication. It is only to this extent that the cross channel can contribute to the brand image of a company.
Cross-channel strategy: what are the challenges?
The main challenge of the cross channel is to get information to circulate. This is why it is essential to improve cooperation and communication between the departments and the physical and digital points of contact of your company.
The cross channel also makes it possible to increase the number of online sales. To achieve this result, however, it is necessary to be able to ensure the increase in the volume of digital sales as well as inventory management. It is necessary to have the right tools and a sufficient workforce to be able to manage the various activities of your company in a transversal manner.
When setting up a cross-channel strategy, the main thing is to always place the customer at the heart of his concerns. Be careful, however, to support its customers in using these new online services.
5 steps to a successful cross-channel strategy
- Analyze your prospects and customers.
- Identify the communication channels used.
- Set achievable goals.
- Define the communication actions to be implemented.
- Evaluate the impact.
Analyze prospects and customers
In order to be successful with a cross channel strategy, it is important to know and understand your prospects. For this, it is necessary to establish buyers persona according to their age, their socio-professional category or their income. You should not hesitate to draw up several customer profiles to segment your offer.
The performance of a cross-channel strategy depends above all on the degree of precision adopted when analyzing prospects. The finer the analysis, the easier it is to reach the right people at the right time.
Identify the communication channels used
Once the target has been defined, it is necessary to identify the channels used. It can, for example, be:
- Social networks (Facebook, Instagram…).
- From a newsletter.
- From a podcast.
- An online chat solution.
It is also necessary to define the cross channel journey for each type of customer. It is just as important to be interested in the communication channels as in the stage in which they are used.
Set achievable goals
After identifying the right communication channels, the next step is to set achievable and specific goals for each channel. It is also necessary to establish shared sales objectives for the overall digital strategy of the company.
It can, for example, be the turnover, the customer retention rate or the reduction of costs of the company.
Define the communication actions to be implemented
Relevant and exclusive content must be published on each communication channel. It is then necessary to define the type and the format of each visual as well as:
- The promotions to be implemented.
- The launch of new products.
- Setting up physical or online events.
Every action planned on a communication channel must always be linked to the others.
Evaluate the impact
Any strategy put in place must be analyzed regularly. The best channels and those that are the least efficient can thus be put forward to optimize the action plan in place.
Regular analysis of its cross-channel strategy thus makes it possible to revise, correct or stop each action independently of each other.
To go further, download this report on the digitization of SMEs to discover all the issues at work, the main challenges and examples of successful transformations.