Omnichannel is Driving the Future of Marketing

"Omnichannel" has been a buzzword in marketing circles for the past few years. As consumers are increasingly connected to multiple screens, seamlessly engaging with retailers across online and physical channels has been progressively challenging. Yet, amidst these challenges for brands, consumers' expectations are heightening.

In fact, eighty-seven percent of consumers want brands to level up their game with respect to creating a cohesive customer experience. And brands that have strong omnichannel customer engagement programs experience much higher customer retention rates (eighty-nine percent) than companies with weaker programs (thirty-three percent).

To meet demand, a number of marketing technology companies are popping up with omnichannel solutions. Here are a few to watch:

ShareRails created a marketing platform to integrate online and offline merchandise into an accessible online retail catalog designed to mirror the in-person shopping experience. Their platform also engages social media influencers and top tier publishers, including Marie Claire, as consultants to take customers through the buying process.

Their desired result is a cohesive presence across physical and online channels, from a brand's brick and mortar location to its website, social media platforms, and beyond. What's more, the platform touts the ability to drive customers to in-store retail locations by promoting in-stock items as brands reap the benefits of word-of-mouth-inspired influencer marketing.

Their combination of omnichannel and influencer marketing may prove to change the game for digital marketing. Led by Harvard graduate and former Google employee Joseph Nejman, they're currently undergoing an acquisition by publicly traded technology firm, Grey Cloak Tech (OTC:GRCK).

House Advantage is an omnichannel loyalty firm that was designed to engage customers across channels in real-time. The Vegas-based company has a focus on properties and entertainment, so in-person experiences at events are tied to loyalty rewards across customer actions. That is, their platform integrates consumer spending and behavioral data across touchpoints, and then consolidates it for an omnichannel understanding of customers.

It's no secret that data is important, but the extent to which brands that engage omnichannel solutions have a data driven edge is astounding: seventy-seven percent of companies with strong omni-channel programs store customer data across channels; whereas, weaker omnichannel companies store only forty-eight percent of cross-channel data.

In an age where data is driving innovation, buzzwords like omnichannel aren't going anywhere, so we may as well get to know the brands that are moving us forward.