Consumer Journey

How to Succeed in an Omnichannel Search Journey Without Really Trying

Dustin McManus
May 9, 2024

When it comes to today’s consumer journey, it’s no longer a simple and direct path from Point A to Point B. The fragmentation of the consumer journey has created a rich, complex tapestry of touchpoints and considerations, all of which act as rest stops or detours on the road to that ultimate destination for brands and advertisers: the conversion moment.

The dominance of the internet, eCommerce, and a myriad of social media platforms is often perceived as the inflection point for this fragmentation. Certainly, these influential technologies and advancements amplified and scaled this modern, complex consumer experience into its own multiverse of shopping madness. 

However, you have to go back more than 100 years to really see the catalyst for what we refer to today as the omnichannel journey. In 1922, a radio station in New York owned by AT&T broadcasted the first commercial over airwaves for the Queensboro Corporation. This marks the paradigm shift from a direct Point A to Point B consumer journey to today’s, and can arguably be viewed as the birth of omnichannel advertising.

What Is Omnichannel Advertising?

Omnichannel advertising is a strategic approach that works to cater to the diverse behaviors and preferences of the modern consumer across a multitude of touchpoints, channels, and devices used in the consumer shopping and search journey. 

For centuries, advertisement was confined to newspapers, magazines, and other print periodicals or touchpoints. It was the only way a brand could truly reach a consumer, and defined what we refer to today as the consumer journey. However, that 1922 radio advertisement marked a fundamental moment of a brand utilizing a newer, burgeoning channel outside of the print realm to reach and appeal to consumers. 

What followed next over these last 100 years has been a wealth of technological advancements and the rapid evolution of the consumer journey and omnichannel advertising. Television, the internet, search engines, social media, OOH, shopping apps — all of these channels have emerged and claimed a serious stake in how consumers search and shop for products, and how brands budget their ad spend and form their campaigns in order to reach and convert these consumers.

A Snapshot of Today’s Omnichannel Search Journey

Search advertising has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry since the launch of Archie in 1990, the first web search engine created by a student at McGill University. Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, and other players dabbled and expanded on Archie in the 90s until Google’s founding in 1998, where they effectively launched and set the standard for what we view as the pinnacle example of a search engine today.

Google and, to a lesser extent, other players like Bing were the dominant search advertising channels for much of the new millennium. In recent years, much like with the consumer journey as a whole, the consumer search journey has fragmented as well. The rise of other channels and touchpoints including social media, privacy browsers, and buy now, pay later (BNPL) and other shopping apps have transformed not just how consumers search for brands and products, but the very foundation of how we define consumer search and search advertising. 

With that said, today’s consumer search journey is looking less and less like a shopper simply typing a query into Google or another search engine to find a brand or product. Rather, an average, modern representation of the consumer search journey embodies some combination of exploring different brands and websites, checking reviews, scrolling through social media, browsing shopping apps for deals and offers, and visiting a physical store to see products in-person.

The journey outlined above is neither linear nor does it fully encompass the wealth of devices and channels a consumer could potentially use to ultimately find what they’re looking for and purchase it. This is a testament to the fragmentation and complexity of today’s consumer journey, but also an opportunity for brands to strategically leverage key moments within this journey to reach new audiences and convert more consumers.

Why Brands Must Embrace the Omnichannel Way

On average, consumers today engage with three to five channels before making a purchase. Additionally, omnichannel buyers spend 1.5x more every month than single channel buyers and are 3x more loyal than digital-only consumers.

Armed with the knowledge that consumers rely on multiple channels and touchpoints in the discovery and consideration phases before even making a purchase, along with the stats showing that omnichannel buyers spend more and are more brand loyal than single channel buyers, it should be a no-brainer for brands to invest in omnichannel advertising. And many of today’s most recognizable and successful brands are doing just that.

For instance, Best Buy enhances its in-store experience with seamless online-to-offline integration and personalized advisory services like Geek Squad. Sephora relies on in-app messaging and personalized notifications to engage consumers across multiple channels. And Nike provides a holistic ecosystem of content and offers beyond its products to retain customers and promote loyalty. These are just a few examples of brands leading the way in omnichannel advertising.

How adMarketplace Is Reshaping the Consumer Search Journey for the Omnichannel Era

Solidifying an omnichannel search advertising strategy and executing on it can be a daunting task, especially for brands who are stuck in the “Google equals search” mentality. At adMarketplace, we look beyond the confines of legacy search engines and position brands to win the 40% of searches that happen outside of Google and Bing. So, just how do we do that?

For starters, we work to directly connect brands and advertisers with the millions of people worldwide who search using the internet’s leading privacy browsers (ex. Firefox & Opera), shopping apps (ex. Afterpay & Zip), and editorial and review sites (ex. Best Reviews & We empower these publishers to build a more seamless and exciting consumer search journey with bespoke integrations that captivate and engage shoppers across the omnichannel journey, and create long-term value by customizing their in-app and on-site search experience with our dynamic search media solutions.

Speaking of our solutions, we prioritize consumer intent above all else when it comes to shaping the consumer search journey. Our exclusive media opportunities across the channels listed above reach consumers on the open web as soon as they express the intent behind their search. This enables brands to effectively reach their audience across the omnichannel journey and achieve a greater return on their advertising investment at scale.

By embracing the complexities of the omnichannel journey and diversifying your media to reach consumers across the channels and devices they actively use, both advertisers and publishers can unlock new opportunities for success in an increasingly competitive market. The road may be longer and twistier, but that doesn’t mean the omnichannel consumer journey can’t be a frictionless or delightful experience.

To learn more about how adMarketplace combines search technology innovation and transparent measurement expertise to bring high-intent consumers directly to your brand across the omnichannel search journey, reach out to us today.