To start, let’s establish a solid understanding of what we mean by omnichannel. Omnichannel marketing is a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience.
The goal here is to create a seamless experience for the customer, whether they are shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, via phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.
Omnichannel marketing caters to the new wave of personalized experience-seeking consumers. Gone are the days where mass messaging is king. “Omnichannel marketing” is no longer just a buzzword. It has surpassed the “trend” phase and stationed itself as a key strategy necessary to implement in this new era of technology.
At its core, omnichannel marketing is a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated overall shopping experience. The customer can transition from shopping online on a desktop or mobile device, to the phone, or a brick-and-mortar store, and the experience will be seamless. This experience fosters a greater sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand, which impacts positive brand image and retention rates.
In this article, we have listed 5 examples of innovation in the emerging field of omnichannel retail.
Disney is a brand that makes it easy for consumers to feel a connection. The company is built around imagination and creation, so it is no surprise that they are leading the way in the realm of omnichannel marketing.
Disney’s experience is all in the details. Every piece of their website is mobile-responsive and optimized to every device. After a visitor has booked their Disney World resort visit, they can plan every minute of their trip through the My Disney Experience tool. In the park, they can use the mobile app to locate attractions they earmarked in the experience tool and see estimated wait times for each attraction.
This year, Disney introduced their Magic Band program. It’s a brilliantly executed weapon in Disney’s omnichannel arsenal. Disney World and Disney Land visitors can enter the parks, unlock their hotel rooms, check-in to FastPass lanes, connect to their Disney PhotoPass account, and charge all purchases made in the park to their Magic Band. And of course, all of this is linked with the My Disney Experience account, accessible through the mobile app.
Bravo, Disney. Bravo.
Starbucks is frequently revered as an omnichannel savant. The coffee company seems to be on every corner nowadays. Why? Because they are doing a whole lot of things right.
Starbucks does an excellent job providing a seamless user experience. Every time a Starbucks user pays with a Starbucks card, via a physical card or mobile, that user accumulates reward points. The linked app also allows the coffee drinker to find stores near them, send gifts, order drinks ahead of time for a quicker experience, view new additions to the menu, and, with the recent Spotify integration, consumers can view what songs are playing in that specific store and add them to their playlists.
The brilliant effortlessness of the app embodies a near perfect application of the omnichannel experience, as explained by Misia Tramp, the EVP of Insights and Innovations for Tahzoo, “omnichannel involves using data to understand where effort exists in the customer experience and how to remove – rather than add – effort.”
Sephora is another brand brought up time and time again for the brilliance behind their omnichannel customer experience. We have even touted Sephora before and applauded their Beauty Insider Rewards program as a means for stronger relationships between consumers and the brand.
Sephora Beauty Insiders can tap into the Beauty Bag on their phone or desktop and have access to a truckload of data. Consumers can shop, see their favorites list, any of their past purchases, and how many rewards points they have, scan items in store to see other options available online, watch tutorial videos, and find a store near them.
This extremely successful application of omnichannel marketing strategy has nurtured 11 million members, who spend 15 times more money on Sephora.com than the average user.
Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel honed in on the fact that many consumers toggle through several different devices before completing purchases. In order to capitalize on this consumer behavior, Crate & Barrel implemented an omnichannel approach.
Whenever a consumer is logged into their account, the app saves their shopping cart and browsing data so they can access this information across multiple devices. This new implementation has allowed consumers to take up where they left off in the shopping process, and Crate & Barrel has reaped great returns.
In fact, Crate & Barrel’s implementation of an omnichannel customer experience strategy resulted in a 10% revenue increase from the newly improved mobile and web stores. Further pushing themselves along the path of innovation, Crate & Barrel released their 3D Room Designer feature, allowing consumers to virtually place any Crate & Barrel item into their home before purchasing.
Forbes recently highlighted Walgreens’ mobile retail app as one of the highest regarded in the U.S. Its success can be attributed to the omnichannel strategy implemented by the pharmaceutical retail giant.
The app allows users to manage their pharmacy prescriptions, fill out rapid refill requests, find deals on products in the stores, and make orders that they can pick up at the nearest location. While this is a mobile-focused shopping experience, the app is actually oriented toward improving a user’s in-store experience. This is the brilliance behind Walgreens’ strategy.
These e-commerce retailers have invested big in their omnichannel customer experience and marketing strategies, and have certainly reaped the rewards for their hard work.
➤ Want to read more about omnichannel marketing? Check out the white paper on adapting to the pace of omnichannel marketing.
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About the Author
Michael is a content marketing, audience development, and customer experience fanatic. As Digital Content Manager at Emarsys, Michael helps manage the content hub where he and his team create helpful content for e-commerce and digital marketers.