Does your shopping often oscillate between transacting online and buying at the brick-and-mortar stores? If you answer in the affirmative, chances are you have already experienced the omnichannel offerings of one or the other brand you shop from.
The most exciting part for any brand taking on the omnichannel experience approach is that it offers enormous scope to creatively employ multiple channels to cooperate in driving the customer in their shopping journey.
Marketers using three or more channels in their marketing campaigns earned a 90% higher customer retention rate, and 250% higher engagement and purchase rates. – Omnisend report
While more and more retailers are identifying the importance and relevance of omnichannel, no-one probably does it better than Amazon, at least in the eCommerce domain.
If you are seeking inspiration on presenting your customers with an experience that is seamless across every channel, here’s some inventiveness from brands for whom omnichannel has been the holy grail of their marketing strategy.
Nike introduced the omnichannel experience back in 2006 with the launch of Nike+ program that was executed in partnership with Apple. This collaboration allowed users to connect a pair of Nike sneakers with an iPod and track multiple things, including the running distance, time taken, and calories burned. The data was synced to Nike+’s website that also helped create and bring together a digital community of athletes.
Here’s how the brand describes Nike+
“Connecting Nike’s wealth of sports knowledge with its footwear and apparel offerings, Nike+ translates the ‘plus’ to ‘personal,’ providing members with customized guidance, support, and a host of tailored resources that unlock the best of Nike.”
A decade later, Nike+ was turned into a customized app to incorporate all types of users. Its onboarding process includes questions around the users’ favorite Nike products, their preferred sports, and so on that subsequently help the brand personalize the users’ newsfeed.
Offering its digital customers access to shoes and gear, events, athlete stories, and running and training programs, the omnichannel experience successfully bridges the online-offline gap and attempts to convert a casual visitor into a potential customer.
A prime example of how this cosmetic giant has seamlessly linked its online and in-store offerings is its cross channel initiative, Happening at Sephora, that displays all the events, launches, and activities at the physical stores onto their digital channel. Correspondingly, their in-store experience offers digital tools that draw the customers back to the digital channel.
Sephora has employed the omnichannel strategy with several innovative approaches that help them capture data in the stores and use it for personalization online. This interesting method has its store staff collate the list of products tried by a client during a complimentary makeover only to digitally re-engage them later with those specific product-focused emails.
The beauty retailer has also partnered with Google to broadcast its video content on the Google Home Hub in-store to help users explore further with voice and visual assistance.
What’s more, shoppers can get 3D live experience on the Sephora Virtual Artist app by uploading an image and experimenting with their looks by virtually trying Sephora’s range of makeup products.
Disney’s innovation in the omnichannel experience space is undoubtedly exceptional. It starts right from the online transaction carried out by visitors when they book a trip to Disney World. An email asking to create an account subsequently directs them to the website, which has information on the rides, stays, restaurants, and so on.
While exploring the themes and rides in the park through its website and app, a visitor can design their itinerary and pick the preferred rides well in advance. At the heart of Disney’s omnichannel program is the magic wristband that Disney mails every visitor who has booked their resort.
The RFID band acts as the ticket, payment method, and even room keys among several other functions. That’s not all. On the completion of the trip, Disney continues to engage through messages, pictures, and updates on their upcoming events.
The My Disney Experience mobile app assists in tracking the visitor’s plans, making reservations and acquiring instant information on the attractions including the waiting time. And with the Disney FASTPASS+ service, visitors can select Walt Disney World theme park attractions, entertainment, and Character Greetings much in advance and at no extra cost. All of this also helps Disney collect enormous data from its customers and, in turn, improve its services.
IKEA’s Planning Studio stores are a star feature of the Swedish furniture retailer’s omnichannel experience. These stores are small appointment-based spaces specifically for the urban customers who may not be able to visit the warehouse that’s mostly located on the city outskirts.
When customers visit these stores, they are assisted by experts with tips on furnishing their homes using 3D planning tools. Products that are ordered get eventually shipped from the warehouses nearby that have stored them to ensure a quick delivery.
Their AR app also lets customers visualize furniture in the comfort of their homes, thus blurring the line between the online and physical store experience. IKEA offers pick-up and order points as well through which online shoppers can pick their products from centers close to where they live.
Starbucks leads the omnichannel space at the moment with over close to 17 million active members of its loyalty program. Signing up for Starbucks’ loyalty program also assures a free drink. Customers can check their gift card balance, points, and mobile orders through phone, website, in-store, or on their app.
If you are in the queue at a Starbucks store and don’t have enough balance in your account, you can reload it right there, and it will be updated in real-time to help you make the payment conveniently.
A quick Coffee on the go is easy with Starbucks since they let you place an order and pay in advance and arrive to collect it from one of their offline stores later. The nearest Starbucks store is indicated by the app itself that also informs you of the estimated wait time to collect the items. Starbucks also gathers a lot of insights into customer preferences through this process that helps them communicate better with their audience.
Organizations aiming at an omnichannel transformation must offer their customers a consistent, personalized, and seamless experience. It is equally important to build a strategy that best works specifically for your business model while also finding out optimum ways to keep your customers consistently engaged.
The omnichannel approach for the brands mentioned above has worked because they have weaved together the multiple touchpoints of digital and traditional channels to keep their customers truly connected through their shopping journey. Apart from developing a long-standing relationship with your customer, omnichannel experience is probably the only way for businesses to address the rising competition, provide excellent customer engagement, and ensure better revenues.