The world is moving rapidly from retail stores and window shopping to mobile phones, laptops and online shopping. Back in the day, customers would have to walk into the stores to see each item for themselves, but now, they can purchase anything from the comfort of their homes with just a simple click. That explains why so many businesses have evolved so fast with Omnichannel in order to fit into the current situation.
In this blog, we will arm you with the most up-to-date information on Omnichannel, along with the key factors to how brands are succeeding in their Omnichannel approach and let you decide on which road to take.
What is Omnichannel Retail?
Omnichannel is the new leading trend but a lot of businesses have failed to understand the importance of it.
With Omnichannel, companies now can interact with their customers through not just one, but several platforms. Omnichannel is defined as a system which brings seamless customer experience through all kinds of channels by connecting them all together whether if the client is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop or in a brick-and-mortar store. Emails, social media, phone, website, wish list, cart, you name it, they are all connected in one Omnichannel setting.
Omnichannel operations focus on the entire customer experience and make it the center of the business, nurturing until it becomes seamless, integrated and consistent. This allows shoppers to easily get their hands on any of the channels they want since those channels all work in an unified way.
The difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel
It’s said that Omnichannel and Multichannel are basically the exact same thing, but this is a wrong point of view which requires proper explanation of the terms. The fact is there are actually some really important distinctions between. And being able to learn the difference between the two is a necessary thing to optimize your revenue in this constantly changing economy.
Multichannel: Multichannel is the process of interacting with customers through various channels and platforms. Each channel works on its own and barely has any connection with each other. Therefore, Multi channels might deliver different messages on different channels and there is no transparency between them.
Omnichannel: Omnichannel is basically a more effective way of using Multi channel. At its core, Omni channel is an approach to business that involves using multiple channels to interact with the customer in an integrated way. In short, Omnichannel joins these platforms together and brings seamless experience to the customers.
According to Business2Community, 60% of millennial consumers expect a consistent experience across multiple channels (online, physical, and everything in-between). This expectation can be huge to businesses as it’s not something that can be changed overnight. So if you want to dig further into how brands apply Omni channels to the systems and successfully level up their revenues, check out some of our examples below!
Top 10 brands that are winning the trend using Omni channel
Starbuck is regarded as one of the top companies that provide the best Omnichannel experiences. The coffee giant already had 28,000 physical stores with 75 million monthly customers but they have taken their sale to a new level after expanding their Omnichannel strategy.
When you first sign up for Starbuck’s loyalty program, they offer you a free drink and by doing this, the company have added 10 million digitally registered customers to their database. The mobile app also allows customers to receive reward points after making a purchase and shows tailor-made recommendations based on their previous orders. These recommendations will be proactively offered on the menu displays and customers are able to select on even more personalized choices.
Furthermore, since everything is integrated, shoppers can always reload their card via phone, website, in-store and on the app. Every transaction order or add-to-cart gets updated across all channels, in real-time.
Sephora is one of a few companies that soon realizes their customers are facing a major difficulty: Shoppers have a variety of selections to choose from when it comes to beauty cosmetics. For example, a quick search of “Foundation” can bring up over 550 results with different colors from various brands.
After identifying the case, Sephora immediately turns their system into Omnichannel, which suits perfectly with their goal to always put customers on top. Numerous changes have been made by Sephora in order to satisfied their customers:
- Multiple tablets are placed in stores which integrate with their online app and website.
- Customers can easily and efficiently look up item details and virtually try them on with the new technology applied by Sephora.
- Suggestions for certain customers are made based on their history search, which is a great way to build customer loyalty.
- Augmented Reality Fitting Room and Beauty Section in Sephora all enable consumers to imagine how certain items may look on themselves.
Nike, an American multinational corporation which has always been the pioneer in digital trends has set itself some incredible goals with Omnichannel.
In 2017, Nike owned a total of 1,142 retail stores throughout the entire world. And because of that, the inventory system immediately became chaotic and hard to control. But the company didn’t let it interfere with them for long because right after the problem happened, they soon applied Omnichannel into the system to manage and tidy up their inventory and backend. This resulted in an impressive sales boost for Nike.
After handling the inventory, Nike established the Nike App and it immediately becomes a real asset to the brand: Inventory and data are capitalized in real time, shoppers are recognized as soon as they enter stores, allowing them to scan for product availability and check out without waiting in line (This function has only been available in 30 stores around the US, UK and they are planning to scale up within the next 12 months).
Another digital invention is Nike fit which allows customers to size their footwear correctly without going to stores and actually try them on. This has effectively shown how much the company cares about its shoppers and immediately gains their hearts.
The retail giant has proved themselves to be worthy of the title The largest discount retailer in the United State. With the aim to provide shoppers with the same great experience whether they are in stores, on the web, or on a mobile device, Target has been investing a big amount of money on Omnichannel. They have been using mobile, not only to deliver discounts but also to solve problems for its customers such as navigating their way around large stores with in-store maps, as well as creating integrated shopping lists.
By the same token, Target’s curbside program and BOPIS (Buy online pickup in store) are expanding to nearly 1,000 of its 1,822 domestic stores, which led to a 10% increase in week-over-week orders. With this new program, shoppers can place an order via the Target app and drive to the location of a Target Store. After that, a Target associate will be there to deliver the goods straight to their car.
Topshop is a UK-based high street retailer that offers both women and men on-trend products. They are on their way to making their Omnichannel as seamless as possible.
This fashionable clothing brand brings the most out of its digital side by showing great magazine content, trendy lookbooks and latest fashion tips on their websites and mobile devices. Along with that, their Topshop On The Go app also works like a charm in which users can scan a barcode and immediately see nearby store locations and their best seller as well as available stock.
Not only do Topshop provide a fantastic user experience across their mobile devices, they also bring a fresh new taste of fashion by displaying 6 billboards in London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Glasgow which feature pictures whenever a Twitter account uses their hashtag “#LFW”. And the best thing is, all the billboards were within 10 minutes’ walk of a Topshop store. After the glamorous show, the company reported a 25% increase in their sales across all categories featured on the billboards.
Amazon has brilliantly adapted to Omnichannel by incorporating all of their grounds together and creating a seamless experience for customers whether they are online or in stores.
Amazon focuses on the customer experience. They use data to create a personalized, responsive interaction across all channels. It includes connecting customer data, and fulfilling customer’s wants in whichever channel they prefer.
When it comes to applying Omnichannel into delivery, Amazon is the true game changer. By spending years and millions of dollars on the delivery system, the company has made it possible to bring up one-hour Prime Now delivery in many markets and same-day or next-day delivery available on millions of products. This has incredibly met the needs of customers since they all want to lay hands on their orders as soon as possible.
IKEA is now leveraging their technology and innovation across all channels including mobile, website and in-store experience.
The company is approaching Omni channel with its mobile functionality which allows users to view and select their favourite items into a shopping list. By adding up items, the app also informs the shoppers exactly where in store to pick up that items since they can easily get lost in many IKEA’s staged showrooms
In addition, they are infusing VR technology with a feature called “Place in Your Room” that allows users to virtually place and view nearly 300 IKEA products in their own homes. This gives shoppers a clear 360-degree view of how the item fits into their house and other furnitures, which has been a great help to shoppers who can’t decide on which items to purchase.
GAP is doing a great job in bridging the gap between the digital world with its brick-and-mortar stores.
In 2017, Gap Inc. began equipping store associates with mobile devices to enable better customer service on store floors. The brand also uses devices and mobile printers to complete customers’ transactions, therefore, shoppers no longer need to wait in line to open store credit cards, pay for items or place home delivery orders.
Inside the stores, wall-mounted Android devices are equipped with scanners so that customers can read reviews, find additional sizes and colors as well as check the prices and have it shipped home. Some of the devices are even placed inside dressing rooms to create a personalized shopping experience.
BED, BATH AND BEYOND
“During the first quarter, comparable sales consumed through customer-facing Websites and mobile applications grew in excess of 35%, while comparable sales consummated in stores were relatively flat.” CEO Steve Temares said. This has illustrated how great of an impact that Omni channel has made to Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The company is focusing on speeding up their website and mobile flow as well as curbside pickup feature. In addition to that, they are creating more flexible options to deliver order more quickly and effectively. A feature called Shop now ship later has been launched which allows customers to purchase their favourite items first and have them delivered in a certain time.
Not to mention, earlier this year, the company introduced a selection of back-to-school merchandise on Bed Bath & Beyond Website which contains information that helps students plan for what they need while away at school. Not only does this program help to create personalized experiences for students but also result in an impressive boost in sales for the company.
VALUE CITY FURNITURE
Value City Furniture is a 60-year-old furniture retail chain with 118 stores across the country. Even though the company is in large scale, it is still working on a seamless system and building a personal relationship with customers.
Connecting brick-and-mortar stores with digital tactics has made transactions in Value City Furniture become much more comfortable for its shoppers. So the process goes like this: Customers browse online first, create a cart and then go into a store, employees at the physical location can pull up that customer’s selections and show it to them. After carefully viewing the item, customers can decide whether to purchase it or not and even have it delivered home for them.
By partnering with Cloudtags, an Omnichannel data platform provider, the brand is now able to identify in-store shoppers who have left stores without making a purchase and re-engage them digitally through emails, ads and other formats. This program has made a big impact on the company’s sales and successfully drove customers back to the store again.
As the line between online and offline shopping begins to blur and customers are now feeling more comfortable purchasing items from their homes, it’s time for you to level up your game as well. Omni channel is creating a race between retailers and you don’t want to be the last person to know about this. So gear up, embrace what you have and start building an Omni channel system using your own advantages.