The world is rushing from retail stores to mobile phones, laptops, and online shopping. In 2022, 5 out of 10 orders were made online in the United States, which is only expected to increase. Online shoppers not only have the comfort of home shopping. In many cases, shopping online offers a more effortless shopping experience than your traditional brick-and-mortar store. These 10 Brands have taken the next step in providing excellent eCommerce and are ripping the benefits of online shopping, all thanks to smart Omnichannel growth strategies.
So, what is Omnichannel, and why has it played the key factor in how brands succeeded in their e-commerce growth in recent times? In this article, we break down 10 examples of utilizing omnichannel brands in their growth strategies and what you can learn and adapt from them.
What is Omnichannel Retail?
Omnichannel is the new leading trend in retail and eCommerce where brands aim to provide frictionless customer experience not just on one but several platforms. The goal of Omnichannel retail is to increase customer interaction with the brand, both in quality of service and quantity of channels.
The Omnichannel system brings seamless customer experience through all kinds of channels. This is accomplished by connecting separate channels together, regardless 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, are all connected in one Omnichannel platform.
Effective Omnichannel operations focus on the entire customer experience and make it the center of the business. Customers might not even know they have interacted with an Omnichannel business, but they will remember the excellent service, high level of personalization, and seamless buying experience of your brand. Omnichannel nurtures one-time buyers into becoming loyal customers by allowing shoppers to quickly get their hands on your products on any channel that they prefer.
The difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel
If you think your brand already has implemented Omnichannel, think again. Most brand only has a “Multichannel” system, which allows for multiple channels for purchases, but lack the level of integration and uniformity of an omnichannel business. Knowing the difference between a multichannel and omnichannel model will help you make better decisions in growing your business with a customer-first mentality.
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, Multiple channels might deliver different messages on different channels, and there is no transparency between them. For example, a multichannel business allows customers to buy offline or online but lacks capabilities for online in-store orders, consistent application of customer rewards programs, and synchronization between channels for inventory and sales history.
Omnichannel: Omnichannel is a more effective way of using Multichannel. Omnichannel joins all of your business’s sales channels together and brings a seamless experience to the customers. An Omnichannel system will unify customers’ data between online apps, offline POS systems, and marketing interactions. So, if customers show interest in a product from one channel, the omnichannel system will make effective strategies to incentivize purchases for customers on a different, friendlier channel.
According to Business2Community, 60% of millennial consumers expect a consistent experience across multiple channels (online, physical, and everything in-between). Wondering what a trend-leading omnichannel business looks like? Here are the 10 best examples of retail stores crushing sales with customer-first omnichannel systems.
|Sales||2-3 separated sales channels, with different sales strategies for each channel.Customers must actively seek out sales channels to be able to purchase their preferred product.||All sales channels are connected for seamless integration of customers’ preferences.All sales channels are immediately available. Customers are incentivized to make purchases for their preferred product regardless of channel.|
|Marketing||Each channel requires a different marketing strategy, with no way of optimization for leads.||Cross-channel marketing is possible because customers’ interests and platform preference is shared between channels. Marketing optimization is easier for rewards programs and personalized campaigns.|
|Order Management||Orders made on different channels must be manually inputted and are prone to human errors and time delay.||Orders are instantly updated between channels, reducing operational costs and saving time.|
|Inventory Management||No real-time synchronization for data entry. Not scalable for bulk orders, parts suppliers, or B2B retail with multiple channels.||Real-time cross-channel inventory synchronization reduces operational costs and opens up possibilities for large-scale omnichannel purchases.|
Top 10 brands that are winning the trend using Omnichannel
Starbucks 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 its sales to a new level after expanding its Omnichannel strategy.
When you first sign up for Starbucks’ loyalty program, they offer you a free drink, and by doing this, the company has added 10 million digitally registered customers to their database. The mobile app also allows customers to receive reward points after purchasing and shows tailor-made recommendations based on their previous orders. These recommendations will be proactively offered on the menu displays, and customers can select even more personalized choices.
Furthermore, since everything is integrated, shoppers can always reload their cards via phone, website, in-store, and on the app. Every transaction order or add-to-cart gets updated across all channels in real time. The key to Starbucks’ success in omnichannel is its focus on making customers’ purchasing experience as seamless as possible. This is thanks to a fast omnichannel POS system, which makes cross-integration for order management, rewards programs, and personalized marketing possible. Companies should consider using a suitable POS system to gain success in going omnichannel like Starbucks. ConnectPOS, a leading cloud-based POS software for omnichannel retail stores, is a prime example of a no-brainer omnichannel upgrade for multichannel businesses. ConnectPOS currently offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required for every business, so take it for a test drive to see how your store can quickly achieve Starbucks’ success.
Sephora is one of a few companies that soon realize their customers are facing a significant difficulty: Shoppers have a variety of selections to choose from regarding 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 turned its system into Omnichannel, which suits perfectly its goal of always putting customers on top. Sephora has made numerous changes to satisfy their customers’ shopping experience:
- Multiple tablets are placed in stores that 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 that 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. It immediately becomes a real asset to the brand: Inventory and data are capitalized in real-time, and 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 trying them on. This has effectively shown how much the company cares about its shoppers and immediately gains their hearts. Furthermore, Nike’s checkout process is full of customer-first initiatives such as promo codes from KOLs, pick-up from local stores (location tracking), and rewards point spending, all made possible by their omnichannel POS system.
The retail giant has proved itself to be worthy of the title “The largest discount retailer in the United States”. 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 large amount of money in Omnichannel. They have been using mobile, not only to deliver discounts but also to solve problems for their 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 pick up 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’s and men’s 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 the 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 sellers as well as available stock.
Not only does Topshop provide a fantastic user experience across their mobile devices, but 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 a 10-minute walk of a Topshop store. After the glamorous show, the company reported a 25% increase in its 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 personalized, responsive interaction across all channels. It includes connecting customer data, and fulfilling customers’ wants in whichever channel they prefer.
When it comes to applying Omnichannel to 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 its technology and innovation across all channels including mobile, website, and in-store experience.
The company is approaching Omnichannel with its mobile functionality which allows users to view and select their favorite items in a shopping list. By adding up items, the app also informs the shoppers exactly where in the store to pick up that item since they can easily get lost in many of 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 furniture, which has been a great help to shoppers who can’t decide on which items to purchase.
GAP is doing a great job of 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 them 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 Omnichannel has made on Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The company is focusing on speeding up its website and mobile flow as well as curbside pickup features. In addition to that, they are creating more flexible options to deliver orders 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 results 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 a large scale, it is still working on a seamless system and building personal relationships with customers.
Connecting brick-and-mortar stores with digital tactics has made transactions in Value City Furniture 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.
Take the dive into Omnichannel with ConnectPOS
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. Omnichannel is creating a fast track for multichannel retailers to gain the competitive advantages of omnichannel retail. So, if you don’t want to be the last person to know about this, gear up, embrace what you have, and start building an Omnichannel system using a smart and industry-leading POS system.