In the past few years, marketers are facing a growing challenge – a lead that makes a query on a certain device may soon move on to another one in the blink of an eye! This shift could also mean a change in the user account (depending on who’s logged in on the device) or even location (browsing while commuting – does that sound familiar?)!
This behavior was quantified by Google, which discovered that about 90% of multi-device owners switch between an average of three devices to perform a task successfully. So how can brands create a seamless user experience across these multiple channels?
Of course, through omnichannel marketing!
We have rounded up 11 companies that have not only overcome such challenges but mastered the art of omnichannel marketing. We will be analyzing their marketing campaigns and highlighting the key points that played a significant role in driving results. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Without going extensively into the fundamental definitions or details, here is a quick overview of the many proactive actions to the omnichannel approaches:
You may notice that some themes of omnichannel strategies may be recurrent across several brands and their campaigns. Hence, we will be primarily focusing on the relatively unique qualities and actionable tips rather than getting repetitive when we discuss them at length in the next section.
Here are 11 brands that are nailing omnichannel marketing strategies and setting stellar examples of a result-driven campaign that you can imbibe within your own business model:
Disney creates a seamless user experience even as users transition back and forth from online and offline modes. The perfect symphony of website, mobile app, in-store (or at-park, however you call it) experience makes Disney the golden child of omnichannel marketing.
The Disney website is mobile-responsive to cater to customers with different devices. It also has a native mobile app, My Disney Experience, which empowers visitors to control their entire trip, right from planning visits to rides to selecting dining locations to booking accommodation to scoring fast passes. And as visitors make their way through the theme parks, the app doubles as an interactive map that helps them navigate through informational snippets such as wait time on rides, seating capacity of eateries, and more.
Disney’s Magic Band is another astounding element of the omnichannel user experience. The multi- utilitarian wristlet serves various purposes; it acts as the hotel room key, photos and videos storage, food order placement portal, and more. It effortlessly combines all the multiple channels to offer a rewarding customer journey.
Here is a list of the key findings from Disney’s omnichannel marketing strategies:
Airline brand, Virgin Atlantic, has tapped into the omnichannel user experience to differentiate its brand from that of their competitor’s. Its omnichannel approaches border around service personalization and improved accessibility.
The company is highly active on social media and is responsible for successful marketing strategies like “Looking for Linda.” Looking for Linda allowed the company to expand this social audience base by 8,000 users while attracting over 15,000 entries.
Upon seeing the reach and success of the campaign, Virgin Atlantic further diversified the role of social media platforms as it also harnesses it for immediately addressing customer pain points rather than rerouting them through multiple channels. The resultant customer relationship is strengthened by the fact that Virgin Atlantic agents directly contact the aggrieved party than vice versa.
Here is what one can learn from Virgin Atlantic:
Oasis is a UK-based fashion retail store that deploys omnichannel strategies across its eCommerce website, mobile application, social media, and brick-and-mortar store. As a result, the customer experience remains uniform regardless of their channel of preference.
What truly stands out is that sales associates at the Oasis store can access pan-store data using iPads that display real-time and up-to-date stock information. They can also learn about the product and its features on the fly and address any customer queries. The iPad also functions as a cash register, allowing them to instantly finalize your purchase whenever you are ready.
In case the product of your choice is out of stock, the associate can immediately place an online order and schedule the delivery at your home.
Here is what you can learn from Oasis:
While one may not typically associate omnichannel with banking, the Bank of America busts the myth with its myriad omnichannel approaches. It derives customer engagements through its responsive mobile and desktop apps, which makes most banking facilities available at the user’s fingertips. One can even schedule appointments with the bank, which can be particularly useful since the pandemic.
Given the sensitivity of the sector and the regulation surrounding it, it does face its fair share of limitations. However, Bank of America is paving the way for omnichannel marketing strategies in the BFSI segment.
The following are some key learning points that Bank of America offers:
Starbucks’ Reward Apps is the key driving force in the company’s omnichannel marketing strategies. The app carries out a gamut of operations, right from collecting customer data to initiating a targeted marketing to catapulting customer engagements.
All the information available at the back-end is transformed into actionable and valuable inputs that trigger the next course of action through omnichannel marketing automation. For instance, price-sensitive users receive alerts on ongoing promotions or events, users are recommended nearest outlets as they place online pickup orders, or execute re-engagement marketing strategies against cart abandonment. Such a feat is possible through the seamless integration of all marketing channels as well as complementary technologies.
The brand also offers a free reward card against a purchase. Users can then link the card to their profile and access its information in the store or through mobile apps and websites. At any point during the buyer’s journey when the consumer is out of balance and wishes to make a purchase, they can top up the card 24/7 and by any mode of payment.
Here are some noteworthy ways through which you can adopt a Starbucks-like model:
Chipotle is yet another omnichannel leader in the F&B segment. In fact, much like Starbucks, Chipotle had launched a mobile ordering system in 2008, which remained defunct until the company revamped it in 2019. As such, while it was already making progress on integrating the multiple channels, the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a highly reactive catalyst that caused the company to double down on its omnichannel approaches.
In response, the company has allocated a sizable chunk of its budget to omnichannel marketing strategies, such as boosting in-app innovation, customer-centric marketing, and online order-only drive-thrus.
Meanwhile, the brand also experimented with social media through campaigns like “Behind The Foil” to promote customer engagement and raise brand awareness. Upon witnessing an upward shift in environmental awareness, Chipotle also introduced a sustainability tracker, which was a smart move to influence the buyer’s journey.
Here are some invaluable lessons offered by Chipotle:
Orvis is an American sporting goods retailer that has bagged awards for its omnichannel marketing strategies. The company’s marketing motto is “Know Your Customers,” and it takes this foundational rock of customer segmentation very seriously.
The brand has rummaged through its first-party customer data to outline a well-defined ideal customer profile, that is, opulent consumers who are 50 years or older. After identifying the target audience, the company realized that although the demographic is not very tech-savvy, they are open to the idea of eCommerce.
Accordingly, Orvis executives are equipped with CRM-powered tabs that have pre-installed eCommerce tools pre-installed. Much like the operations at Oasis, Orvis employees can use the tab to complete in-store purchases and place online orders for out-of-stock products.
Here is how Orvis’ business model can realize your omnichannel ambitions:
Luxury cosmetic giant Sephora’s omnichannel marketing strategies are changing the face of customer experience. For years, the brand has organically believed in customer-centricity since its sales and marketing strategies primarily relied on the shopping experience to convert leads. However, ever since it has turned omnichannel, Sephora has continued accelerating in this direction for years. This early headstart has led to the maturation and consolidation of the brand’s omnichannel approaches.
The Sephora mobile app is central to the omnichannel customer experience. It works as a content hub, an eCommerce store, and creates a seamless social experience. As such, even when customers are not making purchases, the app is attracting customer engagement through its volley of offerings, such as product launches, makeup video tutorials, workshops, celebrity gossip, latest fashion trends, and more. By increasing app use times, the brand is also accelerating its customer data capturing abilities.
Apart from this mobile-driven and data-first marketing strategy, the shopping experience at brick-and-mortar Sephora stores is very much similar. The stores come powered with interactive, digital devices that offer an immersive user experience. The company leverages cutting-edge technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to try out products. These powerful engines even recommend products based on customer data, skin tone, facial features, and preferences! Other elements like Virtual Artist and Digital Makeover Guides make the whole buyer’s journey even richer.
Here are a few Sephora-inspired omnichannel marketing methodologies that you can embrace:
Much like the banking and finance industry, the pharmaceutical sector, too, is not very well-known in the area of omnichannel marketing. However, Walgreens broke away from this mold by attempting to set up an omnichannel shopping experience. While the Walgreens app was not a technological marvel or a pioneer, it acted as a communication channel to bridge customers and pharmacies.
Customers could use the Walgreens app to submit prescription refill requests at any time without having to call the pharmacy. The app could also send the user alerts for when their next refill was due or when their prescription needed to be renewed. Through its cross-channel coordination, the app also reduced the wait and hold times while scheduling pick-ups, which improved the overall customer experience.
This seemingly minor consideration avalanched into a stunning result – Walgreens reported that an omnichannel experience combining in-store, mobile, and online shopping drew six times the revenue when compared to the store-only model!
Walgreens omnichannel approaches may not offer several actionable points, but it does highlight a critical one:
Swedish home furnishing retailer, IKEA, is achieving the impossible through omnichannel marketing. It expanded beyond physical stores by first making a digital appearance through its eCommerce store, paired with pick-up and order points.
Concurrently, IKEA also released a new app that delivered an impressive customer experience. Customers could browse through the catalog, read about the product features and specifications to make an informed purchase decision even before they visited the store! The app also assisted in-store shoppers as they could scan codes to access the complete IKEA catalog. As a result, the app served as the yarn that knitted together the online and offline formats. Meanwhile, the brand also ramped up its digital marketing and advertising activities to convert online traffic into in-store footfall.
Lately, IKEA is focusing on expanding its mobile app capabilities through AR and VR to enrich the mobile app user experience. These technologies will boost customer engagement and simplify the buyer’s journey.
Here’s what you can learn from IKEA:
Warby Parker, a leading eyewear brand enjoys a stellar reputation for providing stylish, affordable, and high-quality glasses. While the cost factor was a notable component tipping the scales in favor of their venture, the brick-and-click omnichannel experience was nothing short of revolutionary.
Customers could benefit from the seamless experience through various proactive initiatives. For instance, the Home Try-On facility allows users to book five pairs of frames at no commitment. After you have selected the one(s) you like, Warby Parker fits the frame with your prescription and sends it back to you. The brand is also making headway in omnichannel retailing through the immersive in-store shopping experience, pop-up stores, and mobile apps.
Here is how Warby Parker paves the omnichannel way for you to emulate:
The above post serves as an exhaustive guide to implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy to achieve impressive results. Some of the brands above took a leap of faith, while others made their way through strategic and gradual development. It is now up to you to decide whether a drastic marketing overhaul may suit your organization or a well-thought-out plan. Use these pointers to analyze the ideas that align with your omnichannel strategy’s objectives and overall business goals. You can then cherry-pick the relevant ones and use them as a jumping-off point or research the brand further to explore what else worked for them. Either way, omnichannel is the way to go.
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