Omnichannel done right: Lessons from five businesses that know their stuff
Building an omnichannel approach into your business can seem complicated from the outside, but in our modern, endlessly connected world, it’s an absolute must. And it can be simpler than you might think.
Essentially, omnichannel experiences are centred around customers. They make it as easy as possible for your audience to do what they want across every channel they use. It’s incredibly effective in business terms too. Marketers that use three or more channels in any one campaign – and you might be doing that already – earn a 287% higher purchase rate than those relying on one channel. Plus, customer retention rates can be up to 90% higher when you take an omnichannel approach.
So, we know it’s a good idea… and we’ve got plenty of blogs that show why. But what does ‘omnichannel’ look like in your business? Let’s take a look at a few companies that do it well for inspiration.
This coffee giant often crops up when discussing omnichannel experiences, and for good reason. With the combination of bricks and mortar coffee shops, a loyalty card and a mobile app, the company has created a seamless experience for customers that allows them to interact with the brand in a myriad of ways.
In the app, users can order drinks, check their reward points, send gifts, even add songs they hear in store to their own playlists. Some of this is available online too and several touchpoints in stores prompt visitors to engage in this digital environment as well. It’s all connected, and it creates a rounded experience that is available on the go – that’s the perfect way to grow customer loyalty.
Another giant making the most of an omnichannel approach is Amazon. Though the business began as an online-only operation, it’s expanded far beyond its origins. Now customers can interact online (optimised by device), in the mobile app, in limited stores, at local ‘lockers’ or from the comfort of their homes, using an Alexa smart device.
In each location, they have access to the same information, and there is plenty of it. Orders can be placed, tracked, delivered to all sorts of locations and even set up as repeat purchases. Together, all this creates a seamless customer journey which takes the work out of shopping – it’s that omnichannel approach which is behind Amazon’s ongoing success.
It’s not only industry giants that are employing different channels in this way. It may not be as well recognised as the likes of Starbucks or Amazon, but, in the UK, clothing retailer Oasis is working hard to bring all touchpoints together into one omnichannel experience. You can see this as soon as you walk into a store, click through their website or discover the brand on social media.
In store, iPads are on hand to link sales associates, and customers, with the brand’s online offering. Their website displays carousels of both the most popular items in store and on social media. And social channels offer a direct route to purchase in-app. Features like ‘click and collect’ link the digital and physical even more closely, and that concept is key to their success. Those two formats are linked at every step in the journey, allowing customers to move seamlessly from stores to digital spaces and vice versa.
Though it’s best to incorporate omnichannel comms in everything you do, it can be an effective approach to one-off campaigns too. Cosmetics brand Benefit proved this with the launch of their ‘brow bar’ experience in the UK. Traveling across the UK with a ‘BrowMobile’, the company offered contest winners treatments wherever they were.
Kyra White, Benefit’s Head of Brand Activation, explains that there was a very deliberate message behind the campaign, and it’s one which sums up the omnichannel approach perfectly. In short, it was designed to “show customers that we’re happy to go to them anywhere.” And it worked – the brand increased its market share for brow products to 60% off the back of the campaign.
Of course, we couldn’t talk about omnichannel without mentioning our own work. As a creative communications agency, we know more than most about the importance of creating seamless journeys which allow your audience to interact, engage and purchase from wherever they are. In fact, we’ve built the approach into all sorts of campaigns over the years.
We’ve looked to internal audiences, building an employee app with JLR which created a cross-channel hub for internal comms. We’ve launched roadshows, mirroring Benefit’s ‘on the road’ approach. And, most importantly, we’ve got everything we need to make your omnichannel comms a success in-house. Campaign, digital, design, research, events, you’ll find it all right here.
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