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Omnichannel Strategy – Why It’s Important and Who’s Doing It Well

A push notification offering me 10% off an item in-store that I’ve been eyeing up online; an email suggesting a few “frequently bought together” items that’ll look very nice with that jacket I bought via an app last week; an SMS while I’m at the gym, inviting me to try out a new spa treatment in their facilities upstairs … If you’re anything like me, it won’t be unusual for you to be regularly receiving a whole raft of offers, news and incentives from the brands you frequently spend your time – and your money – engaging with. In fact, so entrenched in our daily lives are the omnichannel strategies of our favorite brands that – if they’re doing it properly – we barely notice; so seamless, smooth, and valuable are our interactions with them. It’s a brilliant win-win relationship.

Reaching customers where you find them with relevant, valuable messaging and content is critical in remaining relevant and valuable as a brand. It’s why companies that successfully utilize a consistent omnichannel marketing strategy enjoy a near 15% year-on-year increase in revenues and retain, on average, a near 90% of their customers. And yet, 55% of businesses have no cross-channel strategy in place … In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at the omnichannel, why it’s important, and how you can start optimizing your customer experience by switching your focus to an omnichannel marketing approach.

Omnichannel Strategy

As your audience jumps around your marketing channels, perhaps starting on your LinkedIn page to read an article before jumping over to your website to discover more related content, then clicking on a web-to-app banner that takes them straight to your mobile app to make a purchase with a special offer … that’s the omnichannel experience right there. Your opportunity to deliver the rich, personalized, seamless customer experience that each and every one of us are looking for these days when we engage with the companies that we love the most.

Adopting an omnichannel strategy means that once a  lead engages with you by clicking that ad or visiting your app, each of your channels becomes a stop along the customer journey at which you’ve got the opportunity to communicate with each lead with the most relevant content at the most relevant moment; each channel they land on being part of a journey that flows effortlessly, conveniently and delightfully across their devices and your channels like a well-oiled machine.

The benefits of an omnichannel marketing strategy are more than a little enticing:

  • Consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four
  • Companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement
  • Customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel. 
  • Marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign saw a near 300% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign
  • Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single channel
  • Average order value is 13% higher per order on omnichannel vs. single channel
  • Over 35% of customers expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative on any channel
  • Omnichannel campaigns can enjoy a near 19% engagement rate, compared to a 5.4% engagement rate on a single channel

It’s compelling stuff.  In our digital lives where we’re bombarded with brands vying for our attention, standing out above the noise is a huge challenge. By putting your target audience at the center of their experience with you, omnichannel marketing gives you the opportunity to deliver relevant, personalized, valuable content, offers and experiences that elevate engagement and effortlessly walk them through the customer journey to where both you and they want to be. The result? Delighted customers, who have no need to play the field when it comes to loyalty.

So what does a great omnichannel experience look like? What are the big players doing that could take some inspiration from? To fire you up and get you inspired to kick-start your omnichannel strategy, dive into the brands nailing it with their omnichannel – then get strategizing!

Sephora

We’ve talked about Sephora more than once when talking about the optimum customer experience … delivered courtesy of their legendary omnichannel experience.

Example of Sephora omnichannel strategy

Seamlessly dancing across the brand’s various touchpoints, Sephora’s mobile app utilizes location-based marketing to identify when a customer enters their store … they then serve those customers with personalized, valuable information and experiences, from discounts to product information to store layouts and more. In-store, Sephora assistants use mobile devices to delight customers with product details – the perfect platform for a brand that relies on the visual to engage. Out of your favorite lipstick but it’s out of stock in-store? Then staff will order it and ship it out – not a problem. Like any omnichannel experience that does what it says on the tin, the experience doesn’t end when the customer leaves the store. Back at home, a special offer on the palette that the same customer tried in-store is sent via a push notification. Perfect – they’re persuaded and another purchase is completed. After their product arrives, an email is sent with a link to a tutorial showing how to get the most out of that new palette … a happy customer is now delighted. It’s the perfect omnichannel experience.

Sephora’s entire omnichannel is primed to engage loyal customers with personalized content at every point along their brand journey – from website to mobile website, in-store to the mobile app from new products to beauty news, emerging trends to product tutorials, audience engagement has never been quite so successful; Sephora is now the number one beauty brand in the world.

The results? Sephora is the number 1 beauty retailer in the world, boasting growth and profitability amidst a sea of shuttering retail stores. Their early adoption into the digital landscape – including mobile apps – is a big reason why.

Macy’s

All-American retail icon Macy’s might be old-school when it comes to time spent on this good earth, but they’ve been surprisingly quick when it comes to digital innovation. With an exceptionally user-friendly website, a super-popular mobile app, and in-store experiences that competitors still haven’t cottoned onto, the brand is quickly garnering a reputation for thinking outside of the big-brand retailer box.

Making big steps with their data and analytics capabilities to enhance the customer experience around pickup and delivery options, the in-store experience, and the journey across their various touchpoints, Macy’s omnichannel investments are starting to pay off with increased customer spend across the board.

Example of Macy's omnichannel strategy

Often referring to itself as a “digitally-led omnichannel retailer, Macy’s “SHOP. SCAN. SAVE.” app gives customers real-time updates on products for sale or at a special discount, with My Wallet storing customer offers and discounts for them to use at the right moment in their customer journey. There’s also the option for non-app using customers to opt in to SMS messages, and deploying iBeacon technology throughout their stores to bring the perfect offer to customers at the perfect moment. It’s personalization done to the max, and with a big focus on growing their omnichannel over the coming years, Macy’s bid to cement its reputation as a digital retailer to be reckoned with is well on the way …

Disney

We can’t talk Omnichannel without talking Disney. From in-store to in-park, Disney crushes the personalized customer experience with an omnichannel strategy that trumps just about every brand experience out there.

Starting on their hyper-engaging website, seamless on both mobile and desktop, once a visitor has booked their Disney trip it’s over to their mobile app where they can explore the resort, browse attractions and, while on-site, see what the waiting times are to board their Disney experience before leaping into the land of make-believe.

Example of Disney omnichannel strategy

Their Magic Band Program is a masterclass in personalization with which visitors get access to parks and rides, can access their hotel rooms, connect with their Disney PhotoPass account and charge all purchases made during their stay to their Magic Band and settle the bill on departure. It goes without saying that each and every engagement the customer has with Disney throughout the entire journey is seamlessly executed across each and every touchpoint, ensuring the brand never drops the ball and the customer always enjoys the optimum Disney experience.

Taco Bell

“Our customers love the brand, and they crave the food … but they also want it to be highly personalized and customized to them.” So said Zip Allen, vice president of global digital and omnichannel product experiences at QSR behemoth Taco Bell – so it’s no surprise that they’ve been making huge leaps across their omnichannel to reach their customers wherever, however, and whenever they’re needed.

Example of Taco Bell omnichannel strategy

From a prolific and highly engaging social media presence to their famously popular pop-up hotel at which customers could enjoy unlimited tacos; moves across the omnichannel have been at the center of Taco Bell’s growth strategy, each one paying dividends to both the brand and its customers. From their innovative partnership with Grubhub through which customers can order directly from their Taco Bell app (or website) and have their order delivered straight to their door, to the ‘Special Go’ mobile locations complete with a designated lane for customers who pre-ordered through the app, each touchpoint across their omnichannel is optimized to deliver a seamless brand experience that’s “consumer-first and digital-forward”. We can’t wait to see where they go next …

Ultimately, to succeed in the 21st century, every brand must be looking to create a robust omnichannel strategy, building a seamless, delightful customer-focused experience across each touchpoint to deliver the personalized brand experiences your customers expect. To find out how Kumulos can help, let’s get the conversation started.