The way we think about and approach retail has changed forever. Today, success for retailers involves reaching consumers wherever they are, on whatever device or channel they may be using. And this is where omnichannel comes in.
Omnichannel retail is a strategy that offers a seamless shopping experience from the first touchpoint to the last. It allows businesses to interact with their customers across multiple platforms – be it on the web, through social media, or even in brick-and-mortar stores. Once a nice-to-have feature, omnichannel logistics has now transformed into a must-have for any e-commerce business that is striving to stay ahead of the curve. According to research by Statista, almost one in two e-commerce decision-makers in Europe and North America deemed omnichannel as a very important strategy in 2021.
While most retailers are aware of omnichannel’s benefits, not all of them possess the knowledge or means necessary to effectively run the business at scale. Whether you wish to gain a deeper understanding of the strategy or are just looking for some inspiration, this guide will serve as a good starting point into the world of omnichannel.
Here are 8 top omnichannel success stories to get you pumped!
Nespresso: Leveraging the Offline and Online Touchpoints
(Image Source: Nespresso)
When it comes to leading omnichannel retailers around the world, Nespresso is at the top of our list. As one of the largest and most successful coffee brands, Nespresso has taken a more unique approach to omnichannel retailing. The company has chosen to expose only a portion of its offerings across all available channels, while withholding certain products for more selective mediums. While customers can purchase their coffee machines through a branded app, website and third-party department stores like John Lewis, their “genuine” capsules are only sold through Nespresso itself.
By doing so, Nespresso brands its capsules as an “exclusive product”, something that sets it apart from competitors such as Starbucks and L’Or. Moreover, Nespresso is also placing a greater emphasis on boutiques as an integral part of their omnichannel approach. “Together with our digital channels and our call centres, we are able to cater to diverse customers’ shopping preferences and convenience needs. Leveraging the power of offline and online touchpoints enables us to meet our consumers where they are and where they want to shop,” said Jean-Christophe Jaunin, Global B2C Head at Nespresso.
The LEGO Group: Creating an Omnichannel Network
(Image Source: Jay’s Brick Blog)
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many retailers worldwide to stop operations, LEGO – a brand with children as a targeted customer base – opened 134 new stores in 2020, and this figure was expected to rise further in 2021, bringing its total global store count to around 800. This is part of LEGO’s business strategy to create an ‘omnichannel network’ that will work in tandem with the new LEGO website, whose online visits have more than doubled in the last year.
Those who have visited any LEGO store would be familiar with the life-sized figures as well as the interactive play stations. In line with the company’s aim to “deliver a consistently awesome Lego experience on every shopping mission,” its retail stores serve as a destination in their own right by consumers. By giving the customers the option to try out products in-person, it makes the shopping experience all the more enjoyable, thus promoting purchases – either in-store or remotely. After all, brick-and-mortar stores are also adverts as much as places to purchase stock.
Pomelo: A Unique “Try First, Pay Later” Feature
(Image Source: Tina Rungsawang)
Pomelo is an omnichannel savant in the fashion retail space, whose rapid growth has been attributable to a combination of creativity, technology and a thorough understanding of their customers. Despite the fact that Pomelo focuses on its online sales, the CEO understands the importance of the actual experiment. As customers in the fashion industry appreciate physical contact with the products (i.e.touching the fabric), Pomelo opened its first-ever physical store outside of Bangkok in 2018 to expand its omnichannel shopping experience.
As opposed to most clothing brands, Pomelo outlets are primarily used for the “Try First, Pay Later” feature. Customers are given the option to browse products on the Pomelo website or the mobile app, after which they can decide when and which outlet they want to collect them from. On the appointment day itself, all the items would be waiting at the selected branch, where consumers can proceed to try them on, and then subsequently decide which ones to take home.
Ace & Tate: A Dutch Eyewear Brand With an “Offline Wishlist”
(Image Source: Ganter Group)
Ace & Tate is a Dutch eyewear brand that combines in-store eye tests with online purchases via virtual try-on in order to provide a unified customer experience.
In 2020, Ace & Tate opened 16 stores across Europe, bringing the number of stores to 70, across 10 countries. Such stores serve as a place for more in-depth eyecare and eyewear services. Recently, this brand added an innovation called “Offline Wishlist”, which allows staff to upload frames that customers tried on in-store. Thanks to such frames, customers can (virtually) try them on again in the comforts of their own home, and take their time to purchase online.
Moreover, Ace & Tate has expanded its virtual services to cover customer assistance which was previously offered only in-store. Customers in the Netherlands and Germany can renew their prescriptions via an online eye test, and styling and optician appointments are also available online. We can expect to see improvements in the Ace & Tate Virtual Try-On service in the coming months, with the addition of facial analysis to provide personalized recommendations to customers both online and in-store.
The Tile Shop: Using Data to Design an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
(Image Source: The Tile Shop)
The Tile Shop is a brand dedicated to inspiring and realizing home decor ideas, as well as creating beauty both inside and out. The brand prioritizes the customer experience by using data to personalize and respond to interactions across all channels. “We have a competitive advantage in the data world because customers are willing to give us their information and opt in programs for email,” said Mary Hennen, Vice President of Marketing and E-Commerce.
Furthermore, the Tile Shop is also known for its omnichannel marketing strategy, which is implemented via Design Studio – a digital visualization tool that was released in July. Customers can use the tool both in-store and online to change tile size, material, and grout space while filling the room with furniture, lighting, and measurements that match the exact specifications of the room they are tiling.
Sephora: Bringing Omnichannel Beauty to the Next Level
(Image Source: Getty Images)
Sephora is another brand that makes it easy for consumers to feel a connection. In recent years, the company has made many modifications to ensure that consumers’ in-store experiences are well-supported by technology. Sephora’s mobile app, for instance, utilizes location-based tracking to recognize when a consumer enters their store and serve up relevant information from a store map to deals. Suggestions are also created for specific clients, based on their search history, which is a fantastic way to increase customer engagement and loyalty.
As with any true omnichannel experience, it does not end when a customer leaves the Sephora store. Sephora Beauty insiders can easily tap into the Beauty Bag on their mobile app and have access to a truckload of data wherever they are. They can even try out hundreds of different shades and styles via the “Virtual Artist” feature and get their favorite items shipped directly to their doorstep.
Van Moof: Riding the Future Together With Omnichannel Sales
(Image Source: Getty Images)
VanMoof is a category-defining leader in the rapidly-growing e-bike sector, with a goal of putting one billion people on VanMoof bikes. Today, VanMoof has over 20 brand stores and pop-ups that provide excellent in-person sales and service. Customers can come in for bike consultations and first-hand try-on experiences. The app allows customers to set power installations for their bikes as needed. Aside from that, every purchase history, anti-theft alarms and tracking, over-the-air bike updates, performance tracking, and service requests are all updated in real-time across all channels.
Graze: Aligning Key Brand Assets for a Seamless Omnichannel Approach
(Image Source: Graze)
Graze is one of the earliest omnichannel FMCG retailers, having recognized from the beginning that an omnichannel presence can help address the trust, reach, and familiarity issues that are commonly faced by e-commerce brands.
Graze’s omnichannel strategy is focused on connecting and being available to customers at all times and in all places, with a message that graze would spread over all communications, including packaging, website, social media platforms, PR, advertising, and inserts, across all geographies. In order for Graze to get where it is today, it also had to define and align on the brand’s well-known brown logo, textured Kraftpak, and clear plastic punnet. In addition, a campaign involving Instagram influencers was established to bring their items closer to its customers.
Getting Started With Omnichannel
All in all, a comprehensive omnichannel strategy can provide numerous benefits to customers and brands alike. While customers enjoy a seamless experience, businesses can increase their customer base, profits, and revenue. Having said that, keep in mind to thoroughly research the market as well as the target audience, just as you would before implementing any new strategies or trends.
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