Today’s world is all about millennials – they just don’t be online but they live in it. With their never-ending digital demands, the millennials are reshaping the entire retail structure and supply chain. With this rise of tech and more than half the world connected to the internet, businesses need to be prepared to satisfy these new-gen consumers and the digital shift that is happening.
You see, the Omnichannel strategy is one prominent solution to manage the growing customer expectations. In the current scenario, for any business to be successful, the omnichannel eCommerce strategy is a perfect shot.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Having both physical and digital presence.
Delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Utilizing both online and offline channels and different devices to interact and engage with customers.
Why Omnichannel eCommerce strategy?
Omnichannel eCommerce strategy is the new normal – It is a multi-channel sales approach that is followed to improve customer experience and build better relationships through the integrated shopping experience.
It intends to create multiple touchpoints combining both traditional and online channels. All together these channels create a unified experience for the customers no matter where they shop.
Ergo, embracing an omnichannel eCommerce strategy and aligning the entire organization to it with a proper cultural shift from the traditional brick and mortar process and investing in the required infrastructure is proving to be a worthy change for many brands.
In this blog, we shall compare and contrast 2 prominent brands from different industries that adapted omnichannel eCommerce strategies in their early stages.
Oasis omnichannel strategy
This UK-based fashion retailer is absolutely dominating the fashion industry by leveraging its marketing channels to guide customers on their purchase decisions. With over 80 plus outlets in UK and Ireland, Oasis is spread across 27 countries.
This clothing brand has seamlessly integrated its physical retail store with an efficient eCommerce site and incredible mobile app that has made shopping simple and effortless for its
CHANNEL 1: Oasis Website
This high street fashion brand’s eCommerce website is an all-rounder. It is designed to offer a personalized experience by integrating all the elements of customer-facing and delivering a strong omnichannel promise.
Oasis enhances its in-store and online merger by allowing its customers to book personal shopping slots with preferred stylists in the physical stores through its website.
Birthday, wardrobe overhaul, and sunseeker are the few occasions of slots breakdown for personal shopping with the stylists.
Along with the simply displayed high-quality images, the Oasis website has got all its details right – delivering a consistent experience all time.
intuitive website design and user experience
relevant, quality content
HD product visuals
well-planned information architecture
clear call to action
advanced tech features and the list goes on.
The simple integration between Oasis’s eCommerce site and social media for purchases leveraged it to the next level of an omnichannel strategy.
High-quality content across its Instagram feed integrated with shopping, stimulated users to click on the Instagram photos to get to the product page of the items directly.
This feature increased website visits by 1416% and boosted revenue by 20%.
CHANNEL 2: Mobile App
Oasis has its own mobile application. This free mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices. With the motto “it’s fashion on the go!”, this app allows customers to shop on Oasis wardrobe 24/7.
Other than the effortless accessibility to browse products, shop, and track orders anywhere anytime, the following features are included to offer a fun and memorable shopping experience to the customers.
The latest collections are updated regularly.
Consistent notifications on the latest ranges and exclusive discounts.
Simple checkout process.
Options to show off the pieces you love on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Features to scan the barcode of items in the store and check it on the app for details such as outfit styling, reviews and ratings, catwalk videos, and more.
Exclusive “Find in store tool” to track exact pieces in the store.
Contact details of the store near you with map directions on how to get there.
CHANNEL 3: Instore touch screens and devices
Oasis has equipped all its brick-and-mortar stores with touch screens and touch devices to help the customers.
These interactive displays attract shoppers, intriguing them to interact and engage with the brand, products, and promotions.
These self-service touch screens display the catalog of products available in the retail store assisting customers to quickly go through the items in stock and their available sizes.
This way shoppers don’t miss out on any products, easily locate alternatives, and have increased accessibility to try out as many products as possible, effortlessly.
By offering all the details that are needed for them to make a purchase decision at their fingertips without wasting their time, Oasis’s touch screens proffer a faster and more convenient customer experience.
The in-store assistants are equipped with tablets and iPads to instantly help customers. If any product is found to be out of stock or size not found, customers can place their orders through the touch devices in the store and get it delivered directly to their houses. This way the Oasis prevents customers from leaving unsatisfied or moving to their competitors.
CHANNEL 4: Events
Unlike other average brands, Oasis went a step ahead to test its omnichannel strategy by conducting a preview.
In this event, hundreds of their major customers were invited to experience their new collection and offer feedback.
This strategy was a double hit as Oasis collected feedback from the customers directly about their products as well as customers were all hyped as it created a feeling of exclusivity among the customers.
Customers scanned the QR codes on new products with their mobile apps and picked from options “Love it” and “Not for me”.
Later, for whichever products a customer selected “Love it”, they were constantly notified about it at the time of release.
Now that how Oasis keeps up the excitement of the store shopping as well as maintains the convenience of digital shopping in-store. It has created a streamlined connection between its retail stores and digital presence, ultimately delivering a supreme user experience.
Sephora omnichannel strategy
Sephora is not just the queen of the beauty and cosmetics industry, but also the queen of innovation and Omni-retail.
Working towards its goal of “creating a Sephora shopping experience that enables beauty and cosmetic customers to purchase products confidently”, Sephora has mastered the art of seamlessly merging online and offline experiences for a holistic shopping journey.
Sephora’s empire is built of 2,600 retail stores in 36 countries across the globe. However, its website caters to 60 Million visitors every month.
CHANNEL 1: E-commerce website
“Beauty bag” option on desktop, Beauty Insider Rewards program, and a truckload of information in the forms of tutorial videos and beauty tips have raised 11 Million members who pay out 15X more on Sephora.com than any other average user.
The brilliance behind Sephora’s omnichannel experience is its website architecture. Every page of the site is crafted to perfection considering all the elements of the business.
This beauty giant’s online space is designed to address every user’s expectation with high-end beauty content.
For an engaging beauty experience, the website offers new features, suggestions/recommendations, and daily picks based on the user’s purchase and browsing history.
Further, the shopping process is streamlined by featuring the products with details, Q/A, and reviews.
The color selections for products and simple call-to-action at prominent places make the Sephora shopping experience easy and enjoyable.
The full-scale imagery, HD photographs, and attention-grabbing playful fonts are included to excite customers. Infused images throughout the interface help in a smooth journey engaging users longer than usual.
Bold and exciting contents provoke users to interact with the products and gives something interesting to remember them better.
All these factors work together to make the Sephora omnichannel experience smoothly leading to the final checkout screen.
Sephora omnichannel strategy: Noteworthy features
Minimalistic web design though Sephora has limitless products in hand.
Easy to navigate website with clear product categories.
Engaging HD visuals in simple white background.
Dexterous UX with pagination arrows.
Excellent placement of top/smart bars for a better browsing experience.
Well categorized navigation menu, listing each sub-category.
Quick glance functionality to discover essential information about the products.
Personalized product suggestions to improve conversions.
Easy filter function to narrow down options.
Product videos to improve user experience.
Prominent space for user-generated content and social proof.
Options to reach social media with ease directly from the website.
Neatly organized the category page with an elegant structure that helps in product location.
Shipping options to reserve or collect items from the store.
All products are supported with authentic customer reviews.
“Add to basket” CTA on every page is always made visible as users scroll down.
Guest option login for users who don’t want to register.
Multiple payment options (Paypal & Klarna) for easy conversion and successful transactions.
A neat checkout page with clear user-friendly steps for a hassle-free checkout.
CHANNEL 2: Multi-purpose mobile app
The mobile app is the expanded offering of Sephora’s omnichannel experience. There is a lot incorporated into this comprehensive app.
This content-rich app is a complete package of the latest products, beauty video tutorials, fashion trends, style statements, celebrity news, and everything related to the beauty industry. Sephora strongly believes that keeping the audience updated and hungry for information.
This user-friendly app has an intuitive navigation system for streamlined use. The authentic color palette and sleek background are the key highlights for user interaction.
On the top left of the app, the hamburger menu is found for a clean extensive list of options. This list leads users to the appropriate sections.
The extremely simple app design is crucial for a business such as Sephora that has limitless options dumped into its mobile platform.
Not only does Sephora’s omnichannel strategy keep the audience informed through its app, but also collects data through it. This data is used to draft suggestions, send notifications, recommend products, and influence purchase decisions.
Through this data-driven mobile strategy, the in-store and online habits of customers are sorted to build a close relationship with them.
For example, regular notifications are sent to customers based on specific items they have searched for. The customers are also informed about ongoing deals and promotions, new products, and special offers on events and birthdays. This way, a personalized relationship is developed between the brand and the customers.
The mobile app also contributes to refining the in-store Sephora omnichannel experience and Sephora social media strategy. Customers can scan barcodes in the app to know more details about the product like product description, review, rating, and purchase history.
CHANNEL 3: Instore Sephora Omnichannel Experience
The retail stores of Sephora are designed around digital innovations to enhance the Sephora shopping experience.
This beauty giant connects its in-store visits with online purchases at various points. Other than beauty workshops and complimentary makeovers, the customers are also enabled to access the instore mobile devices to use their “Beauty bag” accounts when shopping. Using the Beauty bag account customers can virtually try the products using digital software.
With the implementation of various mobile technologies and touch screen displays, Sephora enjoys the edge of new-gen tech.
For a more enthralling Sephora shopping experience in the stores, Sephora’s omnichannel strategy has also introduced an augmented reality feature. Usage of augmented reality and equipping store assistants with iPads enables customers to try various shades and colors even before buying it.
E-Commerce is a sizable opportunity. In eCommerce platforms, nearly 78% of purchases are made by individuals over the age of 15 – 45. This digital-savvy consumer group can start their search anywhere on any device. So interaction is the focal point here.
No matter where the interaction begins or ends, it has to be customer-centric – A seamless buying experience is what customers expect from you. This can be attained only by offering an omnichannel experience.
Leveraging your brand on different devices like desktop, and mobile devices, in different channels like physical stores, eStores, social media, point of sale, and more offers in-store and online integration at its best.
91% Increased customer retention rates are achieved by brands invested in omnichannel strategies year over year. No wonder these leading brands have adopted it in the early stages itself.
Omnichannel eCommerce strategy – FAQs
What is Omnichannel?
Omnichannel is a user engagement approach followed by brands to nurture their leads. They offer access to their products and services, giving to customers and users a similar experience across all channels, devices, and platforms.
What is the difference between Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel?
Though omnichannel and multi-channel may seem similar, in a multi-channel environment you have access to products and services across channels, devices, and platforms but they may not necessarily be connected or synchronized.
While in omnichannel all shopping experiences of a customer across channels, devices, and platforms are synchronized seamlessly.
So, the major difference between these 2 is, that all omnichannel approaches employ multiple channels but not all multi-channel is omnichannel.
What are the advantages of an omnichannel eCommerce strategy?
Adopting an omnichannel eCommerce strategy offers plenty of benefits to brands.
The top 3 among them are:
When you follow an omnichannel eCommerce strategy, all your business operations retail, marketing, sales, and support are synced.
This way the customer no longer faces difficulty reaching a specific department as your entire team, products and services are all available on different platforms, channels, and devices.
For instance: To reach customer care, customers don’t have to wait in long queues on phone instead they can reach you on your social media platforms.
Increased revenue and profits:
When your customers find you accessible, easy to purchase, and transparent, they trust your brand.
By offering a seamless shopping experience, you create a long-lasting impression on customers gaining their loyalty leading to more business through repeat purchases, new/renewal of subscriptions, word of mouth marketing, and positive reviews.
Enhanced customer satisfaction
A good shopping experience creates happy customers. When customers feel they are valued and their voices are heard they tend to stay longer with those particular brands.
By creating an omnichannel experience for your customers, you open up several paths for customers to reach your sales and customer service teams.
Regardless of the device or platform, customers purchase your products with ease and keep returning as well.
How to build an Omni-Channel eCommerce experience?
To create a seamless shopping experience, ensure that your brand is presented in the same way across platforms.
Starting with a website create a number of channels for your brand across platforms and devices. Eg: Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Reddit,
Post and engage with your customers consistently on all your channels.
Create a dedicated app for your products or services.
Educate your customers about your products and services through all mediums.
Create a community for your customers.
Address and solve your customers’ queries and complaints across all platforms.
Create a consistent user experience.
Offer your customers the appropriate Call-to-actions on all mediums.