Your customers want to have the ability to shop in their own terms: when, where, and how they wish. They need access to their shopping cart on any channel or device, and even in-store.
They need to"start anywhere and finish everywhere," one report revealed.
A multi-channel strategy is not sufficient to match this requirement, as it generates different, independent shopping ecosystems. You want an omnichannel approach to your marketing, sales, and customer service for a connected, friction-free customer experience.
This guide will take you through everything you need for producing exceptional omnichannel customer experiences: rewards, action steps, in addition to a few examples of brands with exceptional omnichannel experiences to inspire you.
- Which are omnichannel client experiences?
- Why should manufacturers and brands care about omnichannel customer experiences
- Omnichannel customer experience best practices
- Cases of manufacturers and brands defining omnichannel customer experiences
- Take your next omnichannel experience step
What are omnichannel client experiences?
An omnichannel customer experience is a seamless, integrated travel between stations, both online and offline.
True omnichannel experience is not about adding a Buy button to as many stations as possible. It is a singular, cohesive purchasing journey across the stations your clients use.
With it, they could research, buy, get support for a product, and purchase again across dozens of touchpoints, without bounds or hiccups.
Omnichannel breaks the silos between social networking, mobile, email, web, telephone, and live chat adventures that you give your shoppers.
An omnichannel experience might look like that for a customer purchasing at-home gym equipment:
- A client searches for exercise mats and weights and looks at a couple of products on a web site, but leaves without buying.
- They see an Instagram advertisement from the same brand to get a discount code for weights. They subscribe to the code, but do not buy straight away.
- They begin seeing ads for those very same weights on YouTube and Facebook.
- They return to the website a week after, add weights to their cart, but do not make a purchase.
- Within days, they receive a cart abandonment email. Instead of merely reminding them about the products in the cart, the email shares multiple ways to order: shipping to their own home, purchasing online and picking up in-store, purchasing in-store and shipping to customer.
- The client sees a billboard for the new when driving and decides to stop by, browse the weights in-store, and order shipping to their dwelling.
Here Is What the exact opposite experience looks like as clarified by Sean Downey, VP of media platforms in Google:
- Each year, Downey buys his son the most recent video game for his birthday, always from the same firm.
- This company did not store any of Downey's previous purchases. This made the checkout slow, but okay.
- He obtained an internet ad the following day for the specific game he purchased. The advertisement offered a discount, although he bought it at full price.
This is one of the most frustrating kinds of interaction consumers encounter --more frustrating than getting an irrelevant offer.
Omnichannel gives each brand a chance to build relationships with clients. But omnichannel is not explicit or obvious. It is not something you wrap well with a bow on top and hand over to the client.
It is invisible, present in each interaction, and constructed to make your client's life easier.
In the drawings and words of Marketoonist:
Why should retailers and brands care about omnichannel client experiences?
Here is what makes omnichannel experiences worth your attention.
Consumers desire unified, personalized experiences
A total of 63 percent of customers expect personalized interactions and offers based on their previous purchases.
Nearly all customers --91 percent -- will select brands that recognize, recall, and supply relevant offers and recommendations. They are also happy to talk about their data to allow a personalized experience.
It is not just about previous purchases, either. Shoppers want one cart they could access in their telephone, computer, or even in-store.
Omnichannel pushes the bottom line
Brands that provide a unified shopping experience win over the ones that stick to a channel.
Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% greater lifetime value than those who just store on a single channel. Omnichannel marketing also raises engagement rate, purchase frequency, average order value (AOV), and client retention rates.
Shoppers are 40 percent more likely to spend more than planned while the shopping experience is highly personalized. They also spend more in-store should they research their purchase online before their trip. The more channels that they use, the more they invest in the shop.
Almost half of shoppers have bought a product they did not mean to buy, as a result of a personalized recommendation from the manufacturer. Seamless customer experiences exude trust into each touchpoint, not only when the client is in shopping mode.
The experience does not stop after the buy
The customer travel does not begin with research and finish with a finished checkout. The purchase marks the end of just three out of five layers of this journey:
Returns, refunds, exchanges, customer support interactions, and evaluations are all part of the experience. It makes customer service an integral omnichannel building block.
In accordance with Gladly, 76 percent of clients expect agents to find interactions across multiple platforms. There is more: two-thirds of customers wish brokers on the phone or electronic channels understood about previous interactions from the shop and vice versa.
Only 19% of clients get a seamless consumer experience between platforms. It is an opportunity for manufacturers to stick out through omnichannel customer care.
The year 2020 changed the way we store forever
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the equivalent of 10 years of ecommerce growth happen in only 3 months.
Nearly 150 million individuals shopped online for the first time during the pandemic. Consumers began buying items online they bought in-store: supermarkets, home essentials, and hygiene products.
Many brands began offering new fulfillment options, like booking for shop pickup. Nearly a third of buyers used curbside pickup for the first time between March and June 2020.
This resulted in almost 100,000 brands worldwide starting to provide curbside pickup during the pandemic. The security, convenience, and savings of those new options are appealing. Other strategies similar to Purchase online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) comprise:
- Buy in-store, send to client
- Buy online, return in-store
- Reserve online, pickup in-store
- Online returns or exchanges
This isn't only a fad --how customers shop has changed forever. Click-and-collect sales over doubled in the USA in 2020. This double-digit expansion is predicted to rise through 2024.
"If you are waiting for this to finish, you say we are gonna return to normal in two weeks, which we are just biding our time and getting through it, then you are gonna be screwed," says Jill Manoff, Glossy's editor-in-chief.
Omnichannel experiences allow your clients to buy, try, and return goods in their own terms. If you do not let them have this, somebody else will.
Omnichannel customer experience best practices
The most successful omnichannel brands and retailers use these best practices:
- Know the client travel inside out
- Construct channel-specific content and alternatives
- Provide seamless customer support
- Maintain consistent messaging and branding
- Use resilient omnichannel inventory management
1. Know the customer travel inside out
Dig into all of the information you can get your hands on. This can allow you to understand what your clients want, where they need it, and how.
Where are customers searching for products like yours? What keeps their focus? What makes them click through to the next source? Where do they fall off or need more help?
Here's where to look for key data:
- Your Google Analytics. Reports such as Behavior > Behavior Flow and Conversions > Aims > Reverse Goal Course will demonstrate where clients leave and which pages direct them to important touchpoints such as their cart or the checkout page.
- Data from other platforms. Look at what people click on in your mails, what questions they ask about on social networking, what they send you messages around, and what content engages them the most.
- Marketing data. When you run advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google, you unlock wealthy audience data and learn who's looking for your products, and how.
"User foundations are fragmented and buy journeys are more, so being busy on multiple advertising channels is a must," says Josh Brisco, VP of growth media at Tinuiti.
The first step is to identify who your customers are, where and how they spend some time on the internet, and how they store. After that, run advertisements to experiment with possible channels which match this, and additional diluting insights that answer these questions. This will inform your networking strategy with these stations and assist you expand to new ones over time.
1 study demonstrates that 92 percent of customers visiting your site are not there to purchase, so use every touchpoint to understand their complete travel outside of your website.
2. Build channel-specific content and choices
How do you help the client there and then using the precise piece of information or following step they want?
Add resources, suggestions, and checkout choices in places customers crave the next step. This will produce a frictionless experience, even though it has switching channels.
For example, you could add a movie with care tips to your product page, such as My City Plants, so clients do not need to look for this reassurance elsewhere:
Another option is adding a healthy calculator or a similar custom source. ASOS offers a Fit Assistant tool that remembers your result on the apparatus you took the quiz on; it then shows you the best size recommendation, even when you browse other products (like clicking on a link in an email or on social media), and even when you're not logged in:
L'Oreal Paris understands choosing a hair color is tough, so when its hair experts answered questions relating to this on Instagram Stories, they also connected to their own handy virtual try-on webpage :
And Benefit Cosmetics utilizes Instagram Stories for in-depth tutorials which feature a product label, which contributes to its site with a smooth checkout encounter:
3. Provide seamless customer support
Consumers have spoken: 86 percent of them expect conversations with customer service representatives to seamlessly move between stations, and 84 percent of them spend more with brands which make this happen.
Buyers expect you to support them well while their focus spills involving channels. Siloed customer care channels stand in the means of omnichannel client experiences.
This can turn into a frustrating experience that resembles this:
- A client tweets you about a problem with a recent purchase.
- You answer with a prompt to send you a direct message on Twitter.
- The client messages you, but does not hear back for a few hours.
- While they wait, the client reaches you through live chat on your website.
- An agent reacts over live chat, but prompts the client to call customer service.
- The client calls, but when they reach somebody, they need to clarify their issue again as the broker on the phone doesn't have any record of prior interactions with the client.
There is a better way: a solution that brings all customer touchpoints together. It assembles a single client view with a comprehensive profile of buys, lifetime value, personal tastes, and previous interactions.
1 report discovered that restricted cross-department cooperation and siloed customer information present the largest customer experience challenge:
An omnichannel customer service platform such as Gladly permits you to focus on people rather than tickets and support your clients wherever they want you to.
4. Maintain consistent messaging and branding
Make it simple for customers to recognize you and trust you whatever the channel they are on. Consistent visuals, voice, and style involving touchpoints is crucial.
"Your message across platforms has to be cohesive. Not only your branding, but also your tone, and your supplies should align regardless of where you are marketing or speaking to your clients. This is a enormous trust variable for your viewers," says Darcy Ogdon-Nolan, founder of The Bircher Bar, a high end resource for food, lifestyle, and health.
Consistent branding may increase revenue by 33 percent , but 81 percent of companies still take care of off-brand content.
Build a new style guide to help all your employees remain consistent, whatever the format or channel. Your brand guidelines can include:
- Voice: a reflection of who you are as a company
- Tone: examples of adapted voice to different scenarios (customer service, social media posts, etc.)
- Grammar and mechanics: capitalization, punctuation, spelling, formatting
- Naming: principles for using your brand, category, and merchandise titles
- Color colour and directions for using it
- Typography: fonts and sizes for different use cases
- Photography: instructions for promotional and product photography for website, Social Networking, emails
- Illustrations and icons
This will produce a strong impression on each station where your customers interact with you.
5. Use resilient omnichannel inventory management
Seamless marketing and customer service across channels is not enough. There's another vital part of the omnichannel encounter puzzle: stock management.
Your inventory levels for all these checkouts--on social networking, your mobile app, brick-and-mortar, website, live chat, and anywhere your customers store --need to match immediately.
If they don't, here's a reminder of what happened throughout the PlayStation 5 launch in 2020, when clients:
- Ended up in long digital queues
- obtained technical error messages
- Received order cancellations only hours after purchasing
- Waited to their games for months instead of weeks
One UK client tweeted:"Great job @PlayStationUK letting these unreliable retailers sell them online. Absolutely ridiculous. I don't believe a single person in britain has a PS5 now!"
Omnichannel inventory management is a challenge due to segmented supply chain processes, poor stock management, and significant yields logistics. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers are more inclined to shop online if they could return a product in-store, but this omnichannel advantage is also a liability in regards to stock levels.
Be ready for everything with solutions like Shopify Plus POS to deal with your in-store and internet orders, inventory, and customer information in one place. Also have a look at ecommerce automation for automating inventory management and upgrades across channels.
Examples of retailers and brands defining omnichannel customer experiences
Get inspired by these omnichannel brands and retailers:
- ILIA Beauty
BonLook sells prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses in stores across Canada and globally online.
Searching for glasses is a high-touch, unique purchasing process, such as lens materials, prescriptions, frame types and sizes, styles, and extra lens features. It obviously lends itself to brick-and-mortar shopping.
To replicate this in-store experience for online customers, BonLook launched shopping guides in addition to a digital try-on feature. It provides customers a 180-degree perspective of how eyeglasses will fit them.
It also supplies a habit iOS app which makes it possible for partners to help clients decide on eyeglasses and make their purchase. The app integrates with the online shop, so customers can buy like that if they want. In-store associates can see orders and inventory in real time.
BonLook runs this incorporated omnichannel plan on Shopify Plus. Since shifting from its previous solution, it has improved its average order value by 18%. As many as 15 percent of shoppers purchase again within six months.
Rothy's sells comfy everyday shoes made from recycled materials. Its omnichannel strategy focuses on unified customer service and a sustainable yields and exchange procedure.
First, Rothy's wanted to deliver all of its client conversations to one platform. The aim was to avoid making customers repeat their problems into various agents, whatever the channel.
All customer conversations were saved as individual tickets until they began using Gladly for client support. If a customer email came in, agents did not see preceding chat conversations or telephone calls. Customer service was slow, and clients had to fill in the gaps every time.
With a single conversation deadline, brokers now find the whole customer history. Clients can get help on any station they need without sacrificing the quality of the answer they will get.
A customer does not even have to have their order number handy--Gladly brings client's orders from Shopify in their profile on Gladly to get a true 360-degree client view.
"we would like to provide them the channel of their choice. We also wanted to leverage our site. We wanted to be certain we were putting information that is usable, we can embed chat abilities, where they could speak to someone, but also that we are able to direct it and predict exactly what questions they may have," Nic Cadwallader, director of customer experience at Rothy's, informed CGT.
Secondly, when Rothy's opened its first physical place in 2018, it realized it needed to enhance its returns process. In-store returns were not sustainable, since they made long lines around the block.
The brand's customers value sustainability, and returns by email in cardboard boxes were not ideal. Rothy's implemented a Returns Bar solution and took advantage of an present returns infrastructure. This encouraged in-person returns with no strain on the physical shop.
It gave customers the choice to store and return the way they want, on a station they want, which aligned with their values.
Its retail location features enormous guitar galleries, a drum room, and fully loaded demonstration studios. Sweetwater's expert staff is there to help--a dream come true to get a music equipment buyer.
So what about buying online? Sweetwater's omnichannel approach helps reestablish the in-store encounter.
Sweetwater's class pages feature buying guides to the class you are viewing at the very top:
As you navigate products and classes, the best bar and the bottom right corner remind you to ask for assistance through telephone or email, if you want it:
The real magic happens as you get deeper in your purchasing journey. Sweetwater embodies the seamless omnichannel approach to customer experience and assigns each client a sales engineer.
These sales engineers know about the client's style, installation, and aspirations, and help them select the best choice. Before they make a purchase, shoppers can estimate their cart ID so representatives can instantly see what they are shopping for:
"It is never about a sale, it is about providing the best experience possible during each interaction. Our sales engineers spend 13 weeks in training until they are able to interact with clients. That commitment to ensuring our workers have the tools they want is rare within the music retail sector," Chuck Surack, Sweetwater's CEO and founder, informed Retail Customer Experience. He predicts the brand's customer travel"omnichannel, while we remain dedicated to investing in an'old-school' approach to customer experience."
After purchasing from Sweetwater, clients receive an email follow-up, a telephone call from a sales engineer to answer any questions regarding the arrangement, and another call following the items arrive.
Ben Sailer, a longtime Sweetwater client, said,"I buy all of my equipment in Sweetwater whenever possible, as do many musicians I know. I recently bought something from a significant competitor because I had no other option, and the entire experience felt cold and like it was missing something."
Music equipment often includes highly personal and big-ticket products. Sweetwater understands this and creates an experience that suits it, even if it isn't in-store.
See more :
ILIA Beauty is a fresh beauty manufacturer sold online and in stores such as Sephora, Credo, and Walmart.
Its online shopping experience takes into account that you can not try out a lipstick colour in real life. That is exactly what the"Compare colors" alternative is for:
Choosing a foundation shade is not any different. There's an excess option here: uploading a selfie to get support from a new specialist.
This experience works seamlessly for Instagram shoppers, also:
Wherever customers shop from, they could undergo state checkout with Shop Pay or PayPal.
The pandemic changed how consumers shop for beauty, too. Sarah Jindal, associate director for international beauty and personal care at Mintel, said 38 percent of US beauty customers are more comfortable shopping online than in the last year. Shade comparison and matching is a excellent way to simplify self-service shopping.
ILIA's omnichannel campaigns also have offline advertising.
In ancient 2020, ILIA kicked off its first outdoor ad campaign. It included a feature on a Manhattan tour bus, billboards in LA, and wild postings in nyc. These were put near Credo and Sephora stores.
ILIA wanted to increase national brand recognition. One of the ways it measured success was through social networking follower development. Its Instagram followers were at just under 200,000 in the time; about a year later, this number is now over half a million.
"There's a story from being able to find a brand as an advertisement in your mobile, then on Instagram, then out on a billboard and eventually in Sephora. It produces a 3D effect," Sasha Plavsic, ILIA's founder and creative director, told Glossy.
Cocomelody sells cheap wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and formal dresses.
Its advertising team used Google Ads and sponsored Facebook posts to drive involvement with its target market. But it fought to keep around these users, and its advertising conversion rates were stagnant.
Once it seemed at the data more , it found a top cart abandonment rate, but also that these users came back to the website often. Cocomelody's clients were curious, but unable: they could not touch or try on those dresses.
Cocomelody subsequently targeted cart abandoners to let them know of these new alternatives, such as push notifications, SMS messages, and personalized emails. This increased sales by 30%.
Take your next omnichannel experience step
What is your action item to conduct an omnichannel brand? If you are focused on omnichannel advertising and shopping, it may be to enhance your customer support or stock management.
And if you're beginning to bring your different stations together, you might begin with understanding your audience better and finding gaps in the choices that you give them on different stations.