To better understand how the best-in-class retailers are using an omnichannel approach, we’re gonna need some coffee. Starbucks coffee.
At Starbucks, your wallet isn’t necessary. The Starbucks reward app acts as an account and a traditional rewards program. You can reload or check your balance on your phone, the website, or by asking your barista in-store. Across all these channels, you, a loyal Starbucks customer, are recognized and rewarded. And because of that, you’re more likely to keep coming back.
Starbucks is a great example of what a smart omnichannel strategy can do for a business. Retailers are using similar applications and rewards programs to streamline their channels into a unified customer experience. Here are a few top examples.
Sephora continues to liven up the experience of its physical locations through digital tactics. With its “My Beauty Bag” app and web account, the cosmetics outlet allows customers to view their shopping history, track rewards, and purchase items or save them to a convenient shopping list of products — perfect for checking off in-store or on the web. Their in-person beauty workshops — where shoppers can get complimentary makeovers from expert stylists and utilize touchscreens to test foundations, concealer, perfume and more, right there in the store — is another fun, interactive way that Sephora is bridging the gap between online and offline.
Sephora’s omnichannel approach allows makeup wearers to buy what they need to achieve that effortless look in a way that’s, well, effortless.
For years, luxury retailer Nordstrom has focused on the customer’s total experience by approaching channels uniformly. According to company president James Nordstrom: “We don’t think the customer is loyal to channels. We don’t hear customers talk about channels very much. Customers value experiences.”
With the Nordstrom Rewards program, customers earn points, no matter what channel they purchase through.
The retail giant is also innovating how brands convert social media traffic into revenue. In 2014, the company introduced “Like2Buy,” a service that makes it incredibly simple for Instagram users to purchase items they see on the mobile app. Nordstrom even utilizes Pinterest to gauge which items are popular enough to bring into its brick-and-mortar stores. In turn, Nordstrom proudly displays their Pinterest “top-pinned items” on their website as well as on store shelves.
Built around the idea that customers deserve some time to try on their glasses in their day-to-day lives, Warby Parker started out as primarily try-at-home ecommerce. The company ships you five different styles of glasses at no cost, so you can wear them to brunch, get friend’s opinions, and have a little fun landing on the perfect pair.
So when Warby Parker decided to open physical locations four years after launching its online storefront, they knew they needed to rethink the traditional glasses stand. Today, Warby Parker is known for its comfortable, welcoming showrooms where shoppers can come in, try on great shades, and even grab a book to read. Purchases can be completed in-store or online and shipped at no extra cost. Frames a little lopsided on arrival? Just stop by a convenient location to have them adjusted by a real human.
When it comes to a seamless experience, Warby Parker ensures that their approachable, easy-to-get-behind branding and 1:1 business model (where for every pair of glasses sold, they donate a pair to a child in need) resonates positively with shoppers, both online and in-real-life.
Each of these omnichannel retailers combines informative content, member rewards programs, and a seamless screen-to-screen-to-store presence that puts the customer experience first.< Back to blog