The key to excelling in omnichannel retail lies in providing a seamless, personalized, and consistent experience across all touchpoints.
Leveraging technology, data, and customer insights to optimize the shopping journey is essential for building customer loyalty and driving growth in today’s competitive retail landscape.
Here are 16 examples of brands that are leading in omnichannel retail by becoming early adopters and the lessons we can learn from their success:
Regarded as the omnichannel titan, Nike offers a seamless shopping experience across its physical stores, website, and mobile app.
Customers can browse products, place orders, and track shipments across all channels effortlessly.
Key Lesson: Invest in creating a consistent and integrated customer experience across all touchpoints to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Starbucks has successfully integrated its mobile app, in-store experience, and rewards program.
The company allows their customers to order and pay using the app, earn rewards, and redeem them at any participating store.
Key Lesson: Leverage mobile technology to enhance convenience and personalize the shopping experience for customers.
Amazon is the epitome of omnichannel retail with its online marketplace, brick-and-mortar stores (Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods), and voice-based shopping through Alexa.
They utilize data to understand customer behavior and preferences, ensuring a tailored experience across all channels.
Key Lesson: Data-driven insights are vital for understanding your customers and optimizing their shopping journey.
Apple‘s retail stores offer a unique and immersive experience, complementing their online presence.
They provide seamless integration between products, customer support, and services across channels.
Key Lesson: Create engaging and interactive physical store experiences that align with your brand identity.
The French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products, Sephora, offers a consistent experience across its website, app, and in-store with features like virtual try-ons, product reviews, and personalized recommendations.
Their Beauty Insider loyalty program spans all channels, encouraging repeat purchases.
Key Lesson: Utilize technology to deliver personalized recommendations and leverage loyalty programs to drive customer retention.
Walmart has integrated its physical stores with its online platform, offering options like in-store pickup and same-day delivery.
The retail giant has streamlined the shopping process across channels for a more convenient experience.
Key Lesson: Bridge the gap between online and offline shopping to cater to a broader customer base.
Target offers a unified shopping experience through its website, app, and physical stores.
Their “Order Pickup” service allows customers to place orders on Target.com or in the Target app and collect their products in-store, blurring the lines between online and offline shopping.
Key Lesson: Embrace click-and-collect services and leverage your physical stores as fulfillment centers to enhance convenience for customers.
8. REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.)
REI is known for its commitment to environmentally sustainable distribution centers and exceptional one-touch omnichannel systems.
They provide an excellent example of integrating content and commerce seamlessly.
REI’s website features outdoor guides, articles, and product reviews, complementing the products they sell.
Key Lesson: Combine informative and valuable content with your product offerings to create a more engaging and educational shopping experience.
Lululemon creates a sense of community around its brand through in-store events, yoga classes, and online fitness content. They also offer personalized product recommendations based on customers’ preferences and previous purchases.
Lululemon’s success can be attributed to its technical capabilities, particularly in terms of having access to accurate and up-to-date inventory data directly from the manufacturer to its network of independently operated stores. This allowed for a seamless omnichannel experience for customers, regardless of which store they were shopping at.
Key Lesson: Cultivate a brand community by offering unique experiences and tailor product recommendations to individual customers.
Costco takes pride in its vast network of physical stores while maintaining a robust online presence. The brand is slowly embracing the concept of omnichannel to offer a smooth and uninterrupted shopping experience.
As part of the process, it’s offering brick-and-mortar warehouses, a user-friendly website, a mobile app, and a myriad of options to seamlessly blend these channels together.
Key Lesson: Leverage the strengths of your physical stores while expanding your online presence.
11. Ulta Beauty
Ulta Beauty offers an extensive range of beauty products both in-store and online.
Their loyalty program provides exclusive benefits, encouraging repeat purchases.
Ulta Beauty is winning with omnichannel retail by making it easy for customers to shop across channels.
Consumers can order products online and pick them up in store, or they can use the Ulta Beauty app to browse products and make purchases.
As a result of its omnichannel retail strategy, Ulta Beauty has seen significant growth in recent years. In 2021, the company’s revenue grew by 21.4%.
Key Lesson: A broad product selection and a rewarding loyalty program can drive customer loyalty and increase average order value.
12. Best Buy
Best Buy is a prime example of leveraging in-store expertise to complement online shopping experience.
The company saw a 150% increase in virtual interactions across video, chat, and voice, while 84% of its customers use digital channels throughout their shopping journey. It has also seen a 72% increase in customers using the Best Buy mobile app while inside stores.
Damien Harmon, Sr. EVP, Customer, Channel and Enterprise Services, told RIS News that these virtual opportunities allow customers to shop with an expert wherever they are.
Key Lesson: Create a seamless shopping experience that meets the needs of today’s consumers.
Petco provides a seamless omnichannel experience for pet owners, with features like auto-ship subscriptions, in-store veterinary services, and online pet health advice.
They have a robust customer loyalty program that offers personalized discounts and rewards.
Key Lesson: Tailor your omnichannel approach to cater to specific customer needs and offer value-added services.
Macy’s launched a digital marketplace last year to enhance its omnichannel strategy with an easy-to-navigate website, mobile app, and in-store experiences.
They use a “My Wallet” feature, which allows customers to store offers, rewards, and payment options in one place for seamless transactions.
Key Lesson: Simplify the purchasing process by consolidating rewards and payment options, reducing friction in the customer journey.
IKEA is fully embracing omnichannel shopping through innovative features. The latest update enables users to save their favorite items as a shopping list, which can be seamlessly used on the website or in-store.
Additionally, customers can now create shopping lists comprising products from various publications released by the home-furnishings retailer.
IKEA offers “Click & Collect” BOPIS services for a flexible shopping experience.
This integration offers a cohesive and convenient shopping experience across multiple channels.
Key Lesson: Provide interactive and tactile experiences in physical stores to complement online shopping, especially for products with a strong visual appeal.
In 2016, Nordstrom added a “Reserve and Try in Store” feature to their app. This feature allows customers to reserve items and try them on in-store before purchasing.
In addition to flexible returns and curbside pickup, Nordstrom delivers exceptional customer service across channels, with personalized recommendations and styling assistance.
With a unified loyalty program called the Nordy Club, members can earn points that are redeemable for purchases at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Nordstrom Local.
Key Lesson: Invest in personalized customer service and create loyalty programs that incentivize engagement across all touchpoints.
As more and more consumers shop across channels, it is becoming increasingly important for retailers to have a strong omnichannel presence.
Data analytics can play a pivotal role in achieving this goal, as it allows retailers to personalize the shopping experience, track customer behavior, and identify emerging trends.
Armed with valuable insights gathered through data analysis, retailers can make informed decisions about product assortment, pricing, and marketing strategies to better cater to their customers’ needs and preferences while optimizing for operational efficiency, driving business growth, and long-term success.