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  • Rebecca Anderson

Blog: 5 Brands that Focus on Omnichannel Customer Experience

(Written for Treasure Data)

Technology continues to redefine what’s possible in omnichannel marketing. But what exactly does a good omnichannel approach look like—both from the customer’s point of view and that of the marketers who need to ensure great customer experiences, online and off? 

The retailers and brands discussed here have mastered all of the above and more. As you get started with omnichannel marketing, use their stories to fuel your strategy.

Retail Personalization That’s Always on Target

Although Target was late to the omnichannel party, it has officially caught up and is poised to be a top e-commerce player in 2020

“At a time when brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep up with the fast-changing retail landscape, Target seems to have hit the bullseye,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu said.  “Store renovations and expanding same-day fulfillment options—such as in-store pickup, drive-up, and delivery with Shipt—are paying off. Target has found a way to use its stores to fulfill online orders while keeping up with customer demands for convenience and speed.”

The big-box retailer has invested in seamlessly connecting physical and digital channels to create a more compelling in-store retail customer experience. When guests order through the app or online, they can choose from numerous delivery options: Picking up the order from guest services, driving up and waiting in the Target parking lot while someone delivers the product to their car, or having it shipped to their home.  In October 2019, Target rolled out its new loyalty program—Target Circle—which gained 50 million sign-ups in four months, according to Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing, digital and strategy officer. His focus for 2020 is to use data to personalize the shopping experience at scale.   

However, Target’s omnichannel approach extends far beyond the mobile app. Store employees are equipped with hand-held devices to quickly help guests locate products and provide price information. Recent browsing on the app is carried over to the website. The shopping cart is shared between desktop and mobile platforms. Product recommendations are based on guest’s behavior on both platforms. And Target emails serve up tailored offers based on a guest’s browsing and purchasing history. 

With such targeted personalization and tailored communications across channels, Target is recognized as one of the best omnichannel retail experiences

Making Vacation Planning a Little More Magical 

Planning for a vacation is rarely fun, but Disney makes it a lot easier to have a magical time.

Once guests have booked their trip to a Disney park, they can use the My Disney Experience tool to pre-plan every single day. Using the website or the app, guests can explore the park layout, review attractions, restaurants, and entertainment. And, based on this information, they can set their itinerary, create wishlists, book in-park dining reservations, and plan FastPass experiences—all before the vacation begins. 

When the guest first enters the land of magic—via a Disney park or a hotel—they are given the key to the kingdom in the form of a Disney Parks MagicBand. This wristband acts as a key to the guest’s hotel room, the ticket to the park, and the payment method for every transaction. It also stores their three FastPass choices to use during the park visit. 

Since the MagicBand technology is seamlessly integrated with the My Disney Experience app, guests can review and change their FastPass choices, look at the wait times for other attractions, and book restaurants—all while on the go. All that data becomes the basis for new offers, both while people are traveling and enjoying the parks, and later, when they get home and are targeted for relevant entertainment and new customer experiences.

The MagicBand has also transformed the process of purchasing professional photos taken at the park. With the scan of the MagicBand, the photos are uploaded to the app for the guest to purchase directly. In the past, ordering these photos required manual data entry—and sometimes, standing in another line.

Equipped with an RFID chip and long-range Bluetooth, these MagicBands are also an excellent source of customer data that Disney uses to further refine the omnichannel experience. By evaluating traffic patterns, ride popularity, and other factors, Disney can make meaningful adjustments such as adding more staff in certain areas, adjusting the location or time of character appearances, updating rides, and changing shop inventory. 

A Vision to Take eCommerce into the Real World

In 2010, Warby Parker shook up the eyeglass world by introducing an e-commerce-only site that cuts out the middle-man and sells quality eyeglasses at lower prices. The business model was a huge success. Why then did Warby Parker set its sights on the real world almost immediately after? 

According to Neil Blumenthal, one of the company’s founders, the impetus for the first Warby Parker showroom and pop-ups was simply to provide a way to try on glasses but says:

“…it ended up being a very special experience in that we could build relationships with our customers. They could try on all the glasses. We started to realize maybe there was a place for traditional bricks-and-mortar retail.” 

However, Warby Parker aspires to provide more than the traditional eyeglass store experience. The company is highly focused on customer experience, offering on-the-spot eye exams, next-day and direct-to-door service, all in a hip, modern environment that resonates with its target audience. 

The company now has over 100 retail locations across the United States and into Canada and is committed to strategic expansion. The company is letting data drive the initiative by opening stores based on the geographic location of online customers.

Seventy-five percent of in-store purchasers have first browsed and researched glasses on the Warby Parker website, highlighting how effective an integrated customer experience can be, as well as the risks of not having an effective pre-sale online experience. 

A Loyalty Program Makeover Drives New Revenue

Top-10 cosmetic brand Shiseido has been beloved by customers of all ages and genders for over 150 years. But it wasn’t until 2012, with the launch of an online loyalty program app, that the company began to leverage the power of digital marketing strategies. 

Initially, customer communications inside the app were based on best-guess assumptions about customer behavior. But Shiseido aspired to a more dynamic one-on-one customer relationship. The biggest challenge? Consolidating 80 years of disparate data. The company leveraged Treasure Data’s enterprise Customer Data Platform to unify data points under a common customer ID.

With these added insights, Shiseido was able to create a seamless online-to-offline experience that drove a 20 percent in-store revenue increase per loyalty program member, and a 38 percent growth in net income overall. 

“Our new customer data platform on Treasure Data is fundamentally changing how we communicate with our customers,” said Kenji Yoshimoto, Shiseido’s Chief Analyst for Direct Marketing. “Blasting emails to everyone who tried samples or bought a particular product won’t lead to customer delight. Detecting a mood swing in each customer and changing the tone of push notifications does.” 

Technology Gives Brick-and-Mortar a Sporting Chance

If you can’t fight it, leverage it. That seems to be the mantra of REI when it comes to technology. 

When REI set out to expand its online presence, its goal was to digitally recreate the in-store REI experience. REI wanted to personalize and bring its unbeatable customer service to the online experience. 

REI shied away from the typical responsive approach, instead opting for an adaptive build and a flexible content framework that met the different needs of mobile and desktop users. In addition, the entire cross-platform experience is customized for each user with personalization, diverse content, and cross-promotions. 

REI seamlessly drives email traffic to the app; tapping on a product in an email will open the product page in the app and show nearby stores and product availability. Users can easily purchase products through the app, using quick and secure payments. 

Product content and community offerings are available with a tap on intuitive CTA buttons. REI has also implemented a barcode-scanning API so consumers can scan their products in-store to easily access additional information and learn more about related items. 

One unique offering is the REI Co-op National Parks Guide app. Not only is this the perfect deliverable for the target audience, it seamlessly integrates into the omnichannel experience. Once a user has found a park within the app, REI serves up a list of perfect gear for the visit with a link to their e-commerce site. 

REI upped the in-store experience as well, equipping its sales associates with mobile devices to provide real-time availability updates. In addition, all REI stores have WiFi so users can log into the app to check their gear lists and read product reviews before making a purchase.

It’s clear that this strategy is paying off. REI omnichannel shoppers spend two to four times as much as those who only shop in-store. Plus, those who access the REI website or app are 40 percent more likely to make a purchase when they do visit a store. 

Are You Ready to Get Started? 

These brands demonstrate the very best in omnichannel marketing, inspiring other companies to rethink what’s possible for the customer experience. One thing they all have in common—beyond great strategy and inspiring creative—is a deep understanding of their customers’ online and offline behaviors, down to the individual customer level, and martech that helps them target user experiences effectively and automatically. 

If your customer data is spread far and wide across numerous platforms, Arm Treasure Data enterprise CDP can deliver the information you need to understand and optimize the omnichannel journey and customer experience. Request a demo to get started today.

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