September 23, 2016
Omnichannel Wins: Retailers who are redefining the shopping experience
By Mandy Hawkins
Omnichannel is the golden word in retail right now, and for good reason.
Customers are not solely committed to either brick and mortar or online shopping, but see the two as one. In fact, most customers would never utter the words “brick and mortar,” but would differentiate by simply saying online or in-store. More and more often now, customers don't differentiate at all. They see their interaction with a brand as a continual experience, managed through many channels.
This marriage between the virtual world and the physical location should tell the same story, yet many retailers are still defining what omnichannel means for their brand.
These three brands have figured it out. Retailers who implement an omnichannel strategy will see the results in happy, loyal customers and repeat sales.
Seeing Clearly: A Better Way to Eye Wear
Shopping for eyeglasses can be an exhausting task. After all, this potentially necessary accessory is worn every day and makes a big statement about a person’s style. Looking beyond fashion, there’s a matter of comfort to address as well. Something you wear all day, every day, should both look and feel good.
Warby Parker has created an omnichannel experience that includes an in-home try before you buy approach. Customers can pick out five frames, which are then shipped for free directly to their home.
Warby Parker has also created a way to get other’s opinions using #warbyhometryon, integrating social media into their approach. With physical locations spanning across the U.S. and Canada, they’ve completed the experience by giving customers more options and access to opticians.
Customers see a new approach that takes the hassle out of eyewear shopping. We see a well-planned omnichannel experience.
Putting Clothing on a Human Experience
Many men will agree that clothes shopping doesn’t rank high on their list of favorite things to do. Bonobos has redefined this experience, and claim it might even be fun…
Bonobos uses their online channel to allow shoppers quick access to their requested items, using a streamlined website that gets right to the point. Still, a shopper may need a little advice on style or a particular fit. So Bonobos has defined their brick-and-mortar locations as Guideshops, guiding the wary or lost to the perfect pants or shirt.
The entire in-store shopping experience is one-to-one, customized, and even offers shoppers free shipping so that they don’t have to haul shopping bags out of the store.
The Bonobos blog isn’t geared towards selling, but offers tips and stories of real people wearing their clothes. Bonobos’ omnichannel approach has applied the human aspect to all points of contact.
Climb Every Mountain, Successfully and Well-Equipped
Not everyone possesses Bear Gryll’s survival instinct. That’s why REI customers trust the green-vest-wearing experts to guide them to the right equipment for their outdoor adventures.
And while 75% of their customers still purchase in-store, REI has worked to create an online experience that rivals its physical counterpart. This experience has been deeply planned with an extensive customer journey map that led them to a mobile first mentality.
The REI app integrates with the in-store experience, helping customers see reviews and inventory while they shop. Many of their customers also become their students, as REI offers educational outdoor courses that further solidify their commitment to customer satisfaction and success.