Ever had a consumer experience that makes you question everything? Warby Parker is firmly in that category for me. It showed me how broken the old way of getting eyeglasses was—and how much I’d rather handle everything online instead of at a local optician.
Like the majority of customers today, I’m an “omnichannel customer”—I use a combination of apps, websites, and in-store shopping. 73% of customers use multiple channels on their path to purchase, according to Harvard Business Review. And omnichannel customers spend an average of 10% more online than customers who only browse a single channel.
Brands like Warby Parker, True Classic, IKEA, and Disney are adapting. Each company uses omnichannel marketing to impressive effect, with a coherent strategy across mobile, web, social, and in-store experiences. The benefit? A better experience for customers and more revenue for brands.In this article, I’ll take you through 10 real-life examples of omnichannel and multichannel marketing in action, from Nike’s Run Club app to Starbucks’ rewards program. By immersing yourself in the omnichannel strategy of these leading brands, you'll unlock the potential of a connected customer journey. Get ready to be inspired and transform your brand into an irresistible force that keeps customers coming back for more.
1. True Classic
True Classic is a menswear retailer with a sense of humor. Their ads aren’t just funny—they’re also a lynchpin of True Classic’s omnichannel approach.
By creating content that goes viral across multiple digital channels and promoting it with paid ads, True Classic has accumulated 400,000 Instagram followers and 100,000 Facebook followers, along with a growing TikTok audience. Each of these social media accounts funnels the brand’s audience toward its web or mobile ecommerce experience.
True Classic’s mobile app is a marketer’s dream due to one key advantage—push notifications. As a user of the app, I’ve been on the receiving end of several “30% off sale” notifications buzzing in my pocket. The app is just as easy to engage with as the website, and it’s easy to navigate to products that are on sale or in season.
Along with its web and mobile experience, True Classic has also launched a handful of physical stores to allow you to see the brand’s products in person—an unusual step for an online retailer. The physical stores are another omnichannel retail play, driving brand awareness and sending customers who don’t buy in-store to the app or website.
True Classic’s rewards program is also integrated between its mobile app and website. By taking actions like leaving a review and following the brand on social media, you can earn points that can be redeemed for product discounts.
2. Warby Parker
After getting LASIK surgery, I haven’t worn glasses for years now. But even so, the Warby Parker experience sticks with me from my glasses-buying days. Buying glasses online was an immediate upgrade over the old method of buying whatever glasses my local optician happened to have.
Of course, buying glasses online brings up some obvious questions: What if they’re the wrong size? What if your prescription is out of date? What if the style doesn’t quite feel right?
Warby Parker developed omnichannel approaches to handle these objections.
- Virtual Try-On: One of the standout features of Warby Parker's strategy is its virtual try-on tool. This tool uses artificial intelligence to let you virtually try on different frames, making it easy to find the perfect style without stepping foot in a store. Since the first thing prospective customers want to do is see how glasses look while wearing them, Virtual Try-On is a powerful digital marketing tool.
- Home Try-On: Complementing the online try-on tool is Warby Parker's Home Try-On program, which allows you to choose multiple frames to be shipped free to their homes. This service creates a kind of hybrid between online and offline shopping.
- Virtual Vision Test: The eyewear business has a unique quirk—prescriptions are often involved, and an out-of-date prescription can hurt sales. Warby Parker developed a virtual vision test that allows you to renew an existing prescription if you’re still seeing well with it.
Warby Parker is on the right side of demographic trends with its online-first model: 86% of Millennials make at least one online purchase a year, according to eMarketer, compared with 78% of Gen X and 60.9% of Baby Boomers.
But it also has a robust collection of physical stores, perfect for browsing more products at once. Seamless integration between Warby Parker's online platform and physical stores is a key aspect of their omnichannel marketing strategy. You can easily browse and purchase frames online, and then visit a store for a more personalized experience complete with fitting and adjustments.
3. Bank of America
If you’re surprised that a traditional brick-and-mortar bank is making waves in the world of omnichannel marketing, you might not have met Erica yet—Bank of America's AI-powered assistant.
Erica, the first widely-available financial services virtual assistant, has had over a billion client interactions and gets 98% of users the answers they need. This isn’t your standard FAQ-filled chatbot. Erica is useful and intelligent—and she has live access to your account information.
I took Bank of America’s AI chatbot for a quick spin and was quickly able to:
- See recurring subscriptions.
- View possible duplicate charges.
- Search for old transactions across accounts.
- See trends in my income and spending over time (including charts!).
So, what does all this mean for Bank of America’s omnichannel experience?
For most products, the web experience is more feature-filled than the mobile experience. There is simply less screen space on smartphones. AI-powered assistants are a user experience win, especially on mobile devices, because they allow users to quickly find information that would otherwise have been buried underneath multiple menus.
From an omnichannel marketing perspective, this kind of technology helps attract users by allowing more to be done from within the app—and improves retention rates by improving the customer experience.
Bank of America’s omnichannel experience also prioritizes upselling. Multiple nudges across web and mobile encourage you to apply for new cards or gain access to benefits by holding more money in your accounts.
Spotify’s experience is nearly identical across platforms. Whether you’re streaming songs on your phone, in the car, or on TV, the interface is intuitive and feature-rich. In a world with many music streaming services, there’s a certain comfort in this continuity of experience that keeps customers coming back to Spotify.
My biggest use for Spotify is asking Alexa to queue up my favorite playlists while I’m in the kitchen. It’s integrations like these that have massively expanded Spotify’s footprint in listeners’ daily lives. The same is true for Spotify integrations like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It’s not just Spotify’s user experience that’s omnichannel—its marketing is, too. Spotify Wrap-up is an omnichannel marketing campaign that shows users their most listened-to artists of the past year. It’s become an annual tradition among Spotify users to share their Wrap-up widely on social platforms, serving as a boost for Spotify’s growth and brand.
IKEA is known for its trendy, low-cost furniture, its hard-to-pronounce Swedish product names, and its meatballs.
Less known is the fact that the brand is also an omnichannel innovator. IKEA’s omnichannel strategy is focused on using apps to merge its in-store and online experiences:
- The IKEA app. Available for both Android and iPhone users, the IKEA app does a slick job of streamlining the in-store shopping process. It allows you to scan products as you shop for faster checkouts, create and organize lists of your favorite furniture items, track orders, and store digital receipts. These features not only save time but also make the shopping experience less overwhelming and more personalized.
- The IKEA Place app. This app uses augmented reality (AR) to allow you to virtually place furniture items in your home at the correct scale. This helps you visualize how different pieces will fit in your space—and speeds up the decision-making process.
- IKEA Kreativ. This app uses LiDAR technology to scan your room and create a 3D replica. Then, you can experiment with new layouts, virtually remove your existing furniture, and replace it with IKEA furniture.
IKEA's omnichannel strategy masterfully combines online and offline channels, innovative technology, and user-friendly tools to remove as much friction as possible from the furniture-buying process.
In 2016, an odd-looking vehicle with four “nap pods” in it cruised the highways of the United States. The Casper “Napmobile,” a converted trailer doubling as a sleep sanctuary, showed up at events across the country offering a space for free naps. That’s the energy that Casper, an online mattress retailer, has brought to its omnichannel efforts.
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores tend to use their online presence as a discovery mechanism to drive sales in-store. In Casper’s case, it’s the opposite: they use real-life marketing stunts to drive sales to the online store.
Casper Sleep Shops, the brand's brick-and-mortar locations, also play a crucial role in the company's omnichannel marketing strategy. These shops not only showcase Casper's range of products but also give employees a chance to provide expert advice. Whether you buy Casper products in-store or online, Casper offers a 100-night trial period.
The crux of Casper's omnichannel strategy is to blend in-store and online shopping experiences harmoniously, and to use real-world events to differentiate itself in the crowded world of online mattress sales.
In the world of customer loyalty programs, Starbucks reigns supreme. In a 2018 survey of consumers who use restaurant loyalty apps, 48% of them used the Starbucks app—more than any other. With 29 million members, customers belonging to Starbucks’ rewards program drive upwards of 50% of revenue.
The app allows you to easily track rewards, access personalized offers and recommendations, and find nearby locations. Given the importance of Starbucks’ rewards program to its bottom line, it’s not surprising that its in-store experience is highly optimized to encourage rewards spending. By scanning a barcode in the Starbucks rewards app on your phone, you can earn “stars” (the currency of the program) with each purchase you make. Stars are redeemable for free drinks and other perks.
The Starbucks mobile app plays a crucial role in the brand's omnichannel marketing strategy by bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds. One standout functionality of the Starbucks app is the mobile order and pay option, which lets you place orders and make payments directly from their smartphones. By integrating the app with the in-store experience, Starbucks ensures a consistent experience and a seamless customer journey.
My last trip to Disney World was as a 12-year-old in 1999. I remember maps, long lines, general chaos, and my dad being shocked at how expensive the bottled water was.
Things have changed since then. (Except for the price of bottled water.)
Now, you can pay for everything with a wristband. Disney's MagicBand technology takes the omnichannel experience to a whole new level. These wearable devices serve as all-in-one theme park tickets and payment systems, simplifying the park experience.
From the My Disney Experience app, you can generate a personalized itinerary based on your interests—and even plan your entire trip before arriving at the park. Once you’re there, you can use the app to navigate around the park while monitoring the wait times of your favorite rides to minimize long lines.
Believe it or not, meeting Buzz Lightyear in person is a holistic part of the omnichannel experience, too. Taking real-life photos with your favorite Disney characters isn’t the most obvious contribution to omnichannel marketing, but think about it: meeting characters drives brand loyalty, product sales, and customer retention on services like Disney+. It all ties together.
There used to be one primary way to engage with Nike as a brand:
By buying their shoes.
But as Nike has embedded itself in every area of consumer athletics, there are now endless opportunities for Nike to make itself essential to the lives of athletes and active people.
The most accessible way doesn’t cost you anything. You can download the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps, which provide expert training advice, personalized workout plans, and a community of fellow athletes. These apps help you achieve your fitness goals—while, of course, strengthening your connection to the Nike brand.
If you weren’t a Nike customer before downloading the brand’s free apps, you probably will be afterward. That’s where NikePlus comes in. NikePlus rewards loyal customers with exclusive offers, early access to product launches, and personalized recommendations. By seamlessly integrating its NikePlus membership program, mobile apps, website, and retail stores, Nike has created an omnichannel experience that keeps customers engaged.
It almost feels like cheating to mention Amazon in a list like this.
Why? Because the company defines the modern omnichannel experience like no other. 98 million customers per month use the company’s US phone app alone, and 200 million customers are members of Amazon’s membership program Amazon Prime.
The centerpiece of Amazon’s business is retail, and the retail portion of their business is seamlessly omnichannel. Jumping from web to mobile is flawless, and both experiences are equally feature-rich. Here’s how good the experience is: even when customers shop in-person at other retailers, there’s a good chance they’re price-checking on the Amazon app.
Amazon Prime is where Amazon's omnichannel approach shines. Prime members get free two-day shipping, access to exclusive deals and discounts, and streaming of movies and TV shows through Prime Video. By integrating Prime benefits with the Whole Foods shopping experience, Amazon bridges the gap between the online and offline worlds. Prime members can now enjoy exclusive discounts and deals at Whole Foods, and the Prime Now service even offers speedy grocery delivery in select areas.
Another innovative aspect of Amazon's omnichannel strategy is the introduction of Amazon Go cashierless stores. These cutting-edge retail spaces leverage advanced technology like machine learning to let you shop without waiting in a checkout line. Instead, you just scan your Amazon app upon entering the store, grab what you want, and walk out.
Unlocking the Power of Omnichannel Marketing
By embracing the omnichannel approach, you can transform your brand into an irresistible force that not only sparks conversation but also fosters lasting relationships with your customers.
Focus on these key elements:
- Cohesive customer experience: Ensure a seamless experience across all touchpoints—online, in-store, and through mobile apps. Consistent messaging and a unified brand experience are vital.
- Get inspired: Look to leading brands for inspiration and ideas on how to creatively engage your customers. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and adapt successful strategies to your own business.
- Leverage technology: Embrace tools like virtual try-ons, personalized recommendations, and AI-powered chatbots to enhance the digital experience. These tools can help you stand out from the competition and offer unique value to your customers.
- Reward customer engagement: Implement loyalty programs that reward customers for interacting with your brand. This can help build lasting relationships across channels and encourage repeat business.
- Measure and optimize: Regularly track key metrics and analyze customer data to see the impact of your marketing efforts and find optimization opportunities.
Ready to keep building a better customer experience across all channels? Stay ahead of the game by subscribing to our newsletter to get the latest CX tips delivered straight to your inbox.