What You Can Learn From 3 Leading Omnichannel Retailers
According to Forrester, $1.5 trillion in retail sales start online and end in-store. Furthermore, research shows these omnichannel buyers have a 30 percent higher customer lifetime value (CLV).
Want to earn a percentage of that enormous pie? To increase sales and see a higher CLV, online and brick-and-mortar retailers alike must make innovative omnichannel marketing initiatives a top priority.
Succeeding in this new market still entails giving consumers what they want, not what your company wants. So, instead of focusing on selling to customers, shift your attention to figuring out what creates a strong brand connection. Whether people are window shopping on foot or browsing online, your store needs to be on their minds.
Over the past few years, Nordstrom, Sephora and Warby Parker have all emerged as omnichannel marketing champs. Each one provides a good example of how to forge stronger connections with your customers, too.
Investing in Proper Systems: Nordstrom
When it became apparent that online sales were the future, Nordstrom invested millions to expand its digital offerings. Improving customer engagement meant providing not only online inventory, but also tools to manage loyalty programs and opt-ins for savings notifications.
By spending capital to create exciting new experiences for its customers, Nordstrom now sees 20 percent of its total sales generated online. Developing these tools can be expensive, so perform a cost analysis and several rounds of testing before implementing such a system.
Replicating brick-and-mortar sales online isn’t magic; it can take a long time and a lot of dedicated resources before you’ll see a profit. Be patient, and integrate online and in-store campaigns to create an inclusive omnichannel initiative that reaches people wherever they are.
Leveraging the Connective Thread of Mobile: Sephora
Sephora was one of the first retailers to accept Apple Pay. It also installed beacons in its stores to track customers via their smartphones long before most retailers had even heard of the technology. And these efforts are paying off — half of Sephora’s digital traffic comes from mobile devices, resulting in $73 million in sales.
Although retail CEOs may see potential profit in mobile, the high cost of implementing new technology causes many to balk. The old saying is true, though: No pain, no gain. While other retailers struggled, Sephora turned profits over the past few years by focusing on innovative tech.
No matter where they are, people are on their smartphones. Leveraging these devices is key to successful omnichannel marketing, as they form the connective tissue between desktop and in-store. Native apps and beacon technology — and even just registering properly with Apple and Google mapping programs — will allow you to send coupons, promotions and store maps to customers in the immediate vicinity.
Redefining Physical Spaces: Warby Parker
As brick-and-mortar retailers strive to replicate in-store profits online, e-commerce giant Warby Parker took its retail space to the next level. Continuing its focus on selling eyeglasses through its online distribution model, Warby Parker uses its physical stores to give customers something to do with those glasses — a comfortable sitting area and library.
This sense of personalization and focus on the customer creates strong brand affinity for both at-home and in-store shoppers. Be like Warby Parker: Be transparent, offer a wide selection and allow customers to make themselves at home in your retail space.
Follow the lead of these omnichannel masters. Maintain a strong brand image and invest in smart technology to stay competitive in an evolving retail environment. Instead of a transaction-based relationship, customers will come to view your store as a trusted resource.
Anthony Nicalo is vice president, platform at Mobify, a mobile customer engagement platform that facilitates, in one place, all of a retailer’s real-time interactions with its mobile customers.
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Anthony Nicalo is the VP Platform at Mobify, a mobile customer-engagement platform that facilitates all of a retailer’s real-time interactions with its mobile customers in one place. Nicalo guides and grows the platform capabilities for serving mobile marketing and extends the platform ecosystem through partnerships. Nicalo is a thought leader in digital marketing, an expert in omnichannel commerce, and a frequent presenter on the future of commerce, mobile retailing, and shopper marketing, including at Shopper Marketing Expo, iMedia Summits and Kantar Retail.