The 360-degree omnichannel model combines the various channels, ensuring a new kind of shopping experience for customers. Webshops, bricks and mortar stores, online marketplaces, apps – it’s all about finding the right mix.

The Latin prefix “omni-” means “all”.

As opposed to multi-channel and cross-channel marketing, omnichannel strategies involve marketing goods and services across all sales and communication channels.

Omnichannel marketing focuses on creating a unique and above all seamless shopping experience for customers – and this plays a decisive part in achieving the ultimate customer experience. Retailers all over the world are using omnichannel approaches to boost sales, and strengthen and enhance customer relationships. It is effective because customers can shop online, on their mobiles and tablets, using apps and of course in physical stores. Customers appreciate this all-round availability and omnichannel services, and are getting used to the numerous advantages it offers – in fact, you could say they are almost demanding omnichannel these days.

Why is omnichannel essential?

Omnichannel marketing addresses customer needs. The omnichannel model is a completely new way of thinking and working. It simplifies interaction and results in a consistently high quality shopping experience that is accessible anytime, anywhere. And omnichannel marketing kicks in where we all start searching for goods and services nowadays: online. Find new products, compare availability and prices and then buy online – the internet gives customers all the relevant information they need to make a decision, communication is efficient, and buying is convenient and requires only a minimum of effort.

Disney leads the way

Disney is an easy brand to connect with – assuming you don’t have a long-standing connection with it already. The company is built around emotions and imagination, so it’s no surprise that Disney is an omnichannel pioneer.

The Disney experience is all about the details. Every section of the Disney World Resorts website is mobile responsive and optimised for all mobile devices. After booking their stay, visitors can plan every minute of their trip using the My Disney Experience tool. At the resort they can use the mobile app to locate the various attractions, read reviews and check the estimated waiting times. Disney has also introduced its MagicBand programme – another weapon in the company’s omnichannel arsenal. Disney World Resort visitors can use the wristband to enter the park, open the door of their hotel room, check in at FastPass lanes, link to their Disney PhotoPass account, and have all purchases charged to their Disney Resort hotel room.

Sephora „Beauty Bag“

Sephora has a strong record when it comes to the omnichannel customer experience. Sephora Beauty Insiders can access the Beauty Bag from their smartphone or desktop. Customers can shop, look at their list of favourites and previous purchases, check how many rewards points they have, scan items in store, see other options available online, watch tutorial videos and find the nearest store. This outcome of this successful omnichannel marketing strategy: 11 million members who spend 15 times as much on as the average user. Sephora uses omnichannel to enhance relationships between customers and the brand.

Customer benefits

  • Flexibility: I buy clothes online, try them on in the comfort of my own home, and if they don’t fit, I can pop into the nearest store on the way to work to exchange them.
  • Experience: I have my photo taken by an interactive mirror and my friends can have their say in the purchasing decision via Facebook.
  • Simplicity: price tags and labels at Apple Stores provide little or no product information. Instead customers can access all the necessary information on their iPhone or iPad.

We take many of these examples for granted, because we quickly get used to new purchasing behaviours, which then become the norm.