25th March, 2022 | 7 min read

Omnichannel in E-Commerce: Meaning, Benefits
(With Examples)

Imagine Alicia who wishes to buy a great pair of cargo pants for her recent hiking trip. And on her way to work, she comes across the perfect product while scrolling Instagram. 

Brand A wants Alicia to visit their website, search for the cargo pants again, add it to the cart, and then checkout. A typical eCommerce shopping experience as we popularly know. 

Brand B, however, allows Alicia to check out on Instagram only - buy the cargo pants directly from the advertisement without ever visiting Brand B’s website.

Which brand in your opinion is giving Alicia a better shopping experience? And which brand do you think Alicia will shop from the next time, and recommend to her family and friends?

Brand B’s marketing and sales approach is the definition of being omnichannel in eCommerce. 

In fact, a report by UC Today concludes that 9 out of 10 customers prefer the omnichannel experience today with near-zero friction among the available channels. 

Gone are the days when you could bring home a steady stream of customers with just social media marketing. 

Today, if you do not invest in an omnichannel experience, you are quickly going to lose your market share by frustrating your customers.

What is omnichannel in eCommerce anyways?

When you just have a brick-and-mortar store for your products or services or sell only over Amazon or eBay, you are following a single channel sales strategy. Your customers can reach you and buy your product/service only through that single channel.

If you now start investing in social media marketing, send out email newsletters, launch a new website, and open a physical store of your online shopping site, you just migrated your business to the multichannel marketing and sales strategy where your customers can find you over different channels. 

This is what Brand A was doing with Alicia. She could view Brand A’s cargo pants on Instagram and shop through the company’s website. Brand A thus has multichannel visibility but no sales interconnection.

Omnichannel in eCommerce is an improvement of the multichannel strategy where you seamlessly connect all your different channels to provide a cohesive customer experience. 

With Brand B, Alicia received the omnichannel experience. She could check out over Instagram but the option of visiting the website was also simultaneously available. 

Regardless of the platform, device or mode of shopping, your customer receives the same experience when you follow the omnichannel strategy.

As a business, you can provide omnichannel experience in different facets of the customer’s journey. It does not necessarily have to be in the final checkout step. 

You may design your omnichannel eCommerce strategy to include customer support over multiple platforms, offer virtual try-outs both in online and offline stores and more. 

The idea is to reduce as much friction as possible in the customer’s shopping journey, from research to purchase. And to achieve that, you deploy the necessary technology in those different platforms.

Benefits of using the omnichannel strategy in eCommerce

Source
  1. You give your customers what they want

    Customer expectations have reached sky-high today. Your shoppers want you to enable them to research your products, compare among various options, reply to their Facebook comments, and merge the online and offline shopping experience. 

    By investing in the approach of being omnichannel in eCommerce, you deliver exactly what people expect.

  2. Better brand loyalty

    Customers remember their shopping experience and they keep coming back to the brand that stood out on this ground. 

    Harvard Business Review conducted a study on 46,000 shoppers and found that 23% of them came back to the brand that successfully merged omnichannel and eCommerce within 6 months of their last purchase. 

    The study also noted that the shoppers who experience omnichannel shopping are also more likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family. Brand loyalty is the greatest asset you can build around your business.

  3. Improved sales

    The Harvard study also concluded customers who experienced omnichannel in eCommerce spend more money than an average shopper. 

    Brands that invested in their cohesive visibility in 4+ channels saw their revenue grow by an average of 9%. 

    Thus, it should not come as a surprise that the big guns of the business world are already investing heavily in providing an omnichannel experience. This is the way ahead for improved sales.

Omnichannel eCommerce examples

  1. Sephora

    The beauty product giant is one of the first brands to provide an omnichannel experience. Customers can now walk into any Sephora store and access their online Beauty Bag account through strategically placed tablets. 

    They can virtually try on any product, read the associated details, add them to the bag, and checkout either online or offline. Customers can also scan through the items on display in the Sephora store and add products to their online wishlist on the go.

  2. Steinhoff

    Steinhoff UK decided not long ago to provide a “customized product experience” to its customers. 

    The company deployed the headless architecture model to boost its omnichannel eCommerce strategy. Among multiple tactics employed, Steinhoff has started utilizing Augmented Reality to allow its customers to test their products in real-time. 

    Using a mobile app, a user can virtually place a product in any room and check out immediately if he/she liked what he/she saw.

  3. Starbucks

    Starbucks is successfully still growing its business because it adopted the omnichannel in eCommerce strategy early. 

    The company’s Rewards App is well renowned where you not only get rewards every time you make a purchase but can also reload your card via the Starbucks website, mobile site, in-store, or the app itself. 

    Now, you can add the music being played at a Starbucks store to your Spotify wishlist given the two company’s most recent partnerships.

Join the bandwagon with mirrAR

Omnichannel in eCommerce is no longer a trend. It is happening and even the top jewelers have caught on to the transforming marketing and sales scenario. 

mirrAR enables you to offer an omnichannel virtual try-out experience for your customers where anyone can try out your entire inventory using your desktop site, mobile application, and/or inside your store. 

You can also offer your products as social media filters using the mirrAR technology. Industry veterans like Tanishq, Kalyan Jewelers, Forever Mark, and Senco Gold are already using mirrAR to reap the benefits of omnichannel presence and exponentially increasing their sales.

So, integrate mirrAR into your marketing and sales campaigns now. Become the jeweler that offers a standout omnichannel augmented reality experience.

Get to know more about mirrAR augmented reality platform or write to us at mail@styledotme.com

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