Examples of Omni-Channel User
The more technology advances, the more it’s integrated into our daily lives. Even as you read this article, I’d venture a guess that you have several internet-connected devices within arm’s reach.
As we continue down these innovative pathways, we’ll continue to see technology become more important to our day-to-day living. The lines between what we do online and in real life will begin to blur.
And as people change their behaviors, marketers will need to react. Instead of thinking of a desktop experience, a mobile experience, a tablet experience, and a Apple Watch experience, we’ll need to pursue one, holistic approach — an omni-channel experience.
At its core, omni-channel is defined as a multichannel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be seamless.
It’s important here to distinguish an omni-channel user experience from a multi-channel user experience. Essentially, it comes down to the depth of the integration.
All omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel. Remember that. You can have amazing mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and a well-designed website. But if they don’t work together, it’s not omni-channel.
It’s one thing to discuss the theory and practice of omni-channel user experience. But it’s something else entirely to see brilliant companies that are already implementing it in their strategies. Here are a few that I admire most.
Disney gets omni-channel right, down to the smallest details. It’s starts with your initial experience on the entertainment giant’s beautiful, mobile-responsive website. Even their trip-planning website works well on mobile — that alone is something you don’t see happening very often.
2) Virgin Atlantic
Robert Fransgaard shared an account of his amazing experience with Virgin Atlantic’s omni-channel customer service experience.
In his anecdote, he shares the story of his personalized experience with a representative named Dan, who, after being the unwitting recipient of Robert’s frustration over a missed engineer appointment, encouraged Robert to reach out to him directly in the event of any future issues.
Dan didn’t say to call customer service, or to post another tweet to get attention. Dan reached across the company’s different marketing channels to give Robert a personalized service experience.
It’s amazing what a personal touch like this can do, especially when it comes to consoling customers that have had a poor experience with the company.
3) Bank of America
Bank of America takes their omni-channel development seriously. As one of the biggest brands in their industry, they’re setting the standard for a dynamic experience, which — as of today — allows for everything from check depositing to appointment scheduling to be handled by the company’s mobile and desktop apps.
Oasis is a U.K. fashion retailer that’s fusing their ecommerce site, mobile app, and brick-and-mortar stores into a simple shopping experience.
If you walk into one of their stores, you’ll find sales associates armed with iPads that are available to give you on-the-spot, accurate, and up-to-date product information. The iPad also acts as a cash register, making it easy for associates to ring you up from anywhere in the store. And the cherry on top? If it appears that something is out of stock, the staff can instantly place an online order for you to have the item shipped directly to your home.
A quick look at the Starbucks reward app will reveal why many consider it one of the top omni-channel experiences out there.
First, you get a free rewards card that you can use whenever you make a purchase. But unlike traditional customer loyalty programs, Starbucks has made it possible to check and reload your card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app. Any change to the card or your profile gets updated across all channels, in real-time.
But personally, I don’t think we’re that far away from a world where omni-channel is accessible to brands of all sizes. Technology has come a long way over the past decade, and there’s no doubt in my mind that future changes will make it possible for even the smallest of companies.