The internet has reimagined the way customers engage with brands. Digital platforms have emerged as an alternative to traditional media, and in some case a total replacement. While two decades ago customers interacted with brands via long-established outlets such as bricks-and-mortar stores, TV ads, print advertisements and billboards, today the customer experience has shifted radically.
Digital technologies have transformed the retail experience, and customers now engage with brands using multiple channels. Think social media, mobile applications, QR codes and email marketing. The path is no longer linear, with customers free to shift direction, pause and resume their experience at their leisure.
For brands and businesses, this new era has ushered in the need for omnichannel customer engagement strategies. Designed to streamline the customer experience, omnichannel strategies allow consumers to transition between channels without feeling displaced. The underlying goal is to “earn” valuable data by engaging customers and encouraging a willing exchange of information.
There are plenty of ways this can be done, with gamification one of the most effective strategies used to engage and motivate customers. Want to find out more about omnichannel customer engagement in action? Read on as we spotlight some hard-hitting examples of omnichannel customer engagement.
- Mobile magic from Disney
For a brand that was founded in the 1920s, Disney has done a magical job of integrating omnichannel customer engagement into its marketing strategy. The iconic media and entertainment company has not only created an intuitive and mobile-optimised website but also launched an incredible My Disney Experience platform that allows theme park visitors to plan every minute of their trip.
The slick Magic Band program added to Disney’s omnichannel arsenal, allowing resort visitors to enter hotel rooms, make purchases, access FastPass lanes and more.
- Caffeine-fuelled rewards from Starbucks
Global coffee giant Starbucks has mastered the art of omnichannel engagement with a brilliantly executed customer app and integrated rewards program. Customers are issued with a Starbucks card that can be used to accumulate points and redeem rewards.
The app is packed with innovative features, including the option to pre-order drinks, locate stores and send gifts to other users. Their recent partnership with Spotify was another stroke of genius, allowing customers to instantly identify in-store tracks and add them to their personal playlists.
- Tech savvy sales by Oasis
Most British high streets feature boutiques by Oasis and Warehouse – fashion giants with more than 90 stores and hundreds of concessions across the UK. The sister brands have done a fantastic job of streamlining the customer experience across the boutiques, website and mobile app.
Tablets now play an integral role, with sales assistants using the devices to offer up-to-the-minute product information and process on-the-spot sales from anywhere in store. If an item is out of stock, associates can place online orders on behalf of the customer in a matter of minutes.
- In-store engagement from REI
American-owned outdoor recreation company REI is acutely aware of the fact that more than 80% of consumers consult their smartphones when shopping in store. As well as hooking up customers with free Wi-Fi, REI has taken the concept one step further and peppered their stores with interactive ‘touch points’ that empower customers with on-demand information as they shop.
The real stroke of genius is the launch of multiple apps designed to educate and inspire customers. All focus on outdoor activities and help users locate hiking trails, plan ski trips and discover national parks.
- Insta-friendly campaigns by Benefit Cosmetics
Benefit is all about aesthetic and its omnichannel marketing campaigns are definitely on brand. Following a recent competition, the company travelled across the UK, bringing pop-up “brow bars” to a myriad of cities and towns. There was a big focus on Instagram, with customers encouraged to photograph their experiences and post online.
This commitment to engaging with customers helped to drive sales, boost customer loyalty and crystallise Benefit’s status as one of the top beauty brands in the UK. As explained by Director of Omnichannel Marketing Jennifer Whipple, there’s also a heavy focus on streamlining brand messaging…
“We’re very excited to take on the opportunity to ensure our messaging is cohesive and the customer is getting that same experience online and in store as well,” says Whipple. “We’re even going back to our existing products: Is the messaging on the gondola the same as online? How are we talking about the products in store? What are we talking about on social? We’re bringing things back together to ensure we have one clear message.”
- Innovation-driven apps by Nike
Nike has always been a marketing powerhouse and hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to omnichannel engagement. Customers are encouraged to download the NikePlus app after making a purchase, which connects users with exclusive products, events, training programs, athlete profiles and more.
A recent partnership with tech giant Apple has made Nike one of the most formidable omnichannel marketers of all time. Purpose-built for runners, the Apple Watch Nike+ comes with a laundry list of athlete-friendly features. The much-loved Nike+ Run Club app also deserves a mention, with users encouraged to take part in guided runs, track routes, record personal bests, and challenge friends.
Nike has also hit the ground running when it comes to face-to-face engagement, with flagship stores featuring basketball courts, running simulators and product customisation points.
- Stellar customer service from Virgin Atlantic
Renowned as a pioneer of customer experience, Virgin has elevated omnichannel engagement to new heights with its impressive social media presence. The airline actively encourages passengers to share their experiences online, using competitions and campaigns to boost engagement.
Like Nike, Virgin hasn’t dropped the ball on face-to-face communication. Unlike many other airlines, the company makes it easy to speak directly with a representative, a feature that makes Virgin Atlantic one of the best-reviewed airlines in the world.
Leveraging omnichannel data
For omnichannel customer engagement to make a genuine difference, brands need to compile all consumer data in a central portal. Here it can be analysed, interpreted and transformed into meaningful insights.
At 3radical, we create audience engagement platforms that do exactly that, empowering organisations with the technologies to attract and retain the attention of customers. The goal? To create interactive value exchanges that enhance the customer experience and encourage the provision of valuable data.Ready to give it a go? Request a demo of our innovative Voco platform today or get in touch with us for more information.