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The Concept of Omnichannel Retailing

Omnichannel may be regarded as a completely new term in the sphere of digital marketing. At the same time, this cross-channel content strategy will play a highly significant role in the development of stores in the future. The development of online retailing and the emerging of additional digital channels that include social media and mobile retailing have considerably changed the traditional models of business. In general, omnichannel may be defined as the idea of the company’s use of all its channels to create an all-embracing space and a unified experience for consumers. Omnichannel may include both digital and traditional channels, in-store, point-of-sale, and online experiences.

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The functioning of omnichannel marketing implies the creation of a seamless message adjusted through the company’s sales funnel to its customers based on their behavior, providing a unique personalized customer experience. As a matter of fact, omnichannel retailing currently takes a broader perspective on traditional and digital channels and how consumers are influenced and conducted through these channels in their buying process (Verhoef, et al., 2015). In addition, omnichannel marketing implies the use of traditional and digital marketing channels to send relevant and informative messages to the customers of a particular brand, regardless of their engagement with this brand.

Omnichannel Marketing and Its Implementation by Companies

The non-implementation of the strategies of omnichannel marketing by traditional retailers may substantively limit their business growth in the future. According to a Harvard Business Review survey that involved 46,000 consumers in evaluating their preferences and shopping experience, only 7% of them were online-only clients while 20% preferred store-only shopping (Sopadjieva, et al., 2017). At the same time, 73% of respondents admitted that they use multiple channels (Sopadjieva, et al., 2017). In addition, recent studies of omnichannel marketing illustrate its efficiency as companies with strong omnichannel strategies that imply customer engagement retain almost 90% of clients (“Why an omnichannel strategy matters,” 2013). In turn, organizations with weak strategies of omnichannel marketing attract only 30% of consumers (“Why an omnichannel strategy matters,” 2013). In general, the fusion of the shopping experience across digital and traditional channels is economically valuable. With the help of multichannels, traditional retailers synchronize their physical and digital areas to provide clients with a seamless experience.

Although this result demonstrates the significance of omnichannel retailing, from a personal perspective, the development of certain strategies that reflect the organization’s engagement in it should be necessary for large multinational brands. In fact, such strategies as online advertising and consumers’ targeting require substantive capital investments. Local businesses and new online-only sites oriented on a particular population frequently have a limited budget that does not allow them to maintain multiple channels. At the same time, small workshops may produce exclusive products that are highly valued among appraisers and feel no need for advertising or an increasing number of customers. However, with stable business growth, small enterprises may start to implement various channels to enter the national and international retail markets in the future.

Omnichannel Customers

Omnichannel marketing changes the companies’ perception of consumers and the consumers’ perception of stores and shopping in general as well. Omnichannel customers who use multiple channels for their shopping are currently regarded as “4-5 times better than monochannel customers” as they traditionally buy more (Traub, 2013). In fact, omnichannel customers spend “an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store and 10% more online than single-channel customers” (Sopadjieva, et al., 2017, para. 7). Moreover, consumers who use additional channels spend more money in traditional stores in comparison with those shoppers who use only one channel.

In general, such an attitude to omnichannel clients is understandable as they have more opportunities for making purchases and contribute to the company’s growth. For instance, the consumers who see local retail information on the Internet and find it helpful visit stores more frequently in the future. Moreover, according to other results of a Harvard Business Review survey, “deliberate searching beforehand led customers to greater in-store purchases” (Sopadjieva, et al., 2017, para. 8). Omnichannel marketing implies the emerging of showrooming when traditional consumers search products in stores and subsequently buy them online. In addition, omnichannel customers are regarded as more loyal comparing with monochannel ones. In order to have bigger shopping baskets, they frequently repeat their shopping trips and recommend stores to their family members, relatives, and friends.

Strategies of Omnichannel Marketing

As a matter of fact, traditional department and chain stores may employ certain strategies in order to promote their brands through multiple channels. First of all, these channels include desktop ecommerce sites that respond appropriately on mobile devices, messaging and dedicated smartphone applications, social media, relevant marketplaces, and pop-up or physical stores. The maintenance of these channels will allow customers to add products to cart with the help of a mobile application and complete their purchase later on the desktop with items’ delivery. Moreover, modern technologies help people to browse a pop-up or physical store, scan items via a mobile application to add them to the online cart and buy later at home.

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For the brand’s efficient promotion through multiple channels, department and chain stores should be assured that all offline and online channels are relevant to their target market. They are responsible for the integration of order statuses and shopping carts in order to guarantee constituency across all channels. Moreover, they may design interactive catalogs to offer necessary information concerning the products’ availability and characteristics for customers all over the world. In general, omnichannel customers love “using the retailer’s touchpoints, in all sorts of combinations and places” (Sopadjieva, et al., 2017, para. 8). They traditionally use smartphone applications to download coupons or compare prices and buy online and pick their items up in stores or buy in stores and order shipments.

Examples of Omnichannel Retailers

Victoria’s Secret, Burberry, Sephora, and American Eagle may be undoubtedly regarded as leading companies in omnichannel marketing. They definitely deserve this accolade as they apply all possible multiple channels in order to established reliable contacts with their customers. The maintenance of these channels allows people to search these companies’ products in social media, buy them on the store’s mobile site, collect arrived items from a locker, and subsequently return unsuitable products in-store. Moreover, these companies actively promote their brands in all popular social networks and directly connect with clients concerning all questions related to products and customer-oriented activities.

Starbucks and Oasis may be regarded as other retailers that successfully implement omnichannel strategies. Starbucks’ customers may check the balance of their Starbucks card and reload it through their phones, the official website, or in stores. Any earned rewards and profile changes are automatically updated in real-time and reflected in the users’ accounts. Concerning payments, consumers may pay using their phones or physical reward cards. In turn, Oasis, a UK fashion retailer, uses multiple channels, such as physical locations, mobile application, an ecommerce site. It aims to give customers all the essential information concerning their products’ availability in a time-sensitive manner. That is why the company provides iPads for its in-store associates to communicate with consumers.


Sopadjieva, E., Dholakia, U. M., & Benjamin, B. (2017). A study of 46,000 shoppers shows that omnichannel retailing works. Harvard Business Review. Web.

Traub, M. (2013). Retailers using technology to reach shoppers [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Verhoef, P. C., Kannan, P. K., & Inman, J. J. (2015). From multi-channel retailing to omni-channel retailing: Introduction to the special issue on multi-channel retailing. Journal of Retailing, 91(2), 174-181. Web.

Why an omnichannel strategy matters. (2013). Web.

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