How to Organize and Execute Omnichannel Strategies

Aug 18, 2014 1:28 PM  By

Retailers are finding various ways to address the issues that surround the “multichannel problem” and executing the omnichannel experience that best fits the consumer.

In a panel discussion at eTail East 2014, Jessica Coogan, online marketing director for The Container Store, said her company is ahead of the game in terms of how it is executing its omnichannel strategy.

Coogan said The Container Store launched “Click & Pick Up,” which allows customers to purchase online and pick up at a preferred store location.

“We haven’t had to make a huge change to the support of our structure,” said Coogan, referring to the company’s ecommerce platform.

Cricket Whitton, director of marketing for Design Within Reach, said  the most important aspect of an omnichannel strategy is having consistent pricing across the company. Whitton said Design Within Reach has also seen a lot of success with the implementation of its online appointment scheduler, which allows customers to set up a meeting with a designer at any store location.

A lot can change in a year when it comes to customer expectations. For example, The Container Store launched its loyalty program “Pop” within the past year.

Prior to the launch, Coogan said, customers were demanding more communication.  After the program was launched – in store first, followed by online – The Container Store used it to measure customer expectations, target customers and provide offers.

Sara Onken, digital marketing consultant for business supply firm Steelcase, said that a year ago the company focused more on promotions and shipping. Now the focus has shifted to  personalization and segmentation.

A lot of the discussion at the session focused on what constitutes a great omnichannel customer experience. Brian Witherow, director of customer loyalty for furniture store Lovesac, said his company is trying to make the experience that is as effortless as possible.

As what constitutes the best customer experience varies in each individual case, Coogan said  it’s important to offer a consistent brand message every time..

Whitton said offering the best customer experience involves building website tools, like Design Within Reach’s 3D room planner.

Witherow said it’s about offering customers as much choice as possible, which omnichannel has done much to provide.  He said it about coming away with a better overall picture of the brand.