Picture yourself walking into a store and encountering a touch-friendly wall. You can browse the brand’s virtual store and select items to try on. A sales associate receives the clothing you picked, grabs that merchandise as well as other garments you may like, and puts it inside a virtual dressing room for you.
Based on your online member account information, when your fitting room is ready, you receive a text message from your paired sales associate. The virtual fitting room has adjustable lighting according to the time of day you plan to wear your outfit. The virtual mirror also provides suggested items that you can pair with your current outfit and allows you to request them from the sales associate.
Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Well, this is no dream,this is a reality, the omnichannel reality.
Today, consumer lives are continuous, but until now, customer experiences have not been. The omnichannel connects the online to the offline store. One example is that it keeps tracking what you tried on in the physical store. Simultaneously easing the customer experience, the omnichannel also helps a company collect data about individuals to understand each customer better.
This nuanced solution is the brick and mortar industry's saving grace. Having the ability for a customer to walk into a physical store, being connected to their brand account through their mobile device, then being able to utilize the feature in and out of the physical store is groundbreaking. For instance; if you try on a leather moto jacket in store and are unsure whether to buy it or not, you can go home, think it over, and then purchase the jacket you tried on because the information of the product is now on your account thanks to the omnichannel. A universal cross-channel is the ongoing buyer experience. The omnichannel acts as the core that extends beyond a brand's universe, integrating real-time consumer insights, making it omnipresent.
There is a myriad of structured as well as unstructured data collected that has not been utilized to maximize a brand's potential. The amount of information a brand can gather from an online buyer is infinite. The usage of this information, however, is what sets this solution apart from the rest. Let's say you walk into a physical store: you become overwhelmed with so many options, you are not even sure where to begin. You have your style aesthetic; the question now is how to sort through all the items in the store to match it. Faced with a broad array of potential purchases, the solution to guide your experience now exists.
Connected through the omnichannel, you can log onto your brand account; a sales associate can be made aware of your past purchases (if you are a returning customer) and better pair apparel to your liking. Using both forms of data, whether it be deliberately organized or Tweets/Facebook mentions, are used to bridge better the various platforms used in different shopping experiences to createone seamless ecosystem.
To better visualize this rather abstract idea, refer to the fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff, a name that caters to female millennials. In 2014, Minkoff implemented a connected wall in their store in SoHo, New York. Being one out of three stores in the US to have this feature, you can expect how exciting this was for their customers. In an interview with DigDay, Minkoff expressed that "30 percent of customers who try things on request, via the fitting room's touch screen, [request] additional items to be brought in by a sales associate." At the BRITE'15 conference, the SVP of eCommerce and Omni-channel Marketing, Emily Culp, spoke for the brand about the building of their innovative consumer experience for their omnichannel.
To make "a beautiful experienced wired by smart technology", her team of talented hybrid individuals deemed four key ways to win at Omnichannel. These avenues are leadership, expertise, linkage, and communication. Without understanding, these concepts, the door into the omnichannel world is mostly shut. Refer to her talk to understand better see omnichannel at its finest.
The most important takeaways to realize about the omnichannel is that through collecting data, leveraging your information in the necessary avenues, you can better implement this new phenomenon. While the tactic is still new and developing, companies like Rebecca Minkoff are pioneering what is the future of a personal shopping experience.