What does Omnichannel differ from Traditional Multichannel?
Nowadays, marketers can no longer win customers based on only price or quality alone. Unlike traditional multichannel retailers that usually have separate selling websites and physical stores with little interaction with one another, omnichannel showed the better linkages between the multiple channels, approaches to serve customers with the most seamless experiences. In other words, multiple-channel marketing tends to put the tactics of reaching customers on multiple channels at the centre, whereas Omni-channel is more fond of ‘creating experiences’, emphasizing on delivering customers an option to interact with the brand.
Therefore, by linking and threading all of their multiple-channel, Omni-channel is efficient for a brand to create a consistent brand face. No matter what channels customers purchase, what devices they jump around, they are still assured to be provided with the best customer journeys.
How is Omnichannel Marketing applied in the fashion retail industry?
Oasis is a perfect example of integrating all customer's touchpoints to provide an all-round omnichannel experience. In fact, this is a general and basic Omni-Channel marketing technique that most current fashion retailers are moving towards, such as fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Zara, Mango.
Oasis’s offline and online touchpoints do not act as stand-alone sales channels. For example, its official website does not only provide online to purchase items but also updates and shows off their best selling items in-stores. Oasis also linked their website to its mobile-optimized Instagram account, whose account tags with a bundle of product packs that customers can purchase via clicking Instagram posts and stories. Oasis brick-and-mortar stores also provided with IPADs and tablets, enabling customers to check online and in-store items more quickly in availability, colours, and sizes. Oasis’s delivery and return options, undoubtedly, are built to digitally integrated, in which customers can order online and then collect at the store, or purchasing online and return at the store.
Near-Field Communication Technology (NFC) in Omni-Channel
Timberland, apart from operating the Omni-channel similar to that of Oasis, the brand utilize Near-field Communication Technology (NFC), responsible for data transfer via mobile phone or tablet devices. To push up its Omni-Channel, Timberland used NFC for better in-store customer experiences by giving them tablets that can be pressed against products and signage instore. Once the chip is activated via tapping, all product information is displayed on the tablet, without making customers seek out and wait for store assistants to check. At the same time, the software on tablets can suggest users for product customization options. These mean the integration of offline and online operation in Omni-Channel can increase sales productivity, reduce time waste, and most importantly, enhance customer experience satisfaction both instore and online.
How do luxury fashion retails adopt Omnichannel?
According to PwC, there is a dilemma between offering convenient services like the mass market and staying luxury but conservative. It showed that luxury brands do not meet the average omnichannel score, only stands at 47.3/100. In specific, the most noticeable factor contribute to this low point is due to luxury brands’ poor delivery services offered, booking-time problems, lack of product customization. Although under the perspective of tourists, there were half of the luxury brands meet customer experiences, these brands are still lagging in delivery and after-sales, despite the fact click and collect and loyalty program is now at a mature stage in the retail markets. This is probably because luxury brands wanted to stay exclusive to appear as ‘rare’ or difficult to reach.
This data, along with the fact that there were 80% of luxury shoppers desire Omni-channel experiences, can imply that luxury fashion retails should expand and invest in Omni-channel.
However, this might not be the case for all luxury brands. Burberry has won for its best omnichannel retailer in 2012 and since then, it kept being considered Burberry is considered to be among those are leading in Omni-Channel in the luxury retail industry. The brand received an excellent overall rating, scoring at (75.4) out of 100 in the last year. How had Burberry operated and integrate their offered services without disintegrating its luxury characteristics?
Burberry’s tactic to aim at seamless omnichannel was to investing in digital technologies.
Since 2009, Burberry has started to allocate high expenditure on digital marketing, reduced its traditional marketing to focus on social media. Unlike other long-established brands, Burberry emphasizes digital innovation technologies, including strengthening brands by integrating social media, ai, big data, which can also increase its website traffic, company Roi and customer journey experiences. Platforms can be named are Facebook, Messengers, Instagram, Line, Kakao, as well as adopted a ‘see now – buy now’ option when streaming products on runway shows. Although the brand has been trying to make a presence across all offline and online channels to deliver the most seamless experiences as other mass-market retailers did, the brand always made sure to keep their consistent brand look by keeping sophisticated images, relevant product information on every sponsor and social media posts.
There are more luxury brands are moving toward digital technologies as these brands are more aware of technology’s contribution to Omni-channels, which enhance seamless customer experience and increase consumer loyalty chances. Some of the luxury challengers also adopting digitally-focused are Dolce & Gabbana and Ferragamo, whose players can be the main competitors of Burberry in terms of digital marketing in the future.