One of the greatest challenges as a restaurant owner is learning how to create prolonged customer engagement across channels that assists in maintaining consistent customer traffic despite fluctuations in weather. Customer engagement is a pivotal factor in determining a restaurant’s level of success: According to a recent study by Deloitte, customers value being engaged by a restaurant more than any other experiential metric. In fact, 34 percent of customers reported that engagement — which is defined in this study as when the restaurant interacts with the customer in a “friendly, authentic, and hospitable way” as the most important factor in determining whether or not they are satisfied with their visit to a dining establishment.

The change in seasons presents an opportunity for you to engage customers through implementing changes in your menu and services which will lead to renewed customer interest across channels, enabling your company to maintain margins even during the most challenging winter months.

Prioritize omnichannel delivery

In order to build your business during cold season, you will need to take into account how consumer behavior differs as the temperature drops. Customers order higher amounts of food delivery in cases of extreme weather and food delivery platforms such as Grubhub see an increase in growth during cold weather months. Home delivery is a growing segment for restaurants, leading CNBC to predict a 79 percent increase in home food delivery by 2020. As a result, you must be prepared to cater to seasonal consumer demand for home delivery with a seamless omnichannel presence across channels.

By streamlining your business’s mobile functions and focusing your marketing efforts on promoting your local affiliations on social media, you’ll be prepared to cater to the growing demand for home delivery.

Opportunity for mobile expansion

A recent study by the National Restaurant Association found that 46 percent of smartphone users use their phones to order food at least once a month. Increasing customer demand for smartphone-optimized food delivery has led to rapid growth of custom delivery service platforms such as Grubhub. Even more notably, 60 percent of Grubhub’s over 3 billion dollars in annual local revenue is generated through orders on mobile devices.

Grubhub’s expansion highlights the growing opportunity for restaurateurs to reduce revenue loss through the outsourcing of restaurant functions such as food delivery to outside enterprises. Keep sales in-house by strengthening your company’s omnichannel functions to increase sales that might otherwise have been lost due to consumer buying patterns and restaurant delivery startups.

Promote affiliation with local growers

Consistent output on social media is essential to maintaining customer engagement during times when the temperature prohibits them from visiting your physical restaurant. Promote your connection with local growers and Farmers’ Markets in order to expand your restaurant’s visibility on social media. According to a 2016 survey by the National Restaurant Association, 57 percent of adults prefer restaurants that serve locally-sourced food. In light of this evidence, there is a substantial opportunity for restaurateurs to grow business during off-seasons by partnering with local growers and creating hashtag campaigns to drive restaurant traffic.

Collaborating with local companies also gives you that ability to market your business through #shoplocal social media campaigns. For example, restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts collaborated to create the Boston Local Food Festival. At the outdoor festival, members of the community can experience local food and support small businesses, as well as meeting local growers and fisherpeople from Boston’s wharf. Look into online marketing software platforms such as BuzzSumo and Sprout Social to assist in identifying the right hashtags to market your company’s local affiliations.

In addition to publicizing partnerships with local growers, participate in events such as American Express’s Small Business Saturday to promote your restaurant’s affiliation with your local community. Small Business Saturday facilitates omnichannel marketing for small businesses and restaurants by offering retailers customizable social media materials, website banners, and in-store signage to promote the annual shopping event held on November 25th.

Are you interested in learning more about how to create an omnichannel customer experience and increase engagement? Read how NectarOM increased TGI Fridays in-app conversions by 35% here

Design an omnichannel customer experience that increases engagement and conversion

Kids selling lemonade on a hot summer day at a busy street corner make more money than those who set up shop at a deserted spot on a wintry morning.

And as the saying goes, you don’t sell ice to an Eskimo.

These are simple yet fundamental lessons in sales and marketing—you need to be in the right place at the right time to sell the right product to the right people.

Of course, it’s exponentially more complex in today’s marketplace where consumers are interacting with brands on multiple channels, both online and offline, at various stages of their customer journey.

increase engagement

Image source

Not only do businesses need to design a seamless online experience but they also have to make sure it extends into their brick-and-mortar presence, and vice versa.

To successfully connect all the customer touch points, you need a holistic approach to your marketing and promotion strategies.

Omnichannel Marketing — Putting All the Pieces Together

Omnichannel marketing is a strategy for delivering seamless and consistent customer experience across channels and on different devices so each interaction builds on the previous one to effectively move the audience along the customer journey.  

The key to omnichannel marketing lies in understanding who you’re communicating with across channels (website, emails, social, apps, call center, stores, ads, etc.) and then connecting those channels to give individuals what they want. (Hubspot)

A survey found that 47% of shoppers who engage with a retailer across 10 or more channels make purchases from its website at least once a week, compared to just 21% for those who engage up to four channels.

increase engagement

Image source

In addition, companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies are able to retain 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak customer engagement strategies.

Since omnichannel marketing involves the strategic coordination of multiple customer touch points, you can’t just throw some spaghetti on the wall and hope it will stick.

Here’s how to make omnichannel marketing work for your business:

  • Take stock of all your customer touch points (e.g. website, email, social media, call center, store)  and understand how your audience interacts with each of them (e.g. making a purchase, looking for support, sharing reviews, and comments)
  • Leverage customers’ geographic information to deliver localized content and offers
  • Design personalized promotions based on customers’ past purchases and recent interactions with your brand
  • Develop a consistent brand identity and brand voice to deliver a cohesive user experience across all channels
  • Offer product recommendations based on items customers have viewed or purchased
  • Deliver relevant content to each customer segment based on their preferences and customer journey
  • Keep all your channels active and interact with customers on their preferred platforms
  • Use an omnichannel marketing software to consolidate customer information from all touch points and create a single 360-degree customer profile to inform future interactions
  • Audit your existing systems, such as your POS software, to make sure the data can be integrated into your omnichannel marketing software
  • Provide your salespeople (e.g. in-store, call center, live chat) with access to the master customer profiles so they can have the necessary context to delight your customers. At the same time, ensure that they record their customer interactions onto the centralized platform for future reference

Simply showing up in front of your customers with a mass marketing message is no longer enough in today’s marketplace.

To stay ahead of your competition, you need to deliver the right message that speaks to your customers’ relationship with your brand and where they’re at in the customer journey. Doing so allows you to add value and build trust by being relevant all the time.

Omnichannel personalized marketing is no longer just “nice to have” in today’s marketplace, especially with customer experience becoming a key brand differentiator.

customer experienceImage source

Consumers are now interacting with brands across multiple channels. Not only do they expect relevant content but they also want the ability to “pick up where they left off” when they switch from one channel to another.

Many retailers consider implementing omnichannel personalization as one of the key strategies to generate growth and increase revenue through providing a customer-centric brand experience. In fact, many retailers see an increase in revenue and new customer conversion rate when they start offering personalized customer experience.

A study by Invesp has shown that personalization has been proven to improve customer loyalty and increase conversion:

  • 53% of online shoppers consider customization valuable.
  • 45% of shoppers prefer to shop on sites offering personalized recommendations.
  • Personalized ads have a conversion rate 10 times higher than “one-size-fits-all” ads.

customer experienceImage source

However, there are many moving pieces to ensure the successful implementation of such strategy, including the collection, integration, and synthesis of a large amount of customer data and the ability to turn it into actionable insights.

Thankfully, there are many tools you can use to help gather customer data and apply them to improve customer experience. Here are a few helpful features to look for:

Customer Data Management (CDM)

Information on your customers’ behaviors and preferences will help you cultivate relationships and increase retention rate. Data collection is the first step to implementing a personalization strategy.

To see CDM in action, look no further than online retail giant Customer information is collected and utilized for making recommendations that leads to increase in sales, as well as improving customer relationships with more personal services.

To get the most out of your customer data, you should:

  • Decide on the critical data to collect so you don’t end up having to parse through irrelevant information
  • Clean up your data to avoid duplication
  • Funnel all information into one centralized database to construct 360° customer profiles
  • Avoid siloed internal practice and encourage collaboration between departments
  • Make the information and customer profiles easily accessible to sales personnel in the field.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

After you have constructed 360° Customer Profiles that aggregate your customers’ unique preferences, brand interactions, and habits, it’s time to take that information to the next level.

You can leverage the analytics capabilities of your software to make data-backed business decisions based on the level of brand interaction and projected lifetime value of each of your individual customers.

To leverage the power of CRM, follow these best practices:

  • Create targeted content for specific customer segment to help your brand stay relevant and top of mind. For example, P&G developed the Being Girl microsite to share relevant content with a specific customer segment
  • Use geo-location to target customers who are in the vicinity of a physical store
  • Learn customer habits and preferences to create offers and deliver services that are timely, customized, and relevant
  • Implement Omnichannel marketing and customer care to deliver a seamless customer experience across all touch points

Automated Personalization

You can also leverage the information about your customers to create personalized campaigns and communications that help you deliver the most relevant information to specific customer segments in a timely manner.

This will not only allow you to nurture customer relationships and improve retention rate but also entice new customers to engage with your business by sending out highly relevant offers at the critical moments of their customer journey.

These are some of the ways you can leverage automated personalization to increase sales:

  • Segment and target high-quality leads that are likely to convert
  • Implement personalized lead nurturing campaigns to deliver the most relevant content and offers
  • Increase customer lifetime value by improving customer satisfaction and loyalty with relevant offers
  • Leverage your social media presence to deliver a seamless experience that moves customer along their purchasing path

The Best Marketing Speaks To What Makes Your Customers Tick

The effectiveness of one-size-fits-all marketing messages is plummeting as consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and expect for customized content and offers from brands.

As a marketer, you need to deliver a personalized customer experience across all channels and make sure your copy, content, and offer are highly relevant while appearing in front of your audience in the right place at the right time to get the highest ROI on your marketing budget.

Imagine your customer got an email from your company with a coupon code for your online store. She decided to head over to the retail location a few miles away so she could get the product on the spot.

Unfortunately, when she arrived at the store, she was informed that the in-store system doesn’t have her information and she wasn’t able to redeem her discount.

Not only was she left unsatisfied with your brand but she’ll also be less likely to return to make a purchase. In addition, it’s very likely that she’d get sidetracked and never purchase the item.

This and similar scenarios aren’t uncommon these days when customers are interacting with brands via multiple touch points. They expect to move among them seamlessly – able to “pick up where they left off” on the previous channel.

For the past decade, retailers have been focusing on establishing a presence in a variety of channels, such as online, in-app, social media, phone, and in-store. However, such siloed customer experience is no longer sufficient.

Customers not only want to interact with a brand and make purchases on all channels but also have all their information accessible via all touch points so they don’t have to go back to square one when they switch channels.

Onmichannel customer experience integrates all customer interaction in one single database. This means customers can seamlessly move from channel to channel when interacting with a brand. By providing such a customer experience, you will be able to:

  • Move customers along their purchasing journey faster and increase your conversion rate
  • Nurture leads more effectively by augmenting the quality and relevance of your communications
  • Effectively provide customer support to increase customer satisfaction and reduce cost
  • Cultivate customer loyalty and increase retention rate

In order to create such an experience, businesses need to switch their fundamental approach to marketing. Instead of focusing on disparate strategy for each channel, you need to turn the attention to the customer.

single customer viewImage source

Customer Centric Marketing Starts With Single Customer View

The creation of a 360° profile of a customer is the foundational element of customer-centric marketing.

This profile is created by gathering information from multiple data sources and moving it into one centralized location so it can be further analyzed and utilized.

single customer viewImage source

The use of a single customer view allows you to:

  • Turn your focus on each individual customer to create targeted messaging and offering that will increase conversion and loyalty
  • Better predict customer behaviors and be more responsive to market trends and consumer demands
  • Make better decisions in choosing new promotional channels
  • Use marketing automation more effectively

single customer viewImage source

Going back to our frustrated customer at the beginning of this article, this means she would be able to get an email about a discount and apply it to any retail channel, including online and in-store. She would be able to apply the promotion at the retail location, get the item she wants, and, in turn, be more likely to purchase from the brand again.

Single customer view has been applied by many brands successfully to boost campaign ROI and increase sales. For instance, since implementing the strategy, Speciality Fashion Group’s most recent 200 EDM campaigns have delivered an ROI of 2,200%. Clarins have used a similar strategy to identify VIP and create a sense of exclusivity that makes a selected customer feel special and valued.

Overcoming the Challenges Of Implementing Single Customer View

It’s not always easy to implement single customer view. Consolidating all customer data from multiple channels is one of the biggest challenges faced when implementing omnichannel marketing strategies.

If you have been in business for a while, you know how challenging it is to integrate fragmented customer data collected from different touch points over time to get a complete cross-channel view.

The key to overcoming such data gaps is technology integration, which will give you the ability to collect a cohesive set of data for each individual customer and make it available for further analytics and utilization.

Instead of having to cobble together data from different sources, omnichannel marketers can now bring together all customer information to create a master customer profile with tools such as NectorOM’s suite of solutions to get the most out of their customer information with functions such as data management, customer relationship management, personalization automation, omnichannel hyper-personalization.

How can restaurants, which primarily offer an in-store service, extend the brand experience to digital media where customers are spending most of their time?

As your customers are inseparable from their smartphones and eCommerce has become an integral part of most people’s lives, what can restaurants do to drive brand awareness, cultivate customer relationships, and drive more sales?

To stay relevant, restaurants need to meet their customers where they’re at, using technology to bridge online with offline commerce by creating a personalized omnichannel customer experience.

In the casual dining segment, which saw a 4 percent drop in early 2017, TGI Fridays stood out with its many initiatives that aimed to increase sales through online channels.

Click here to download the TGI Fridays case study to learn how they increased their conversion rate by 35%. 

The restaurant chain is using mobile commerce to provide personalized service to guests online, just as they would in their physical locations.

Their strategy combines omnichannel personalization with mobile technology to bring together a seamless online and offline experience, turning the brand into both digital and in-store destinations:

Enhance Customer Experience Through Digital Channels

TGI Fridays is showing up in channels where their customers are already spending their time, delivering targeted messages in the right place at the right time.

Open Table

In February 2017, the company joined Open Table to allow consumers who use the app to look for dining options to make a reservation with just a few taps on their phones.


TGI Fridays implemented a chatbot technology that allows guests to have one-on-one interactions, get information on nearby restaurant locations, place orders for takeouts, and more via Twitter.


The restaurant chain has partnered with FandangoNOW to offer a dinner and movie deal, a promotion through which consumers can get one free HD movie rental when they place an order online.

Create Deals And Promotions To Encourage Omnichannel Interactions

TGI Fridays also launched a series of promotions that encourage customers to interact with the brand both online and offline.

Some of these promotions include a $30 Valentine’s Day dinner deal in conjunction with their partnership with Open Table, Endless Appetizers and March Madness promotions to encourage customers to stick around (which help them cultivate customer relationships and brand loyalty), the Twitter promotion during Super Bowl, and takeout options that help customers recreate the restaurant or bar experience at home.

Use Omnichannel Personalization To Augment Customer Experience

To further enhance consumers’ experience with the brand, TGI Fridays introduced an omnichannel personalization strategy that turns disparate customer data collected from different channels into one master guest profile.

The information allows the brand to serve individual customers personalized offers most relevant to their preferences and locations via multiple channels. This approach encourages not only in-store consumption but also online orders.

Image source

Using an onmichannel marketing and personalization platform, TGI Fridays is able to leverage customer data from digital, social, mobile, paid, traditional, and other sources to deliver personalized online, in-app, in-person, and take-home experiences.

Image source

But TGI Fridays is not the only one! Restaurants everywhere are benefiting from integrating online and offline channels to augment their brand experience and increase their conversion rate while lowering cost.

Find out how to make omnichannel personalization work for your business.

When it comes to a brand’s relationship with its audience, it’s all about customer personalization. Customer personalization allows companies to better relate to their customer’s needs and give them a deeper connection to a company. Customer personalization bridges the gap between online experiences and in-person interactions with customers.

Consumers are looking for more ways to connect with a brand, and companies are looking for more ways to increase revenue and track marketing efforts. This makes 2017 the year to focus on personalization. Here are a few customer personalization trends guiding the online experience in 2017:


Enhancing Online Brand Experience

Online shopping is by no means a new concept, but brands are currently working to better connect with consumers online. Common ways to personalize, and therefore enhance, the online brand experience include dynamic content and personalized recommendations. By tracking what consumers look for on a site, companies can personalize the way their site interacts with each customer. This gives everyone a unique experience and encourages them to come back.

One prime example of a personalized online consumer experience is Amazon. Each time a shopper looks at one product, they are then showed similar products, things people have bought, and more. This is all done with the intent of guiding a customer to make a more informed decision.


Optimized Messaging with Customer Data

The average person spends just a few seconds on a page before they decide whether or not to stay. This short attention span makes the content you show them that much more crucial. It’s in those few milliseconds that personalization can make a huge impact.

To do this, companies need to gather the right information about each person who visits their site, so they can better target their efforts to catch that person’s eye. There are multiple methods companies can use to gather data to help with customer personalization. This includes proprietary scoring, targeting algorithms, and more. These processes can help track a person’s every interaction with your brand other similar online brands to provide a personalized experience. Even if someone is a new user to a site, companies with the proper algorithms in place can look at their personal history to improve the content it shows.

Companies such as NectarOM simplify the data collection process to help companies better target messaging and in turn see higher customer engagement that increases overall sales.


Geo-Targeting Marketing

We as a culture are constantly sharing information online, and brands need to take advantage of it. More and more people are becoming comfortable sharing their location online. This allows companies to target content based on a person’s location. Geo-targeted marketing – also referred to as proximity marketing – allows companies to combine online and offline for an improved, cohesive customer experience.

Proximity marketing allows a company to feed the customer their message at a time when they are most likely to take action, based on their location. Proximity marketing uses technology such as chips in products, enabled location services on a smartphone, and in-store WiFi to better reach its customers.

Personalization is imperative for any company that wants to reach its customers online. People aren’t looking for a company that just shows them what they have to offer. Instead, people want to buy from brands that pay attention to them and provide them with custom-tailored content. When it comes to personalization across all channels, companies like NectarOM make simpler to reach customers and increase revenue.

These days, customers want to feel that they’re being heard and understood by their favorite brands. In fact, 73% of consumers want a more personalized shopping experience. Personalization allows brands to create a unique experience for their customers — in turn, demonstrating that they are being heard, and hopefully contribute to increased sales volume.

And, it is working. According to a study done by Infosys, 86% of consumers are influenced by personalization when making shopping decisions. Consumers are motivated to purchase more when they are made to feel relevant.

Thus, personalization has become increasingly important for brands and their success. Let’s take a look at three brands that are succeeding by bringing personalization into the consumer journey.


This 156-year-old brand has pioneered a different kind of personalization for customers. Partnering up with Pinterest, Burberry has given customers a way to build personalized boards with product content provided by Burberry.

The “Cat Lashes” promo initiative offers a personalized experience for customers based on their makeup preferences. Users take a quick questionnaire and get personalized makeup looks and tips through a personalized Pinterest board. Burberry promotes their Cat Lashes Mascara through the Pinterest boards. The personalized boards also offer tips on how to create relevant looks for each customer while also using the Cat Lashes Mascara.

According to an internal study, 42% of consumers have bought products based on promoted pins they saw on Pinterest. Burberry’s “Cat Lashes” initiative is, therefore, capitalizing on Pinterest’s broad consumer base. The personalized boards serve as a promotional hub for the Cat Lashes Mascara, as well as related and relevant Burberry products.

GILT was listed in Fast Company’s Top 25 Innovative Companies in 2010and ranked first in fashion that year. How did a company, which launched in 2007, garner so much success in just five years? The reason is that the online retailer personalizes sales and promotions for each customer and app user.

The luxury flash sales site has installed a personalized user page online and on the mobile app. This personalization feature is called “Your Personal Sale,” and goes beyond the daily e-mails a shopper receives. The personalized sales, generated by an algorithm, takes into consideration a customer’s entire shopping experience. Based on factors such as purchase history, geographic location, browsing behavior, and personal preferences, “Your Personal Sale” finds fresh items and deals daily. Personalization goes one step further, with also considering size, categories, and brands that customers frequently engage with. Each personalized sale lasts 24 hours, after which a new set of deals and sales are presented. According to CIO Steve Jacobs, personalized sales are “the next phase of the flash sale model.” The company leverages the sense of discovery the app provides, “tailoring [the] shopping experience just for them.” brings personalization to the online fashion and retail platform and makes a conscious effort to tailor products to its customers. According to  Jacobs, “people are coming back more frequently, and they’re excited to see what’s in their sale tomorrow.” Personalized sales pushed the online retailer to be valued at roughly $1 billion just after five years of launching. Gilt’s personalization strategy has propelled the e-commerce company to enormous success.


The online music platform Spotify is the leading music streaming host, despite competitors like iTunes and Google Play.

The introduction of personalized playlists has distinguished Spotify from other streaming sources.

One of these personalized playlist functions is “Discover Weekly.” Discover Weekly is a service which personalizes to each listener’s taste across a variety of genres. A personal playlist of 30 songs is curated and released each Monday based on listening habits. The music streaming service has also launched the “Release Radar” feature. Every Friday, the two-hour playlist is updated with newly released music from artists and bands a listener frequents. In addition, listeners who curate their playlists receive personalized suggestions on their playlists as well. The streaming service learns from personal preferences, songs skipped and replayed, and even looks at micro-genre music preferences to curate the best suggestions for each listener.

Spotify’s lead engineer and algorithm creator Edward Newett says, “we’re trying to show that Spotify understands users better than anyone else.” Within the first 10 months of launching, Discover Weekly saw 5 billion song plays. Senior product owner Matt Ogle says Discover Weekly’s success has “completely changed” the way Spotify interacts with consumers. The great success with user personalization has also increased consumer loyalty. Spotify boasts 40 million paid subscribers, compared to Apple Music’s 20 million paid subscribers.

Personalization is key to a brand’s success and transforms the customer experience. The focus on personalization allows many of these companies to grow as customers engage with brands more and more. With personalization on the rise, it will be interesting to see how industries implement various personalization tactics into their customers’ experiences.

combining digital and in-store

As the retail industry is changing, many brick-and-mortar retailers are employing omnichannel marketing strategies to fend off digital giants like Amazon. When it comes to successful omnichannel, a complementary relationship between brick-and-mortar and digital assures companies greater success.

In this third and final retail installment, let’s take a look at how Kohl’s is using omnichannel strategies to create a customer-centric approach.


According to STORES Media Editor Susan Reda, “retail’s balance of power resides firmly in the hands of the consumer.” With e-commerce gaining more momentum, many consumers have shifted toward online shopping. The Kohl’s Mobile app is playing a key role in helping the retailer keep up with tech-savvy consumers. Kohl’s effectively leverages the mobile app as an in-store partner and offers a customized shopping experience.

App users who walk into a Kohl’s store have the option of using a feature of the app that tailors to that specific store. The ‘Store Mode’ function personalizes to each customer’s store location and allows shoppers to search for store inventory and see in-store promotions while shopping. Customers can also check the price of store items and see other related goods. The Store Mode function gives Kohl’s a synthesized digital and in-store landscape.

Kohl’s also offers enhanced payment capabilities through the mobile app. Customers can pay with Apple Pay, a one-tap checkout option, in the brick-and-mortar stores and mobile app. Shoppers also have the choice of adding a Kohl’s credit card as a form of payment within Apple Pay. Consumers further have the option of scanning and saving gift cards to the Kohl’s mobile wallet.

Thus, paying for items in the brick-and-mortar stores blends seamlessly with mobile payment features, and customers are provided with a convenient shopping experience. Kohl’s gives shoppers more online and offline purchasing choices, thereby increasing the traffic to stores. The Kohl’s mobile app is a powerful tool which encourages online browsing and in-store sales. The app infuses digital into the in-store experience, creating a smooth customer experience.


Kohl’s continues to leverage its physical stores with the implementation of click-and-collect. Shoppers can make purchases online or through the mobile app, and pick them up at a convenient Kohl’s location. The company utilizes the brick-and-click concept, to make the brick-and-mortar stores act like warehouses for online orders. In turn, Click and Collect makes customer shopping more convenient. Click and Collect provides flexibility and ‘real time’ fulfillment for consumers. With consumers coming in store to pick up items, foot traffic to brick-and-mortar facilities is increasing.

The retailer is also using inventory at its brick-and-mortar stores to fulfill online shopping demands. Using local inventory, Kohl’s moves goods that are not selling in stores. Consequently, this speeds up fulfillment since the stores are closer to customers’ homes.
Kohl’s is creatively using its brick-and-mortar stores to make online and offline more connected. As consumers shop online, the retailer uses brick-and-mortar stores as makeshift warehouses, and in turn, makes the shopper’s experience easier and more convenient.

Kohl’s adapted the mobile and brick-and-mortar stores to become highly leveraged and synchronized units. The retailer has used the mobile app and brick-and-mortar adaptations to boost sales and create an inclusive customer experience. Previously, we looked at the successful omnichannel strategies implemented by Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. We have finally rounded off our omnichannel trilogy by taking a look at Kohl’s and how this retailer has implemented omnichannel successfully. While these three retailers are ahead of the curve with omnichannel marketing, it will be exciting to see where other retailers take omnichannel.


Integrating Brick-&-Mortar and Digital  

Technological advancements are redefining the way customers interact with retailers.

Customers now expect much more from brands they love, and omnichannel strategies are driving development within marketing departments to meet these expectations. A plethora of companies and retailers have introduced a seamless shopping experience across mediums by implementing omnichannel marketing strategies. From brick-and-mortar to website to mobile app, shopping has become a fully integrated experience, thanks to omnichannel.

Last week we dove into the Nordstrom’s world and reviewed the different ways the retailers use omnichannel to enhance the customer experience. Today, we are continuing this and looking at how luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is integrating brick-and-mortar with digital to create a heightened customer experience.

Mobile App

Despite having only 42 brick-and-mortar stores, compared to most luxury retailers with anywhere from 60 to 100 stores, Neiman Marcus is still the biggest luxury retailer in the world.The 42 brick-and-mortar stores play host to a large number of fashionable and high-end items. According to CEO Karen Katz, however, the luxury retailer has a “robust selection of products online that [they] don’t have room for in [the] brick-and-mortar store.” Consequently, Neiman Marcus’ efforts to bridge the gap between the products available virtually and physically, have given way to a successful mobile app. The mobile app serves as a larger commerce platform, as well as, a conduit for customer engagement with Neiman Marcus by making shopping easy and convenient for customers.

Customers have a way to shop on-the-go and find more products that cannot be found in Neiman Marcus stores. In-store associates are equipped with tablets featuring the app and help customers quickly find products online and offline. Sales associates are also encouraged to direct customers to browse through the online and mobile stores. Customers can access these same sales associates via text, email, phone call, or FaceTime while on the app. Neiman Marcus also has a solution for finding any item, from anywhere, within minutes. The mobile app has introduced a new feature called “Snap. Find. Shop.”. The feature allows shoppers to take photos of clothing and accessories they see at any store, and the app will find the exact or similar product on the Neiman Marcus mobile store. The mobile app provides customers with a smooth blend of online and brick-and-mortar services, heightening the customer experience.

Virtual Dressing Room

Another way Neiman Marcus digitally transformed the in-store experience is by adding digital dressing rooms. The retailer deployed the “Memory Mirror,” a device which enables shoppers to digitally compare outfits and items of clothing while in the physical store. Acting as a large video screen and camera, the Memory Mirror allows customers to see outfits from 360 degrees. The mirror is password-protected and connected to shoppers’ Neiman Marcus account. Customers log into the mirror and can browse outfits they previously tried on and captured in 360-degree, eight-second videos. These “try-on videos” can be saved to the customer’s mobile device, emailed, and shared on social media. Shoppers can also compare clothing options side-by-side, as the mirror remembers what the customer has already tried on. This initiative enables customers to experience flawless digital integration and increased interaction with Neiman Marcus. The Memory Mirror is a complementary blend of brick-and-mortar and digital shopping.

Neiman Marcus relies equally on mobile and brick-and-mortar stores. The seamless incorporation of online and offline has kept customers highly engaged with the retailer. The customer-centric philosophy has propelled Neiman Marcus into implementing innovative and different omnichannel strategies. Neiman Marcus has truly made the digital shopping experience and physical shopping experience seamless. 

Tune in next week as we take a look at the third and final retailer in our omnichannel trilogy – Kohl’s.

Culture of Innovation

Innovation is risky business, but not innovating is even riskier. In a world where technologies are rapidly changing, companies must be willing to evolve in stride. Several companies are doing so by shifting to an omnichannel marketing strategy. Omnichannel approaches are synchronizing the shopping experience across mediums for retailers.

Some retailers have successfully incorporated omnichannel strategy into their marketing strategy. Over the next few weeks, we will examine a trilogy of retailers and the wins they have achieved through an omnichannel approach.  Today, we are going to focus on one of the most popular luxury retailers- Nordstrom.

Part I: Nordstrom

Nordstrom worked to reinvent itself around the omnichannel shopper. According to the President of Stores, James Nordstrom, retailers need to focus more on the total experience than strategy for specific channels; “[At Nordstrom, we] don’t think the customer is loyal to channels. We don’t hear customers talk about channels very much. Customers value experiences.” Consequently, this belief is guiding Nordstrom’s omnichannel strategy towards creating a synchronized and seamless customer experience.

Rewards Program

The omnichannel focus of the Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program gives customers a chance to gain points regardless of which channel they purchase items.These loyalty members can also then track their activity from anywhere. Shoppers can use their mobile number as identification instead of memorizing a loyalty account number. An omnichannel approach to the rewards program has given Nordstrom a more open policy focus. The open policy focus allows shoppers to pay in whichever method they choose, shop whichever way suits them and still gain more loyalty points and rewards. Nordstrom shoppers are winning more, ensuring customer loyalty.

Social Media Influence

The luxury retailer is also approaching shopping from a multichannel perspective, and one of their innovative initiatives has been integrating with the mobile application, Instagram, and social media/organization platform, Pinterest. Nordstrom has made it possible to buy items from Instagram and find items based on Pinterest favorites. Instagram has been a modeling platform for retail items. However, a grievance shoppers have, is the inability to locate and buy the items presented on Nordstrom’s Instagram account. The retailer’s Instagram account now features a link which directs customers to Like2Buy, a platform that makes Instagram shopping easy. All of the items available for sale from the retailer’s feed are displayed as an elegant grid of photos. Shoppers can then scroll and “like” items, which are curated into a personal wishlist or shopping cart. 

Pinterest is a social media platform which allows users to “pin” things they like or want to “boards” for later reference. It indexes all the different items, ideas, and interests we come across online. Pinterest gives Nordstrom insight of which items are popular among shoppers. Nordstrom has brought these “pinned” items to their physical stores. Stores display commonly tagged or “pinned” items from Pinterest. The luxury retailer also adopted that feature on their website. Shoppers can now see a “Top Pinned” landing page on the site. Nordstrom doesn’t limit themselves to a single channel. The retailer has effectively leveraged their social media user base to enhance the shoppers’ experience by including the favorite and trendy items on Instagram and Pinterest in their stores.  Not only do customers see more products, but they are buying more at one time and are coming back for more of the items they love.

Nordstrom had experienced success by understanding that customers value an enhanced experience. Nordstrom has provided its customers with a retail experience that spans online, offline, and social media outlets. Shopping has become a synchronized and seamless experience – Customers can easily find the products they love and find them from anywhere. Tune in next week as we take a closer look at Neiman Marcus and how they are using omnichannel marketing to benefit their shoppers.