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Crucial Marketing Lessons from the World's Leading Omnichannel Retailers

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At the heart of any successful business is a well-executed marketing strategy. This rings especially true for retailers, who do everything to attract customers and stand out from the competition.

Retailers must embrace new technologies and channels to let them interact with consumers in a more personalized way to stay ahead of the curve. The world's leading omnichannel retailers are constantly testing and experimenting with new marketing strategies, and as a result, they have learned a great deal about what works and what doesn't.

Bonobos Clothing

Bonobos Clothing

Buying clothes online is a sheer stroke of luck. If you understand the product size and fit dynamics of brands in the market, you may get hands-on with a perfect product that suits your style, size, and color.

If not, customers have to go through the vicious cycle of ordering, canceling, reordering, and waiting for products, which makes the entire process inconvenient and cumbersome. Bonobos is unlike the other retailers in the market that offer a no-question return policy.

Instead of following the herd mentality, Bonobos Clothing decided to take unique steps to end the return process and its associated costs. It offers a Bonobos guide shop to its customers, where they can try Bonobos products with the help of Bonobos guides. 

The secret sauce of their business strategy is - these guide shops allow customers to try and find products with the perfect fit and style but carry zero inventory. So, the retail company does not need a 5000–10,000 square foot store to showcase merchandise to customers.

The Bonobos Clothing online platform acts as the store's warehouse, as customers can complete their purchase in-store once they are happy with their looks. The shopped products are then shipped to them from the central distribution center in traditional ecommerce fashion.

Marketing lessons from Bonobos:

  • Retailers do not need to rent a large store to sell products. Even a mini-store is enough to attract customers and save on heavy rent & inventory holding costs.
  • Personalizing customer service can be a fun way to get the incredible double benefits of increasing customer footfalls and enjoying the fun & convenience of shopping online.

Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty

Ultabeauty focuses on three major imperatives:

Reimagine, redefine, and revive. This strategy has helped the brand adapt to changing customer demands and focus on omnichannel growth. These are some of the exciting tools & features offered by Ultabeauty that enhance its omni channel strategy:

GLAMlab Try-on platform:

GLAMlab virtual makeup try-on tool allows customers to try-on thousands of products before they shop. As shown in the image below, customers can choose one of the 15 models with a range of skin tones and face shapes to try on makeup before purchasing.

Online customers can virtually apply concealer, foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara to the forehead, cheeks, eyebrows, lips, eyelids, and other parts of the face without stepping foot in the Ultabeauty store. 

GLAMlab Try-on platform:

Ultamate Rewards & Preferences

Personalization is a critical factor in Ulta’s success, as more than 95% of the brand's sales come from Ultamate reward members. 

What is the Ulta Rewards Program and How does it Work?

Ultabeauty rewards its customers for every dollar they spend. The beauty retailer offers more platinum and diamond tier tips to motivate customers to spend more. When customers spend $500 or more per year at Ulta, they are promoted to the Platinum tier, and when customers spend $1200 or more per year, they are bumped up to the Diamond tier. 

Ulta’s Point Program also routinely multiplies the points of Platinum and Diamond tier members on special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. It also incentivizes its members to access birthday bonuses, special deals, free samples, etc.

Unlike other beauty retailers, Ulta's point program doesn’t offer gifts or sample-size products. It offers discount codes that can be used to buy any product from the brand.

Add new Products to the Business Website & Bring them in-Store

Ulta Beauty adds a new product to its ecommerce website and introduces the same product in its stores after two weeks. There is a crucial finding behind this business strategy the beauty retailer has found that customers have the habit of doing webrooming and then checking out these products in the brand’s online store.

Marketing lessons from Ulta Beauty:

  • Differentiate, improvise, and launch innovative products centered around user experience and customer convenience to add lifelong loyal customers. 
  • Leveraging gamification at its best and offering lucrative incentives and benefits to make quicker shopping decisions.
  • Study & analyze customer behavior & shopping patterns to develop a win-win business strategy that has tremendous potential to drive both in-store and online store sales. 

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix

The beauty of shopping with fashion retailer Stitch Fix is that it works as their customer stylist to personalize product recommendations. 100% of their business revenue is received directly from recommendations.

Their business model is quite simple: they send customers different clothing and accessories that they think they would like. Preferred products can be kept by the customer, while others can be sent back to Stitch Fix using free shipping. 

How does Stitch Fix differentiate its Styling Business?

Every retailer tries hard to differentiate their business by providing the fastest shipping, the lowest price, and automated product recommendations. But the case is entirely different in Stitch Fix. Each Stitch Fix shipment contains five pieces of clothing and accessories chosen just for the customer by their stylist. 

Here is how it is done! Machine learning algorithms determine how the product features material, color, and style matter to the customer, which helps the stylists curate a customer’s fix boxes. The customer data is sourced from an extensive questionnaire filled out by the customer during sign-up and then in feedback after each shipment. 

The customer schedules a date to receive their items, referred to as a "fix." Once the shipment is received, the customer has three days to choose what to keep or return. If the customer keeps at least one item, the initial styling fee is credited towards the cost of the item.

On the other hand, if the customer decides to keep all five things, the customer receives 25% off the total cost of the items. Also, customers have the flexibility to choose the shipping frequency, such as every two weeks, once a month, or every two months. 

Another critical thing one should not miss is that Stitch Fix does not believe in doing upsells or tracking a customer's browsing patterns. Their strategy is simple to make a unique & personal selection of products by combining customer data and Machine Learning (ML) with expert human judgment. 

The Q-o-Q earnings of the company show that this strategy has worked wonders for the fashion retailer. The leading online personal shopping and styling company has released its financial results for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022, which ended on October 30, 2021.

In Q1, they delivered $581 million in net revenue, reflecting 19% year-over-year growth. Their revenue per active client topped $500 for the second quarter, reaching a record $524 across our nearly 4.2 million clients.

Marketing lessons from Stitch Fix:

  • Mixing customer data, behavior, and intelligent tech-like machine learning (ML) can deliver exciting personalized results & accurate product recommendations tailored for every customer.
  • A customer need not be pushed hard to buy if you design, personalize, and deliver products just for them.
  • There’s a world beyond the tested strategies of free shipping, pricing, and active product recommendations. Grab & explore that option to be distinct & relevant in the market.

Staples

Staples

Staples is the world's largest office products company and second-largest internet retailer. For 27 years, Staples has served the needs of business customers, and its vision is to provide all the products businesses need to succeed.

Through its world-class retail, online, and delivery capabilities, Staples offers office supplies, technology products, and services, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, copy and print services, and various other product categories.

About Staples's Omnichannel strategy

Enthralling omnichannel store experience: The omnichannel stores powered by Staples feature several new Staples.com kiosks that allow customers to select more than 1,00,000 items, starting from furniture, to the latest tech products, school supplies, office supplies, cleaning supplies, and more.

When the shopping is done at the customer's end, they can use the kiosk or store register to complete the transactions. That provides a beautiful, endless aisle experience for the customer. Additional features of the omnichannel stores are:

Online & pick-up in-store: It's the ability to reserve online and pick up in-store, providing Staples' retail network convenience to online shoppers.

Business Lounge: A business lounge offers digital interactions with the store experience. The workspace includes meeting space and workstations for mobile professionals, and a research and ordering station for Staples' expanded product selection. 

Endless aisle experience: Staples.com and omnichannel touch screen stations provide an “endless aisle” experience with Staples’ expanded assortment online.

Ink & toner finder: It lets customers easily track past purchases and find the correct ink and toner. If the exact ink is unavailable online, a staple store representative can help them order it online and ship it for free.

Mobile experience: Mobile is a big part of Staples's omnichannel store experience. It offers one-hour flash sales and limited quality deals exclusively for mobile users. The app has a store check-in feature and an intuitive display that shows current deals and the most recent expired deal and teases the next upcoming deal.

The retail brand also offers an in-store tablet app for associates to compare products, check inventory, and check a customer's order history.

Marketing lessons from Staples:

  • An omnichannel retailing strategy can give shoppers the dynamic shopping experience they demand, which can instantly help them make the transition from shopping offline to online and vice versa.
  • Mobile shopping can be the biggest game-changer when it comes to selling bulk goods using flash sales.

Conclusion

The article discussed how the world's biggest omnichannel retailers have executed omnichannel retailing strategies and the crucial marketing lessons every retail business can learn. If you are a retail business looking for a way to create a seamless shopping experience for customers and boost your brand presence, Fynd is the answer.

We are one of the largest omnichannel solution providers and the key to every retail brand's success in bringing the same high-end experiences they offer in-store to the digital space. We have served some of the most prominent retail brands like Nike, Diesel, Clarks, Michael Kors, Spykar, Hamleys, Mothercare, Pottery Barn, Vision Express, Hunkemoller, and the list goes on and on.

If you are looking to revamp your retail brand, we can help you create an omnichannel presence that will change how you reach & do business with your customers. From engagement to interaction, we help transform your brand into one that can thrive in today's market. To learn more about our omnichannel solutions, Book a Demo with our experts or Contact us immediately.

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Crucial Marketing Lessons from the World's Leading Omnichannel Retailers
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