To make the buzzword mean anything I think it helps to define the tactics that make it up. The following is a checklist of tactics that would make the web, mobile, and brick-and-mortar “integrate” into a “seamless” customer experience. When a retailer does these things they would be “omni-channel”.
- Order online and pick up in store
- See instore product inventory online
- The ability to filter products online for only products available in your local store
- Access information about products in the store using mobile (for example: qr codes on products lead to online reviews)
- The ability to recognize an offline shopper when they are shopping on your site to personalize their shopping experience
- Measure the influence of online paid media to offline purchases
- all shopping channels work from the same database of products, prices, promotions, etc
- Offers are customized to the customer’s purchase patterns, social network affinities, website visits, in-store visits, loyalty programs, etc.
- The item in the mobile shopping basket persists in the basket when the shopper logs on to their account with the same retailer using their laptop, or any other device
- A relevant, targeted single marketing message across all channels and touchpoints
- Drive customers to stores with advertising on mobile to customers within a certain distance from stores
- Store associates can have access to inventory online if items are out of stock in store
- Individual Facebook pages and other social media sites for each store
- Each store has its own localized page on the website
- Buy in store and get incentives to join email or social groups online
I’ll add more as I come across them.