Erin Hogg

Ecommerce: Going beyond omnichannel for creative customer experiences

September 9th, 2014

Omnichannel is a word that many marketers have become familiar with in the past year or so. It’s the evolution of multichannel marketing and, some argue, an overused buzzword.

Lisa Butler, Head of Enterprise Solutions Enablement, eBay, agrees with that statement. In the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE, she sat down with Allison Banko, Reporter, MarketingSherpa, to discuss omnichannel and what it should really mean to marketers.

“So we went from multichannel, to omnichannel, to all channels — what it really means is just allowing customers to shop however they want,” Lisa said.

In its essence, the prefix omni- means “all.” For Lisa, this means “allowing customers to shop anywhere they want, receive their purchases whenever they want and giving them the best customer service.”

In her interview, Lisa explained the key to providing this engaging experience: developing creative new ways for customers to engage with a brand.


Lisa provided some examples of companies that are doing this well, such as Boxpark

Boxpark is a company in the UK that sets up pop-up stores for clothing brands in a unique way — the stores are a network of shipping containers. 



For retailers, this is a creative solution for giving the customer the best (and coolest) experience, according to Lisa.


Think outside the shipping container

You don’t have to sell exciting products, or even be a B2C company, to find creative ways to allow your customers to shop the way they want and get them excited about your brand.

Prisma Grand Format

Prisma, a B2B marketing services provider, took its clients on a road trip with a multichannel campaign that resulted in a 45% response rate. The marketers sent direct mail pieces and emails that reflected their campaign by showing their capabilities to print on almost any material, a service they call grand format printing.

Clients were sent on a virtual adventure to “grand” locations, which aligned with how the company wanted to showcase grand format printing.


Make online shopping easy for the customer

But being creative is only half the battle; you also need to be where the customer is.

JAM Paper & Envelope, a small office supply company, developed a segmented email campaign consisting of a retargeting, welcome and cart abandonment series. For the cart abandonment series, the team made sure that if a customer abandoned their cart at work, when they checked their tablet or phone at home, their items would be there and the customer would be able to restore their cart from any device.

This is just one of the many ways to leverage multichannel (or omnichannel, depending on who you’re talking to) marketing to let your customers shop no matter where they are.


Image attribution: Boxpark


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Categories: Ecommerce Eretail Tags: , , , , ,

  1. September 11th, 2014 at 12:41 | #1

    Agreed. Ominchannel is a pretty big (and sometimes overused) word, but ultimately, it all just comes down to letting customers shop on their own terms.

    I love the examples you provided. The multichannel cart abandonment strategy of JAM Paper & Envelope in particular is pretty awesome. So many retailers miss out on sales when shopping carts don’t “follow” consumers when they’re using other channels or devices.

    It got me thinking about how brick-and-mortar stores can implement the same strategy. I’d be interested to see an example of say, a customer seeing the products she considered buying in-store show up in a special tab online or in the company app.

    Thanks for the post! I think it’s incredibly insightful and I included it in our weekly round up of top posts for retailers:


  2. Erin Hogg
    Erin Hogg
    September 11th, 2014 at 13:01 | #2

    Thanks, Francesca! So glad you found this valuable! I think we’re really right on the cusp of some really intuitive shopping experiences. I would even argue that pretargeting is soon going to be a tangible reality for a lot of companies. This article really got me thinking from Ad Age:

    Thanks again!


  3. September 11th, 2014 at 14:23 | #3

    @Erin Hogg

    Thanks for sharing the AdAge piece, Erin. It’s very insightful and the author made some really good points. There’s definitely value in pretargeting and thanks to big data and predictive analytics, we are *kind of* on our way towards more intuitive advertising and shopping experiences.



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