Giving your customer the option to shop your brand through whatever channel they want is no longer a trend. Omnichannel selling is the norm for many innovative retailers, direct-to-consumer and legacy brands alike.
Omnichannel is a customer-focused sales strategy that delivers a seamless shopping experience to buyers as they move through different marketing channels to make a purchase. Having more than one channel option for your customer is important for acquisition and retention, but it’s also lucrative for your business. According to McKinsey, omnichannel customers are nearly twice as likely to shop more than those who are using one channel.
Customers today are discerning and want a comprehensive buying experience. They are engaging with brands on social media, consuming content, conducting research on Reddit or Google, and going in-store to see products before making a purchase. The sales cycle for products can be both long and short, but a common factor is having many channels as entry points for customers.
Here, we’ll go through eight of the biggest names in retail today, how they approach omnichannel selling to their customers, and what you can learn from them.
8 best omnichannel retailers
1. The Sill
Eliza Blank founded The Sill in 2012 to bring life into her New York City home. The premise that plants “make us happier, healthier humans” is still strong as The Sill tracks toward 800,000 Instagram followers, providing plants, plant care tips, and accessories for a community of like-minded plant lovers.
The Sill specializes in selling indoor plants and plant-related accessories to buyers in the US, offering an option for every type of green thumb, such as succulents, fiddle leaf fig plants, palm, and monstera. The brand’s website is organized so customers can easily find what they need: Is it pet friendly? Check. Low light? Check. Easy to care for? Check.
The brand has resources for first-time or long-time plant buyers. Curating useful content on plant care and providing customers with a virtual plant appointment for personal consulting.
- Integrated customer experiences across multiple channels. The Sill remains cohesive in its omnichannel marketing strategy, seamlessly integrating customer experiences across all of the potential buyer touchpoints, whether online or in-store. The website is full-service, offering help matching a plant to a pot to put it in and tips to take care of it. The Sill has every angle covered for a buyer looking to start their own plant collection.
- Strong social media presence. The Sill has a strong social media following that is tailored to each platform. There are memes on TikTok. Instagram has a bevy of reposts, giveaways, and educational Reels—and direct access to the shop so buyers don’t need to leave the app to make a purchase.
- In-store exclusives. There are four Sill spots in New York alone, as the brand has started to expand its in-store retail options. There are also locations in San Francisco, Chicago, and Bethesda, Maryland. To offer more value, it has in-store exclusives, such as a repotting service.
Allbirds is one of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) and omnichannel selling darlings for a reason. The sustainable footwear brand is known for caring for their product’s impact on the climate and fashion.
This certified B Corp from New Zealand began with a simple design made from natural materials. The online brand has since blossomed into a multi-location retailer offering footwear styles for any age and gender.
- Buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS). Allbirds began as an online-only offering but became a global retailer with stores in North America, Europe, and Asia. If a particular shoe isn’t in stock at a retail location, shoppers can order it online and pick it up in-store, free from the delivery cost and the wait that comes with shipping.
- Personalization. Allbirds will send buyers personalized recommendations of new products based on a customer’s existing shopping history. This keeps customers coming back.
- Online, everywhere. It’s difficult for brands that start online to keep momentum up, but Allbirds is flourishing through its presence on multiple social channels. It’s active in influencer collabs, selling through social media and email marketing campaigns. An important way to keep digital content fresh is by creating it specifically for that channel. Allbirds partners with influencers specific to Instagram and TikTok, and shares a meme every now again.
Glamnetic began as a start-up dream from artist Ann McFerran. The magnetic eyelash brand founder worked to perfect a product that would be easy to put on and take off. The brand is expanding with its press-on nails that are affordable, long-lasting, and easy to remove. While it started as an ecommerce retailer, the brand quickly expanded its omnichannel strategy, selling its products in large national retailers like Sephora and Target.
- Social media ads. Glamnetic ads are everywhere online, and that’s a good thing. Social media paid ads that pop up in-feed with compelling videos and content on the brand’s products makes it hard to look away. From there, it’s an easy few clicks to get researching, purchasing the product, or finding a nearby retailer.
- Compelling founder. Not all founders need to be front and center of their brand’s story, but it can be a compelling part of the brand. Ann founded the brand in part to create a product that was easier to wear, and it blossomed into millions of orders. Ann genuinely loves the products of Glamnetic, which is great social proof to buyers.
4. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is a masterclass in omnichannel selling. The eyewear brand began as an online store that expanded into in-store retail, offering prescription glasses, sunglasses, contacts, and accompanying accessories. Warby Parker uses high-quality materials, with distinct designs and shapes so buyers feel like they are getting a product that is unique and personal to their style.
- Virtual try-on. Warby Parker’s app provides customers with the ability to try on glasses in the comfort of their own home with a virtual try-on feature on their website. Whether a customer decided to order online or go in-store for the purchase, the experience is smooth; the glasses look almost identical digitally or in-person.
- Accessibility. Warby Parker commits to being an affordable, innovative eyewear brand. While it offers the ability to try frames on in person or digitally, customers can order five frames for free to try within five days of receiving them. Return shipping is included.
- Customer feedback. Many shoppers do research before making a purchase. Warby Parker made customer feedback an easy and necessary part of the experience, prioritizing topics like quality, pricing, and home try-on so the brand can continue to improve its product offering and customer service experience.
The sustainable footwear brand Rothy’s began in 2012 offering alternative footwear for women and kids. Since then, the brand has expanded its range of products, recycling nearly 550,000 pounds of plastic thread that was destined for the ocean.
- Pre-ordering. Nothing frustrates a customer more than when something they love is out of stock. Rothy’s has found a way to keep its customer base engaged on limited styles with preordering. Before a new product launch, preorder information is available on the product page so a customer is sure to nab the pair of shoes or handbag they want without missing out.
- Educational content. For sustainable brands, understanding why a business does what it does and how it impacts the world is important to their buyers. Rothy’s sustainability page, along with its blog, offer customers insights into the process of making the products, along with the impact made.
- Text Rothy’s. Finding a brand all over social media, online, and in-store is great for buying. But what if you just have a question? Rothy’s has channels open for customers to contact the brand, such as a chatbot, texts, or email. SMS can be a useful way to connect to your customer if they have a question. This promotes customer loyalty and retention, too.
Staples is an omnichannel behemoth, supporting many business and individual needs online and in-store. The store is the place to find pens, binders, and printing services. Online, Staples offers resources for businesses to improve their IT or discover resources for smoother operations, along with office supplies.
- Tech support and resources. Staples doesn’t just offer physical products for purchase. By having services like printing stations, along with subscription tech support, workplace design services, and shredding, the company provides multiple touchpoints for a convenient and rewarding customer experience.
- Reward program. Staples Rewards offers its loyal customers benefits like exclusive deals, ink cartridge refills at a discount, and support, if the elite tier is reached. These rewards can be earned across all Staples’ omnichannel touchpoints, ensuring customers can stock up on savings opportunities for the future anywhere they buy from the brand.
7. Lazy Oaf
British brand Lazy Oaf isn’t just jumping on the trend of aughts revival clothes—it was there from the start. Since 2001, the apparel brand has offered inventive, playful products like clothes, accessories, and housewares in unique colors and designs, and with an eye to keeping things youthful.
- Social commerce. Integrating with Instagram’s selling features is a crucial way for brands to keep customers moving along the buyer’s journey. Lazy Oaf has nearly one million followers, so having a shop on the main page is important. Buyers who like the brand’s social presence can easily purchase a product featured in the feed with a few simple clicks.
- Brand responsibility. Lazy Oaf establishes its impact on the climate and brings in other social and cultural points to ensure buyers understand what the brand has to offer. Many of its staff are female-identifying, and the brand is female founded. This explains why it participates in slow fashion, key information on suppliers, and how the product is developed from an idea to fabric to a completed piece. Pulling back the curtain to show a brand’s ethics is an important touchpoint of an omnichannel strategy.
- Oafworld. Including a media arm to your brand’s offering is a smart way to create a seamless and integrated customer experience. For Lazy Oaf, that’s Oafworld: curated content including artist interviews, visual editorials, and news for Lazy Oafers to catch up on. It focuses on the brand’s narrative and offering, and showcases the other creative aspects that exist outside of the products.
8. Steve Madden
Steve Madden is an iconic ’90s footwear brand that began selling chunky platforms. It offers a variety of shoes, handbags, accessories, and more, and the company has a number of other brands under its portfolio.
- Return online items in-store. As a brand that began as an in-person retailer, it’s important for Steve Madden to keep that connection for buyers. For those who prefer to buy online it offers a seamless experience across channels to return items however they choose. This can mean in-store if that’s easiest.
- Excel at customer service. Steve Madden offers excellent customer service across their channels, including a live chat on their website for customers to ask about buying, shipping, and return information.
- Buy now, pay later (BNPL). One buying trend becoming more mainstream every day is buy now, pay later. Offering services like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm for your customers, like Steve Madden does, increases the chance of a seamless, complete purchase. Customers won’t have to stop to think if they can make the whole amount now, but rather can go from cart to third-party system to a complete order, knowing their payments are spread out a little more easily.
Omnichannel retailers FAQ
Who is the best omnichannel retailer?
Warby Parker is one of the best omnichannel retailers for its in-store, online, and social media strategy, offering a seamless customer experience.
Who are the leaders in omnichannel retail?
Leaders in omnichannel retail include Allbirds, Rothy’s, and Staples.
What is an omnichannel retailer example?
An example of an omnichannel retailer includes Sephora, which sells online via a website and app, and in-store.
Is omnichannel outdated?
Omnichannel is not an outdated method of marketing and selling products. It’s becoming an important way for all retailers to operate their business by offering many touchpoints in a customer’s journey to buying a product. Omnichannel customers are nearly twice as likely to shop more than customers who use one channel.