To start, let’s establish a solid understanding of what we mean by omnichannel. Omnichannel marketing is a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience.

The goal here is to create a seamless experience for the customer, whether they are shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, via phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.

Omnichannel marketing caters to the new wave of customers seeking personalized experiences. Gone are the days where mass messaging is king. “Omnichannel marketing” is no longer just a buzzword. It has surpassed the “trend” phase and stationed itself as a key strategy necessary to implement in this new era of technology.

At its core, omnichannel marketing is a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated overall shopping experience. The customer can transition from shopping online on a desktop or mobile device, to the phone, or a brick-and-mortar store, and the experience will be seamless. This experience fosters a greater sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand, which impacts positive brand image and retention rates.

In this article, we have listed 8 examples of innovation in the emerging field of omnichannel retail.

1. Disney Theatrical Group

Disney is a brand that makes it easy for consumers to feel a connection. The company is built around imagination and creation, so it is no surprise that they are leading the way in the realm of omnichannel marketing.

Disney’s experience is all in the details. Every piece of their website is mobile-responsive and optimized to every device. After a visitor has booked their Disney World resort visit, they can plan every minute of their trip through the My Disney Experience tool. In the park, they can use the mobile app to locate attractions they earmarked in the experience tool and see estimated wait times for each attraction.

This year, Disney introduced their Magic Band program. It’s a brilliantly executed weapon in Disney’s omnichannel arsenal. Disney World and Disneyland visitors can enter the parks, unlock their hotel rooms, check in to FastPass lanes, connect to their Disney PhotoPass account, and charge all purchases made in the park to their Magic Band. And of course, all of this is linked with the My Disney Experience account, accessible through the mobile app.

Bravo, Disney. Bravo.

Disney Theatrical Group: Adapting Content for Multiple Channels

Beyond the magic of their theme parks, media, and broadway shows, Disney’s success is built on their approach to channel-specific content. 

Disney knows its core marketing channels are fundamentally different. They’re consumed by their guests differently, so why should the content they distribute be the same? Nick Falzon, VP Sales and Analytics at Disney Theatrical Group, shared his insights on this at Power to the Marketer:

Disney Theatrical Group: Adapting Content for Multiple Channels – Power To The Marketer Shorts

2. Starbucks

Starbucks is frequently revered as an omnichannel savant. The coffee company seems to be on every corner nowadays. Why? Because they are doing a whole lot of things – and they’re getting them all right.

Starbucks does an excellent job providing a seamless user experience. Every time a Starbucks user pays with a Starbucks card, via a physical card or mobile, that user accumulates reward points. The linked app also allows the coffee drinker to find stores near them, send gifts, order drinks ahead of time for a quicker purchase experience, view new additions to the menu. And, with the recent Spotify integration, consumers can view what songs are playing in that specific store and add them to their playlists.

The omnipresent coffee chain has nailed the omnichannel approach, delivering a seamless, connected experience that’s as engaging as it is easy to use. This is the key principle of omnichannel. As explained by Misia Tramp, EVP Insights and Innovations for Tahzoo: 

“Omnichannel involves using data to understand where effort exists in the customer experience and how to remove – rather than add – effort.”


From sneaker heads to sports enthusiasts, PUMA caters to a varied global audience of millions of customers. 

Before partnering with Emarys, PUMA would send a standard newsletter to their email database once a week. This content wasn’t personalized to each recipient, PUMA didn’t have segmentation capabilities in place, and their in-store and online data was siloed, so they couldn’t act on the full data picture they had. 

So, they devised a plan to unify their data and deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time to help them capitalize on the significant e-commerce and retail opportunities in front of them.

By implementing the SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement platform, PUMA unveiled key insights into their customer lifecycle and what made their customers tick. This enabled them to launch sophisticated, personalized marketing automations that unlocked the true revenue potential of their customer base. 

The result? In 6 months, they drove 5x revenue from email, +25% open rates, 50% database growth, and 10x weekly subscribers. Now that’s a win.

PUMA's personalized email and omnichannel marketing

[Read their Success Story]

4. Sephora

Sephora is another brand brought up time and time again for the brilliance behind their omnichannel customer experience. We have even touted Sephora before and applauded their Beauty Insider Rewards program as a means for stronger relationships between consumers and the brand.

Sephora Beauty Insiders can tap into the Beauty Bag on their phone or desktop and have access to a truckload of data. Consumers can shop, see their favorites list, any of their past purchases, and how many rewards points they have, scan items in store to see other options available online, watch tutorial videos, and find a store near them.

This extremely successful application of omnichannel marketing strategy has nurtured 11 million members, who spend 15 times more money on than the average user.

5. Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel homed in on the fact that many consumers toggle through several different devices before completing purchases. In order to capitalize on this consumer behavior, Crate & Barrel implemented an omnichannel approach.

Whenever a consumer is logged into their account, the app saves their shopping cart and browsing data so they can access this information across multiple devices. This new implementation has allowed consumers to take up where they left off in the shopping process, and Crate & Barrel has reaped great returns.

In fact, Crate & Barrel’s implementation of an omnichannel customer experience strategy resulted in a 10% revenue increase from the newly improved mobile and web stores. Further pushing themselves along the path of innovation, Crate & Barrel released their 3D Room Designer feature, allowing consumers to virtually place any Crate & Barrel item into their home before purchasing.

Crate & Barrel also recognized the importance, influence, and impact the holiday season had for their customers. To allow their audience to shop products specific to their faiths, Crate & Barrel updated their website to include collections for Hanukkah and Christmas. 

Crate&Barrel offering tailored omnichannel customer experiences

Source: Crate & Barrel

6. Walgreens

Forbes recently highlighted Walgreens’ mobile retail app as one of the highest regarded in the US. Its success can be attributed to the omnichannel strategy implemented by the pharmaceutical retail giant.

The app allows users to manage their pharmacy prescriptions, fill out rapid refill requests, find deals on products in the stores, and make orders that they can pick up at the nearest location. While this is a mobile-focused shopping experience, the app is actually oriented toward improving a user’s in-store experience. This is the brilliance behind Walgreens’ strategy.

Source: Walgreens iOS app

7. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is a global brand with a network of over 380 franchisee-owned restaurants. But no matter how they sliced it up, they still fell into the same trap of many large brands – sending only batch-and-blast email communications to their subscriber base, with no personalization and differentiation between them. 

And in the uber-competitive UK pizza delivery world, where one bad experience can turn your customer into a competitor’s, that wasn’t going to cut it. 

The brand needed to deliver an exceptional experience throughout the customer lifecycle. This began and ended with the strength of their data, so Pizza Hut set out collecting it, unifying it, and putting it to work.

Step one? First-party data. Pizza Hut deployed a welcome campaign that encouraged customers to share information about their dining preferences, dietary preferences, and typical party size. By combining this self-reported customer data with real-time behavioral data and connecting it to Emarsys, Pizza Hut got the insight it needed to create personalized customer journeys that were unique to each lifecycle stage. 

The fun really started with their loyalty campaigns, though. In partnership with Emarsys, Pizza Hut A/B tested their incentives and delivered personalized automations that reminded customers how many free slices they’d earned, and how far away they were from unlocking a free pizza or side. Now there’s one experience topping the loyalty charts. 

Pizza Hut's omnichannel retail experience

[Read their Success Story]

8. Amazon

Giants in the world of online retail, Amazon haven’t achieved their top-tier status without reason. 

It’s the same reason that every Amazon meeting has at least one empty chair. That chair represents the customer, and it reminds them of their mission — “to be earth’s most customer-centric company”. 

Amazon fuels their customer-centric approach with the wealth of data they’ve accrued in their 20-year history. By connecting this data across multiple channels, Amazon gives their customers the option to browse and purchase how they want, where they want, and when they want. 

Through their customer-focused approach, Amazon discovered that the biggest roadblock on the path to purchase conversion was shipping costs — so, they moved to overcome it. Off the back of this, the e-commerce giant launched Amazon Prime, a paid loyalty-style program that gives their customers free, fast shipping and a host of other benefits in return for a monthly payment. 

The data Amazon collects from Prime members gives them a unique look at customer shopping preferences, which they use to build a unified, increasingly accurate single customer view. 

Final Thoughts

These e-commerce retailers have invested big in their omnichannel customer experience and marketing strategies, and they’re certainly reaping the rewards for their hard work.
➤ Want to dive deeper into the world of retail marketing? Check out our latest guide on the key trends shaping the future of retail marketing.