Chapter 4: Mobile Apps & Omni-Channel


With the ubiquity of mobile devices these days, there’s no arguing that mobile will be a critical piece of your omni-channel marketing strategy. More and more, web browsing and apps are a major part of how users interact with brands: 58% of a user’s digital media time is spent in apps, vs 33% on desktop websites. (ComScore 2016 Mobile App Report) And through an app, it’s easier for you to create a personalized, user-focused experience than through a mobile website. So what does a good omni-channel marketing experience look like? Let's down how brands are taking advantage: 

The in-store experience, enhanced

Luxury brands traditionally don’t carry all the items and sizes customers may want. Aldo recently opened a new store designed to combine the in-store and mobile experience. Not only can customers use their app place an online order, right in the store, but the app provides content and recommendations based on the customer context: the customer’s purchase history, what they’ve abandoned, and the season. Customers get an experience that’s more tailored to them than any salesperson alone can provide.

 
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REI makes it easy for customer to access user reviews.

User reviews and ratings are a powerful influence when a user is deciding whether or not to take action. Traditionally, users would check out items in person, and then head home to research and compare. 

REI took away the need for that step by letting users scan the barcodes on items and see user-generated ratings right in the app. This kind of peer review is a key step before buying for plenty of people, and REI gets a user to make a decision, faster, by making it happen in-store. 

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REI makes it easier for users to access reviews in-store.


CVS creates a new app + in-store experience.

Here’s a common story: a user starts in your app or website, places an order, and heads to a brick and mortar store to pick up their purchase. At Target, this accounts for 15% of all orders placed on Target.com. That’s a sizeable group!

CVS targeted this type of shopper with their recent CVS curbside pickup launch. CVS Health users place an order from the CVS app, or online. Then, they go about their day, until they get a text letting them know their order is ready to be picked up. Once they're outside, the app lets a CVS employee know they’ve arrived so their order can be brought out to them. CVS is working with Curbside to provide the service, and says their clients see an average of 30% increase in new customers, with 61% of customers making a repeat purchase. 


Omni-channel in action at CVS.
 

Bringing apps to bigger screens

It’s not just small screens you need to think about. Apps on smart TVs are still new territory for consumers--and brands outside entertainment--but more and more brands are starting to take advantage of what the channel has to offer.

Airbnb, Burberry,& Apple TV

Airbnb’s Apple TV app will let you browse available rentals and book your next stay. For an app known for stunning photography and a user that’s prioritizing the images available, the channel makes perfect sense. It’s certainly more comfortable for a group of travelers to gather around a TV than a laptop, tablet, or phone. It’s a clever way for Airbnb to make using their service a fun, social experience for their users. 

With their 2016 Apple TV app, Burberry became the first luxury brand to livestream their runway show on the platform. The app also features highlights from past shows, performances at Burberry events, and other special content. The emphasis isn’t on fostering conversion via the app, but engaging and strengthening ties between Burberry customers, and increasing brand awareness. Plus, the kind of content Burberry’s creating for this channel can easily be repurposed and optimized for social media, blog posts, and more. 

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Omni-channel loyalty

The hospitality industry is driven more by loyalty programs than other industries, and just about all of the major players have embraced an omni-channel approach. Hilton’s HHonors app coordinates registration and confirmation information between the app and a user’s email account

 
 

The people joining your loyalty program are either already your most engaged customers and users, or they have the potential to be. The seamless, personalized qualities of omni-channel marketing make it a powerful piece of a loyalty program that drives repeat business and engagement. 

Here’s how you make your loyalty program omni-channel friendly:

  1. Make it mobile. Don’t limit your users to in-person experiences. Let them access rewards points, redeem coupons, and buy right from their device.
  2. Use beacons in-store to show users offers they can take advantage of.


The connection you’ve already built with these users calls for a highly personalized experience on all these channels and user touchpoints, too. 

The hotel 


GrubHub Takes Advantage of Current Events 

It doesn’t always work when a brand attempts to capitalize on an current event. But GrubHub saw massive engagement via a campaign around the Presidential Debate that took place this past election season, on September 26, 2016.


The GrubHub team understood that this was a massive national event that would engage a large swath of users. Being a televised event, people would be home, probably with friends or family--all contributing to a perfect environment to order food. So they created two promo codes--IMWITHHER and IMWITHHIM-- and tracked the results, promoting them across their social media and email channels. What made it an omni-channel campaign is how well the campaign was synced across channels, with the experience adapted for email, social, app, and website.

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That’s an experience that started with a user’s account on the desktop site, mobile site, or app, and extended through GrubHub’s email and social media channels.