How to Meet Holiday Shoppers’ Needs With an Omnichannel Approach

20 Oct 2021
Albert Wood
Albert Wood
How to Meet Holiday Shoppers’ Needs With an Omnichannel Approach

The busiest shopping time of the year is almost upon us. As the weather gets colder and the Jack O’ Lanterns give way to holiday decorations, it’s important to be prepared; that way, when the rush comes, you can stay on top of it with ease. Today, we are going to talk about one of the most effective approaches you can take to tackling the holidays and designing your customer experience in general: an omnichannel approach.

What Is Omnichannel?

Omnichannel customer experiences have become possible only fairly recently, and have developed alongside advances in the internet and computing technology. From the Latin “omnis” meaning “all,” “omnichannel” describes a customer experience wherein a variety of different access channels – such as brick and mortar stores, mobile apps, and websites – are not only available to your customers but connected. This connection between the channels is what distinguishes an omnichannel approach from one that is simply multichannel. 

For example, if a clothing store has a website, a physical location, and a mobile application, but buying an item in-store has no effect on their experience in the app or on the website, their approach is simply multichannel. The more channels you have for your business, of course, the better, but using an omnichannel approach will take your customer experience to the next level. 

There are many ways to start using omnichannel elements in your business. Complete seamlessness between all channels, while something to work toward, is not always feasible. But don’t let this stop you from striving for greater integration. Unified user experiences are becoming more and more popular as technology advances, and it is important to provide your customers with a smooth experience to compete. Simple integration goes a long way. 

If the clothing store from above had spent time developing an omnichannel approach, it might look something like the following. A customer buys a shirt in-store. On their app, they can see their receipt, as well as the rewards points they earned from the purchase. They can also see what is in stock at their chosen location and order for store pickup or delivery. All this functionality and information is also available on the website. Points and purchase history from transactions at every touchpoint are available at every other touchpoint – in person, on the phone, on the app, and on the website.

Why Is It Important, Especially During the Holidays?

Revamping your customer experience with omnichannel elements will help your business no matter what time of the year it is, but the chaos of the holiday season makes it an even bigger priority. If you are looking for an excuse to move forward with some new ideas, there is no better time than now. 

Reduce Stress and Increase Customer Satisfaction

Holiday shopping is always a hectic experience. Making it as easy as it can be is a great way to attract customers to your business and keep them coming back. Nobody likes to deal with the frustration of running in circles trying to track down an item. An integrated experience will ensure things go smoothly for your customers.

Make It Easier For Customers to Find You

One of the primary concerns for any business is finding how best to reach your target customer base. The advent of smartphones and increasingly ubiquitous internet usage in the past few decades has only made this task harder. With the option of shopping in person, on a phone, tablet, or computer, customers are less likely than ever to go out of their way to reach you on your primary platform. To adjust to this, more and more businesses are using omnichannel approaches to unify all their platforms and reach customers where they are already looking.

Gather Better Information and Improve Your Business

Ideally, when you use an omnichannel strategy, your loyal customers won’t just be customers; they will be part of your integrated system across multiple platforms. This means you can gather much more detailed and useful information about your customer base, allowing you to further tailor your business for maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction. For example, you can track activity across platforms, seeing which customers are using which platforms most often. 

Using analytics like these, you can continue to improve your customer experience, finding the best ways to allow interaction and continuity between different touchpoints and improve sales.

Examples of Effective Omnichannel Strategies


In recent years, Starbucks has developed an effective omnichannel approach that has allowed them to vastly increase the efficiency of its customer acquisition and retention strategies. 

While their in-store rewards program was a good idea on its own, it did little in the way of drawing in customers who did not seek it out. To remedy this, Starbucks started requiring customers to register with their email addresses to access free wifi in their shops. Using these emails, they send promotional materials advertising new products as well as deals available through their rewards program, using email as a funnel into the rewards. This way, they created a pathway for reaching any customer who has used their internet.

This is a great example of an approach that unifies all its different channels. In-store wifi usage requires email, bringing those customers into Starbucks’ email loop. Email is connected with in-store deals and their app, encouraging customers to become further involved by joining the rewards program. Once they have acquired a rewards member, that customer can engage with the store through email, on their smartphone, on their computer, or in-person with equal ease. 

How To Get Started 

1) Learn About Your Ideal Customer

Before you begin implementing an omnichannel approach before the holidays, or any time, you must understand who you are trying to reach. Use analytics, customer feedback, and research to find out exactly who your target customer is and how you can best reach them. This is a crucial step. For your strategy to be effective, you need to design it with a specific goal in mind. Starbucks did this by targeting a specific group of customers – those who used their wifi but were not rewards members.   

2) Make Sure Your Team is Set Up For Success

For an integrated end-user experience, you need to also be integrated behind the scenes. If the structure of your teams is disjointed, then it will be much more difficult to provide a smooth experience. Try to organize your personnel in a way that makes sense for the way your customer experience will be organized. This can take some planning, so take your time creating a strategy.

3) Make A Plan 

Once you have looked at all the angles of who your target is and how your team should be set up, start making a plan for how you want your customer experience to function. Lay out your goals in creating your new approach and come up with ways you can reach them. This plan will be completely different depending on your business and who you are trying to reach. 

4) Implement and Watch Your Work Pay Off

All this may seem like a daunting task, and that’s ok – implementing a strategy like this will take time, and should be approached thoughtfully. The results, however, make it more than worth it. A slew of studies has proven omnichannel marketing to be incredibly effective, including one survey by AspectSoftware which shows 91% greater customer retention for businesses that employ omnichannel strategies than for those that do not.


The reasons for adopting an omnichannel approach are clear, and they only increase by the day. As technology continues to advance, so do strategies for marketing and customer engagement. Making it a priority to implement an omnichannel strategy will not only help you right now for the upcoming holiday season but will also prepare your business for the future and set you up for success in the long term.

Albert Wood
Albert Wood linkedin

Albert Wood is an accomplished eCommerce Business Analyst. As a technology futurist and sales motivator at ioVista, Albert is dedicated to transforming struggling eCommerce businesses into thriving enterprises. With a keen focus on client’s business processes, user experience (UX), and leveraging the power of digital marketing, he helps businesses optimize their online presence and drive sustainable growth. Albert’s passion is for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), immersing himself in unforgettable experiences and exploring the limitless possibilities they offer. His enthusiasm for these emerging technologies fuels his drive to push the boundaries of innovation in eCommerce.

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