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Buzzword Explained: Why giant retailers go for omnichannel

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August 9, 2023
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8 minutes
The world has been witnessing unprecedented growth in e-commerce with the emergence of new purchase and communications channels including the Internet, smartphones, tablets and social media.

In this new reality, firms have widely incorporated new channels into their operation in an attempt to cater to a consistent and seamless experience and services for their clients.

A customer-centric omnichannel approach now becomes a key priority for many companies. This practice enables the management of many channels and customer touchpoints in a way that the optimization of both customer experience across channels and channel performance is achieved.

Now you may be more curious about omnichannel and why it is so popular among retailers. Let’s dive deeper into this!

Why do brands need an omnichannel strategy?

An omnichannel strategy enables customers to browse, purchase, and receive products through a variety of channels which can range from brick-and-mortar stores, and online marketplaces to social media, and mobile applications.

In a series that highlights the future of shopping in the world, the Economist has witnessed that omnichannel is flourishing in many parts of the world including major markets like the United States, Britain and China. All giant retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Aldi, Alibaba, and Tesco have all gone omni.

Studies also revealed that omnishoppers tend to spend more on their customer journey and be more loyal to the brand. Who wouldn’t choose a strategy that helps their firms not only increase sales but also improve customer experience and gain competitive advantages in the market?


  • Omnichannel is flourishing in many parts of the world as this model enables customers to browse, purchase, and receive products through a variety of channels which can range from brick-and-mortar stores, and online marketplaces to social media, and mobile applications.
  • Improved customer loyalty, increased sales growth, better inventory management and enhanced operation efficiency are among the benefits of an omnichannel strategy.
  • A company needs to have fundamental changes in three pillars: technology, logistics and organizational practices before transitioning to an omnichannel model.
  • Developing and executing an omnichannel strategy might be very demanding and challenging which requires expert guidance from business consultants.

How businesses benefit from Omnichannel strategy

A study conducted by the Havard Business Review on 46,000 customers in the United States showed that 7 out of 10 shoppers used multiple channels during their shopping journey and the omnichannel retailing model works.

The study also revealed that with every additional channel customers used, they spent more money in the store. For example, shoppers who used more than 4 channels spent 9 percent more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel.

Conducting prior online research on the retailer’s own site or sites of other retailers led to 13 percent greater in-store spending among omnichannel shoppers, the study found.

On top of that, shoppers often prefer the omnichannel approach because it elevates their customer experience. With numerous channels at their disposal, they can conveniently make purchases through apps, websites, or in physical stores.

As these channels are integrated, customers can interact with the company from one channel to another seamlessly and conveniently. Let’s take a closer look at how a firm can benefit from its successful omnichannel strategy:

1. Strengthen customers’ trust and loyalty

An omnichannel strategy that is customer-centric offers customers a seamless and consistent shopping experience across all channels. By doing so, companies increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. With positive experience, shoppers are likely to return and recommend the brand to their family, friends and colleagues.

2. Increase profitability

By offering a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints, businesses can engage customers more effectively. In addition, this model also helps companies to serve the different needs of consumers through a number of online services. Therefore, customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, leading to higher lifetime customer value.

3. Improve inventory turnover

Gone are the days when retailers are caught in trouble due to items going out of stock. With an omnichannel strategy, firms can direct inventory differently based on the demand of customers while enjoying a certain level of flexibility in managing commodity cost rise and protecting consumers from interruptions.

4. Increase operational efficiency

One of the perks of implementing an omnichannel strategy is that businesses would enjoy better operational efficiency, in other words, driving ROI. With a good omnichannel strategy, businesses can collect more data about customers’ preferences and behaviors, which can be used to improve the services and provide firms with a comprehensive understanding of the customers.

How consultants help firms ace their omnichannel strategy

To ensure the omnichannel strategy brings about positive outcomes, it is necessary for firms to have careful planning and implementation. It is not easy to develop and execute a plan that can both meet customers’ preferences and be efficient to be implemented without competent expertise and experience in this field.

Given the complexities of developing and implementing an omnichannel strategy, a firm can save an immense amount of time and other resources thanks to the guidance of consultants. With their expert advice and guidance, business consultants assist companies to improve performance and achieve goals.

Develop a strategy to help firms shift from a traditional to an omnichannel model

Omnichannel consultants are well aware that a company needs to have fundamental changes in three pillars: technology, logistics and organizational practices.


One of the success factors of an omnichannel strategy is technology. A firm needs to redesign the current IT infrastructure to make it possible to integrate data across channels and enable data analysis. This process requires not only significant investments but also human resources with competent knowledge and expertise in this area.

With this demanding task, business consultants will offer companies valuable insights in the area. They can also help with customer analytics capabilities, which are very important in predicting consumer behavior to target them with more attractive offers.


Another aspect of the shift to an omnichannel strategy centers around developing an integrated logistic system that can accommodate each channel effectively. The change needed will vary based on their existing infrastructure.

In some cases, omnichannel specialists may advise companies to redesign their existing distribution systems and some might be suggested to invest in real-time inventory management across all channels.

Organizational practices

The third pillar in fundamental changes that a firm needs to have is to develop new practices that facilitate cross-channel communication and collaboration.

An expert will offer consultations on how firms can promote knowledge sharing across channels, how to implement organizational restructuring, and the hiring and training schemes as well as how to enhance their skills to manage various channels.

Managing omnichannel strategy

Besides developing a plan to shift from multi or cross-channel to omnichannel, omnichannel consultants will be of crucial importance in helping firms to manage an omnichannel strategy in an effective way.

With the support of consultants, they can address various operational issues that arise during the process. They include managing distribution systems, resource allocation and customer journeys. Specifically, business consultants help a firm with:
  • Finding the right balance and managing the complex interplay between digital and physical channels while taking contextual factors into consideration.
  • Minimize negative customer experience by solving misalignment between customers' expectations and the organization's perception.
  • Develop an efficient distribution system and a framework to examine the cost and value of providing services.

Measure your omnichannel performance and impacts

Tracking performance and measuring the impacts of an omnichannel strategy is yet another aspect that business consultants can help firms with. After the strategy is rolled out, CEOs or managers would definitely want to know if the model works and in what stage they can further improve.

Specifically, consultants test, evaluate the results, ask customers for feedback, and then use the learnings to scale and grow your strategy. They will pick the most suitable metrics and methods of measuring, which include customer retention, average order value and conversion rate.

In some cases, it is necessary to separate the impact of omnichannel on digital and physical channels as well as evaluate the effects of channel integration on consumers’ buying intentions and engagement.

Case Studies: Omnichannel strategy success stories

Most major retailers across the world have joined the omnichannel race to catch up with the changing buying behaviors and increasing tech-savviness of their customers.

It’s not rare to see a customer enjoys using apps on their smartphones to compare prices or use a coupon from their phone while also using in-store tools like a tablet, an interactive catalog, or a price checker. Many choose to buy online and pick up in-store or vice versa, some purchase items in the store and have them delivered to their home.

Now let’s take a glimpse into a few case studies of businesses that have successfully won customers’ hearts and earned more with their omnichannel strategy.


Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been at the forefront of omnichannel and for years, invested in resources to blend the strengths of both physical and digital retailing. The retailer has been successful with their brick-and-mortar stores in a diverse range of formats and channels.

The company’s transition to an omnichannel model has focused mostly on investments in a supply chain enabled by data and automation. Its online grocery pickup services have been rolled out to 85 locations, bringing the total to 140 stores in 25 metropolitan markets that allow store pickup of online grocery orders.


Uniqlo is just another great example of how an omnichannel strategy can bring so much to the firm and its customers. What the Japanese company did is they integrated digital touchpoints so customers can interact with the brands through many channels and move seamlessly through the different stages of the customer's journey.

The focal point of its omnichannel strategy is the mobile app which links its digital channels with physical retail stores. With this app, customers can register to become a member and have access to their membership points, purchase history, product review, and exclusive offers.

It also allows shoppers to get product information in an instant, check the availability of the product and order the items they desire.

By integrating online with offline channels through its mobile app, and harnessing the power of data, Uniqlo provides a seamless in-store experience, stays connected with customers on-the-go and learns how to enhance their services with data collected at each step of the customer journey.


Disney, one of the world’s most powerful brands, used their Disney Experience app, to enable visitors to prepare a plan for themselves before arriving at the park of choice and use the app during their visit to join more attractions.

The app also includes many customized features that track visitors’ itinerary and allows them to make reservations and booking as well as a built-in guide, virtual queues, and showtimes. With a large number of attractions and a massive flow of visitors, the omnichannel strategy helps Disney improve customer experience and encourage return visitors and loyal fans.

These case studies provide us with great examples of how companies have used omnichannel to transform customer experience and drive up orders and sales.


In conclusion, omnichannel strategy has garnered significant attention from businesses recently, especially those in the retail sector and there are good reasons for the attention it deserves.

There is no doubt that an omnichannel strategy can bring numerous benefits to both firms and customers. However, developing a robust strategy and executing it in an efficient and practical way might be challenging and daunting sometimes. This is precisely where we can help you with.

Here at Consultport, we have the expertise of thousands of consultants on offer who can help your firms navigate the complexities of executing an omnichannel strategy and achieve goals without hassle.