Omnichannel retail strategy for transformed customer experiences

Staying ahead of omnichannel retail trends is vital to delivering the seamless experiences modern customers demand. Here are four trends shaping customer expectations, along with omnichannel retail strategies to meet and exceed their needs.  

Content Marketing Specialist

Monika Karlović

Content Marketing Specialist

Digital transformation has revolutionized retail communication, and omnichannel retail strategies are essential for navigating evolving consumer preferences.  

Although customers frequent brick-and-mortar stores more often, they are not willing to compromise on the digital experiences that have evolved over the last few years.  

McKinsey research confirms that Gen Z, in particular, doesn’t even think about traditional channel boundaries, and they increasingly evaluate brands and retailers on the seamlessness of their experience. 

To succeed, retailers must embrace omnichannel communication and understand trends to transform customer engagement in retail. 

What is an omnichannel retail strategy?

An omnichannel retail strategy is a customer-centric approach that delivers a unified and consistent brand experience across multiple sales and communication channels.  

These channels can include traditional mediums such as email, voice, and SMS, as well as digital channels, social media, messaging apps, and live chat. 

An omnichannel retail strategy can involve synchronizing online and in-store inventories, offering buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) options, or implementing customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track customer interactions across all platforms. 

The key is engaging customers by providing a unified experience.

So, although multiple channels are being used, your business can still offer a consistent and cohesive customer experience.

This means that a customer can start a conversation with your brand on one channel and continue it seamlessly on another channel without repeating information – improving their overall experience.  

Omnichannel retail journey example

Example how our customer data platform unifies information from your POS, ERP, CRM, loyalty programs, website visits, mobile app visits, and more.

Single-channel, multichannel, and omnichannel retailing

You can tell the difference between the three by looking at the words. But let’s break down the terms anyways: 

Single channel retailing: A retailer focuses on selling through only one channel. This could be a traditional brick-and-mortar store, an online website, or direct sales. Single-channel retail is simple to manage and has lower costs.  
However, it has limited reach, and you risk missing out on customers who prefer different channels.  
Example: A local bakery with a storefront. 

Multichannel retailing: A retailer uses multiple channels, including a physical store, a website, mobile apps, social media, etc. It has increased customer reach and potential for higher sales.  
However, potential inconsistencies can happen across channels.  
Example: A clothing retailer with a website and a presence on social media platforms (but they function separately). 

Omnichannel retailing: It takes place on multiple channels, just like the multi-channel retail strategy, but an omnichannel approach connects all channels for a fully integrated shopping experience with a seamless transition across various platforms.  
Example: A department store where you can use the app to check in-store availability, order online with in-store pickup, and have your loyalty program recognized across all touchpoints. 

What does omnichannel communication for the retail industry look like?

Omnichannel communication in the retail industry is a key tool for driving engagement and ROI.  

Customers can interact with a retailer through the channel of their choice to get transactional or promotional messages, reminders and notifications, or any other type of message – meaning retailers can provide omnichannel shopping experiences.   

Retailers can collect and analyze customer data across channels to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This can help them personalize their marketing strategies and communication efforts and better target their customers with relevant promotions and offers.  

Overall, omnichannel communication is an essential strategy for retailers looking to meet the changing customer expectations, who increasingly demand a cohesive and personalized experience on any channel.  

Omnichannel retail statistics

We analyzed 473 billion interactions on our platform in 2023 to uncover how customers and brands use omnichannel communications in today’s landscape.  

Here are the main findings we uncovered about channel usage on our platform for retail and eCommerce brands: 

  • 74% increase in total messages
  • 684% increase in the use of RCS messages

More and more retail brands are adopting a variety of channels to communicate with customers, develop end-to-end journeys, and enrich experiences.  

According to Omnisend, marketing campaigns that use at least three channels compared to those launched on just one channel have a 494% higher order rate (0.83% vs 0.14%). 

This is especially true for agile and creative young brands who have adopted chat apps and social media as sales channels and are working with influencers to extend the reach of their marketing campaigns exponentially. 

The key use cases retailers use for omnichannel shopping experiences are: 

  1. Back-in-stock alerts 
  2. Loyalty vouchers and special offers 
  3. Cross-sell and upsell opportunities 
  4. Order confirmations 
  5. Delivery notifications 
  6. Automate answers for FAQs  

How to use omnichannel communications in retail

Omnichannel communication offers retailers a wide range of creative opportunities. Here is an example of how one customer can interact with a brand using four channels and experience a seamless shopping journey.  


Deliver personalized experiences by leveraging data insights

Example of an omnichannel customer journey in retail

How do omnichannel communications improve retail experiences?

Businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive business growth by unifying data and using multiple channels for interactions. The most effective customer engagement activities in retail will depend on your target audience and the nature of your business. 

top customer acquisition and retention strategies

These are the top customer acquisition and retention strategies brands are using. Source: Shopify

Offer an end-to-end shopping journey

Using omnichannel capabilities enables you to build digital customer journeys from start to finish. Utilize different channels and the features of those channels to create more engaging conversational experiences and grab your audiences’ attention.   

From lead generation to promotions, closing sales, and re-engagement efforts, omnichannel communications can elevate each stage and bring more cohesive experiences to your retail customers.  

No more siloed touchpoints and data

Customers want a personalized and tailored shopping experience where retail brands demonstrate a strong understanding of their needs and individual preferences. No matter their channel of choice, customers can interact with your brand without any disjointed interactions. Retailers can collect insightful data across channels and use that information to build better experiences and remove any siloed data.   

Unifying data and customer communications are essential for becoming a customer-centric retailer and transforming interactions into meaningful connections.  

Elevate and improve customer service

Minimize the effort required by customers to connect with your brand, share proactive support, and provide an always-on digital experience across every channel and context – to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.  

With unified customer conversations and centralized data, retailers have the tools to evolve the contact center into a revenue generator, capturing customer insights that can be used across the entire organization.  

Creating an omnichannel retail strategy

Developing a strategy around using multiple channels to communicate with customers is essential for retailers to meet high demands. Keeping the trends and benefits discussed in this blog in mind, let’s dive into the steps required to create the right strategy for your business.  

omnichannel retail strategy

Three primary omnichannel strategies: commerce, personalization, and ecosystem. Source: McKinsey

// Segment customers

Understanding the crucial role customer data plays in omnichannel communications is the first step. But how do you start using this data to your advantage?  

Segment your customers based on their behaviors, preferences, demographics, and history with your brand. Doing this will help you target the right individuals for specific marketing efforts and simplify personalization.  


You are a clothing retailer, and your target audience is Gen Z.  

Age: Gen Z is typically defined as those born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s. 

Gender: Consider how gender identity plays a role in fashion choices.  

Location: Urban vs. suburban vs. rural locations could influence style preferences. 

Social media platforms: Identify where they spend time (Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.).

Purchase frequency: Frequent shoppers vs. occasional shoppers.

Price point: Discount shoppers vs premium buyers.

// Discover what channels your audience uses

After segmenting your customers, you know about their preferred channels, platforms, and mediums.  

According to that data, you should adopt the channels your customers actually use. You will discover which channels are worth the investment based on where they are located, how they use their messaging apps and additional data you collect on their communication preferences.   

Knowing your target is primarily Gen Z means prioritizing visual platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.  

Host pop-ups, partner with local influencers, and target ads on chosen platforms. 

For frequent buyers use loyalty program apps, for occasional buyers use emails with targeted sales. 

// Use journey maps for each segment

Journey maps will help you visualize every action and engagement key customer personas take to achieve their goals.  

Use a customer journey map todefine an omnichannel customer engagement strategy that adds value across individual journeys – based on a customer’s needs, preferred channels, context, and more.  

Brands with top omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% yearly increase in annual revenue. According to research, solid omnichannel brands witness a 7.5% yearly decrease in cost per contact

Awareness: A customer sees a viral outfit on a TikTok influencer and clicks on the tagged brand. 
Consideration: Then, browses your brand’s Instagram, finds similar styles, engages with shoppable posts, and saves items to a wishlist. 
Purchase: Next, the customer receives a retargeting ad with a discount code, purchases directly on Instagram, and gets a personalized thank you email. 
Post-purchase: Lastly, shares a photo of her new outfit on social, tagging your brand. Now, she can get future recommendations based on the purchase. 
How to map further:  
1. Focus on 2-3 of your most important customer segments. 
2. List every possible way a customer in each segment might interact with your brand. 
3. Chart potential paths. 
4. Define where friction might occur. 

// Use cross-channel communication

Within your journey map, identify which channels are the most appropriate for which messages. Use different channels for sales, marketing, and support use cases to find the perfect combination of channels for your customers.   

This is how you will start to offer better brand experiences online, which can also transfer to in-store experiences.  

Answer questions, comments, and private messages on social media

Store staff can help find items if online stock is low. 

// Add automation

An omnichannel strategy works best when paired with automation tools and techniques. Add automated message flows that walk customers through stages in their journey with CTA buttons or pre-defined responses to make your customer service agents more efficient.   

Add a chatbot to level up your customer support solution. When a chatbot can no longer assist a customer, the conversation is seamlessly transferred to an agent who picks up right where the chatbot left off.   

A customer sees an item on their favorite influencer they follow on Instagram. The brand is tagged, and they quickly tap through to check out the look. 
While this might be their first interaction with your brand, their browsing behavior on the site is tracked. 
The “Shop now” button is seamlessly integrated into the Instagram post. They can add the item to their cart and complete the purchase without leaving the app. 
A marketing automation platform recognizes the “new customer” tag. It creates a “Welcome Series” email sequence showcasing your brand’s personality and a curated selection of similar trending items. 
At the same time, if they have a question, your chatbot can quickly answer any query. 

// Test and optimize

Collect data on how your messages perform on various channels, which messages gave you the most clicks, engagement rates, conversions, and highest satisfaction scores.   

Measure performance and optimize your engagement strategy to continually improve the customer journey, improve ROI, and deliver a more significant impact against your goals.  

A/B test everything: Subject lines, image types, offer timing, all tailored to segments. 

Get quick feedback on campaign ideas or new collections. 

Transform customer experiences with omnichannel retail solutions

Omnichannel customer engagement solution

Use Moments to create message flows and customized templates tailored to each customer on their preferred channel.

Customer data platform

People CDP makes it easy to get to know your audience. Collect valuable customer data to create detailed customer profiles and segment audiences for targeted campaigns.

Cloud contact center

Conversations allows your agents to manage multiple conversations, on multiple channels at once with ease. Keep all customer communications and contextual conversation history on one dashboard.

Chatbot building platform

Design the perfect chatbot for your business. Whether rule-based or AI chatbot, you can offer better customer support with a virtual assistant on Answers.

The future of omnichannel retailing

For brands to survive in a competitive landscape, omnichannel communications for retail experiences is essential. Consumer behaviors and expectations have changed – from viewing the digital side of your business as just another channel to thinking about it as the front door.    

The future of omnichannel retailing will be about making every interaction conversational, driven by AI and machine learning. For many retailers, this is a new realm of technology that they haven’t conquered yet.  

But we’ve got you covered.  

Our experience working with retail and eCommerce businesses and expertise in customer communications gives us an in-depth understanding of the retailer’s context, challenges, objectives, market, and solutions landscape. We can help you face the challenges of today and future-proof conversational solutions for tomorrow.   

We provide an omnichannel solution that ensures the right message is going out to customers at the right time, but also on the right channel. We’ve grown this deep appreciation for the complexity that can come with adding new channels into your customers.

Ryan Creamore

Global Director of Mid-Market, Infobip

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